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

    For the past few years, there has been Sand in the City - a sand sculpture contest in the middle of downtown Portland. This event is held in early July, has no admission price, and usually has at least one or two entertaining sculptures. See link below for a page that has a link to a description of the event and a photo gallery from last...

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  • Washington Park

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    This garden is known as the largest in a nation and features over 6800 rose bushes and 557 varieties. There is a garden of nominated varieties inside the garden. Some of them are really beautiful - like "Merilin Monro" this year (2007)... And of course, the bushes are changing from year to year to give space to new varieties.

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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 149 Hotels in Portland

Portland Restaurants

  • Fun and/ or fast Food

    4 out of 5 stars

    At 10 PM in the evening, and it is just above freezing, and there is a line of ice cream fanatics waiting for more than 30 minutes just to get a taste of ice cream flavors like "Pear and Blue Cheese" or "Honey Lavender" or "Cinnamon Snickerdoodle". I must admit I was glad I waited. The various tastes of wild concoctions in ice cream is a must do....

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  • Upscale

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The menu items looked so good I ordered way too much.... but it was delicious. Located on trendy 21st Street in downtown West of the Pearl district (maybe it could be in the Pearl district), Wildwood is an upscale place with reasonable priced dishes a little on the higher end. I ordered three starters and it was too much. The bowl of mussels, with...

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  • Ethnic

    4 out of 5 stars

    The servers are attentive to you and have much patience. The food is actually much better than the pictures and descriptions. The prices and servings are very fair. And the half a dozen tables in the cafe area is next to a substantial grocery store of many delicious and uncommon foods. Just beware of the vast candy corner in the back-so many...

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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 rest of the world) are called MAX, and Portland Streetcar is a street running only version that is smaller in size and slower in speed. The primary MAX route runs east-west...

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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

  • '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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  • 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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  • Books

    The name of this tip pretty much says it all: for some decades now, when you mention Portland, Oregon anywhere in the world, likely you will get the response "Oh, I just love Powell's Books". Not anything about our public art, or public transportation, or our climate. Only one particular independent bookstore. At least that has been my...

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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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  • Steam Locomotives SP 4449, SP&S 700, ORN...

    The city of Portland owns several steam locomotives, and two of those are currently in operating condition with a third in the process of being restored. They may be viewed at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and from time to time they operate special trips. The annual Holiday Express is the most...

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Portland Sports & Outdoors

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Three day itirenary in Portland

    There are many things to do in Portland beside shopping. Residents from Washington State go to Portland because there is no sales tax. Therefore, Portland is a great place for shopping as the buyer saves a lot of money!If you love walking you might as well go the the two famous gardens in Portland: The Lan Su Garden and the Portland Japanese...

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  • "Mystery, Mayhem and Muslin in Portland"

    This was my third time attending a Jane Austen Society of North America AGM. After going to the ones in Toronto (2002) and Chicago (2008), it was quite a treat to travel to Portland and meet up with my university friend Sylvia for the 2010 AGM dedicated to Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey". I must confess that because of all the fun I'd been...

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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.

 
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Water Front Park
Things to Do
Portland Saturday Market.
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Chinatown
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Mount Hood
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Coffee or Latte
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Museums
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Walk..it's great!
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Rose Queen
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Farmer's Market
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NW 23rd
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Vegetarian
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Oregon Zoo
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Public Transit Service Web site: next train coming
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Ice Cream for the Senses
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Henry Weinhard's Brewery & Woodland Pass IPA Beer
Local Customs
Lite or Full Dining
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Portland's Most Famous Store
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Lot's of feta cheese and smiles!
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Nearby Locations to Portland: Columbia Gorge
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Nearby Locations to Portland: Oregon Coast
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Willamette Shore Trolley
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Great burgers
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LARGE portions
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Tram over Portland
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Parking
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When First Class is not class at all....
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An Improved Airport Experience
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Map of Portland

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