About Portland

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Portland – Oregon’s largest city – sits at the north end of the Willamette Valley, straddling the Willamette River near its confluence with the Columbia, which acts as a natural dividing line between Oregon and Washington. On a clear day, Mount Hood—the city’s alpine mascot—glows on the eastern horizon, about 90 minutes away.  This metropolis boasts many distinctive neighborhoods full of friendly and often quirky people, with a small-town atmosphere.

Racially progressive, culturally diverse and politically charged, the city is also practically a laboratory of all that’s hip and cool in North America right now; food trucks, obsessive baristas, urban gardening, bike lovers, and iconic culinary dishes, just to name a few.

At a glance
Average temperatures Time zone Area Population
January — 42.6 F (5.9 C)
July — 68.3 F (20.2 C)
Pacific 145 square miles
(376 square kilometers)
2.35 million in the Portland metropolitan area
A little history
  • The city of Portland was officially incorporated on February 8, 1851.
  • PORTLAND WAS ALMOST NAMED BOSTON. City founders Asa Lovejoy, who hailed from Boston, Mass., and Francis Pettygrove, of Portland, Maine, were each determined to name the new city after their respective hometowns. Unable to settle the argument, they decided to flip a coin, now known as the “PORTLAND PENNY” and on display at the Oregon Historical Society. Pettygrove won on two out of three tosses.
  • Portland’s nicknames include City of Roses, Stumptown, Bridgetown and Beervana.
Off beat
  • Portland is home to VOODOO DOUGHNUT, a 24-hour doughnut shop that offers — in addition to a crazy selection of doughnuts — legal wedding ceremonies. It also boasts the Guinness Book of World Records’ title for “WORLD’S LARGEST BOX OF DOUGHNUTS.”
  • Oregon is one of only five U.S. states with NO SALES TAX – making Portland THE LARGEST CITY IN THE COUNTRY WITH TAX-FREE SHOPPING.
  • More ASIAN ELEPHANTS (28 to date) have been born in Portland than in any other North American city
  • Portland is home to the world’s smallest dedicated park: MILL ENDS PARK, a mere 24 inches (61 cm) across. There are 37,000 acres (14,973 ha) of parks in the Portland metro area.
  • Oregon is one of just two states in which residents — and visitors — ENJOY THE LUXURY OF ALWAYS HAVING THEIR GAS PUMPED FOR THEM. It’s the law!

Portland in September

As LAS GNOME starts, Portland will be at the end of its summer season, making the turn towards autumn. The days are still warm, with average highs of mid-70s (°F), with blissfully low humidity. Rain is rare, and the evenings are long.

Summer attire still works, but remember to pack light jackets for cooler evenings.

Getting There

By Air

Portland International Airport canopy wide - Oregon04

Portland International Airport (PDX) has easy light rail connection to downtown, free Wi-Fi, great local food and drinks (including microbrews and craft spirits) and tax-free shopping with no markups.

The airport is located nine miles northeast of downtown Portland and is conveniently connected to the city center via MAX light rail train.

Light rail

The MAX light rail Red Line is the easiest way to travel to and from the airport. Here are some quick facts:

  • The trip between the airport and downtown Portland takes about 38 minutes.
  • An adult ticket costs $2.50 USD (Youth $1.25 USD, Honored Citizen $1 USD). MAX ticket machines return change in coins, so small bills are recommended.
  • You can roll your luggage on board.
  • The first train of the day arrives at PDX at 4:45 a.m. The last train departs PDX at 11:50 p.m.
  • The MAX station and ticket machines are located on the lower level, next to the south baggage claim area (turn right at the base of the escalator). View airport map.

For complete schedules and more information, visit www.trimet.org/schedules/maxredline.htm.

Taxicabs

The average taxi fare from the airport to downtown is approximately $35 USD before gratuity. Radio Cab offers a discount with coupons available on their website. The one-way trip takes 20-40 minutes. You can find taxis waiting in the center section of the airport terminal’s lower roadway outside of baggage claim; to get back to the airport from the city center, you can order a cab through the city’s main operators or from a hotel with a dedicated taxi stand.

Shuttles

The Downtown Airport Express by Blue Star runs every 30 minutes and costs $14 USD one-way and $24 USD round-trip to downtown and Lloyd Center/Convention Center hotels. Other shuttle services are available, and many airport hotels provide free shuttles.

When leaving the airport, you can find the Downtown Airport Express and other hotel shuttle buses on the terminal’s lower roadway (outside of baggage claim) on the far side of Island #2, closer to the parking garage.

By Train

Union Station Portland Oregon

Union Station, with its elegant architecture, 50-foot-tall clock tower and cheerful “Go By Train” neon sign, is a Portland landmark.

The station is located at the foot of the Broadway Bridge in Old Town Chinatown, just minutes from the center of downtown.  The Portland Transit Mall, which carries many bus lines, as well as the MAX light rail Green and Yellow lines, is one block from Union Station on Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Union Station is served by three Amtrak passenger trains:

  • With three daily departures between Seattle and Portland, as well as daily service to Vancouver, B.C., and Eugene, Ore., Amtrak Cascades is a convenient link to the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.
  • The Coast Starlight operates daily, connecting the West Coast’s most popular destination cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.
  • Running daily, the Empire Builder begins in Portland and heads east to Chicago with stops at Whitefish, Glacier National Park, Minot, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and other locations.
AMTRAK OFFERS

Learn more about Amtrak’s current promotions and deals.

By Bus

It’s easy to get to and from Portland by bus with the iconic Greyhound and its subsidiary BoltBus. The two bus companies connect Portland with regular service to cities near and far.

BoltBus

BoltBus 0889 in Portland Oregon 2014

Offering low fares – one seat per bus is randomly selected to cost just $1, while most fares are in the $10-25 range – BoltBus has been a big hit since its 2012 arrival in Portland. In addition to savings, BoltBus passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi, electrical outlets and about three inches of extra legroom compared to standard coaches. Although you board at the curb, a seat is guaranteed with the purchase of a ticket, and boarding groups keep things orderly.

BoltBus serves the Pacific Northwest with frequent service between Portland and the following locations:

  • Vancouver, B.C.
  • Bellingham, Wash.
  • Seattle
  • Albany, Ore.
  • Eugene, Ore.

The BoltBus stop is on the south side of Northwest Everett Street between Eighth Avenue and Broadway.

Greyhound

Greyhound buses at depot - Portland, Oregon

Founded in 1914, Greyhound is United States’ largest intercity bus transportation provider and connects Portland with its more than 2,400 service locations in North America. You can buy Greyhound bus tickets online, over the phone, at a Greyhound agency or at the Greyhound bus terminal — in Portland, this is located on Northwest Sixth Avenue and Hoyt Street, just south of the Union Station train station and on the MAX light rail line.

Other options

In addition to BoltBus and Greyhound, several other bus services provide convenient, affordable and frequent service to some of the most beautiful destinations in the region.

  • Cascades POINT: Seven daily trips to and from Portland and Eugene.
  • NorthWest POINT: Twice-daily service to and from Portland and Astoria.
  • The Wave: Twice-daily service to and from Portland and multiple coastal cities, including Oceanside, Cannon Beach and Lincoln City.
  • CC Rider: Weekday service from Portland to St. Helens and Astoria.
  • Central Oregon Breeze: Daily service between Portland and Bend (with twice-daily service during peak season).

 

All information above provided by http://www.travelportland.com/