Portland, Oregon

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Dovecote

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I am surprised to see that there is not a writeup for information on what to see and where to go around the Portland, Oregon (PDX) station. Wish I could help but since I am an east coast native I can't.

Anyway, I have two questions that hopefully can be answered. Is the Powell's bookstore walking distance from the PDX station? Also, is there a liquor store in nearby walking distance? I might have to replenish my stock on my next leg of my LD trip!
 

the_traveler

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Powell's is not within easy walking distance of PDX. But I believe the streetcars go near it. As far as liquor stores, I don't know of any off hand close by. (I visit PDX once or twice a year.) But in OR, liquor is sold in all sorts of stores (even gas station convenience stores). I also know there is a Safeway (food store) within about 1/2 mile of Union Station.
 

trainman74

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Here's a little piece of the downtown Portland streetcar map:



The main Powell's "City of Books" is on Burnside between 10th and 11th, which happens to be between the northbound and southbound streetcar lines (right where the "NS" and "CL" route markers are on this map). There's also a separate Powell's branch, which specializes in technical/transportation/engineering books, at 10th and Couch (next street north of Burnside -- the east-west streets in that part of Portland go in alphabetical order).

From my perspective, it is walkable from Union Station, but then, I'm (relatively) young.

As the_traveler noted, you can also walk from Union Station to MAX light rail (the thin green/yellow lines), take that a couple of stops, and walk along Burnside to Powell's; or you can walk from Union Station to the streetcar (the thick green/blue lines) and take that a couple of stops.

However, I saw in another thread that you're connecting from the Coast Starlight to the Empire Builder. I would not recommend trying to get to Powell's, either walking or by transit, during that layover.
 

JayPea

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I'm old(er) fat, and out of shape and find Powell's easily walkable. Understandably. It is not so for many folks. I'd guess it's about a mile or so from Union Station. Can't help with liquor stores, however.
 

fairviewroad

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Powell's is not within easy walking distance of PDX. But I believe the streetcars go near it. As far as liquor stores, I don't know of any off hand close by. (I visit PDX once or twice a year.) But in OR, liquor is sold in all sorts of stores (even gas station convenience stores). I also know there is a Safeway (food store) within about 1/2 mile of Union Station.
Beer and wine are widely available. However, "liquor" is only available at certain state-sanctioned establishments. The state agency that

licenses these stores has a handy website to find your liquor:

http://www.oregonliquorsearch.com/home.jsp

IIRC there is a store less than 3 blocks from Union Station in the Pearl District.
 

Dovecote

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Thanks for all of the responses. Hoping for a longer than usual layover to accomplish this to do list.
 
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I have passed thru Portland several times and want to add it as a stop over so I can check out the food cart pods. I was wondering where the best pods are and any suggestions of hotels that are within walking distance of these pods.
 

the_traveler

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There are a number of food carts (I want to say but it's been a few years :eek: since I've been to PDX downtown) on Burnside. There are also many around Pioneer Square, which is right on the Red and Blue lines. With MAX, you can stay anywhere, even at the :eek: airport :eek: and take MAX and be within walking distance.
 
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Rail Freak

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I've been to Portland several times & love the city but I dont know what "Food Pods" are???

The light rail there is great, no need to get a car, for sure! Plus they now have the "Pink Bus",which is like the Old Town Trolleys!

RF
 
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Rail Freak

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June,

If you go, take in the Pink Bus. It is very interesting & goes thru Washington Park, which I really enjoyed!

Have Fun
 
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Looks like Alder & SW 9th has the largest pod with over 60 carts according to the link provided. What is a good hotel in that area?
 

shelzp

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Take a look at McMenamins.com to see what they have in the area and if they're not close you might find one right on a transit line. They have a couple where the rooms might be $45-50. Not gonna be luxurious and will be quirky but something to check out.
 

the_traveler

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(Just my own personal opinion.) I am not a big time doughnut eater, but I did not think Voodoo Doughnuts were any better or worse than others. To me, it's not worth a trip out of the way.
 

SP&S

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I know I'm late to the party here but others may look at this thread. When it comes to hard liquor, buy it someplace other than Oregon! We have the fourth highest liquor taxes in the country. In addition - as fairviewroad noted above - it is sold in state run stores, with fixed prices, generally closed on Sundays, almost never open late at night, administered by a commission some of whose directors have problems with driving drunk. Prices? http://www.olcc.state.or.us/pdfs/monthly_alpha_price_list_c.pdf

I love my state but not the OLCC.
 

trainman74

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When it comes to hard liquor, buy it someplace other than Oregon! We have the fourth highest liquor taxes in the country.
I can't be 100% certain because the price list didn't include bottle sizes, but assuming I was looking at the prices for the sizes I was thinking of, they looked reasonable to me -- especially if those are "out the door" prices due to the lack of sales tax. (I suspect that offsets the liquor taxes quite a bit.)
 

SP&S

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When it comes to hard liquor, buy it someplace other than Oregon! We have the fourth highest liquor taxes in the country.
I can't be 100% certain because the price list didn't include bottle sizes, but assuming I was looking at the prices for the sizes I was thinking of, they looked reasonable to me -- especially if those are "out the door" prices due to the lack of sales tax. (I suspect that offsets the liquor taxes quite a bit.)
I'm in SNP so before goingback home on the CS I picked up a couple of bottles at Costco. You made me curious so I comparied the price between here and back home in Oregon: Makers Mark $42/$62, Crown Royal $39/$52. That includes 8% tax. Not quite the difference it used to be but still significant.
 

CHamilton

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If you're looking for more to do in Portland, this is a pretty good website. They sometimes have discount coupons.

You can get around on the MAX rail system, the Portland Streetcar, and buses. You can now pay with the TriMet ticketing app.

Also check out the Portland Aerial Tram

http://www.gobytram.com/

And here are some of the places to go and things to see that have been recommended to me over the years. I've been to some of them, but not all.

Portland Art Museum

http://portlandartmuseum.org/

Museum of Contemporary Craft

http://www.museumofcontemporarycraft.org/

Oregon History Museum

http://www.ohs.org/exhibits/index.cfm

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

http://www.omsi.edu/

Oregon Rail Heritage Center

http://www.orhf.org/

They do steam train excursions, and "Santa Trains" in season.

Powell's Books

https://www.powells.com/

Check out the train section in Powell's 2 across the street

Elephants in the Park
877 sw taylor at sw park

Park Kitchen is in the Pearl District

http://www.parkkitchen.com/

Brunch at Tasty N Sons

"This brunch is so good you'll want to plan your trip to Portland around it."

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/videos/brunch-at-tasty-n-sons/96656.html

Really unique pancake place:

Slappy Cakes

4246 SE Belmont Street

Portland, OR 97215

503-477-4805

Natural Selection

3033 Northeast Alberta Street
Portland, OR 97211
503-288-5883

Country Cat Dinner

7937 SE Stark
Portland, OR 97215
503-408-1414

Beast

5425 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211
503-841-6968

Pacific Pie Co.

1520 SE 7th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214
503-381-6157

VooDoo Doughnut

1501 Northeast Davis Street
Portland, OR 92732
503-235-2666

[i actually prefer Top Pot Donuts in Seattle. Not sure why anyone would stand in line for an hour or more here, but they do.]

Screen Door
2337 East Burnside Street
Portland, OR 97214
503-542-0880

Pine State Biscuits - sandwiches
3640 Southeast Belmont Street
Portland, OR 97214
503-236-3346

Pok Pok - street food
3226 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97202
503-232-1387

The Waffle Window street food

3610 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
503-239-4756

The Bake Shop

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/videos/bake-shops-wholesome-pastries/96606.html
"Unique flour blends make these Portland pastries super satisfying. "

Apizza Scholls
http://www.apizzascholls.com/

Ken's Artisan Pizza
Signature Item: Bacon Pie.
The wildly popular—and still going strong—Monday Night Pizza events at Ken's Artisan Bakery prompted supertalented baker Ken Forkish to open a stand-alone spot in 2006.
 
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pianocat

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I made a reservation at the Mark Spencer hotel in downtown. It sounds perfect for the 'artist' in me, does anyone have any experience with this one? Looks to be very close to all the downtown sites including Powell's books!!! Thanks for all the links, they've been really helpful.
 

Bob Dylan

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Great choice! Portland hotels can be pricey especially downtown so hopefully you snagged a good rate( under $200 a night would be a deal for this type of hotel) wifi and Continental breakfast are included as is a mini kitchen! Also coffee/hot chocolate machines with cookies and a Wine and snack Reception in the evening! Our Penny would love it causecWhole Foods is 4 Blocks away! LOL

A few reviewers found the light rail, street noise and Union Station traffic a distraction but its music to most train buffs ears!

The location in the Pearl District can't be beat and the staff is very professional and helpful in this is European style hotel!
 
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pianocat

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Jim, glad to hear I picked a good one:) Unfortunately, I didn't snag a room for under $200, but it wasn't much over that. The day I'll be there is in early August, which is prime time for high summer rate - and considering many other downtown hotels were well over $300 for that night, I think I did pretty well! Ordinarily I would never pay this much for a room, but the day I'm there is also my birthday and I'm treating myself - Love the list of amenities and plan to take full advantage of them. [and as a vegetarian, Whole Foods is a necessary stop before taking coach EB to Spokane the next day!!] Now, just anxious to GO ~
 

D.P. Roberts

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I'm trying to figure out where to stay in Portland for an upcoming trip.

It's only one night, arriving on the EB and departing the next day on the southbound CS. So, we may have some time on our arrival day, but we're not counting on it. At best, we want to see Powell's books and go to dinner - anything extra in addition to that would be great.

We'll have several hours on the following morning before heading to PDX. Ideally, we'd like to go to the Oregon Zoo, which sounds like a pretty easy bus/train ride, especially from downtown.

In general, I'd prefer to stay downtown. However, there are a ton of hotels out by the airport, and they're generally a whole lot cheaper. However, the airport is on the opposite side of the city from pretty much everything we'd want to do. It looks like it takes about an hour to get from the Amtrak station to the airport, so a couple of trips to our hotel and back would take up a HUGE portion of our time.

That Mark Spencer hotel looks nice, and I'll definitely look into it, but if anyone has any other suggestions - especially on the downtown vs. airport issue - I'd love to hear them.
 

CHamilton

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D.P., look at hotels in the Convention Center/Lloyd Center area. They're right across from the train station on the other side of the river, just a couple of stations away on the MAX light rail, and they're generally much cheaper than downtown unless a convention is in town. I have had good luck with the Courtyard Marriott, although you should probably stay away from the Red Lion.
 
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