Hi, Cal. Your review about the R.I. had me worried about the property. I had considered the property because of the adjacent metro line. I also like to use certificates at Residence Inns that are expensive because I certainly want the points for an expensive stay.
We are planning on renting a car and driving the Columbia River Gorge Hwy. What were your favorite stops? Can you recommend any restaurants?
There are 3 other Marriott's at airport, that might be better. If you plan to do the Columbia River Gorge, it would be better to do it from an airport location and save some driving. It is really enjoyable and crowded.You will see many falls and each is great in it's own way. It is an all day trip.
As for food near the airport, there were a few fast foods places and a Starbucks in Cascade. I ended up going into Walmart and getting a frozen meal and prepared it in my room. I made sure to get forks and knives at the store since those in my room didn't seem "clean"
I'm originally from Portland and I love downtown, but it gets expensive when you have to pay for downtown hotel prices plus parking. When I have an early flight I don't want to have to wake up extra early and deal with traffic, I like the PDX Fairfield. You have almost every type of Marriott near PDX, but that seems to be my go-to hotel. They have a decent breakfast in the morning and even have a grab and go continental type for those with early AM departures and it doesn't break the bank to stay. I use that hotel to earn points or stays and save up to stay somewhere like an RI. LOVE the gorge and although Multnomah falls is not to be missed and is the most popular, Wahkeena Falls is my favorite. Not sure why, but it's always stuck with me. Fun to grab some shoes you can trash and walk up the creek or hike up to Horsetail falls or Triple Falls on the Oneonta Trail. Also make a point of it to go to Crown Point. The view is amazing! Not sure what time of year you're going, but summer is the best for the Washington Park Rose Gardens (not the sporting event center called the Rose Garden). Still nice to see Washington park (near downtown) even if it's not summer. The Saturday Market is fun if you happen to be downtown on the weekend. You'll have to stop by Mill Ends Park (the world's smallest park). It's in the median strip of Naito Parkway (Front Ave for native PDX) around Taylor Street. The waterfront is nice too just to walk up and down or rent a bike. The park blocks are also nice to walk through during the day.
If you like to read or just enjoy looking at books, Powell's Book Store is on 10th & W Burnside on the edge of the Pearl District. It takes up the entire city block and is about 4 stories tall. They sell new and used books and its a GREAT place for people watching.
As far as food goes, your options are endless. For German Food & beer, Gustav's is a great place and there is one on Sandy blvd on the east side or one in Clackamas (both fairly easy access from PDX area). My folks went to Paley's Place and raved about it. On the pricey side, but they said they would even just go back for dessert.
Speaking of Dessert, there is typically a long line, but the Salt & Straw is an ice cream shop in NW Portland that is worth waiting an hour in line for. You can have samples of every flavor they have (and I did) and then decide which one(s) you want at the end. It's fun and trendy, but still amazing flavors. If you like sushi, in the Pearl District of NW Portland there is a place called Sinju Sushi. They have this item called the Ahi Tower. Check out the reviews on Yelp. Then you have the food trucks and they have several "lots" or blocks that they hang out in. There was a set on the east side near I-205 that I wasn't thrilled with. There is one set up that covers about half a block downtown. Not sure if any of those were worth writing home about, but I LOVED the one on SE Belmont Street. Plus they have a parking lot that allows easy access. There is another good set on the North side, but I can't recall what it was.
First time to Portland, you might want to visit VooDoo Donuts while you're downtown and can walk to it (parking isn't very easy down there). The Bacon Maple bar is like breakfast in a bite. Of course I love most of their devils food cake versions, but they have so many options it's hard not to buy at least a dozen. Not sure about the downtown location, but I know VooDoo too (on the east side) only accepts cash so don't try to pay with your credit card.
That should give you a few things to think about for your trip. I hope you enjoy your trip. Let me know if you have other PDX questions I can help with.
Dogsdish, if you still lived in Portland, I would hire you to be our travel guide. You have given us some valuable information. Since we've never been to Portland, we want to see a lot of the area and, of course, my husband wants to take lots of photographs. Food is also important to us and you've given us a lot a of "food for thought".
I must ask this question. What is the background of your "name"?
I wish I was available for tours since my heart is still in Portland. There have been lots of changes since I left, but I still visit fairly often so I try to stay up with it.
Funny that neighborhoods I wouldn't have gone to at night when I was younger are now trendy and other neighborhoods went the other direction. They have a saying "Keep Portland Weird" and most don't understand it unless they've lived there or spent some time there.
My "Dogsdish" name comes from my nickname and my husband's. My nickname was "Dish" and my husband's was "Barn dog" so when I was looking for a user name years ago, I decided I was Dog's Dish so I mushed it together and have been "Dogsdish" ever since. Of course that makes my husband Dishsdog. We get a lot of people asking what kind of dog we have or if we're vets, but we don't even have pets.
Let me know if you have more questions about Portland!
Both Marriotts in Downtown look nice. I stayed outside of Portland (in Beaverton) and it was a very good rate and easy to get around (not much traffic on the weekends). There was a train that would go by every now and again though...it did not bother me, but it did remind me of My Cousin Vinny.
I have stayed at both the Courtyard and Fairfield Inn at PDX. They are both about 3 miles from the airport. Both offer free shuttle service between the hotel and the airport.
Since you are arriving late at night and need to leave in the early morning, I have a money saving tip regarding the rental car. When you arrive late at night, take the shuttle to the hotel. The next morning take the shuttle back to the airport and pick up your rental car. After dinner on the night before you leave, return the rental car at the airport. Call for the shuttle to pick you up at the airport and bring you to the hotel. The morning you leave, take the shuttle to the airport. This will allow you to save one days rental and fees and gives you an easier time on the morning you depart as the rental car has already been returned.
I travel 45 weeks a year on business and I frequently, I do as described above.
Have a great trip. Portland and the surrounding area are beautiful.
If you are visiting Portland, I would recommend the Courtyard downtown. Just a couple of blocks from a light rail stop. I would suggest taking a Segway tour, a great way to see any major US city. Voo Doo is good, but I would also recommend Blue Star Donuts. There is a "Saturday Market" each Sat/Sun March-Dec that has an amazing array of crafts. Absolutely no shortage of interesting food trucks. Enjoy Portland!