If you’ve read much on VacationThrills.com, you’re probably aware that we’re from Portland, Oregon. It’s not much of a surprise, then, to hear that we love this city. It has a ton to offer, most notably world-class food, great craft beer, some of the best craft coffee you’ll find anywhere, and plenty to keep you busy outside. I’ve often told people there is no better place on earth than Portland on a sunny day.
Today we want to give you a little taste of this fabulous city through a starter guide for planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest.
When To Visit
Despite a common misperception that it’s always raining in Portland, we usually see nice pockets of weather early in the year, and enjoy relatively mild seasonal weather throughout the year. The rain doesn’t have to ruin your trip if you happen to visit during a wet stretch. Indoor activities are plentiful. Fall is my favorite season. The days are usually warm, the nights cooler, and the leaves start to turn. The scenery is gorgeous.
Getting to and from Portland is a no brainer. Plenty of flights from both large and small airlines offer lots of options. You’ll most likely be flying into the area’s main airport: Portland International Airport. Once here, you can use public transportation, Uber, taxis, or a rental car to get around. Portland is best experienced on foot, so consider public transportation and along with an occasional Uber or taxi ride.
Where To Stay
With a host of options, finding hotels in Portland, OR can be a bit tricky. Once you narrow down an area you would like to explore, look for hotel or Airbnb options in that area. Portland has most of the major hotel chains including plenty of boutique hotels. Consider staying downtown on the West side and exploring the city and urban neighborhoods.
What To Do
This is the fun part – what you’re going to do. That largely depends on what you like to do. Here are some notable categories to consider:
- Food – Portland is like a visit to the motherland for foodies. Focus your attention on locally owned restaurants and food carts. You’ll find more than a lifetime worth of visits to this city.
- Beer – Oregon is home to 220 breweries at last count. Take in the beer scene through a number of taphouses, visit brewing operations to get a behind-the-scenes peek, and hop on the BrewCycle for a pedal tour of local watering holes.
- Coffee – Much like beer, Portlanders love their coffee. Micro roasters are popping up all over the city and surrounding areas. One of the best ways to get a taste of the local mud is through a coffee tour through local neighborhoods and great coffee roaster shops.
- Outdoor Sports – Biking, hiking, snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, windsurfing, and kite boarding are just a few of the outdoor activities in Portland. Hiking on a decent day, even in the winter, is a great way to see the Pacific Northwest. Choose from varying degrees of difficulty, including right at the edge of the city in Forrest Park.
- Indoor Activities – If it tries to rain on your parade when you visit Portland, take your fun indoors. The city has museums, theaters, and indoor activities. OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) is always a hit with visitors of all ages with rotating exhibits and a host of hands-on fun. Powell’s Books, one of the world’s largest new and used bookstores, takes up an entire city block and is good for hours of wandering.
Portland is a must-visit city. It has some of the best food and coffee and plenty to keep you busy. It’s a great city to plan a trip to, but even better for a last-minute, impulse adventure. Next time you see a nice stretch of weather coming our way, hop in the car or book that last-minute flight and come explore this city of roses.