Portland Travel Guide

  • Mt Hood as seen from the Japanese Gardens.
    Mt Hood as seen from the Japanese...
    by Herkbert
  • Mount Hood over downtown Portland
    Mount Hood over downtown Portland
    by Rixie
  • Portland's Historic Downtown
    Portland's Historic Downtown
    by richiecdisc

Portland Things to Do

  • Downtown

    Opened in 2006, the Portland Arial Tram is mostly used by those needing to get to Oregon Health and Sciences University near the top of the hills overlooking Portland. The arial tram connects the south waterfront area to OHSU, and to a lesser extent the other medical facilities on this hilltop. Depending on the load, the cars typically depart every...

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  • Water Front Park

    So Portland moved a freeway to build a park! How many cities can say that? This park is emensely popular with pedestrians, cyclists and skaters. You'll see business people taking lunch strolls and homeless people watching the world go by (they tend to be harmless and placid). In the spring the pink blossoms on the cherry trees are beautiful! From...

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  • Japanese Garden

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    A trip to the Washington Park area necessitates a visit to Portland's Japanese Gardens. We took advantage of a beautiful day to visit and enjoyed it very much. There is a fee to get in, $9.50 for adults, but it was well worth it. We managed to hook up with one of the volunteers and enjoyed a guided group tour. Our guide, Libbi, did an excellent...

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Portland Hotels

See all 211 Hotels in Portland

Portland Restaurants

  • Jake's Famous Crawfish

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Jake's is a landmark in Portland since 1892 and has been rated one of the Top 10 seafood restaurants in the USA. It also features the oldest St. Patrick's Day celebration. Their menu is printed twice daily. Many celebrities and VIP's have dined here. Name just about any seafood or fish and they probably can serve it: Trout from Buhl,...

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  • Voodoo Doughnut

    4 out of 5 stars

    In some respects this is a "must see" place as it has become famous all over, but at the same time because it has become famous all over it is also somewhat of a tourist trap. There is always a line out front, and obnoxious music plays loudly over the speakers in order to encourage people to buy and leave so that the next person can buy. They are...

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  • Le Bistro Montage

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Upon entering this unassuming red brick warehouse tucked beneath the Morrison bridge, you will be instantly aware of just how aptly named this place is. Patrons all walks rub elbows at long communal tables draped in white linen in a massive hall with low lights and high ceilings. The bohemian atmosphere is reflected in tribute paintings and...

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Portland Nightlife

  • Dancing

    One thing you'll notice while out in Portland, everywhere serves food. There is few "dance clubs" or "bars" that are strictly just that. Everywhere is a pub once way or another. You can;t miss this one with the huge inflatable purple octopus on the outside of the building. The Greek Cusina is a restaurant downstairs and upstairs during lunch...

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  • Outrageous

    Dark, red, fun! Dante's is a great spot for drinks and to catch a show. Although a bit on the "alterative entertainment side" with Sinferno Cabaret, Karaoke from Hell (live band backing you up) and a few electronica eact and erotica acts to keep you on your toes. Nothing too out there and not a goth crowd as you might expect. Fun place to catch...

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  • Live Music

    They say that the Meow Meow has closed but I am sure it will reopen with a new name so I am posting some pix from before the closure. None - wear anything. You will find a lot of rock-a-billy and emo types here.

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Portland Transportation

  • Greyhound or Amtrak

    Finished in 1896, and significantly remodeled between 1927 and 1930, Portland's Union Station has seen train traffic to and from the City of Roses peak at over 200 trains a day, drop down to a mediocre three per day in the 1980s, and slowly revive through the 1990s and 2000s, thanks to the state of Washington effort to develop the Cascades service....

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  • Lightrail and Metro

    TriMet (Tri-County Transportation District) operates the city bus services and light rail trains in the Portland area. The light rail trains (essentially modern tram to the world outside the USA and Canada) are called MAX, and Portland Streetcar (a more traditional tram) is a street running only version that is smaller in size and slower in...

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  • Portland International Airport

    For those that haven't been to the Portland airport in a while, you should know that the airport has been improved a bit over the years. It wasn't that long ago the place was one of those horrid ugly utilitarian concrete octopus structures that was horribly unappealing. From the outside the structure is still the horrid unappealing nature that...

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Portland Shopping

  • Downtown area

    A wonderful store filled with traditional clothing, furnishings and a terrific selection of classic hats of all shapes and materials. This is a rarity: a third generation business (run by John Helmer III) alive-and-well in the 21st Century. Suits and sportcoats in all weights of fabrics. Especially wide range of ascots! Very upmarket ($750 on up...

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  • 'Eclectic' Hawthorne District

    Wow- I happened on this place and it was like walking into a dream- as a health-counscious vegan I usually have to be picky about a menu, but everything here is for me! I had an INCREDIBLE mint-chocolate milkshake (no milk, of course) and "a taste of the sea". The place is in a revamped old Victorian building, and is stunning- it was worth it to me...

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  • Saturday Market

    Portland's popular Saturday Market, for decades a fixture under and near the Burnside Bridge, was mostly forced to leave its longtime home due to redevelopment plans for the area directly south of the Burnside Bridge. 2009 was the first year to visit the market in its new location, with a new structure to allow vendors to use Waterfront Park as...

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Portland Local Customs

  • umbrellas? Not for locals!

    This is a weather related tip and thus doesn't fit into any of the currently available VirtualTourst categories: Portland has a well-earned reputation as a place where it rains a lot. The local tourist and convention bureau, colleges and universities, real estate agents, and various others have attempted to pass off the Portland reputation for...

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  • Blackberries for everyone

    Blackberries are everywhere in the Portland area, and to a lesser extent all over the northwest. The most common type was introduced and is now considered an invasive species because they take over just about any open space and to a lesser extent forest land. Therefore, you can pretty much find them everywhere. Most commonly they are around in...

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  • Stay in your car

    In this day and age, self service is the norm. But not in Portland, at least not when it comes to gasoline. Oregon is only one of two states in the US where you cannot pump your own gasoline. In 2003, a bill was introduced in the Oregon legislature to allow self service gas pumps. It did not get enough votes to pass. So, the rule of thumb is "hands...

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Portland Warnings and Dangers

  • Low on Gas (Stations)

    We topped off the tank of our rental car in downtown Portland before leaving for the airport, but there was something wrong with the gauge, and we had hardly left the city limits before the indicator dipped to 3/4. We thought that we would stop at a gas station at the airport, but what we didn't realize is there are NO gas stations there. We had to...

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  • Driving. Very Slow Drivers

    People here are unskilled drivers because there is no snow. They do not share the road and drive 5 mph less than the limit. There is no minimum speed limit and no flashers are required for creeping along in the far lanes. They drive slow with large gaps in between autos. They smack up on sunny dry days. They do not drive on snow 6 months of the...

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  • Weather is Vastly Variable with...

    Over the small area covered by the city of Portland and its surrounding areas, there are perhaps 8 different climate areas, and elevations that range from sea level to slightly over 1,000 feet (about 300 meters). Some areas can be encrusted in ice while other areas are reasonably warm and possibly have sun.Weather reports seem to usually use the...

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Portland Tourist Traps

  • Use lockers in portland

    Hi Greyhound or Amtrak stations in Portland have locker facility.But about how much time you can use them is not clear.I visited there many times but i never use lockers. You should contact www.bookingwiz.com for flight related problems.After 9/11 it is not so simple to use lockers in U.S.A.or other. Best of luck

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  • China Town: it isn't a shopping area...

    I can't count the number of times I have run into tourists from out of town asking about how to get to Portland's China Town, because they wanted to go to "all the great shopping".Portland's China Town is not a shopping district. It was named Chinatown because it was where the Chinese workers for the railroad, and later for the early highway...

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  • A unique donut experience

    total tourist trap but worth a little wait in the line. Really enjoyed the clever names for the specialty donuts. I didn't order the C*#ck and Balls but I think I saw one in the display case... Try to go early in the AM to avoid long lines

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Portland What to Pack

  • Get ready for the rain!

    Let's face it, no one plans a trip to the Pacific Northwest expecting to see much sun! Like Seattle, Portland is known to be one of the cloudiest and wettest cities in the US - not because of the amount of rain it gets, but because of the number of days with rain. On average, it rains over 150 days a year in Portland, and one pretty sure way of...

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  • Remember, it does rain in Portland

    Bringing along a rain jacket is probably a good idea anytime, but definitely during the fall, winter and spring. Tourists stand out as they are the ones walking around with umbrellas, but if you want to stay dry, bring one along.

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  • lots of walking and photo taking

    A good pair of walking shoes will come in handy in this city voted in the top ten walking cities in the United States. Portland is noted for getting its fair share of sprinkles. It may not rain hard but it rains often so an umbrella is a good thing to carry. We were lucky to have nothing but sun during our three days! A wide angle is a great...

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Portland Off The Beaten Path

  • Forest Park

    I'm not sure where the main entrance to Forest Park is -- I have a friend who lives next to it and my entrance is her backyard. Anyway, this is the largest urban wilderness park in America, and despite the annoying horns and whistles that come from the train tracks along the river it still makes good hiking and exploring.

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  • Pittock Mansion

    The Pittock Mansion was built by one of Portland's richest citizens in the "old days". The mansion was purchased by the city in 1964, after the family put the house on the market and the house was damanaged during a storm in 1962. The house and its land have became part of the parks system. The mansion features wonderful views of the mountains. On...

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  • FORT VANCOUVER - GOTTA START SOMEWHERE

    Across the Columbia River to the north of Portland is the American city of Vancouver. There is a nice area around a revitalized downtown core just west of I-5 with requisite brewpubs. Most of Vancouver and Clark County beyond sprawls in an urban mess. A good portion of the population commutes to Oregon for work and lives over here for tax purposes....

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Portland Sports & Outdoors

  • Pro Sports

    For the 2011 Major League Soccer season - the top-league in USA/Canada - the Portland Timbers have returned. The Timbers played in the old NASL of the 1970-80's until that league died from a disease called Cosmo-itis. They played before huge crowds and really popularized the sport here in the Portland metropolitan area. Several of the old Timbers...

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  • Sport...your choice

    A sport imported from China, dragon boat racing has caught on here in the Rose City – and other towns in the Northwest, as well. Crewing as had a long history here and the four’s and eight’s can still be seen in the early morning hours out on the river. The Wasabi Paddling Club is a local club dedicated to both dragon boat racing and outrigger...

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  • RCTID

    For the 2011 Major League Soccer season - the top-league in USA/Canada - the Portland Timbers have returned. The Timbers played in the old NASL of the 1970-80's until that league died from a disease called Cosmo-itis. They played before huge crowds and really popularized the sport here in the Portland metropolitan area. Several of the old Timbers...

    more

Portland Favorites

  • Downtown

    Part of the Local Improvement District for the MAX light rail ten fountains with twenty-five bronze sculptures of Pacific Northwest animals were installed in 1986. They were designed by Georgia Gerber. Here are just a few I was able to photograph.

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  • Haircut anyone

    Scheduling haircuts can always be a challenge for my wife when traveling. While visiting Portland, OR, she decided it was time so she tried Rudy's on a recommendation.Located on SE Division, conveniently near a couple of coffee shops and restaurants at 3015 SE Division, Portland, OR 97202 the front looks like it was a former garage. There is a...

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  • VCS Southeast Portland Animal Hosital

    You're on vacation and your pet gets sick, worse yet, it's 9:00 PM at night and you have a bleeding, crying pet in your hands and need an emergency vet quick. Thanks to the Internet before we could walk the one block to our car, I found a vet that was open 24-hours a day to handle all types of emergencies.The staff of the VCA hospital at 13830 SE...

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Top 5 Cycling Cities: Portland

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Two parks line the Willamette River, Waterfront Park to the West and Eastbank Esplanade to the East, giving visitors the opportunity to take in both the city view and the river's scenery while cycling. A two block detour from Waterfront Park at the Burnside Bridge will take travelers to the Portland Saturday Market (which is open on all weekend), a city tradition since 1974. For a great example of Oregon's infamous conservation efforts, travelers can head slightly further south to the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Located on the east side of the Willamette River, the refuge is a floodplain wetland and well-known for its bird population.

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Comments (1)

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Fareless Square is No More!
    In early September of 2012 the last piece of the free transit district in downtown Portland ceased to exist, in order to allow TriMet to fill a huge budget gap.

 
Explore Deeper into Portland
Washington Park
Things to Do
Mount Hood
Things to Do
Chinatown
Things to Do
Oregon Coast
Things to Do
Pittock Mansion
Things to Do
Powell's City of Books
Things to Do
Ethnic Pubs
Nightlife
Car/Rental Car
Transportation
Gay bars
Nightlife
Greek Cuisina
Restaurants
Sports Bars
Nightlife
Books
Shopping
Portland City Grill
Restaurants
'Everything' stores
Shopping
Malls
Shopping
Bicycle
Transportation
Rock Bottom Brewery
Restaurants
Antiques
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Oba
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Bridgeport Brewery
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SauceBox
Restaurants
Walk..it's great!
Transportation
Rose Queen
Local Customs
NW 23rd
Shopping
Farmer's Market
Shopping
The Grotto: Religious Based Park in Northeast
Things to Do
Lovely views of a stunning waterfall - Multnomah
Things to Do
Sauvies Island
Off The Beaten Path
OREGON CITY – END OF THE TRAIL
Off The Beaten Path
Public Transit Service: The Basics
Transportation
Wildwood closed last year. It is gone.
Restaurants
Min Zidell Healing Garden
Off The Beaten Path
Movies with a Place to Put your Beer
Nightlife
TriMet Information on Smart Phone
Transportation
Portland Aerial Tram (Gondola)
Things to Do
Great river views
Restaurants
The Famous Pink Box
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Eclectic Salads
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Great Views above the City
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Excellent Guinness Pour
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Map of Portland

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