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Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

Birmingham, Alabama
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Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

I am planning a trip to Portland for the purpose of "scoping it out" for relocation. I mention that because I'm not really viewing this trip as vacation. I really want to determine if I get that "I want to live here" feeling. I have 6 days and I'm wondering if someone can help me with the options below:

1) I found a great, reasonably priced Airbnb place in Sauvie Island. I could use it as my base, rent a car and just do a lot of driving. I figure all the driving will help me see more.

2) Stay close to the airport, commute to/from the city via public transport, and maybe rent a car for a day of exploring.

3) Stay in one of the popular areas I've read about (Pearl, NW or Downtown), explore via foot and public transport. Rent a car for a day of exploring.

I would be so grateful for any suggestions!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

My recommendation would be #3. Sauvie Island (which is great to blueberry upicks) while nice is a bit of a slog to Portland and I think it would get old fairly soon. Ditto to number two although the airport is a bit more central. I think in order to get feel for the city you need to stay in it. I would also suggest staying in an area that you might consider living in so it might be downtown, pearl etc. but there are lots of other lovely neighborhoods to consider.

2. Re: Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

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Buenos Aires...
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3. Re: Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

I totally agree with foodie ..

When we went to Portland to see if we were sure we wanted to move there, we stayed at a hotel near the Pearl, in the downtown area .. the Monaco. We were all over town for 10 days and settled on the Pearl District. Sauvie Island is lovely but a drive, farms and gardens and houseboats . There can be quite a bit of traffic on those roads getting in and out to downtown ..

Oh yes, you will be traveling .. :)

Also ... it barely snowed, like flurries twice ... when we lived there .. the winters are rainy and dreary but you will not see any Minnesota sort of snowfalls .. ( now watch me be proved wrong, and Portland will have a huge snow storm after you move there LOL)

Birmingham, Alabama
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4. Re: Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

Thank you! I just love TA. I don't know how I traveled before it existed.

Based on this advice I just booked a room at the Inn at Northrup Station. Per other posts I see it is a great base point hotel in the NW area. I'm thinking I will stay there for 3 full days of exploring via foot and public transport. Then for the 4th and 5th day rent a car and maybe drive to Cannon Beach for one day, then use the last day for driving around and checking out different neighborhoods, fly out on the 6th day. Scarlett, since you've been through the relo process, does that sound like a good plan to determine if Portland could be my home? Or would you recommend visiting particular areas?

5. Re: Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

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Removed on: 9:27 am, August 04, 2013
Birmingham, Alabama
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6. Re: Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

half-Brit - Oh my goodness, that footage is horrible! Clearly no experience driving in snow and ice. I'm actually less concerned about snow (no matter how much it is it will not come close to MN). I'm more concerned with the gray and rain and how it will affect my mood. I have a friend that lived in Seattle for 2 years and had to leave because she said the gray sky felt like a low hanging blanket over your head everyday. I hear Portland is not quite that bad?

Re: where will I be working? I actually own a consulting firm and can work from anywhere. I work with clients via skpe, online and I travel a lot. That said, I want to live in an area where I can have a nice place in a neighborhood with character that isn't incredibly overpriced. I've already crossed downtown off the list because I know most downtown areas don't give you much for you buck. I would love any neighborhood suggestions to check out while I'm in town. Thanks again for the helpful info.

Green Valley...
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7. Re: Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

Re: your comment that Portland might not be that bad relative to Seattle...

Seattle and Portland weather, fairly comparable. See this chart, select the "show" boxes. weather.com/outlook/…

Seattle has a more marine climate with several "micro-zones", so weather can vary within a fairly small geographic area.

I like Portland, enjoyed living there, though chose Seattle ultimately. As always, it's a personal choice. Portland will match your TA Profile quite well, and getting to/from the airport and the magnificent coast is easy.

Edited: 6:38 pm, August 03, 2013
Birmingham, Alabama
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8. Re: Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

Voyaging - Thank you for the link. I'm quite surprised, it says Portland is wetter than Seattle! My friend who left Seattle says I am visiting at the wrong time. She says an August visit will give me a "false" impression of the city. If I really want to see the true colors I should go in January. Regardless of the weather, If I like how it "feels" and the people vibe, I think I'll be okay.

Buenos Aires...
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9. Re: Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

I moved to Buenos Aires, not Mars, they still have the news and my friends in Portland kept me up on events of all sorts. We were delighted when it snowed our first winter in Portland .. and horrified when there were ice storms that caused such damage, especially to homes in the West Hills where cars slid down into others and trees toppled.

But luckily, this is not constant , the winters were grey and chilly and one day we saw flurries for about half an hour lol .. no, I actually have photos of the dog playing in snow in the park on NW Couch in the Pearl.

The great thing about where we lived was that you could take a streetcar or walk all over the area, buses still ran and we left the car in the garage. That car was rarely used, except for drives to the Coast or the Falls.

My son lived in Seattle for a while, he said Portland was not as bad ..

The great thing is .. you are such a quick trip to parts South when the gloom gets to you.

But the city is delightful and the people are great. We were touched by how sweet everyone was to our dog, how welcoming they were to us and how comfortable we were living there.

Green Valley...
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10. Re: Relocation trip to Portland - please help!

That was my last point, yes, you will be OK! :) Believe me, I was not trying to "sell" Seattle.

When I lived in Portland, and when I visit (a son lives there), I enjoy the short city blocks, the urban/rural feel, the people vibe, the food carts, culture, much to see and to do. I've known folks from Minneapolis and other Midwestern communities who have really enjoyed the Pacific NW, feel socially akin to it, regardless of, and maybe because of, the sometimes more clement weather.