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Help with plan for half-day visit

Jupiter
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Help with plan for half-day visit

We will be in Portland for first time for ½ day, flying in late on 12/22 and staying at airport hotel before boarding Amtrak next day at 4:45PM for overnight trip to Montana. After much research, I’ve come up with the following plan. The places I’ve selected are from internet research. Would appreciate any suggestions and comments.

Take TriMet from airport to Amtrak station and store our luggage (carry on size only)

Walk to Jakes Famous Crawfish for lunch

Walk to Martinottis to pick up some train food

Walk to Pioneer Square to look around

Walk to Oregon Wines to pick up some train wine

Taxi to Amtrak (carrying wine, food) etc.

Thanks for any help.

Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Help with plan for half-day visit

I assume you're planning on MAX (light rail) from the airport rather than a TriMet bus? It would involve a transfer, but there's a MAX stop within a few short blocks of the train station.

Your plan is easily doable. Portland is an easy city to walk; blocks are short. Might be a good idea to make reservations at Jake's. It's popular with both locals and tourists, and I think especially busy during the holidays. The walk from Jake's to Martinotti's should take you past Kenny & Zuke's Deli, a favorite of local "foodies". Check it out. You might not need/want to go to Martinotti's.

If there's nothing happening at Pioneer Square, or the weather's lousy, take a walk through Pioneer Place, a couple blocks away. Yeah, it's just a shopping mall, but it's usually beautifully decorated for the holidays, and it's a good place to escape the rain.

It might be more convenient to take MAX back to the train station than a cab, and certainly cheaper (it's free). There aren't many taxi stands around town, and most people call for cabs here. Come to think of it, I don't know that I've ever seen anyone hail a cab in Portland.

Edited: 26 October 2010, 19:25
Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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2. Re: Help with plan for half-day visit

Isn't Portland one of those cities where you have to call a cab? As opposed to them just cruising around? I seem to recall reading that somewhere, but I don't take taxis.....

I started to look this up on Radio Cab's website and got distracted. Did you know they do personalized tours of Portland and surrounding areas? They even will drive you out to the wine country for a tour! Cost is $55 per hour (one hour minimum) for up to four people.

Something to keep in mind when visitors ask about seeing outlying areas but don't want to drive :-)

Sorry, travelbarb, didn't really contribute to your question!

Jupiter
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3. Re: Help with plan for half-day visit

Thanks mistletoe. It is MAX that I was looking at to get from airport, red line to green line. We will make reservation at Jake’s. However, for train food, we were looking for special local cheese, pate, etc. Kenny and Zukes website looks like a great place for sandwiches, but not so much for that kind of food. Dinner (such as it may be on Amtrak) is included with our room, so we are just looking for pre-dinner wine food. However, we will walk by and check it out.

I didn’t realize there was a mall at Pioneer Square. We are not shoppers and are hoping not to have to go there because of weather, except to look at decorations. It didn’t rain on 12/23 last year (yes, I am anal researcher).

I didn’t realize that transportation in downtown area was free. I quickly looked at TriMet map and it appears that all transportation in the areas we are going to be in are free. Initially I was pleased that as a senior it would only be $1; however, free is better. I will carry the phone number for Radio Cab - just in case.

Thanks again.

Oregon/Washington
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for Portland, Sunriver
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4. Re: Help with plan for half-day visit

Barb--Pioneer Place and Pioneer Square are 2 different places, although near each other. PP is the mall, but as mistletoe said, the interior is quite nice at the holidays.

half-brit--I have found taxis in other places that do the same thing, basically be your private driver. Worked great for us on one of our trips to Europe.

Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Help with plan for half-day visit

Just FYI - Only Trimet's rail transportation (Max and streetcar) is free in the downtown area, now. You have to have a paid fare receipt (or transfer) to ride any of the buses. Info at: http://trimet.org/fares/freerailzone.htm

They do have an Honored Citizen Downtown pass that allows free travel in the same downtown area on buses - but it is only for people who live within that boundary and qualify for Honored Citizens fares. (Seniors & persons with disabilities)

But it sounds like all travelbarb will need is the rail system anyway. Red line takes you from the airport to downtown (it's the only line available from the airport) and you can take either the Green or Yellow line from downtown to the Train Station.

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Help with plan for half-day visit

Have dinner and do some shopping on Alberta street for lots of art and Local Discoveries check out Local Discoveries at 16th and Alberta which is closer to the airport then downtown

Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Help with plan for half-day visit

Here is the calendar for Pioneer Square. Nothing is on the calendar yet, but plenty of time for that to change - pioneercourthousesquare.org/calendar_decembe…

Yes, Halfbrit - you do have to call a cab here.

Elephant's Deli is also a great place for sandwiches. They have a location on NW 22nd & Burnside (115 NW 22nd Ave) that looks to have a lot of specialty foods in the deli there. I have not been to the shop, only had their sandwiches from the catering department - but they are always good.

Jupiter
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8. Re: Help with plan for half-day visit

Thanks for all your help and suggestions for our short visit. Our goal was to get a "feel for the city," as best as possible in 5 hours, have a good meal and pick up train rations. With such a short time, a compact area was a consideration to get the most out of the time. Here's our tentative plan. The order will depend on the weather (rain) cooperating.

Leave airport hotel and take luggage to Amtrak via MAX

Walk to Jakes for 12:30 lunch (made reservation)

Walk to Martinottis

Walk to Pioneer Square

Walk to Pioneer Place

Walk to Oregon Wines

3:30 head to Amtrak for 4:45 PM train to Montanta

I have public transportation map and phone number for Radio Cab, so I think we are good to go. Thanks TA folks. You make worldwide travel as easy as a trip to your hometown supermarket.

Portland, Oregon
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9. Re: Help with plan for half-day visit

One last thing for your trip - Powell's bookstore has a great walking map of the downtown area, which is available online - www.powells.com/pdf/portland_walking_map.pdf

Portland street numbers start at the Willamette River (going E/W) and at Burnside (N/S). This makes it easy to find places - 401 SW 12th is 4 blocks south of Burnside on 12th.

Jupiter
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10. Re: Help with plan for half-day visit

Great map. Better than any I had. Thanks.