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View Full Version : Coming to Portland for a few days
Jun 5, 2007, 6:40 PM
Hello everyone. My name is David, I live in Vancouver BC, and I will be visiting Portland from June 19th to 23rd. I'm studying to be an urban planner and I am adding this visit on to a day trip my metropolitan governance class is taking to Seattle on the 18th. I’m going to stay over night in Seattle and then take either the train or a bus down and I am not planning on renting a car. Considering my interest in planning and public transportation I would be grateful for suggestions of some sights and activities for me to take in during my stay. Also I wonder if someone could recommend a good, fairly inexpensive hotel to stay at while I'm in town. Ideally I’d like it to be downtown or within close walking/transit distance and in safe and interesting area.
I’m pretty excited for this trip and as a future urban planner I couldn't in good conscience make a trip South without heading down to see Portland for the first time. Considering how much I’ve read about the city I definitely want to ride the streetcar, MAX light rail, and the aerial tram and see and explore the Pearl District and South Waterfront areas first hand. I also would be very interested to see some good examples of how Portland is executing urban infill and transit oriented development. Since I'll have a pretty good amount of time there, what else would the locals recommend I do? This is whole thing is basically an unstructured, largely spur-of-the-moment trip and I'm up for anything. The surging Canadian Dollar also helps a whole lot. The last time I went to the States for any length of time buying a US Dollar cost me $1.40, now it is $1.06!
Thanks in advance!
Jun 5, 2007, 11:18 PM
For hotels, check out these:
Ace Hotel $95
Jupiter Hotel $94
Inn @ Northrup Station, Sheraton Four Points Downtown and Hotel deLuxe are sold out. Other hotels like the Lucia have higher prices that I remember, I guess though it is peak season.
I'd say the Ace is your best bet, on hotels.com they have a small 200 sq ft room with 3 bunk beds with bath for $95/night (but read closely because some have shared baths and/or bunk beds that may or may not be what you want). The Ace is in a great location between the core of downtown and the Pearl and right on the streetcar. The other is the Jupiter, the plus to it is the Doug Fir Lounge but its on the other side of the river from downtown and its a party motel (again depending on whether you see that as bad or good).
Then again as a high rolling Canadian with an excellent exchange rate you could go for a top notch landmark hotel :)
It sounds like you have a pretty good understanding about the Pearl and SoWa. Be sure to check out the South Waterfront Discovery Center with master plan model at the corner of Moody/Bancroft several blocks south of the u/c towers. Also check out the river front walkway, its still a work in progress however. For the Pearl, check out the Brewery Blocks (11th/Couch), North Park Blocks, 13th Ave., Hoyt Street Yards/Jamison Square (new part) as well as the heart of the neighborhood around glisan/11th. As far as urban infill, these are primarily located on the major streets on the inner Eastside, streets such as Hawthorne, Belmont, Mississippi, NE Broadway, Divison/Clinton, Alberta etc., few (if any) are further east of say, 50th street.
Good examples of Suburban TODs are on the Westside MAX line west of the Beaverton Transit Center, in particular the Beaverton Round (Beaverton Central Station), Orenco Station (the famous part is on the north side of the MAX station but theres also quite a bit just south of the station). In Portland theres a great HOPE VI project in North Portland and on the #4 bus called New Columbia (30 min bus ride from downtown).
Jun 5, 2007, 11:21 PM
If you want really cheap downtown, go for the Days Inn City Center. Otherwise, Ace Hotel seems like a trendy bargain. Also, the Inn at Northrup Station is funky and hip. I too am studying to become an Urban Planner & would recommend at least stopping by their downtown Urban Planning college as it is, in my opinion, one of the more glorious campus buildings. Old Town Pizza was a fun stop on my trip there as well (moreso for the atmosphere)
Jun 5, 2007, 11:22 PM
Dang PDX you were sending while i was writing! Apparently you did more research with the hotels though.
Jun 6, 2007, 1:30 AM
There is also a cheap HI hostel over in NW Portland:
It is very centrally located about a 10 minute walk from downtown, you def. won't need a car. You can hike the short distance from downtown Amtrak train station, too - they're only about 15 blocks away! If you need to have a beer, there are tons of bars up the street on NW 21st ave as well.
...and it won't break the bank! Very affordable for students, and you can meet cute girls from Europe and stuff. :D
Jun 6, 2007, 5:37 AM
Stay at the Ace Hotel. Well, maybe it's not in your budget, but it is relatively cheap for all that style. There's so much to see and do in Portland. Enjoy your stay. I've been spending more time in Portland since one of my best friends moved there from Iowa. It's refreshing and even more laid back than your city or my city, but still filled with so much creative energy and activity.
Jun 6, 2007, 10:29 PM
Thank you everyone for the input. It sounds like the Ace Hotel is the winner. I've been in touch with them and I am now finalizing my plans. I'd like to thank PDXStreetcar in particular for those specific places and intersections to check out while I'm in Portland.
Jun 6, 2007, 11:45 PM
If you haven't made reservations yet, check out the Portland International Guesthouse in NW Portland. Pension style in the heart of NW Portland and easy access to the Pearl, DT, streetcar and lightrail. www.pdxguesthouse.com
Jun 7, 2007, 12:23 AM
we stayed at some place right on the max for $55 - it was a cheap motel but it was ok - it was across from a tiki bar too - i am sure portlanders know it
anyway you could always try motel 6 or econo lodge - there is one near the convention centre and its around $50-$60 not much more
www.motel6.com or www.econolodge.com
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