Do you like to squeeze every last drop out of your vacation? After all, why waste time sitting in the airport when you could be checking out a new city? If you’re traveling through the Portland International Airport, you’re in luck. Portland, Oregon, has plenty to explore during a flight layover.
Coffee and Donuts
If you only have time to experience one thing in Portland, let it be a cup of jet-lag-busting coffee paired with an exquisitely prepared donut. Portland’s coffee scene is second to none, and you’ll find more coffee shops than you could explore in a year. Since you don’t have that much time, check out a Portland city guide before you leave the airport to uncover the perfect coffee shop to fuel your caffeine buzz.
For a donut on the go, look no farther than world-famous Voodoo Donuts. The line out the door may be daunting, but it’s worth every moment of that wait to sink your teeth into one of their sugary masterpieces.
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Hop on Portland light rail’s MAX Red Line from the airport for a budget-friendly $2.50 and disembark at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Then enjoy being in the center of a bustling shopping and cultural district known as the “living room of Portland.” It’ll feel like a breath of fresh air after being trapped in a tiny airplane seat.
Check out the famous wrought-iron Starbucks in the square before sitting down for an hour or two of people-watching. You can feel the energy reverberate through this vibrant hub of the city. Pioneer Courthouse Square is also a great jumping off point for other Portland adventures.
Perhaps as famous as Portland’s coffee scene is Powell’s Books. Powell’s Books is the world’s largest independent bookstore. Books you think you want — and books you didn’t know you needed — can be found in this sprawling downtown shop. Powell’s Books has an active inventory of 2 million books, so you’re sure to find something to keep you entertained for the next leg of your flight.
Spend your time wandering through the stacks, reading staff recommendations, and finding books by for your favorite authors. Powell’s Books holds so many events that you may run into that favorite author right in the store!
If stretching your legs and soothing your nerves in nature sounds appealing, a quick 15-minute cab ride will bring you to Rocky Butte Natural Area. Rocky Butte is a volcanic formation that is maintained as park used for hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities.
A 3-mile round-trip hike leads to a panoramic overlook you won’t want to miss. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Saint Helens, Mount Hood, the airport, and downtown Portland.
There are plenty of activities in Portland, Oregon, to explore during a layover at the Portland International Airport. Eat and sip your way through the city, grab a book, or stretch your legs. Portland is waiting to show you how fun a layover can be.