About Portland

What to do in Portland
Uniquely Portland Landmarks
Transportation Options

What to do in Portland

Portland Art Museum

A new exhibit opens at the Portland Art Museum on Saturday, 6 October 2012 called “The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece.” The Body Beautiful In Ancient Greece features more than 120 priceless objects from the British Museum’s famed collection of Greek and Roman art. Iconic marble and bronze sculptures, vessels, funerary objects, and jewelry are among the treasures that explore the human form, some dating back to the second millennium BC. The Portland Art Museum will be the first venue in the United States to present this exhibition. You must have a timed ticket. Make sure you select October 2012 and PAM: The Body Beautiful on the date you want for the new exhibit. Otherwise, general admission is slightly cheaper and does not include the new exhibit. (Reserving online has a $1 processing fee per ticket.)

Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University (Saturday, 6 October 2012 ONLY)

The Saturday Market is located at Portland State University in the South Park Blocks between SW Hall & SW Montgomery. A close street address to this market is 1717 SW Park Avenue.

During October, the market is open from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – you can see the interactive market map (make sure you select the 10/6/12 market date in the dropdown).

Portland Center for the Performing Arts

Portland Center for the Performing Arts (PCPA) is your premier arts and entertainment venue in the Pacific Northwest.

PCPA comprises three buildings:

  • Antoinette Hatfield Hall, containing Dolores Winningstad Theatre, Newmark Theatre, and Brunish Theatre at 1111 SW Broadway at Main.
  • Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall at 1037 SW Broadway at Main.
  • Keller Auditorium on SW 3rd Ave, between Market and Clay.

The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall is a short distance from the Hilton. On Saturday, 6 October 2012, Kathy Griffin will be doing a show. Legally Blonde The Musical will have 3 shows (Saturday matinee, Saturday evening, Sunday matinee) at the Newmark Theatre. The Newmark is a short walk. The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall has some cool architectural features, including the awning ceiling outside.

Portland Photowalk (190 of 215)

Uniquely Portland Landmarks

Voodoo Doughnuts: Amazing doughnut concoctions, including the Maple Bacon bar. The Voodoo Portland Crème is the official Doughnut of the city. It is a raised bismarck with cream filling and a chocolate top with an added feature that distinguishes our doughnut from all others, which are two eyes. Just remember, Voodoo is a CASH ONLY store, though they have an ATM on site. And the lines are long! The closest Voodoo location: 22 SW 3rd Avenue (at the corner of Ankeny)

Grimm TV Series filming locations: You can check out some of the local areas where the tv series Grimm films, using the Season 1 and Season 2 maps. One of the locations is the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s office:

photowalk_042912 (3 of 48)

Portlandia statue: Portlandia is a sculpture by Raymond Kaskey located above the entrance of Michael Graves’ Portland Building in downtown Portland, Oregon, at 1120 SW 5th Avenue. It is the second-largest copper repoussé statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty. (Credit: Wikipedia)
Portland Photowalk (182 of 215)

Benson bubblers: You’ll see a lot of these water fountains around downtown Portland and the Pearl District, as well as some scattered other areas. There are 40 in the Portland area, and one in Portland’s sister city of Sapporo, Japan.

Portland Photowalk (199 of 215)

Transportation Options

MAX Light Rail

MAX runs every 15 minutes or better most of the day, every day. Service is less frequent in the early morning, mid-day and evening. There are 4 lines:

  • Blue Line  (Hillsboro/City Center/Gresham)
  • Green Line (Clackamas/City Center/PSU)
  • Red Line (Airport/City Center/Beaverton)
  • Yellow Line (Expo Center/City Center/PSU)

The Portland Hilton is 1 block from the Pioneer Square South stop and is considered to be in the “City Center” area.

If you’re planning on taking the MAX light rail from PDX airport, you will take the Red Line. The Red line stops at the Pioneer Square North stop coming from PDX. You will need to walk two blocks to the Hilton.

Here are some things to know about PDX airport service on MAX:

  • The trip to/from downtown Portland takes about 38 minutes and costs $2.50 for Adults 18-64, $1 for Honored Citizens and $1.65 for Youth. This is the cost for a 2 hour ticket.
  • You can easily roll your luggage on board.
  • The first train of the day arrives at PDX at 4:44 a.m. on weekdays and 4:45 a.m. on weekends. The last train departs PDX at 11:49 p.m., daily.
  • The MAX station and ticket machines are located near baggage claim on the lower level. View airport map (flypdx.com)

TriMet has a 2 minute video on YouTube for how to take MAX light rail from PDX. Video

For information on how to ride MAX light rail, see the TriMet TV video  (interactive transcript provided) or step-by-step directions.

Fare information:

  • 2 hour ticket: $2.50 (A 2-Hour Ticket lets you ride buses, MAX Light Rail, WES Commuter Rail and Portland Streetcar for up to 2 hours.)
  • 1-Day Pass: $5 (A 1-Day Pass lets you travel anywhere in the Portland area on buses, MAX Light Rail, WES Commuter Rail and Portland Streetcar—all day long. You can get a day pass for just twice the cost of a single ticket. )

Portland Streetcar

If you want an easy way to see some of the Portland areas, take the Streetcar. It is not advisable to take your luggage on the Streetcar, as oversized packages or articles that will block aisles, doorways, or stairways are not allowed.

TriMet fares are valid on the streetcar.

Portland Streetcar runs two lines. The NS Line runs from NW 23rd to the South Waterfront and the CL Line runs from SW Market along 10th and 11th to the Pearl District, across the Broadway Bridge, along Broadway, Weidler, 7th, MLK and Grand to the Rose Quarter, Lloyd District, Convention Center, Central Eastside and OMSI.

Getting on and off the Streetcar

  • The Streetcar does NOT stop at every stop automatically. You MUST signal the operator by pushing the vertical or horizontal yellow strip on the high floor section of the car, or push the buttons on the door prior to the platform you are requesting.
  • The Streetcar will stop for passengers only at stop platforms.
  • Streetcars have low floors for easy boarding of wheelchairs. The operator watches platforms for passengers using mobility devices and deploys an automated ramp as needed. When on-board the streetcar, a ramp request button may be pushed prior to the next stop.
  • Streetcars are air-conditioned.
  • Guide dogs and companion animals are allowed on leash only.

Fare Pricing:

  • Streetcar Fare: $1.00
    • Valid for 2 hours on Streetcar Only
  • TriMet Fares will be available for purchase from ticket machines and will be valid on Streetcar and TriMet for 2 hours.
    • All Day Fare: $5.00
    • Flat Fare1: $2.50
    • Honored Citizen2 Fare: $1.00 (This will be the same button as the Streetcar Only Fare)
    • Youth3 Fare: $1.65 (Available only at platform ticket machines)

Have suggestions about what to see, where to go, what to eat in Portland?

Share your tips here!

8 Responses to “About Portland”

  1. Jonah Otis
    15. May, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Here’s a great article that just came out today about 9 things do see and do in Portland: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/popcandy/post/2012/05/the-pop-traveler-nine-reasons-to-visit-portland-ore/1#.T7Jcb-ZybjB

  2. Jonah Otis
    15. May, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    The nice thing about the Lavacon venue this year is that the Hotel is located in the center of downtown. There’s a lot to see, eat/drink, and do within walking distance. It’s just a couple blocks to the waterfront park and the iconic Hawthorne bridge; you walk the 2-mile loop around the Willamette river and take in the city skyline. If you arrive on Saturday or Sunday, walk to the “Saturday Market” under the Burnside bridge. There’s a lot of local artists and good food there (and yes, it’s also open Sundays).

    Public transit is awesome in Portland. In addition to taking the light rail train (a.k.a. the MAX) to/from the airport, you can take a street car to just about anywhere downtown – and it’s FREE within the downtown area.

  3. Jack Molisani
    Jack Molisani
    12. Aug, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    And interesting website/blog/twitter feed about Portland: http://www.stumpedinstumptown.com/

  4. Jack Molisani
    Jack Molisani
    28. Aug, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Just found a great website about Portland’s food carts! http://www.foodcartsportland.com/

  5. Jonah Otis
    31. Aug, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Questions about Portland? Just ask me!
    Feel free to contact me with questions regarding the local area. Dining, shopping, transportation, etc.

  6. Rachel H
    13. Sep, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    MAX Light Rail is no longer free within the downtown area (and other fare changes have been implemented), as of September 1. Make sure you pay the appropriate amount when using light rail.


    A 1-Day Pass lets you travel anywhere in the Portland area on buses, MAX Light Rail, WES Commuter Rail and Portland Streetcar—all day long. You can get a day pass for just $5, and we now offer a day pass option for Honored Citizens ($2) and Youth ($3.30).

  7. Jack Molisani
    Jack Molisani
    21. Sep, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    A new exhibit opens at the Portland Art Museum on October 6th: http://www.pam.org/


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