After a long road trip sometimes the last thing you feel like doing once you pull off the road is… more driving. That’s especially true if you’re driving or towing an RV or if you’re visiting a major urban center with all the parking and traffic headaches that come with today’s big city experience.
Fortunately, many Metro Areas now offer convenient, inexpensive and fun transportation alternatives to driving while you’re there. Here’s a few no-drive options when you’re visiting PDX – Portland, Oregon.
PORTLAND BY FOOT
Named “Best Running City in America” by Runner’s World and a regular top performer on Travel + Leisure’s “Pedestrian Friendly Cities” list, Portland is arguably best explored on foot. A small, personable downtown, Portland boasts a range of fun and plentiful public spaces and open walkways. The city’s wealth of public art and fountains are perfectly positioned for pedestrians, and Portland walking maps are available at Powell’s City of Books and at Travel Portland’s Visitor Information Center at Pioneer Courthouse Square. There’s also plenty of hotels near Downtown Portland that’ll meet any budget.
PORTLAND BY BIKE
As one of only four U.S. cities to receive a platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists, Portland offers one of the nation’s most progressive bicycle transportation programs. Cyclists enjoy over 345 miles of wide, clearly marked bike lanes on most major commuter routes and bike boulevards. Traffic signals are also optimized for safer and faster bike travel earning Portland the honor of America’s Best Bike City by Bicycling Magazine in 2012.
Cyclists also have access to municipal bike racks, the city’s many bridges, and bike safety programs. Adding to the bike-friendly atmosphere, TriMet buses are equipped with bike racks and bikes are also welcome aboard MAX light rail trains and the Portland Streetcar.
PORTLAND BY MAX LIGHT RAIL
At the heart of Portland’s world-class public transportation system is TriMet’s award-winning MAX (Metropolitan Area Express) light rail system. With more than 90 stations and 60 miles of track, MAX’s five lines connect downtown Portland to the surrounding neighborhoods and attractions. MAX’s newest extension, the Orange Line, connects the city with the South Waterfront and Southeast Portland via the Tilikum Crossing — the longest bridge in the country to carry only pedestrian, bicycle and mass transit traffic.
PORTLAND BY BUS
The TriMet bus system, which covers the city and its suburbs with nearly 80 lines, offers low fares, friendly drivers and full wheelchair accessibility. Most buses are equipped with bike racks, making mass transit more user-friendly for the cycling set. In 2013, TriMet introduced a mobile ticketing app for Android and iPhone, allowing riders to buy tickets and passes in advance and without having to carry cash. Tickets are also available for purchase at the TriMet Center in Pioneer Courthouse Square.
PORTLAND BY STREETCAR
Portland boasts many distinct neighborhoods, including sophisticated Nob Hill, the stylish Pearl District, and the ever-so-hip Central Eastside. Traveling between these areas is easy aboard the sleek, Euro-designed Portland Streetcar. The line extends south to the rapidly developing South Waterfront District while also connecting to the Portland Aerial Tram.
PORTLAND BY AERIAL TRAM
On a clear day, the best view in town is from the Portland Aerial Tram. Composed of two custom Swiss-made cabins, this cable-stayed conveyance accommodates up to 78 passengers each way, from the burgeoning South Waterfront District to the top of Marquam Hill, in the heart of Oregon Health & Science University’s main campus. An eco-friendly transport, the tram connects two disparate areas of OHSU, rising 500 feet in elevation and traveling 3,300 linear feet in just three minutes. Since opening in 2007, more than 10 million riders have taken in its panoramic views, which stretch to Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, and beyond.
Now if you are RV’ing to Portland there’s lots of campgrounds near Portland where you can park your coach and come into town with your tag/tow vehicle or public transit.
Portland to Seattle is less than a 3-hour drive via the I5; Blaine Washington is the closest Canadian border crossing to Portland; it’s about a 4 1/2 hours also on I5 and Vancouver, British Columbia is just an hour north of that on Provincial Road BC 99