If there was ever a place I've underestimated while traveling, it was Portland. The Portland I'm referring to is not Portland Maine but Portland, Oregon.
I recently visited PDX on an 8 Hour layover and quickly realized, it wasn't enough. Trying to travel the world while working has its ups and downs. The upside, you tend to visit more places as time is limited while the downside is you miss a lot along the way due to the lack of time.
Landing at PDX, the very first thing to do is obvious, that is to take a picture with the famous PDX carpet. (Yes, it's a thing!)
Since I was coming from another trip in route to New York, I decided to check my bag at Portland Provisions, a baggage locker in the airport that charges a small fee of $10.00 per bag while I explored downtown Portland. It is open 7 days a week from 8:30 am to 1:30 am.
Your transportation into downtown depends on your preference and the amount of time you have available. I chose the metro as it is conveniently located outside of the airport and took roughly 40 minutes to Downtown Portland. Just follow the MAX light rail sign. It's $2.50 per ride or $5.00 for day HOP FastPass.
The Skidmore Fountain station is not only the home of Skidmore Fountain but a few steps away is the home of Portlands most artistic donut shop, Voodoo Doughnut. With many styles and types to choose from, this is a heaven for donut lovers. Unfortunately, if you're a points lovers like me, I am sorry to tell you but its cash only!
After satisfying my sweet tooth, I crossed the street to take a picture with the famous Keep Portland Weird Sign.
While exploring the city I found Veggie Grill, which is home to some delicious vegan fast food. From there it was a 15-minute walk to Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The park is where locals come to run, walk, or just relax. Right across the street is the world's smallest park, Mill Ends Park.
Afterward, I walked a little before picking up the bus to the Portland Arial Tram. Unlucky for me, it was closed due to the holiday. However, I managed to take the elevator across the street and onto the bridge, where I took in the amazing view.
Unfortunately, time got away from me and I had 3 hours left before I had to return to PDX. I took the tram back to Pioneer square and switched to the train going to the airport. Portland International is by far one of the best airports I've been to, due to the perks I received with the Priority Pass.
With the Priority Pass, you'll receive a credit of $28.00 to be used at selective restaurants and shops. However, you are responsible for any overages. I decided to visit Capers Cafe Le Bar and tried a few oysters and drinks for free! After, I walked to the House Spirits Distillery and tried a selection of whiskeys. Last but not least thanks to the Priority Pass, I finished the day with few cold beers at the Alaskan lounge before my flight.
Portland gave me a great taste, which will eventually turn into an appetite for more. There's already a hiking trail on Mount Hood with my name on it. I can't wait!
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