Portland is the largest city in Oregon, USA, and is known for its liberal residents and hipster vibes. Located on both the Willamette River and the Colombia River, the city has a history cemented in the shipping trade. Whether you want to explore the many parks or indulge at a microbrewery, Portland should be on your USA bucket list.
When to Visit Portland
The summer months (June-August) are considered an ideal time of year to visit Portland. You will experience warm, pleasant days, perfect for all of the outdoor activities and dining areas available in the city.
That being said, Portland is definitely a city that will provide an enjoyable experience whichever time of year you choose to visit. It has more than enough to keep you busy on a rainy day, so you know you will be covered if you happen to visit during miserable weather. Plus, you won’t have to battle the crowds!
Do you Need a Car in Portland?
Portland has a reliable and extensive public transport network, so you won’t need a car to explore the city. Bus, light rail, or streetcar are all better options that will save you from wasting time trying to find a car park.
If you are looking to head out of the city to explore the parks in the surrounding area, you will need a car.
Planning your Trip to Portland
Portland has its own airport, Portland International Airport, making it easy to get to and from the city. Depending on where you are coming from, domestic travelers might choose to arrive by car, train, or bus. Domestic flights also run between Portland International Airport and many major airports across the USA.
The international airport is very convenient for international travelers who might be able to get direct flights to the location. If you are coming from a faraway destination, you may have to get a flight to another USA destination and then swap to a flight to Portland.
Either way, if you are traveling to Portland from overseas, you will want to make sure you do some planning for your trip. The USA has strict entry requirements that vary according to nationality. Make sure you take the time to determine which requirements apply to you and what paperwork you need to complete to enter the country.
Some travelers might need an ESTA America, while others require a traditional visa or something else entirely. If you are eligible to apply for an ESTA, you’re in luck. The process is relatively straightforward and can be done online. Essentially, it is a pre-screening check that confirms you meet the entry criteria before you arrive in the USA.
To obtain an ESTA check, complete your application and submit it for review. You will be notified of the outcome. If there are any issues, you will have the opportunity to address them, so it’s best you apply well before you intend to leave for the USA so that you have the time to do this. Please save a copy of the final document and keep it on hand at the airport. You will need to present it whenever requested. If you do not have your paperwork in order, you may be denied boarding or entry into the USA.
If you are not eligible for an ESTA, find out what entry requirements you need to meet and make sure you follow that process.
Things to do in Portland on a Rainy Day
If you find yourself in Portland on a rainy day, do not despair! There are plenty of options to keep you entertained even in wet weather.
Indoor Activities Portland
- Lan Su Chinese Garden
This authentic Chinese garden is located in the center of the city and is worth visiting in any weather, but it is just as beautiful in the wet. Get a meal in the teahouse to enjoy the views from a sheltered environment or take a stroll through the covered walkways.
- Central Library
There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book on a cold, wet day. Book lovers should head to the impressive Central Library, which houses a whopping 875 tons of books. You’ll also enjoy the detailed architecture.
Best Cheap Food in Portland
Looking to get value for money? It’s hard to beat Basilisk when it comes to a good, cheap meal. It’s the perfect spot for some comfort food serving classic fried chicken with fries and soft-serve desserts.
- Love Belizean
For some Caribbean flair in Portland, head to Love Belizean. You’ll find a menu showcasing dishes like stews, meat plates, and curries, and all served with relaxed vibes.
Fun Dates in Portland
- Portland Art Museum
A visit to an art gallery can be a great date night idea, and Portland Art Museum showcases some of the best the city has to offer. Walk from your downtown hotel or catch a train to this iconic Portland venue.
- Roller skating
If you are looking for something a bit more active, head to Oaks Amusement Park. Now, this might seem a strange choice on a wet day as the park is better visited in pleasant weather. However, there is a roller skating rink that can be used in all weather conditions. Whether you are a beginner or experienced skater, there’s no doubt you’ll have heaps of fun getting close with your date on the skating rink.
Portland is a diverse city that caters to a wide range of tourists. The best part is that there are plenty of indoor and rainy day attractions, so the weather doesn’t have to ruin your trip!