Exploring Portland couldn’t be easier! The city offers several low-cost ($5/day with the Hop Fastpass) public transportation options, along with good old-fashioned foot and pedal power. The MAX Light Rail, Portland Streetcar, and TriMet Bus System connect downtown to outlying neighborhoods and trendy multi-use districts, east and west sides of the city, and the greater metro area (the MAX even goes to/from the airport!). Ride one or all three (depending on where you want to go) to visit sports and concert venues, parks and museums, indoor and outdoor shopping malls, convention and expo centers, the train station and zoo, and popular dining and retail areas.
BIKETOWN, a bike-share program launched in 2016 and funded by local sportswear giant Nike, is a fun, affordable, and healthy way to make quick trips around town. You can find 1,000 of the program’s bright-orange Social Bicycles (SoBi), designed to be comfortable for a wide range of riders, at more than 125 locations throughout downtown and nearby neighborhoods. With 315 miles of bikeways and the nation’s highest rate (7%) of bike commuters, you could say biking is a way of life (and getting around) in Portland!
Portland features many pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods and half-size city blocks (200 vs. 400 feet long) in downtown, so walking is a free and convenient mode of transportation to discover the city. If time allows (approximately four hours), and you have the leg power (about 2.5 miles of walking), consider hiking the 4T Trail. This self-guided urban nature tour – which also utilizes the train, tram, and trolley to get from points A to B – provides some of the best views of the city you’ll see without a car.
YOU CAN, IN PORTLAND: WHAT TO SEE AND DO DURING YOUR STAY
Oregon’s largest city boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions and activities to suit every interest. From art and science museums to gardens, parks, and a zoo, you can easily find something to do come rain or shine! Whether you prefer a laid-back day trip into wine country or beer-tasting brewery tour, you won’t have to venture far. In 90 minutes or less, you can get from Portland to the beach or mountains or any lake and stream in between to enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, nature, wildlife, water sports, and more.
Major- and minor-league sports teams take up residence in Portland, including the Trail Blazers (NBA), Timbers (MLS), and Winterhawks (WHL). Along with a variety of auto and road racing at the Portland International Raceway, other local and regional spectator sports include roller derby, horse racing, baseball, and running.
If shopping is your sport, then look no further than this tax-free destination! That’s right, Portland has NO SALES TAX. So shop to your heart’s content for handmade goodies from local (arts and crafts) makers, unique finds from indie designers, brand name fashions from designer powerhouses, steals and deals from retail outlets, gift items from seasonal pop-up shops, and the latest trends from curated boutiques.
EAT, DRINK, AND BE BEERY
As the unofficial birthplace of the craft beer movement back in the early 1980s, Portland is home to more breweries (75+) than any other city. But it’s not just about the beer (well, ok, maybe for some it is). There’s also coffee, cocktails, craft spirits, and even kombucha. You see, there’s a little bit of everything in Portland. And each has its own culture and following of sorts. So it doesn’t really matter what you like, chances are you’ll find it. Or, you’ll have fun discovering new things along the way to finding it. That’s part of Portland’s appeal.
Another movement, farm-to-table (eat locally, seasonally), also has its roots in Portland. Yet, the city is just as famous for its more than 600 food carts featuring an array of foods for every taste bud. According to the Washington Post, it’s America’s best food city. Global fare – Middle Eastern, Thai, Latin, and Vietnamese – lives alongside vegan, paleo, and gluten-free. There’s indulgent (BBQ, comfort, and soul foods), and then there’s indulgent (doughnuts, chocolates, and ice cream). One could say that the dining scene in Portland is both diverse and dynamic, but it’s also dog-friendly (many eateries welcome their patrons’ four-legged companions). The message is clear: explore, experiment, and enjoy the variety of food and drink found in this top culinary destination.