Portland Weekend Vacation Guide
Long a landmark of sustainable planning and green living; Portland, Oregon is an ideal destination for travelers seeking refuge from big-city chaos.
A quaint, charming community nestled on the banks of the Willamette River; Portland, Oregon offers the perfect blend of urban culture and natural beauty. This rare combination makes Portland an excellent location for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation.
Transportation in Portland
Travelers trying to reduce their carbon footprint can take the Max Light Rail Service from the airport to their hotel and throughout the downtown area.
Portland is also known as one of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities, boasting designated bike lanes and traffic signals on city streets as well as an extensive network of trails, both on and off-road.
However, if you’re planning on traveling outside the city, a car is a necessity. Not to worry though, there are plenty of hybrid and low-emission models available for rent at the airport.
Portland International Airport
Travelers should check with their airline for guidance regarding when to arrive at the airport, but for at least the busy early morning hours, a good rule of thumb is to arrive two hours before the flight. PDX offers travelers several parking options, located on Airport Way with direct connections to I-205. Rates vary from season. TriMet’s Airport MAX Red Line is a great option for travel to and from the airport.
Airlines flying into and out of Portland International Airport are: Air Canada Jazz, Alaska Airlines, America West, American Airlines, Continental, Delta Air Lines, Frontier, Hawaiian Air, Horizon Air, Jet Blue, Lufthansa, Mexicana Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Skywest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines and United Express
Visitors can cover a large part of the city by using “THE MAX.” Portland’s light rail system with expanded service to PDX (Portland International Airport). Airport MAX Red Line rail service began running between downtown Portland PDX in 2001.
Portland’s award winning mass transit system is one of the most extensive and advanced in the U.S. The transit system includes buses and the MAX, an urban light rail line, as well as a downtown transit mall and Fareless Square, the downtown free-ride zone. This is the best way to get around Portland and see the town.
- TriMet fares are valid on buses, MAX Light Rail and the Portland Streetcar.
- All trips that begin and end within Fareless Square are free—all day, every day.
- You can bring your bike with you on buses, MAX and Portland Streetcar.
- Buses, MAX and Portland Streetcar are accessible to people with disabilities.
- You can catch MAX at 64 stations throughout the metro area. Trains run every 10-15 minutes every day roughly between 4:30 a.m. and midnight.
Portland, Oregon Lodging
The Jupiter Hotel is a fun, affordable place to stay located right in the heart of town. Head over to the adjacent Doug Fir Lounge, a popular bar and concert venue, to grab a drink or catch a show. Or go down Burnside Street to the Old Town district and enjoy some of the local colors.
Those seeking a more rustic experience can find refuge in the surrounding area’s many well-maintained state and national parks and campgrounds.
Unique Portland Attractions
Portland has no shortage of unique attractions for visitors to enjoy. Among the best are:
Purveyors of such colorful confections as The Dirty Snowball, the Grape Ape, and the notorious Bacon-Maple Bar, this local shop exemplifies the colloquialism, “Keep Portland Weird.”
Powell’s City of Books
Occupying an entire city block in northwest Portland, Powell’s purports to be, “the largest new and used bookstore in the world.” Be sure to browse the valuable volumes on display upstairs in their famous rare book room.
Portland Saturday Market
The nation’s largest outdoor arts and craft market are open for business every Saturday and Sunday from March 6 to December 24. It’s a perfect place to pick up some locally produced, handcrafted souvenirs.
International Rose Test Garden
Portland isn’t called the “City of Roses” for nothing. In fact, It’s blessed with the perfect climate for cultivating the thorny blossoms. Located in northwest Portland’s Washington Park, the garden is in bloom from April until October, reaching its peak in June.
Mt. Tabor Park
Portland’s Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcanic cinder cone, offers a breathtaking view of the city. Heading up to the top with a bottle of wine to watch the sunset will add a romantic twist to any evening.
Bucolic splendor abounds throughout this picturesque stretch of the Columbia River. A National Scenic Area, the gorge is home to Multnomah Falls, Dog Mountain, and Eagle Creek as well as many other parks and hiking trails.
A trip to Portland is easy on the environment and light on the pocketbook without compromising the quality of one’s experience. For those in search of a green getaway, Portland provides the perfect destination.