A stay at this Northeast Portland tiny home hotel will have your kids exclaiming, “it’s just our size!”
From the outside, tiny houses are little enigmas. You find yourself wondering, “how will we ever fit in that?” And then you open the door, and you can’t help but smile.
If you’re curious, adventurous or just plain tired of the ordinary and need to get away, Tiny Digs Hotel (2646 NE Glisan St.) is a relaxing and refreshing place to try out tiny living and make some memories while you’re at it. With six tiny houses available to stay in (and more on the way), each with their own distinct point of view, you have plenty of options for how you want to kick back. And with the fun, inner-Eastside Portland location, you’re conveniently close to the airport, the Pearl District, and all the shops and restaurants downtown Portland is known for. Plus, it’s a great home base for families to do what true Portlanders do - explore by a bike.
Where to stay?
Tiny Digs Hotel has six different tiny houses, all designed and custom-built by the owners and their families. Each person took on a different unit and styled it with his or her own touch. Two parents and a child will sleep easily in several of them. There’s the bohemian charm of Gypsy Wagon (where we stayed), the Cape Cod bungalow called Beach, the Japanese-inspired Bamboo, and the log-sided Cabin. All four have queen-sized beds and fold-out futons that’ll fit a child. Otherwise, the angular Modern and the classic red Barn each have just a queen bed.
KidTripster Tip: The Gypsy Wagon has more square footage than the other five, but it’s also the only one without a loft. Since we stayed with our 3-year old, we opted for the Gypsy Wagon just to be safe, and we loved it. It’s amazing how big the inside feels. Our daughter is rambunctious, and there was room for her to do her thing. And the funky boho feel was just our vibe.
Tiny Digs Hotel is located in a vibrant neighborhood. There are homes and apartments nearby, but the area is quiet, and the tiny houses all seem private, despite being out in the open. The units are all equipped with free WiFi, small kitchens with cups and dishes, gourmet coffee and a french press to make it in, and a fridge, which you’ll surely use to store your leftovers from eating out, because you’re surrounded by incredible restaurants. There’s heat and air conditioning, a full bathroom with a shower, and the beds are outfitted with luxuriously-soft linens.
What to do?
One of the first things that you may notice about Portland is how many people are riding the same orange bikes with the big baskets on the front. They’re part of Nike’s BIKETOWN program. Launched in the summer of 2016, the system placed thousands of bikes around Portland in conveniently-located racks. You can rent bikes by the hour or by the day. Portland is widely-recognized as one of the top 10 most bike-friendly cities in the USA. Tiny Digs is two blocks away from one of the racks, seven blocks from another, and a ten-minute walk from a third. BIKETOWN rental cost: $2.50/hour; $12/day.
KidTripster Tip: If you’re flying in to see the city and don’t plan on driving into the Columbia River Gorge or to the beach during your stay, you can easily get around without renting a car. Take the MAX from the airport or grab a cab, Uber, or Lyft and then walk, bike or cab it to wherever you want to go. If you change your mind and want to hit the road a little, there’s an Enterprise Rent-a-Car lot a couple blocks away.
To check out KidTripster’s Top 10 Plays in Portland, click here.
Where to eat?
You can read about local eateries and must-visit shops in the booklet found in each tiny house, but it’s hard to go wrong with just about any place in this neighborhood. Tiny Digs is across the street from Dove ViVi Pizza (2727 NE Glisan St.), famous for its crunchy cornmeal pizza crust, two blocks from the great food and drinks at Migration Brewing (2828 NE Glisan St.) or Cuban cuisine at Pambiche Concina Respostería (2811 NE Glisan St.), where you’ll find lots of outdoor seating. There also are two locally-focused indoor food courts with lots of menu options within three blocks. And within a five-minute walk, you’ll find at least a dozen more places to eat and shop. If you have your mind set on somewhere else, you’re probably just a five-minute drive or 15-minute bike ride away, even if the place is on the west side of the Willamette River, across one of city’s many bridges.
KidTripster Tip: As a growing foodie destination, Portland has a great breakfast scene. But on the weekends, you may find a long line wherever you go, if you get started too late. So get out the door early!
If you want to kick back and digest or if you brought back takeout, Tiny Digs has a centralized outdoor area in the middle of the semi-circle of tiny houses with a propane fire pit and loungers.
On special nights during the busy summer months, Tiny Digs’ owners bring in food trucks and live music to fill the courtyard. Check the website for updates on that and any new tiny home designs coming to the hotel.
To check out KidTripster’s Top 10 Eats in Portland, click here.
Photo courtesy: Pambiche Concina Respostería
Tiny Digs Hotel is right in the heart of Northeast Portland. The lot is fenced with a key code to get in. If you need it, street parking outside the lot is free and plentiful.
Orion Ludlow is a Portland, Oregon-based journalist/forest ninja and father to a 3-year-old daughter. In his earlier days, he surveyed mountainous wilderness for endangered snails, caught 4,000 albacore tuna by hand, and was the fastest pizza delivery driver in his hometown. Thrilling tales to be sure, but nowhere near as awesome as adventure time with his wife and kid.