Travel Tips & Adventures

Real People. Real Travel.

Travel around Portland, Oregon

One of the best things about Portland, Oregon is just getting around!  Especially if you are in the downtown zone  – “Fareless Square,” where you ride for free, Portland is one of the most accessible cities in which we’ve traveled.You have options.  There’s the streetcar, the MAX light rail, trams, and, of course, on foot. A car is a last resort, as parking can be scarce and pricey. 


Parking meters are actually kiosk-like arrangements where you pay, then put a post-it paid sticker inside your window. No unsightly meters every few feet along the street.


We’ve traveled in Portland before, but this time we stayed on the east side of town.  Virtually everything we wanted to see was in Fareless Square or a short walk from it.

The Max - fast, efficient and clean

The Max - fast, efficient and clean

 Staying at the Doubletree Hotel near the Lloyd Center, we hopped a Max Light Rail at the corner and headed downtown.  No fee!  Just a few minutes later, we were a few blocks from Portland State University and the Saturday Farmer’s Market (see our blog on October 9 for more on the Farmer’s Market). We also hopped a streetcar to take us to “Powell’s – City of Books,” another to travel to the Pearl District, where we stopped for lunch (see yesterday’s blog on Rogue Brew Pub).  (More on Powell’s on Wednesday.)



Portland is so big on marketing their public transportation that they even publish a brochure that lists 18 restaurants that are near streetcar stops. Rogue, where we ate yesterday was on the list,  but there’s also a Deschutes Brewery & Pub (Portland) branch and a bridgeport brewery + bakery, ethnic choices like Moroccan, New Mexican, India, plus pasta choices, seafood and other selections.  Your only issue will be not enough meals to try them all – unless you’re planning to stay for a few weeks!


Beyond Fareless Square, you do pay for transportation, but for a tourist, you would rarely need to go further, except for maybe a visit to the Portland Zoo or some of the outlying neighborhoods.

Another streetcar - theyre everywhere - or close!

Another streetcar - they're everywhere - or close!

And efficient?  Well, except for one wait of 30 minutes, we never waited more than 10 minutes to get the Max or a streetcar. 

You get the picture.  We love the ease, free cost and accessibility of Portland’s downtown.

Come back tomorrow for a visit to Powell’s and some other Portland sights! In the next few days, we’ll be exploring the Portland Saturday (and Sunday) Market, the Pearl District and other views of Portland. 

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