This post is in reference to my A Perfect Portland Weekend post. This post below is where you get all the very specific details you need to know to plan your trip to Portland!
It’s always a hard decision on whether or not to rent a car. A car is not necessary if you plan on spending all your time downtown. The light rail and bus system is very efficient (plus parking rates downtown are high!). However if you want to hike or do anything outside the city then I suggest a rental car. I think a trip to Portland is not complete without seeing the outside areas of Portland so I would suggest renting a car at some point in time, even if it’s for a day or two.
The main forms of public transportation you will most likely use as a tourist are the bus routes, the MAX Light Rail, and the Portland streetcar. To look up bus and MAX routes check out the TriMet website. The streetcar is on a different site, so click here for those routes.
Getting from the airport to downtown:
Portland has SUPER easy public transportation from the airport, Just hop on the MAX light rail (it’s the red line) which is right outside the airport doors. There will be direction signs in the airport and you can buy your ticket on the automated machine. The red line goes downtown so it’s very easy if that’s where you’re staying. For a list of stops check out the TriMet website. http://trimet.org/schedules/maxredline.htm
Powell’s is open from 9am to 11pm. It literally takes up the entire block so it’s pretty hard to miss. The address is 1005 W. Burnside St, Portland OR 97209. They have a parking garage. For public transportation take the Portland Streetcar NS Line to 10th and Couch St or 11th and Couch St. For the streetcar routes click here.
Salt & Straw is open daily from 10am-11pm. Their address is 838 NW 23rd Ave. Portland OR. There is metered parking along the street. If you are taking public transportation from Powell’s then take the NS Streetcar from 10th and Couch to NW 23rd and Marshall. Salt & Straw is two blocks south on NW Kearney and NW 23rd.
Washington Park/Rose Garden: Each section has it’s own hours so visit the individual websites for times. For a full list of the different sections of Washington Park and their websites click here. Transportation: Parking is $1.60/hour and may be limited during peak times. The Washington Park website gives a great overview of parking options. For public transportation during high season, you can take the blue or red MAX Light Rail to Washington Park and hop on the Washington Park shuttle from there. The shuttle comes every 15 minutes and loops around the park. The days of operation are limited to peak season so check the website to see if it’s running during your visit. If you are visiting in the off-season, you can take the 63 bus which runs Monday-Friday. They have drop off spots at various places in Washington Park. The website also suggests walking or biking to Washington Park. They have great maps and resources for this on their website. Directions are tricky if you are coming on public transportation from Salt & Straw. You can either walk (1 mile) or take the 15 bus to the Providence Park MAX station. From there take the red or blue line to Washington Park.
For transportation to the Columbia Gorge and each waterfall, check out my post on Portland Waterfalls.
If you want to go wine tasting, your best bet is to rent a car. Most of the vineyards are within an hour drive of Portland. For breweries you could easily stay in the city and walk to each one. I won’t list them here because there are way too many! Travel Portland has some great lists of breweries if you want to find your own.