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Portland on Wednesday...help me plan last minute! =)

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Florence, Alabama
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Portland on Wednesday...help me plan last minute! =)

My husband and I will arrive in Portland around noon on Wednesday. We are staying at the Doubletree by Hilton in downtown. We are not planning to rent a car, but we would be willing to rent for some sightseeing. Here are a few questions:

*We will have all afternoon and evening on Wednesday to sightsee. I'm thinking check in hotel, rent a car for a few hours, and head out. Will this be enough time to drive the Columbia River Gorge and drive to Multnomah Falls? What are other must see stops along this drive?

*My husband will be in a conference most of the day on Thursday and Friday. Any tips of places I should visit by myself? Any good, safe shopping areas or malls? I won't have a car, but I don't mind taking the MAX.

*We are heading to Seattle on Saturday. Right now we have a car rented for one-way. Should we keep the car rental or take the Amtrak Cascades train? We are staying at Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle.

*Any other must-do, can't miss touristy attractions, restaurants, dessert places, etc.? We do not like bar-type atmospheres, but prefer more family type restaurants.

Thanks so much in advance! We are from Alabama...so it will be a long time before we return! We want to hit the high points and make the most of what little time we have.

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Portland on Wednesday...help me plan last minute! =)

Hello there,

Yes, rent a car and take in the Columbia River Gorge. The part from Troutdale (I-84 eastbound) to Multnomah Falls is all National Scenic Area. Avoid the Historic Columbia River HIghway as it is under construction and not passible but there are many beautiful things to see in the area even on I-84. Besides Multnomah Falls (take the Bridal Veil exit to park in the M.F. Lodge Restaurant parking lot) you will see Wahkeena Falls, Horsetail Falls and a little over 3 miles rejoin the freeway at Ainsworth State Park. You could go east further into the NSA or west back to Portland. I would head to Bonneville Dam and Locks and maybe even to Hood River (the city)

If you want "Local family type restaurant" get off by the Lewis and Clark State Park (exit 18) before the Troutdale exit and head in to Tads Chicken and Dumplings. It's been in business starting as a hamburger stand since the World War.

I would take the Amtrak into Seattle. I just took it and loved every minute of it. That way you both can look around.

Have fun here. If you have any more questions, please let us know.

Mrs O

Oregon/Washington
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2. Re: Portland on Wednesday...help me plan last minute! =)

I agree, definitely spend some time in the gorge.

As for time when you are by yourself, a few of the great things right in town include the Portland Arm Museum, OMSI, Chinese Gardesns, Japanese Gardens, zoo, Powell's Bookstore, shopping in the NW district up along 21st and 23rd streets, and just wandering along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

As for Amtrak, we use it often between here and Seattle and really like it. You want the Amtrak Cascades run though, nothing else. It has the better ontime record. Cedarbrook is by the airport, so you do NOT want to go to the main Seattle station, which is King Street. You would want the Tukwila station, which is basically just a stop along the tracks. It is unstaffed, etc but once you are there just call a cab or if Cedarbrook has a shuttle, call them.

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Portland on Wednesday...help me plan last minute! =)

Hi:

The Doubletree where you're staying isn't really in 'downtown', it's on the east side of the Willamette in an area called Lloyd District. That said, the hotel is located right at a MAX stop (Lloyd Center/ NE 11th is closest) and the hotel is across the street from Lloyd Center shopping mall.

For help getting around via MAX or Streetcar (which just opened an eastside extension a few weeks ago), check out this map: http://trimet.org/pdfs/maps/citycenter.pdf

For Wednesday, I'm honestly not sure if you have enough time to check-in, get a car and drive - but it's worth a shot since it sounds like it's your husband's only free day. You might call a place like Enterprise Rental Car and get picked up to save on the hassle of going downtown (there aren't any agencies I can think of near your hotel). The one at 2740 NE Sandy is reasonably close and, once you check out, you'd be near a freeway on ramp heading eastbound toward the Gorge. Depending on traffic & weather, the drive to Multnomah Falls should be only about 30 minutes. Just remember, days are short here (since DST has ended) - it'll be dusky by 5:00-5:15. Not sure if you'd want to continue any further east, but Hood River is a great little town... also you could backtrack to Troutdale and visit McMenamins Edgefield (see reviews - an historic building/grounds filled with restaurants and -yes- a few 'bars', live music, golf, theater - it's geared more for adults but is also 'family-friendly' IMO)

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g52104-d112199-…

For Thursday/Friday, I recommend a TriMet Day Pass ($5, can be purchased in machines at any stop). This will give you access all over downtown via MAX or streetcar. Besides Lloyd Center mall, Pioneer Place is in the core of downtown and NW 23rd is a street full of boutiques & cafes (reachable by streetcar). There are also a number of department store retailers like Macy's or Nordstrom in downtown... anything in particular you're shopping for? If you're a reader, Powell's Books is a must (PS: remember, Oregon has NO SALES TAX).

While you're out, you might stop at some of our food carts; there's lots of variety and quality is usually quite good. The largest 'pods' of them are around SW 10th/Alder or SW 5th/Stark. Too many restaurants to list, to be honest... This link may help you narrow things down: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g52024-i238-k58583…

Enjoy your visit!

Brian

Edited: 11:47 am, November 06, 2012
Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Portland on Wednesday...help me plan last minute! =)

PS: On your Portland days Thurs/Fri, you should definitely stop in at the Visitors Info Center at Pioneer Courthouse Square (it's tucked below the Starbucks on the west side of the square). They'll help you with maps and suggestions on things to see/do. http://www.travelportland.com/

Right now the weather forecast calls for rain on both days, but know that it's usually not heavy nor steady, often more grey and misty/drizzly at times. High temps are forecast for the upper 40s, so be prepared! :)

Florence, Alabama
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5. Re: Portland on Wednesday...help me plan last minute! =)

Thanks so much for all the suggestions and advice! This will definitley help us better plan the use of our time.

idaho
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for Sun Valley, Ketchum, Beach Vacations, Idaho
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6. Re: Portland on Wednesday...help me plan last minute! =)

how about the food carts..10th and alder..very fun!!

Florence, Alabama
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7. Re: Portland on Wednesday...help me plan last minute! =)

Thanks! I will definitley look for the food carts...sounds like fun and nothing like it in Alabama! =)

8. Re: Portland on Wednesday...help me plan last minute! =)

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