Getting in and out of town
As you can probably guess, taking the plane is the best way to get to Portland. Portland’s international airport, PDX, has nonstop service to over 120 cities worldwide. PDX is 20 minutes from downtown, but recently the MAX light rail extended its track to the airport and now takes trips to and from downtown every 15 minutes. Now instead of dropping $30 dollars on a cab, it’s only $1.50 for the MAX. You can also use Tri-Met bus services to get from the airport to town. PDX web site: www.portlandairportpdx.com.
Also for travelers on the west coast who want to spend a little less and see a little more, the Amtrak Cascades (www.amtrakcascades.com) is a great way to go. Their European-style trains offer laptop outlets, refreshments, and bicycle, ski and snowboard racks. The trains run along the west coast, providing service to Vancouver, BC, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR and Eugene, OR. Going by train may take a little more time, but it allows you to visit Portland and see the scenic west coast at the same time.
Greyhound’s Portland Bus station is located at 550 NW 6th Portland, OR 97209. Web site: www.greyhound.com.
At the Airport: Enterprise Rent A Car, 10947 NE Holman St. Phone: +1 (503) 252 1500, or click the link to reserve a car.
Downtown: Hertz Rent A Car, 330 SW Pine St., across from The Embassy Suites. Phone: +1 (503) 249 8216, or click the link to reserve a car.
Getting around town
Rail, Bus or Trolley?
Portland’s transit system, Tri-Met, (www.tri-met.org) has three ways to whisk you around the city: The MAX light rail, the European Trolley Car and the bus system. An all-zone pass for any of these is $1.45/adult, with transfers good for two hours. Visitors may want to consider purchasing a Visitor Adventure Pass. This pass provides access to all Tri-Met services, costs $10 and is good for three days. These passes are available at the Tri-Met office located in Pioneer Court House Square, SW 6th Avenue, between Morrison and Yamhill.
The MAX light rail basically runs through the middle of Portland, east to west. It also has routes to nearby small cities. The trolley car runs through upper downtown, and into Portland’s northwest section along 10th and 11th streets, and takes a trip up to NW 23rd. Riding the Trolley is a great way to visit some of Portland’s best shops. Of course the buses, which take off roughly every 15 minutes, will take you just about anywhere.
Walk or Bike
But if you really want to see Portland, walking or riding a bike is best. Portland is known for its amazing paths and parks and is surprisingly green for a city of it’s size. Portland is also very bike-friendly, and as the city’s traffic becomes increasingly congested, many are trading 4 tires in for 2.
Understanding how Portland is laid out as a city will make it all the easier to get around. Click the link to learn how to navigate Portland.
If you want more information about this area you can email the author or check out our North America Insiders page.