Portland International Airport (PDX) is more than just an airport
for the Rose City—it’s a true point of pride. In fact, Travel + Leisure
surveys have named it the number one airport in the United
States six out of the past 10 years, with travelers benefiting from
its variety of amenities, transportation options and available
domestic and international flights. The airport serves Portland and
the surrounding communities, including Vancouver, Washington.
A part of the city’s culture
PDX is perhaps best known among Portlanders for its carpet that,
unfortunately, has been ripped out and replaced after nearly 20
years of use. The reason the carpet was so popular was its design,
which featured a pattern depicting an outline of the airport’s
runways as they appear to air traffic controllers high above in the
PDX tower at night. Over the years, the carpet has become one of
the highlights of visiting the airport, with many travelers taking the
time to take photos of their feet with PDX carpet as the backdrop.
As crews began tearing up the carpet in early 2015, the Port
of Portland (the agency overseeing the airport) has made
recycled portions of it available to local retailers, schools
and even museums. Fortunately, the new carpet features a
reimagined design somewhat similar to the old—and travelers
have generally approved of it.
Getting to and from PDX
Another reason why travelers love PDX so much is just how easy
it is to get to and from the airport. The TriMet MAX Red light rail
line runs right up to the arrivals and baggage claim area, so
travelers can quickly and easy hop on the train and head to
downtown Portland—or just about anywhere else they’d like to
go—without having to rent a car.
On the other hand, if you would like to use a vehicle, the airport
is highly accessible and experiences a healthy flow of traffic
at both its arrivals and departures areas. And unlike airports in
other metro areas, PDX is relatively close to the city core. In fact,
when there’s no traffic, it can take as little as 20 minutes to get
from the airport to downtown Portland.
If you need to grab a ride, there are a few unique options
available to travelers. One is Wingz, a ride-sharing service
beginning in 2016 in which trained drivers use their own vehicles
to provide rides to and from the airport. There’s also EcoShuttle,
a more typical shuttle service for groups that has a fleet of
eco-friendly biodiesel vehicles.
Shops and restaurants
PDX has also become well known for its amenities, with a variety
of shops and restaurants available. This includes local favorites
Burgerville, Elephants Delicatessen and Laurelwood Public
House, along with a couple of food carts. There are also staples
like Panda Express, McDonald’s and Starbucks. And, in early
2015, the Port of Portland announced that 10 new restaurants
would come to the airport terminal, including those serving
Vietnamese, sushi, pizza and seafood, among others.
For those on a long layover, there are several great shops to
browse at PDX, including Columbia Sportswear, Pendleton
Woolen Mills, Powell’s Books and Made in Oregon—the latter of
which offers locally made products.
With all PDX has to offer, it’s no surprise that it has maintained its
spot as one of the best airports in the country—as it truly makes
traveling a little easier and more enjoyable for all.
One of the Nation’s Best Airports
(along with snowboards and surfboards, incidentally) available from owners across the
city, either online or through a mobile app.
Like car-sharing services, you may rent bikes
by the hour or day, paying a fee accordingly.
NO SHORTAGE OF OPTIONS
Whether you’d like to catch a ride, walk
or bike, there are plenty of opportunities
to get around Portland and Vancouver
without having to worry about the expense
and environmental impact of having your
own vehicle. Make sure to consider all
of these options as you plan your trips
Photo courtesy of Travel Portland