Blog, Portland Travel

Portland Ranks No.1 in America’s 10 Best Cities for 2013 list!

Dec 30, 2013

Portland, Oregon

What a great way to wrap up the new year! We heard that Portland made it to the top of real estate blog Movoto’s “America’s 10 Best Cities for 2013” list!

These are the nerdiest, smartest, hardest working, most exciting, and downright best cities in the country according to a year of studying what makes America’s metros so great.
-Movoto Content Editor, Randy Nelson

According to this list, Portland Oregon is ranked No. 1 for attracting new residents, and best city for movie lovers and second nerdiest city (not too shabby!). It placed fourth among funniest, most steampunk and best cities for food lovers.

Click here to see the entire list of cities that made the cut, and let us know what you think!

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

8 Packing Tips for Peaceful Holiday Traveling

Dec 17, 2013

medium_2359293582This holiday season, AAA projects 94.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home.  That’s a lot of people on the road or in the airport in the coming weeks!

No matter how or where you travel this Christmas, packing the right stuff is essential to enjoying the holiday season and the friends and family you are traveling so far to see.

We recommend following these packing tips to avoid unnecessary hassles and stress.

Be sure to visit www.usatoday.com for the complete article, and SmarterTravel.com for expert travel advice and unbiased coverage of travel deals.

1. Roll, don’t fold.
Many travel experts agree that tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones. Plus, they’re less prone to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases.

2. Make a packing list
Make the time to craft a complete list days or even weeks before your trip. Creating a packing list is a fail-safe way to ensure that you never, ever forget to bring something important.

3. Know your airline’s baggage-fee policy
The majority of U.S. carriers charge big bucks for bags checked on domestic flights, so before you begin packing, take a peek at your airline’s website and read its baggage policy.

4. Follow the 3-1-1 rule
If you don’t follow the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage the TSA will likely confiscate your stuff, holding you up in line in the process. So get familiar with the agency’s rules: All liquids brought onto planes must be in 3.4-ounce bottles or smaller and inside a single, clear, quart-size zip-top bag.

5. Use your personal item wisely
In Five Tips for Fitting it All in a Carry-on Bag, Caroline Morse advises travelers to leverage their personal-item allowance, suggesting, “Forget wasting my personal-item allowance with a tiny purse. I’ll bring a larger tote bag that I can stash under the seat but will still give me extra storage space. This will come in handy for keeping all of the things I’ll need to be on hand during the flight within arms’ reach as well.”

6. Wash your clothes on the road
If you know your accommodations will have free laundry facilities, you’re golden. You can wash and wear just a handful of outfits for the duration of even very long trips. If you’re staying in a hotel, call in advance to see if laundry services are available and how much they cost.

7. Layer
According to the TSA, “Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.)” so that the security agent screening your bag can get a clear picture of what’s inside. The faster the TSA agent can screen your stuff, the faster you’ll get through the security line.

8. Never check essential items
Keep your valuable and essential belongings(i.e.your passport, identification, money, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, and other valuables) in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage.

Happy Holidays and hope you enjoy safe travels!

photo credit: MsH_ISB via photopin cc

10 Holiday Events Happening Right Now in Portland!

Dec 12, 2013

Portland HolidaysIs the holiday season flying by too fast? Have you been so busy that you haven’t made time to simply enjoy the season and take in some of the many holiday sights and sounds in and around the Portland area?

You can find the holiday spirit in Bridgeport Village with events like Bridgeport Express Train, Holiday Magic Light Show and Breakfast with Santa! Visit www. bridgeport-village.com for details on all these.

If you want to take a short drive into Portland, be sure to check out some of these popular local holiday attractions. Just like Christmas, they only happen once a year, so don’t miss out!

Big thanks goes to Travel Portland for putting this helpful list together!

1. Holiday Express Train through Dec. 15, 2013
Join Santa Claus and his elves for a magical ride on Portland’s famous steam locomotives. Vintage rail cars transport you through wilderness in the heart of the city. Meet Santa in the fully decorated and steam-heated trains. www.orhf.org/about-orhf/holiday-express 

2. The Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights through Dec. 30, 2013
The Grotto’s most popular event, The Christmas Festival of Lights features more than 500,000 lights, 150 choral performances, a petting zoo, carolers, puppet shows and hot chocolate. www.thegrotto.org/events

3. ZooLights through Jan. 5, 2014
More than one million LED lights transform the Oregon Zoo into a luminous winter wonderland filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes. www.oregonzoo.org/events/zoolights

4. Portland Revels’ The Christmas Revels 2013 through Dec. 15, 2013
Combining instrumental and choral music, children’s songs and games, ritual and folk dance traditions, drama, poetry and audience participation, this event springs from an age-old tradition of winter solstice celebration. www.portlandrevels.org

5. Portland Christmas Ships Portland Christmas Ships Parader through Dec. 21, 2013
Each year since 1955, Portlanders have gathered along the water to view more than 50 boats decked out in lights and wintery designs. The parade traverses the Columbia and Willamette rivers every night of the two-week celebration. www.christmasships.org

6. The Nutcracker at Oregon Ballet Theatre through Dec. 21, 2013
The enduring magic of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker sets the season a-sparkle, creating memories your family will cherish. Oregon Ballet Theatre is the only company west of the Mississippi licensed to perform Balanchine’s version. www.obt.org/season_nutcracker.html

7. Winter Wonderland through Dec.21, 2013
The Portland International Raceway transforms into a Winter Wonderland each year, welcoming nearly 100,000 people to view spectacular displays of lights and animation from the comfort of personal vehicles and tour buses. www.winterwonderlandportland.com

8. A Locally Crafted Christmas at Pittock Mansion through Jan. 2, 2014
From professional artisans to do-it-yourselfers, more than 80 volunteers contributed to this exhibit. Festive decorations, lights and Christmas trees fill the 16,000-square-foot mansion, and unique décor and gifts await in the Museum Store. www.pittockmansion.org

9. Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale Dec. 14-15, 2013
Once a monthly art and craft sale, now operates a successful downtown store, Crafty Wonderland highlights its favorite local and handmade goods in this mega-sale at the Oregon Convention Center. www.craftywonderland.com/events

10. The Makery Winter Market Dec. 14-15, 2013
Shop the Makery studio collective designers plus other Oregon makers while sipping craft beverages and grooving to
unconventional holiday music. Or hang out outside at the mobile hot tub with snacks from a few local food carts. www.makerypdx.com/events

Starting December 15th:
The Lights on Peacock Lane Dec. 15—-31, 2013
Since the 1920s, each house in this quaint southeast neighborhood has been decorating for the season. The houses, mostly Tudors, are adorned with not only beautiful sparkling lights, but also thematic scenes, rotating Christmas trees and more. www.peacocklane.net

photo credit: p medved via photopin cc

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