There was a period in the early 1990s when my husband and I visited Seattle and Portland several times, and then we had our daughter and stopped coming up (did cruises, Disney, etc. instead). However, we've never forgotten Portland. It's possibly the only place I'd ever leave San Francisco for.
We will be driving up from SF to Portland (our first time driving this trip) starting on April 1st, and we are planning to stay through Saturday before driving back down. I can't remember all the hotels we stayed at, but McMenamins (didn't like it) and Hampton Inn Airport (new at the time) were two of them. I have no clue where we should stay this time around, so I'd like suggestions. There will be 3 of us, so we want a room with either 2 queen beds or 1 king and a sofa sleeper (a real one); a small fridge and microwave for warming up leftovers would be nice. We don't want to pay for parking, and I'd love to pay $125/night or thereabouts if possible. If we had to pick a place on our own without advice, my guess is that we'd go back to the airport area or Beaverton.
One thing I remembered about Portland was the great food, especially the seafood. My husband still talks about the wonderful crabcake benedict that he had one day there, but I can't remember which restaurant it was, and of course, it may no longer be around. "Jake's" comes to mind, but I'm not sure if that's correct or not. I think it was part of a local chain of maybe three seafood restaurants. I'd also like some restaurant recommendations. We're Chinese, and we believe there is great authentic Chinese food in Portland that may be comparable to SF. We'd also like to try a couple of seafood restaurants again. A great sole proprietor Italian restaurant would also be great. If there are any "if in Portland, you gotta try..." we'd like to know. I hate returning home and then finding out about places I should have visited. I'd also like to visit a couple of places that were featured on TV like DDD, Rachael Ray, or others.
As far as sites go, I've been to the zoo, Japanese Garden, Powell Books, downtown Portland stuff (wandered into many stores, walked around, etc.), and we'll probably do some of that again. If there are some great new places (in the past 15 years), I'd love to know about them. We may spend a day on the way to the Columbia River Gorge. What else can we do? I don't think we want to drive to Seattle this time around. In general, we're kind of conservative, don't do water sports, won't be skiing. We're more about walking around town, eating, visiting a museum or site, eating...