As a cyclist’s haven and pedestrian-friendly city, Portland, Oregon is an outdoor lover’s dream, with public parks, gardens and bike trails set against the backdrop of nearby Mount Hood. Fused with eclectic neighborhoods and a hipster vibe, this Pacific Northwest city is a foodie heaven and delivers a thriving cultural scene, year-round events, a craft brewery bonanza and buzzing coffeehouses.
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WHEN TO GO
The City of Roses shines between June and August thanks to warm temperatures and less rain than in other months. Its thriving outdoor scene draws lots of summertime tourists, so make travel plans a few months in advance. Consider a winter trip for cooler weather (ideal for winter sports), fewer crowds and bigger hotel deals.
NEED TO KNOW
Visas: Travelers from outside the United States will need a valid passport, as well as ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) eligibility or a full visa.
Money:Currency is U.S. dollars and ATMs are widely available.
Travel Health: Travelers (including U.S. citizens) should check for vaccination, proof of negative COVID-19 test and face mask requirements, as well as any travel restrictions, before planning their trip. Travel Portland and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the best resources for up-to-date information and guidance. Before traveling, research and prepare for what to do if you get sick while away.
Getting Here: Fly into Portland International Airport (PDX) or take the Amtrak train into Union Station. From the airport, hop on the Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) Light Rail system, which connects the metro area and downtown core.
Getting Around: Besides MAX, Portland offers bus and streetcar transit, bike-sharing and electric scooters, as well as taxis and rideshare services. The best way to explore Mount Hood and the Oregon Coast is by car.
Local Lingo: Portland divides its city into six geographical sections, which locals call quadrants — each with its own distinct flavor. These neighborhoods include North, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast and Southwest (which is anchored by downtown Portland).
Must-Have Apps: PDX Bus, MAX, Streetcar & WES; Parking Kitty; Portland by Streetcar Tour; Biketown; Uber; Lyft
Insider Tip: If you rent a car and need to fill the gas tank, know that it’s illegal to pump your own gas at most gas stations in Western Oregon. The state also does not impose a sales tax, which should delight travelers looking for some retail therapy.