Where to stay in Portland, Oregon?
May 14, 2010 8:05 AM   Subscribe

Where should we stay in Portland, OR, for 3 days after a conference? (specific details inside)

So I am tagging along to Portland OR with my husband in July (he's talking at a conference), with the idea that we'll take 4 days off after his conference, and explore the area. While he's doing work stuff, I'll explore and do things that he's not interested in, and generally relax.

For the duration of the conference, we're staying at the place near the convention center. I am wondering if we should just stay at the same place, or move to someplace more convenient for being tourists. I've read some of the previous posts about Portland, and we're going to want to visit the Japanese Gardens, and a number of the microbreweries. I'd also like to do a day trip to a winery (or more than 1), if possible (recommendations would be very welcome).

It looks from google maps that the convention center is on the other side of the river from these and other interesting destinations. Is public transport easy from that area? Or are we better off moving across the river - and if so, where?

I dont want to rent a car (unless we do a day trip) - we're more likely to rent bikes and tool around, which from previous posts sounds eminently do-able.
Other specifics - we're going to use hotel points for 'our' portion of the stay, so there'd need to be a Marriott chain hotel in the area
posted by darsh to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Conference Center is pretty centrally located, on the east side of the river, with good access across the river and good bus and train service.

I do not think that you would be able to improve on this, as a tourist. Plus, after a few days, you will learn the public transit from that point and no reason to have to re-learn it from another point of departure.

Since you do not want to rent a car, you are limited in where you can go, but there are also many many cool things to see.

For a wine, unless you do something like Hip Chicks Do Wine off SE Holgate, you would need to rent a car to get to any real winery. And, while Cooper Mountain and Ponzi are the closest to town, you may as well drive down HWY 99 to the Dundee area, which has great scenery and many wineries. But also don't skip Hip Chicks. . .
posted by Danf at 8:31 AM on May 14, 2010

You should also know that there's no fare for the light rail and trolleys in teh center of the city including the stop by the expo center.


It's a great system. I loved it when we had a very large conference there. The public transport made logistics so much easier than any other conference I've been to.
posted by advicepig at 8:42 AM on May 14, 2010

Public transit from the convention center IS very easy. But frankly, the area around the convention center is not great if you just want to get out and walk to a bar, restaurant, or coffee shop.

Personally, I'd move downtown. The Hotel Lucia is one of my favorite boutique hotels in Portland, and also has easy access to buses and MAX, and is within walking distance to pretty much everything downtown, including Powell's and The Pearl District.

If you want something a little quieter with easy access to NW 21st/23rd (great shopping, nice restaurants), then look at The Inn at Northrup Station. Public transportation isn't as convenient, though a quick trip on the streetcar (which stops in front) will get you quickly to main public transit arteries. The trade-off is walking access to the cutest little neighborhood around.
posted by kables at 8:54 AM on May 14, 2010

On the transit note, this page might be helpful. It will set up a route for you including buses and light rail.
posted by Iggley at 9:03 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, and at the risk of sounding nit picky, the expo center and convention center are two different places. Wouldn't want to end up eight miles north of your hotel by mistake.
posted by Iggley at 9:08 AM on May 14, 2010

Convention center is about as good a locale as you're gonna get for visiting Portland - next door to the MAX, central location, easy to get basically wherever. If you wanted a change just for the heck of it, I recommend the Kennedy School. It's an old elementary school that's been converted into a hotel/bars/cool movie theatre.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:08 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

I agree with kables. If you want walkable, get yourself over to the west side of the river, in the heart of downtown. There are lots of nice hotels. The Hilton there is great, and perfectly located. The Kimpton too. (It has a fancier name, but I can't remember, and it's a Kimpton.) From downtown, you can catch public transport out to the Japanese Gardens. You probably won't suffer for not having a car, with so much to do. The TriMet Max and the TriMet Streetcar can also get you around downtown when you're tired of walking.
Have fun!
posted by Knowyournuts at 11:09 AM on May 14, 2010

You mentioned Marriott -- there is a Marriott Residence Inn really close to Lloyd Center. It's in the free rail zone.

The Kimpton knowyournuts mentioned is called Hotel Monaco Portland.
posted by Amanda B at 2:54 PM on May 14, 2010

« Older I think my elderly father is thinking of taking...   |   Pop Idols and Lolitas - I need a list Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.