Portland (Oregon)

Few American cities can match the youthful spirit of Portland, "The City of Roses". The largest city in the state of Oregon, Portland's residents are proud of their city, which draws people for its scenic beauty, great outdoors environment, excellent microbreweries, and eco-friendly urban planning policies, as well as a reputation for colorful characters and a proudly liberal outlook, with an attitude to match.

Lying about 70 mi (124 km) from the Pacific Coast on Oregon's northern border, the city straddles the Willamette (pronounced will-LAM-ett) River south of its confluence with the Columbia River. To the east, the majestic Mount Hood forms the perfect backdrop for Portland's skyline. The mild, wet climate makes this a very green city, and Portland has taken full advantage of this with a wealth of parks and gardens that make the city one of the most beautiful in the country.

Understand

The Willamette River runs by Downtown Portland

Portland is the largest city lying between San Francisco and Seattle, but when compared to those cities, Portland's environment is not as fast-paced. It hasn't yet developed to the point of being overwhelming. Instead, it has a more laid-back, small-city feel.

That being said, nearly 600,000 people live in Portland proper, and many more live in the suburbs. As such, Portland has its fair share of amenities, including an impressive music and arts scene and one of the largest collections of zine and independent publishers of any city in the nation. Its relatively large population also means it has some of the worst traffic congestion in the American West, a fairly high cost of living relative to wages, and chronic underemployment.

The city has a lovely blend of historic and modern architecture and many lush parks to poke your toes into. Forest Park and Washington Park in the hills west of Downtown offer a variety of plants, trails, and wildlife near the city. Vistas of Mount Hood and the Willamette River, stately Douglas-fir trees (Oregon's official state tree), and roses and trees at every turn give the city stunning seasonal color.

Environmentally friendly practices, such as recycling and an extensive public transportation system, are part of the culture and fuel many progressive city planning practices. Portland metro, like all Oregon urban centers, is surrounded by an urban growth boundary. This keeps sprawl in check and helps to make Portland a relatively compact city. Unlike most similarly sized metropolitan areas in the country, you can drive about 15 mi (24 km) from Downtown in just about any direction and be out in the countryside.

Portland is a very fun and welcoming city for LGBT travelers. It has one of the largest and most integrated gay and lesbian communities in the United States, supported by two major LGBT publications and other queer-friendly media.

History

The first European contact in the area came from none other than Lewis and Clark, who sailed along the Columbia River just north of where Portland lies today in 1805; after a year of exploration they finally reached the Pacific Ocean just to the west. The reports from their expedition fueled interest in the area, and settlers came to stake their claim. Two of those settlers were William Overton and his friend Asa Lovejoy, a lawyer from Boston, who came across the spot where Portland now sits and jointly began to build a settlement. Later, Overton sold his share to F. W. Pettygrove, a man from Portland, Maine. As of this point, the area was being transformed from a small stopping point between Oregon City and Vancouver, Washington to a formal settlement, and the owners now needed to give it a name. Both Lovejoy and Pettygrove wanted to name the new town after their respective hometowns; so in 1845 they decided to leave it up to a coin toss and Pettygrove won two times out of three.

In 1851, Portland was formally incorporated and was growing rapidly; its proximity to the rivers, which funneled a trade with San Francisco to the south, combined by the local fishing, lumber, and agriculture industries fueled Portland's early growth. The railroad arrived in the 1880s, and for a time Portland was the largest city on the west coast north of San Francisco; however the Klondike Gold Rush and the arrival of the railroad to Washington state meant Seattle quickly eclipsed Portland's growth.

Portland persisted as a booming railroad, lumber and steel town for several decades. During the 1970s, however, Portland began to gain a reputation for progressive urban planning practices, adopting policies such as an urban growth boundary and constructing new parks in a push to maintain the central neighborhoods as active places in light of suburban development. Through the 70s and into the 80s, Portland became a center for counterculture, growing into a hub for punk and indie rock music, zine publishing, and activist movements. The dot-com boom of the 90s brought an influx of modern tech companies along with the so-called "creative class", who remained even after the economic bubble burst. By this point, the city's progressive policies and politics had won the city a special status among urban designers, environmentalists, and political activists as a very forward-thinking city, which has only fueled further growth and development of the metropolitan area.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°F) 45 50 56 61 68 73 79 80 74 64 52 46
Nightly lows (°F) 34 36 39 42 48 53 57 57 52 46 40 36
Precipitation (in) 5.4 4.1 3.7 2.5 2.0 1.6 0.5 0.9 1.6 3.1 5.5 6.5

It's said that there are only two seasons in the Portland area: rain and summer. When the summer comes, the clouds suddenly clear and it's hot and sunny, and often quite pleasant. Any given day in July through September has only a 10% chance of rain, and temperatures rarely exceed 85°F (29°C) degrees or so, although it does occasionally hit 100°F (38°C) in July and August.

Despite the nice summers, Portland is really known for its rain, which comes between late September and late June. It is more often a menacing drizzle or mist than a downpour, though. There's a myth that most Portlanders don't use, or even believe in, umbrellas, and instead prefer hoods and raincoats. This has a grain of truth to it, but any stroll through Portland on a rainy day will prove to you that people are not shy about using umbrellas. You shouldn't be shy, either if it's not summer and you don't want to get wet, pack your umbrella.

Although Portland is roughly at the same latitude as Minneapolis, Minnesota (and is in fact slightly further north), snow is very uncommon because of Portland's fairly low elevation and the relative proximity of the Pacific Ocean. A sunny day in the rainy season is not typical, but the sun does come out occasionally. The moment it does, some Portlanders have the unusual habit of wearing summer clothing, even if it's still somewhat chilly.

Tourist information

Get in

By plane

Portland International Airport

  Portland International Airport (IATA: PDX) is 9 mi (15 km) northeast of downtown, near the Columbia River. It is a dual-use air force base, which may cause confusion on some maps. Most major airlines serve Portland, though Alaska Airlines carries the most traffic through PDX, using Portland as a hub. Non-stop service is available to most major U.S. airport hubs, a lot of smaller cities in the Pacific Northwest (served by Alaska Airlines and United Express), and a limited number of international flights from Canada (Air Canada and Alaska Airlines), Frankfurt am Main (Condor), Reykjavik (Icelandair), Mexico (Alaska and Volaris), Tokyo and Amsterdam Schiphol (Delta). The following airlines serve Portland:

A taxi from the airport to downtown is around $35, but the Portland airport is well connected by public transit, which allows you to save quite a bit of money. The most convenient and least expensive option is the MAX train, Trimet's light-rail system. Just catch the   MAX Red Line in the south end of the airport terminal, near the baggage claim area, at lower level. The ride downtown takes about 30 minutes and costs $2.50, which includes a transfer good for two hours with unlimited transfers to any Trimet bus or train, or even to a C-TRAN bus (except the express buses at the Parkrose Transit Center Stop), which serves Vancouver, Washington.

To get downtown from the airport by car, take Interstate 205 south to Interstate 84, then go west and follow the signs to City Center.

Two important notes about returning a rental car at the airport:

By train

Union Station; "Go By Train"

Three Amtrak routes serve Union Station:

By car

The easiest road connection to Portland is the Interstate Highway System, especially Interstate 5, which runs through Washington, Oregon, and California. Driving from the south, you can take exits to the southern part of downtown before I-5 crosses the Willamette River, or you can take the Interstate 405 bypass to access the rest of downtown. From the north, you can take I-405 over the Fremont Bridge to cross the Willamette River and reach downtown, or take exits 302A or 300B and follow the City Center signs. Interstate 205 is a bypass route that splits from I-5 and serves the eastern side of the Portland metro area.

From northeastern Oregon, Boise, and other points east, take Interstate 84. It follows the Columbia River on the Oregon side and terminates in the center of Portland, where it meets Interstate 5. U.S. Route 26 comes to Portland from the Pacific coast (near Seaside and Cannon Beach) in the west, as well as from central Oregon.

As in the rest of Oregon, there are no self-serve gas stations in Portland. Just stay in your car and wait as an attendant does the pumping for you.

By bus

Long distance buses pick up in front at Union Station (800 NW 6th Ave) and the Greyhound depot next door (550 NW 6th Ave). They can also pick up at other parts of town too. See below:

By public transit

In addition to the above there are other transit providers providing onward transport from Portland to other cities/municipalities surrounding the greater Portland Metropolitan area and outside the Tri-Met service district.

By boat

No useful boat lines exist, although you can take cruises up and down the Willamette River and multi-day tourist cruises from Portand to Clarkston, Washington.

Get around

Basic road map of Portland; click to enlarge
Downtown Portland map

If you are touring the United States without a car, rejoice! Portland is an easy city to bike, walk or use public transport. However there are topographical features that affect how streets and roads flow, so planning and maps are important for any journey of more than a few blocks. The verdant West Hills slope up from downtown and divide it from the suburbs of Beaverton, Hillsboro and others.

Much of Portland is a grid, and fairly easy to navigate. Portland is divided into five sectors, sometimes referred to oxymoronically as the "five quadrants". These quadrants are roughly divided by Burnside Street between north/south and the Willamette River between east/west, with a fifth sector (North) between the Willamette River and Williams Avenue. If you hear Portlanders talking about Southwest or Northeast, they're probably talking about a sector of the town rather than Arizona or Massachusetts.

All Portland addresses contain their designating sector inserted between house number and street name (i.e. 3719 SE Hawthorne Blvd.) The house address numbers increase 100 per block starting from Burnside Street or the Willamette River. This should make it easier to figure out where things are. In general, East/West streets are named while North/South avenues are numbered. On named streets, the address numbers correspond to the nearest numbered cross-street, so 1501 NE Davis St. is on NE Davis near 15th Avenue. An exception is North Portland where North/South avenues are also named. On the West side, some streets and arterial roads follow a North/South grid, others follow the topography and curve a great deal. There are major arterials that cross town in NE/SW or NW/SE orientation including Sandy Boulevard, and Foster Road on the East side, and Barbur Blvd on the SW. The streets of inner Northwest Portland are arranged alphabetically starting with Ankeny, Burnside, followed by Couch, then Davis, etc. through NW Vaughn Street making directions easy to follow here.

Be aware that most of the city (and everything near downtown) is along the northerly flowing Willamette River, and not the much larger Columbia which flows west. However, the airport and Portland's northern neighbor, Vancouver, Washington, are next to the Columbia. If you confuse the two rivers, you can easily mix up your bearings. As the Willamette River can be hard to spot on a map of Oregon, many newcomers mistakenly think Portland is along the nearby Columbia.

By car

Driving around downtown is not recommended: inconvenient, expensive and hard-to-find parking combined with active parking meter enforcement (8AM-7PM) and non-intuitive street closures, transit malls and restrictions make it frustrating--even for locals. Most people can walk from one end of downtown to the other in 15 minutes—-faster than driving at times (or bike even faster). In fact, many of the traffic lights, both downtown and inner-Portland, seem to be timed, expecting bicycle-like speeds.

If you must park in downtown, the best parking deal is any of the six SmartPark garages maintained by the City of Portland. As of May 2015, rates are $1.60 per hour on weekdays for the first four hours, and $5 flat rate evenings after 5PM and all day on weekends. Also, some businesses can validate your parking. SmartPark locations are:

On foot

Portland is a great city for walking. Many intersections are designed with pedestrians in mind, and Portland has a lot of street life. Good mass transit also makes walking more feasible in Portland. The City of Portland Office of Transportation offers free, highly detailed walking maps that may be ordered online. For a scenic walk, the Eastside Esplanade along the Willamette River across from downtown offers lovely views of the skyline. Parts of the esplanade actually float on the water.

By bike

Portland — the self-proclaimed "Bicycle Capital" of the nation — is an excellent city for cycling, with a network of streets designed to be predominantly used by bicyclists. These streets, such as SE Ankeny, SE Salmon, SE Lincoln, and NE Tillamook, are usually spaced about halfway between the main car thoroughfares in the grid of East Portland. The bike streets are generally signed with green "Bike Route" signs. Additionally, many major streets, such as Broadway (in NE, SE & SW), have striped bike lanes. Maps of bike trails can be obtained from Metro's Bike There! section. Bikes can also be taken on all buses, MAX lines and the Portland Streetcars. The City of Portland Office of Transportation has a bicycle rental webpage. Coming by Summer 2016, Portland will have a fully operational bike share system, focusing mostly along downtown and the surrounding areas, including across the Willamette River. More information can be found on the Motivate (the soon to be operator's) news release.

By public transit

Hop FastPass

TriMet is preparing for the 2017 release of an electronic fare payment system, featuring the Hop FastPass, a contactless smart card. The card will work on TriMet, the Portland Streetcar, and C-TRAN in Vancouver, Washington.

One planned major benefit is a cap on how much fare users will be charged per day and per month. Hop users will "earn" free travel for the rest of the day once they pay $5 in fare with their card, which is equivalent to buying a day pass. The equivalent of 20 round-trip rides in a month will "earn" a monthly pass as well. This will be particularly useful for any visitor who wants to use public transit—you will never have to consider whether you'll use public transit often enough to justify buying a pass.

TriMet vehicles on the Portland Transit Mall

TriMet operates the Portland metro area's extensive public transit system of buses, MAX light rail trains, and streetcars.

Fare is $2.50. TriMet uses a "proof of payment" system—when you pay the fare, you get a paper ticket good for two-and-a-half hours of travel on the entire system. Hold on to it, in case you're visited by a fare inspector.

You can pay fare, or buy passes, such as a $5 day pass, at any MAX station ticket machine (but expect the occasional out-of-order machine), on-board any streetcar, or on any bus (with exact change). Smartphone users (iPhone or Android) can use the TriMet Tickets app to buy tickets too; show your ticket on the phone screen to the bus driver or any fare inspector (and make sure your phone's battery doesn't die!).

TriMet offers trip planning on its mobile website, but no official app. However, many excellent third-party apps will help.

MAX light rail

Map of Portland rail service

There are five MAX Light Rail lines, which offer speedy and frequent service across much of Portland:

All the lines go through the city's downtown (referred to as "City Center" on TriMet), with the Red and Blue lines running east-west and overlapping on Morrison/Yamhill Streets, while the Yellow, Orange and Green lines run north-south and overlap on the Portland Transit Mall along 5th and 6th Avenues, with all lines crossing at Pioneer Square. Each MAX line runs every 15 minutes at most stops for most of the day, with service every 30 minutes in the wee hours of the night.

Portland Streetcar

In addition, TriMet operates the Portland Streetcar service, which consists of modern light rail vehicles running along Downtown streets about every 15-20 minutes. Because the streetcars usually share space with car traffic and stop every few blocks, this is a much slower service than the MAX and is intended primarily for getting around the Downtown area. A two-and-a-half-hour Streetcar Only ticket can be purchased for $2 at fare machines at Streetcar stops and on the Streetcar vehicles. There are three lines:

Buses

Many of TriMet's buses run from Downtown to other parts of the city, though an increasing number are crosstown or local routes that do not. Nearly all TriMet buses connect with MAX at one or more stations. A number of TriMet buses are designated as having frequent service, meaning they run at least once every fifteen minutes. A full list of bus routes, with the frequent lines clearly marked, can be found here.

Aerial Tram

Portland Aerial Tram

TriMet also runs the Portland Aerial Tramway, which connects the South Waterfront to Marquam Hill, where several of Portland's hospitals, including OHSU, are located. A roundtrip ticket on the Aerial Tramway costs $4.

See

Portlandia

Neighborhoods

Portland has many unique and interesting neighborhoods to explore. One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Portland is constant possibly of discovery. Rather than containing most places of interest to a few busy streets, Portland has food, shopping, parks, and other activities sprinkled all throughout the city. There is always Here are just a few notable neighborhoods:

The Pearl District, with a passing streetcar
Hollywood Theater

Parks and gardens

St. Francis of Assisi statue at The Grotto
Pioneer Courthouse, Downtown

Washington Park

Rose, International Rose Test Gardens

Do

Music

Portland has a pretty good music scene throughout town, with venues holding everything from huge national acts to small underground music groups. Many local pubs and bars offer great local bands on weekends, and the city is developing a national notoriety as the nation's "indie rock capital", with many high (and low) profile independent rock music acts calling the city home. Given its reputation for all that is hip, Portland maintains a fairly diverse range of live music options. Check out one of the two weekly alternative newspapers for comprehensive music listings; the Portland Mercury and the Willamette Week.

Learn

The Multnomah County Library (see "Connect" below) hosts language study groups.

Reed College is a top small liberal arts college with a beautiful campus. The college frequently hosts educational events and lectures. The campus is worth checking out, notably for the nuclear reactor that is located there.

Lewis & Clark College, in Southwest Portland, is the other small liberal arts college with a beautiful campus. For information about upcoming events and lectures, check the campus events calendar. The library hosts the Roger D. Wendlick collection of Lewis and Clark Expedition literature.

Oregon Health and Science University is arguably the most prestigious research institution and teaching hospital in Oregon. They offer post graduate studies in medicine, nursing, dentistry and pharmacy. The site is shared with the VA Hospital, Dornebecher Children's Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House looking like a fortress from a distance. For fun, take the aerial tram from the South Waterfront to OHSU. OHSU is the largest employer in Oregon.

Portland State University in downtown Portland is the largest university in Portland, with nearly 30,000 students. Both the CL and NS Portland Streetcar lines, as well as the MAX Green and Yellow lines, are vital transit connections between PSU and outlying areas of the Portland metro area.

University of Portland is a private catholic school located in the 'University neighborhood' up north in the St Johns neighborhood. They are affiliated with the Congregation of the Holy Cross, which also founded the more prestigious University of Notre Dame.

Work

Former Oregon Governor Tom McCall (to whom a major riverfront park downtown is dedicated) said in a 1971 speech, somewhat famously, "We want you to visit our State of Excitement often. Come again and again. But for heaven's sake, don't move here to live. Or if you do have to move in to live, don't tell any of your neighbors where you are going."

Since then, the Governor's request has been widely repeated by people who ignore it, then quote it. Around 2009, Portland was one of the hardest cities in which to find work. Underemployment is a rampant problem, and wages tend to be artificially low compared to the cost of living. These forces combine to make Portland a tough job market to navigate. Many Portlanders commute to one of the suburbs such as Hillsboro or Beaverton. You are likely better off moving to one of those cities instead however, unless you like taking overcrowded light-rail trains or sitting in perpetual gridlock for 2 hours in the morning. Just ask a local.

Buy

As in the rest of Oregon, there is no general sales tax in Portland; the price you see on the tag is the price you pay. Portland is, by far, the largest metro area in the U.S. without a sales tax. (Vancouver, Washington, however, despite being part of Portland metro, levies Washington State and local sales taxes. A tax of 8.2% generally applies there.)

Craft and farmers markets

There are numerous other farmers markets happening during the summer months (some year around), once weekly, in different neighborhoods in the city and in other nearby cities of the greater Portland Metropolitan area. They are sponsored by a different organization from the above. See this link for a a list of other Farmers' Markets, not listed above, around the greater Portland Metropolitan area.

Individual stores

Powell's City of Books

Shopping malls and districts

Eat

Foodies may find their nirvana in Portland. With its location in one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the nation, an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood raised not far from its boundaries, award-winning wines and beers, and a food culture that supports food artisans and emphasizes local, seasonal food served fresh, it's no surprise that the culinary scene in Portland has received national attention in recent years. Restaurants and food carts have popped up in large number throughout the city, making it quite easy to enjoy a good meal at a reasonable price.

Portland has an amazing selection of farmers markets. The PSU Saturday Market offers a wide range of cuisines made from healthy, local ingredients, and is great if you only have time for one. The downtown core is home to a small army of food carts; with less overhead than the traditional indoor restaurant, you can pick up a delicious meal on the cheap and choose from a variety of foods including Indian, Mexican, pastries, and hot dogs. Be sure to see the above "Shopping Malls & Districts" article under the "Buy" section as there are a great number of restaurants next to the boutique stores located in these shopping districts and malls in a nice urban setting. Some of them are locally owned unique type of restaurants while others are national or international chain restaurants (Subway, McDonald's/McCafe, Chipotle, Starbucks, KFC, etc.) that may or may not be listed in the below.

Budget

Food carts
  •   New Seasons Market - Hawthorne, 4034 SE Hawthorne Blvd,  +1 503 236-4800. 8AM-10PM daily.
  •   New Seasons Market - Seven Corners, 1954 SE Division St,  +1 503 445-2888. 8AM-10PM daily.
  •   New Seasons Market - Sellwood, 1214 SE Tacoma St,  +1 503 230-4949. 8AM-10PM daily.
  •   New Seasons Market - Williams, 3445 N Williams Ave,  +1 503 528-2888. 7AM-11PM daily.
  •   New Seasons Market - Concordia, 5320 NE 33rd Ave,  +1 503 288-3838. 8AM-10PM daily.
  •   New Seasons Market - Arbor Lodge, 6400 N Interstate Ave,  +1 503 467-4777. 8AM-10PM daily.
  •   Nicholas Restaurant - SE Grand, 318 SE Grand Ave,  +1 503 235-5123. M-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su noon-9PM. The original location. Small seating area so there can be waits.
  •   Nicholas Restaurant - NE Broadway, 3223 NE Broadway,  +1 503 445-4700. M-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su noon-9PM. Second location.
  •   ¿Por Qué No? - Hawthorne, 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd,  +1 503 954-3138. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9:30PM.
  •   ¿Por Qué No? - Mississippi, 3524 N Mississippi Ave,  +1 503 467-4149. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9:30PM.
  •   Sizzle Pie - West Burnside, 926 W Burnside St.
  •   Sizzle Pie - East Burnside, 624 E Burnside St.
  •   Taqueria Los Gorditos - Perla, 922 NW Davis St,  +1 503 805-5323. M-F 10AM-9PM, Sa 8AM-9PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Taqueria. Slightly larger menu than the other locations.
  •   Taqueria Los Gorditos - Flor, 1212 SE Divsion St,  +1 503 445-6289. M-Sa 8AM-9PM, Su 9AM-6PM. Taqueria.
  •   Taqueria Los Gorditos - Monte, SE Division St at SE 50th Ave,  +1 503 875-2615. M-Sa 10AM-9PM. The Gorditos outdoor food truck location. They have a handful of tables just outside the truck.
  •   Voodoo Doughnut, 22 SW 3rd Ave (at Ankeny),  +1 503 241-4704.
  •   Voodoo Doughnut Too, 1501 NE Davis St (at Sandy),  +1 503 235-2666. Their second location, in a distinctive pink building, is about a mile east of the original. It's usually slightly less crowded during peak hours, and has parking.

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Benson Bubbler

If you're looking for a free drink while walking around downtown, look no further than the iconic Benson Bubblers. These are ornate drinking fountains scattered throughout the downtown area, made of copper and in one-bowl and four-bowl variations. Installed by Simon Benson in the 1910s, the fountains continuously run from 6AM to 11PM daily and offer a cool drink perfect for the summer months. Many cities have asked for Benson Bubblers of their own, but the City of Portland has turned them all down, respecting the wishes of Benson and his family. A single exception has been made, however Portland has gifted one Benson Bubbler to its sister city of Sapporo, Japan.

Alcohol

Portland is often referred to as "the microbrewery capital of the world", and it's a well-earned title. Take advantage of the Northwest's famous microbrews small breweries that serve their own (and others') craft beers. They are a world away from the generic beers that are America's mainstay. Portland also has more traditional nightlife drinking establishments, mainly located downtown, in Old Town, and in the Pearl. You will find everything from dance clubs, gay bars, and an assortment of karaoke bars. Portland likes its alcohol.

Although a handful of Portland's key gay bars can be found in Downtown and Old Town, they are not restricted to any identifiable gay neighborhood. They are found in diverse locations throughout the city. This reflects the fact that the Portland LGBT community is highly integrated into the city overall, which makes Portland special among cities with a big LGBT community.

Bagdad Theater

Coffee

Stumptown Coffee

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

While traveling in Portland, exercise the same caution you would in any other urban area. Portland is a fairly safe city, especially for its size in the United States. There are areas to be wary of, mostly at night, which include Old Town, 82nd Avenue and Sandy Boulevard. If you're just passing by in a car, cab, or train, don't be too worried, but be aware of the occasional crime on public transportation at night as well.

Recently, LGBT people have been the target of hate crimes, mostly around gay bars. A volunteer foot patrol, Q Patrol, keeps an eye on the gay hotspots on some summer weekends to deter potential attacks. The Portland Police Department is generally quite responsive to anti-LGBT crime, and even works closely with the LGBT community to ensure overall safety.

Connect

Two area codes cover the Portland metropolitan area: 503 and 971. All ten digits must be dialed when dialing local numbers in the Portland area.

Cope

Newspapers

Portland is the home of two Pulitzer Prize–winning publications and a number of smaller tabloid-format newspapers of note. Due to some heated local politics the town has become a rather thorny place for journalism. Portlanders identify their politics by what paper they read (The Oregonian vs. The Tribune, Willamette Week vs. The Mercury).

Most other publications would be of only passing interest to travellers, but to read what locals think and feel, the Northwest Examiner, Portland Observer, Skanner, St. Johns Sentinel, and Portland State University's Vanguard are some of the better choices.

Consulates

Go next

Multnomah Falls

Located just 50 mi (80 km) from the Cascade Range and 90 mi (145 km) from the Pacific Ocean, Portland is the perfect home base for day trips to Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, the Columbia River Gorge, the northern part of the Oregon Coast, or the wineries in the Willamette Valley. If you intend on staying longer in the Pacific Northwest, Portland is fairly centrally located in the region, making for nice extended trips to Seattle, Vancouver, Eugene, and many state and national parks.

Routes through Portland

Seattle Vancouver  N  S  Oregon City Eugene
END  W  E  Vancouver Spokane
Seattle Vancouver  N  S  Salem Eugene
END  W  E  Gresham The Dalles
Ends at N S Beaverton  W  E  Gresham Prineville
Astoria St. Helens  W  E  Gresham The Dalles
END  N  S  Gladstone Eugene
END  N  S  Tigard Eugene


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, March 29, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.