Portland Oregon - Where To Stay for a Conference?
February 25, 2019 7:26 PM   Subscribe

So in 2020 I have to attend a huge conference in Portland. I'm planning to get an AirBnB rather than staying in one of the conference hotels. I know nothing about Portland but I need to stay in a place where I can catch the MAX light rail to and from the Oregon Convention Center. What part of town would be good to stay for some evenings and also have the light rail to/from the Convention Center?
posted by ITravelMontana to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know much about the east side of the river, but the MAX will take you from the Convention Center right to the SW quadrant of Portland which is where the office buildings are - also touristy but has good food and bars and theaters and shopping.

You can also grab the streetcar right near the Convention Center and cross the Willamette into the Pearl - NW quadrant. I lived there for a year-and-a-half and while there are good restaurants and bars, you're also within a ten-minute streetcar ride into downtown.

In the NW quadrant, the east-west streets are in alphabetical order. Burnside is the dividing line between north and south so the closer you get to "B" the closer you are to pretty much anything you need.

Like most cities, I think the different neighborhoods have different personalities. It all depends on what you're looking for.

Hopefully someone with more knowledge of Portland will chime in here.
posted by bendy at 10:15 PM on February 25, 2019

I think it would help if you said more about what you are looking for in your non-conference time. The convention center is pretty centrally located, so I think your decision would depend on the evening plans. Dancing? Beers and charcuterie? Yoga? Trees? Ramen? Do you want to eat out at restaurants or carts or do you want to shop/cook for yourself?
posted by janell at 10:19 PM on February 25, 2019

if you're not limited to MAX lyft will take you from anywhere to
the convention center for not too much.
posted by zippy at 10:45 PM on February 25, 2019

Hi! I live in Portland and have an excellently rated Airbnb that is close (walkable, even!) to both the convention center and the max. There are a few other Airbnb’s in my neighborhood, too. I know some don’t open their bookings until 3 months out (including mine) but if you memail me, I’ll send you my listing and a few others in the neighborhood (I don’t think I’m allowed to link here for self promotion reasons). And wherever you end up staying; I hope you enjoy your visit!
posted by girlalex at 12:20 AM on February 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I like to spend my evenings eating food from cultures I can't find in Montana and checking out dive bars.

girlalex, I will contact you. What prompted my initial ask was that the AirBnBs I was seeing were a far enough walk from the Convention Center that I thought it might be quicker and warmer to use the MAX.
posted by ITravelMontana at 7:03 AM on February 26, 2019

I'd strongly recommend that you look at spots in NW. The Pearl District and NW 23rd / NW 21st that are close to the streetcar line. They're labeled as Northwest/Nob Hill and Pearl District on this map. Those will give you the most walkability to nightlife. You may also see these neighborhoods referred to as Alphabet District and Slabtown. (each is a slightly different area, but for your purposes, most are near the streetcar)

There's also some walkability if you stay in Goose Hollow (SW Portland, near Providence Park, the soccer stadium). It's hilly, but there's a lot of nightlife along Burnside and up along 21st & 23rd. Goose Hollow would be on the red and blue Max lines.

You could also stay near Portland State University, south of Downtown. I'm sure there are some condos on AirBnB. Lots of college bars and food carts. This area is served by Max and the streetcar.

If you can find housing along Grand or MLK on the eastside, there is nightlife around, but it's sporadic (check a google map before reserving a place). But there's not a ton of housing there.

Unlike a lot of cities, there is also actually some nightlife in Portland's downtown. Probably closer to Burnside, you'll find a bit more, but there are lots of dives scattered around.

If you want a quieter area with a lot of restaurants, you might enjoy the Hollywood district in NE Portland. There's a Hollywood Max stop, but you'll probably walk a half mile to get to it.

Don't discount the bus too - it can be a quick easy way to get to the convention center too. Use the Trip Planner on Trimet to see if there's a bus stop near your potential rental.
posted by hydra77 at 11:08 AM on February 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

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