Many people fear standing out for one reason or another. The first step towards not clueing in others that you are not an Oregon native is learning to pronounce the state name. “Or Re Gone” is wrong. Say it similar to the musical instrument – Organ. It shows you care enough to try.
Reading the local daily or weekly newspaper online for a week ahead of arrival saves time and peaks interest. The Oregonian (www.oregonlive.com) is the local daily publication and the Willamette Week (www.wweek.com) is a weekly newspaper. They provide a feeling as to what the locals are thinking. It gives a general vibe of the city. Coupons, live show and festival dates can also prove invaluable.
One of the many monikers Portland has is the Rose City. A trip to the International Rose Test Garden (www.rosegardenstore.org) at Washington Park is a delightful stop. It is a main tourism draw yet if affords a feeling of solitude. It is set up with separate terraced areas and meandering paths. Its location in Portland’s West Hills is nearby the Oregon Zoo (www.oregonzoo.org) and the Hoyt Arboretum. Hiking trails permeate through this area of the city. A day can easily be spent in this area of the city.
For the sports fanatic Portland has numerous opportunities. It is home to the NBA Trailblazers (baseball), MLS Timbers (soccer), WHL Winter hawks (ice hockey), and the minor league Hillsboro Hops (baseball). While in Portland, you will notice a great deal of neon yellow and green apparel or orange and black gear. They belong to supporters of the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beaver respectively. College athletics are seriously taken in Portland.
Portland is beer nirvana. Craft breweries are prevalent throughout the city. Do not miss a taste of the local ales and lagers. Go a step further and tour one of the many local breweries. Most have food offerings that go beyond the traditional pub food. Cuisine in Portland is well known for its commitment to using local ingredients. A coat and tie is seldom required. The options are endless. Coffee in Portland is a major part of the culture. You can find a cup of Joe easily. Outlets are ubiquitous.
If driving is not a possibility, Portland offers excellent public transportation in Trimet’s bus and Train system (www.trimet.org). A daily pass is $5.00 with special rates for youth and seniors.
It is the Pacific Northwest so rain is anticipated. Oregonians are accustomed to “liquid sunshine”. Rain gear is easy to obtain year round.
Portland is strategically located one hour from the Oregon coast and one hour from the snow at Mt. Hood. A trip in either direction will make a splendid day away from the city.
Portland International Airport (www.pdx.com) is located 30 minutes from downtown. The Max red line is located at the airport. Most major and many minor airlines service the airport. Portland makes a great jump start to any travel plans.