5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Portland

If you’ll be in Portland this holiday season, there are plenty of unique ways to celebrate. This great coastal city has it own way of spreading holiday cheer. Costumes come out and decorations are strung as thousands of locals gather to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Here are just some of the ways to join in the fun.

gingerbread man

Gingerbread Jamboree
Hosted by the Junior League of Portland, this massive decorating party is quickly becoming a holiday tradition for hundreds of loyal attendees. They provide all of the candy and frosting, so you can get creative without worrying about the mess. Take your creation home and enjoy a delicious holiday treat.

christmas house lights

Festival of Lights
For just 10 dollars, you can experience the ultimate holiday celebration. Choirs, light sculptures, a petting zoo, puppet shows and a hot chocolate bar are just some of the reasons to swing by. It’s a massive parade of all things Christmas.

ugly sweater
Ugly Sweater Dash

The name says it all. You can join hundreds of Portland residents in your most hideous holiday sweater. More than just a tacky night out, the event raises money and food for the West Linn Food Pantry.


Whale Watching

All along the coast of Washington and Oregon, whale watching groups head out to watch the annual migration of the grey whales. Volunteers help you spot these massive mammals as they peak above the sea. Holiday watching begins on December 27th and runs until the 31st.

The Miracle of a Million Lights

Just a few miles north of the city, the famous Victorian Belle mansion becomes a spectacular festival of lights. You’ll see 2.5 acres of land transformed into a snowy beacon of light. It comes with live musical performances, delicious holiday treats, and warm homemade cider. Plus, you’ll get to tour the interior of this historical landmark. Rooms are filled with antique gems and Victorian designs.


Although the holiday season often gets busy, be sure to check out one of these great ways to experience Portland and take some time to enjoy the wonderful city!

Top 10 Sights to See on the West Coast This Summer

If you’re planning a long-term vacation on the West Coast, or are relocating for the summer, you’ll want to know about some of the outstanding sights to see.  There are literally hundreds of contenders – places that command attention, locations that are breathtaking, and sights that are nothing short of extraordinary. To get the most out of your stay on the West Coast, it will help to plan your trip ahead of time. For this task, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 sights to see on the West Coast this summer, including the websites that will help you with your planning:

  1. Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, is a storied, hilltop mansion that is open for tours, and is a popular place to go back in time as visitors experience dramatic architecture, stunning décor and more. On 127 acres of fountains, pools, terraced gardens and lush grounds, the castle is open daily at 9:00 a.m. each day.
  2. Balboa Park in San Diego, CA, is a 1400-acre site that has several museums, gardens, beautiful landscaping, historical buildings, and more. The architecture is of the Spanish-Mexican style, and you’ll enjoy the Museum of Man, the Botanical Gardens and lily pond, the San Diego Zoo, and much more.9cbdb536c6455e99756745b6e0e55196
  3. Mount Rainier National Park is home to Mt. Rainier, ascending 14,410 feet above sea level. With wildflower meadows, ancient forests and plenty of wildlife abound on the lower slopes,  there is no lack of dramatic, natural wonder here. The park is located in Ashford, Washington, near Tacoma, Olympia, and Seattle.
  4. Emerald Bay State Park, located in the Lake Tahoe, California area, is a sight not to be missed on a tour of the West Coast! With plenty of natural wonders, camping, boating, swimming, museums, geocaching, scuba diving, fishing, and much more, you’ll want to reserve at least two days for this park.
  5. The Gaslamp Quarter National Historic District is a unique area that has been restored to its 19th-century splendor. It’s a trendy area full of restaurants, galleries and shops, and runs from Broadway to San Diego Bay. The Gaslamp Quarter is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  6. Washington Park in Portland, Oregon, is another stop that you should consider. The park contains museums, a zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Hoyt Arboretum. The land was purchased by the city in 1871, and is located to the west of the center of Portland. You’ll want to reserve one full day for Washington Park!
  7. Pike Place Market is a public market center that includes farmers markets, crafts, specialty foods, and more. In fact, there are more than a dozen restaurants at the market, featuring fresh ingredients from local vendors. Don’t miss the fish tossing at the Fish Market! Established in 1907, the market is located in Seattle, Washington.
  8. Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument near San Diego, is the location where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first landed on the West Coast in 1542. You can learn the story of his journey through exhibits and displays, and visit the large statue dedicated to him. Be sure to also visit the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which was built in 1858.
  9. A great national historic site on the border of Washington State is Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a reconstructed fort and visitor center. The Pearson Air Museum is located here, as are many gorgeous historic homes that make up Officers Row. Hudson’s Bay Company established Fort Vancouver as a fur trading post, and today it is open to visitors from all over the globe.
  10. Pebble Beach Drive, also known as 17-Mile Drive, is a scenic loop that runs along the Monterey Peninsula in California. Lining the drive are famous golf courses, Bird Rock, stunning mansions, the Lone Cypress, and the Del Monte Forest. The road serves as the main road through Pebble Beach, so be aware that non-residents must pay a toll to use the road.

With hundreds of other options for your travels this summer, you’ll want to be sure to look into fully furnished apartments and short term housing for your accommodations as alternatives to the standard hotel stay. For more information on how corporate housing in San Diego, Portland, and other cities can be an advantage for your vacations, you can contact us at U.S. Suites! Happy Travels!

Relocating: Establishing New Holiday Traditions

Holiday TraditionsWhen you and your family relocate to a city that is far from the people with whom you’ve spent many happy holidays, it can be difficult to keep a cheery spirit. If this holiday season will be the first for you away from “home”, you’ll need to keep a bright spirit and look at this as an opportunity to have some new, fun and meaningful family holiday traditions. The following are some tips to consider to keep alive traditions you’re used to and can be kept, and some tips on establishing new family traditions after relocating, whether you’ve moved into a single-family home in New York City or furnished apartments in San Diego.

The Importance of New Traditions after Relocating

Establishing new traditions, especially after relocating, can be an important way to connect with loved ones, make time for family and friends, and affirm a sense of well-being. It’s important to keep in mind that even when family circumstances (and locations) change, you and your family can adapt and alter traditions – even those that you’ve taken part in since childhood. If you are relocating across the country and you have children, you need to make sure you consider them in your efforts to establish new traditions to ease any uncertainty they may be feeling about holidays in a new place. Your kids can help you sort out new rules and ideas.

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Keeping Pets Safe During The Holidays

Are you traveling or relocating with pets this holiday season?

Here at US Suites, we care just as much about your four-legged family member during relocation just as you do. Every year we have thousands of pets that make the journey and relocate with us. Whether you’re bringing along a cat, dog or even a turtle, there are several things you can do to ensure their safety while traveling especially during the holidays.Below are a few tips to ensure your pet is safe and happy during the holidays and in their new home.

Tip #1 Keep pets away from poisonous holiday plants

Although you may love the look of that poinsettia or the holly or mistletoe hung in your doorway, these plants can be extremely harmful to your pet. Make sure to keep them out of reach from your pets or better yet go for the imitation poinsettia (Shh… we won’t tell anyone!)

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