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Portland Hotels/Things to Do

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St. Louis metro
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Portland Hotels/Things to Do

My best friend and I flying into Portland in about a month. We'll be staying for a few days and then driving up to Seattle. Can anyone suggest a nice hotel not too far from the airport and close to must see attractions preferably under $100? What are the absolute "must sees" that we can do in two days?

Portland, OR
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1. Re: Portland Hotels/Things to Do

Well, there are a lot of things to do and see in Portland. Which ones are best for you depends largely on what your tastes are.

If you like the normal sight-seeing attractions then I would recommend the Japanese Gardens, Forrest Park, Downtown(of course), A tour of the Shanghai Tunnels, or maybe a visit to the OMSI, Portland Historical Society Museum, or Portland Art Museum.

If you are more eclectic in your tastes then I would check out the trendy Hawthorne District with its many quirky shops, restaurants and bars. The Alberta Area also is a great place to visit and is home to many artists and assorted hippies.

To tell you the truth, I would recommend picking up or borrowing a copy of a great book written by one of our local celebrities Chuck Palahniuk. Its called "Fugitives and Refugees:A Walk in Portland, OR" and is filled with everything from the mundane and routine (like the zoo) to the absurd and macabre (like reading a book in the cavernous Sellwood Mausoleum) to the simply strange (like the hidden Kidd Toy Museum).

As far as hotels go, there are many hotels near the airport that cater to layovers and business travelers at a reasonable price. However, the airport is not very close to downtown (about 5-10 miles). There is a light rail train (the MAX) that will take you from the airport to downtown. There are a lot of hotels near the convention center which is just across the river from downtown. Navigating Portland by walking or using our amazing public transportation system is a snap and it may save you a couple of days of car rental fees.

I hope you have a good time in Portland. I love it here.

P.S. If you are a beer drinker you'll never want to leave. There are more breweries than you can shake a stick at (you can even get a locally-brewed beer in some movie theaters).

Portland, OR
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2. Re: Portland Hotels/Things to Do

Oh, I almost forgot. If you are into hiking there is the spectacular Colombia River Gorge. It is about 45 min to an hour outside Portland and has tons of great hiking trails and waterfalls.

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Portland Hotels/Things to Do

Not only beer....but great wine too! We boast over 400 wineries. We also have a few spirits houses here.

Sorry if I am repeating anything (as this forum does not let you see all posts while responding).

The Oregon Zoo. Lots to see and do, especially with our new baby elephant. He should be on display when you are here. He does not yet have a name, he's just "baby elephant". LOL!

The Chinese Gardens in old town. The Japanese Gardens in Washington Park. The Rose Garden, even thought the roses have long since bloomed.

Powells Books! It really is iconic!

If you want to see high end shops, tour the Pearl District, in downtown Portland. Great restaurants too....although most are spendy, so if you are trying to do the $40 a day "thang" avoid the Pearl when eating. LOL!

A visit to Hubers Restaurant. The oldest restaurant in Portland....lots of turkey dishes on the menu. They have Shanghai tunnels, although they are not "tourable". James Louis, one of the owners (with his brother David) will probably greet and seat you. These brothers are some of the best people you will ever meet. They are one of my accounts and I adore them...David and I found ourselves serving jury duty together a couple of years ago. I said, "Do you need any wine?" He responded, "I don't know, let me call James." LOL! They also make a killer Spanish Coffee, at your table. I can't have them, as caffeine hates me, and even if I ask your decaf, Kahlua has caffeine. Bummer!

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Portland Hotels/Things to Do

Oh yes, the gorge. Visit Multnomah Falls! Great views and the lodge there has a great restaurant too...but again, not cheap, sooooo.

If you take the old highway, stop at the Corbett Country Market. This will take you back in time. It is an old store, owned by a great lady. The building is very old, so it has a ton of charm along with it's newer grocery store shelves.

You will find people sitting at a long table who are locals passing the time of day. It is really cool.

They have some food there as well as coffee drinks.....they also sell some great books on the history of the gorge.

To get there, you can either take I-84 to the Corbett exit and head up the hill....or better yet...take I-84 to Troutdale and check out their little downtown area.

They have an outlet mall, but who cares....go for the main street (Historic Columbia River Hyw) and visit the few shops and restaurants there. Ristorante di Pompello just re-opened. Then, continue up the same street, where you will cross the Sandy River and wind your way through beautiful scenery toward Corbett.

St. Louis metro
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5. Re: Portland Hotels/Things to Do

Now I wish we were staying longer! I did book our first night at the Portland White House Bed and Breakfast--hopefully that was a good choice-- to unwind. Then maybe we will head to the Falls early the next morning. Can the Falls be a half day trip so we can get back to downtown for the gardens, book store, etc?

St. Louis metro
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6. Re: Portland Hotels/Things to Do

Also, as we're heading to Seattle, should we visit Seaside or Astoria if we don't have time for both?

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7. Re: Portland Hotels/Things to Do

Hi, both Seaside and Astoria are great places to visit, are you interested in history? If so, definitely go to Astoria. Do you love the ocean? If so, visit Seaside. They are only 20 minutes apart, we love both places! :)

Essex,England
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8. Re: Portland Hotels/Things to Do

As someone not long back from Portland, I'd certainly recommend getting in the car and driving along along the Columbia River Gorge to Mount Hood and then picking up the scenic route so that you get a chance to see the mountain, before returning to Portland.

The International Rose Garden & Japanese Garden are very close together at Washington Park. I really enjoyed the Japanese garden and would recommend a visit.

As for your trip to the coast I liked Astoria, Seaside is more commercial, although it's a really nice beach.

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9. Re: Portland Hotels/Things to Do

Here are a couple of websites on the areas: www.seasideor.com and www.oldoregon.com Enjoy! :)

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Portland Hotels/Things to Do

I'm not sure where you're trying to fit in the coast. On the drive up to Seattle? Portland directly to Seattle is about 3 hours; add another 2.5 if you plan to go via the coast. And if you do, I'd suggest Cannon Beach over either Seaside or Astoria if you're hoping to see the natural beauty of the area. Specifically, you'll want to take a walk on the beach near the base of Haystack Rock, and visit Ecola State Park, just a few miles north of town.

As has been mentioned, Seaside is known more for its carnival-like beach town atmosphere. And Astoria isn't even on the coast.