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Seattle/Portland

Is 2 days each in both cities enough to get a good first impression of each city?

Posted by
7050 posts

Spend more time in Seattle, it's larger. I would say a minimum of 3 days each, and that only covers the cities themselves. There is a lot of beautiful stuff driving distance - nature, etc.

Posted by
11509 posts

Saw you inquired about Rio recently in another post.

Having been to Rio and viewed the hillside slums ( favelas) , downtown Seattle has many areas that are worse.

On the news tonite the Seattle mayor stated "it is not safe" in downtown.

Go to Rio, the weather is nicer :-)

Posted by
78 posts

Yes Rio/Buenos Aires trip is planned for next month. A little over 5 weeks away!!!

Seattle/Portland trip would be long Labor Day weekend trip. Just brainstorming ideas.

Posted by
6670 posts

Two days in each city would give you the "good first impression" that you're looking for -- preferably full days, meaning a trip total of six nights with a day to travel between them. That's more than a Labor Day weekend. If what you have is a three-day weekend, I'd say pick one. We need the sales tax in Seattle, Portland doesn't have one. If you drive between them on a Friday morning, stop in Olympia and I'll give you a free tour of the state capitol (it's better than yours). ;-)

Posted by
327 posts

We LOVE the PNW and lived outside of Portland for a while. Both cities are fantastic but we too are not sure how things are these days. Others could give you more info about the state of those cities but one thing you can't go wrong with is visiting the coast. I'd fly into Portland, rent a car and drive about an hour and half to the Pacific ocean. Spend a few days driving down to Newport, OR and back up to Astoria. See some tidepools, enjoy hiking in coastal forests, visit historic lighthouses, Newport's aquarium, a whale watching tour, a Lewis & Clark site and the mighty Columbia River. Oh and the Tillamook cheese factory! Look up some photos of the coast, it's stunning.

Posted by
5687 posts

Zach, what are your interests? Why do you want to visit these cities?

Posted by
78 posts

Andrew, to be completely honest about Portland other than knowing I’ll want to spend a lot of time enjoying the outdoors, I don’t know much else about the city yet. Seattle I’ll want to do Pike Place, Space needle, Chihuly, Mariners game for starters. Just 2 popular, big cities that I’ve never been to and figured would be a nice, long Labor Day weekend trip about 48 hours in each city.

Posted by
238 posts

Downtown Portland is kind of a mess right now--covid, lingering damage from the demonstrations in 2020 and 2021 and especially the homeless crisis have all had a substantial impact on what was once our vibrant city scene. That said, there are still places worth seeing--Powell's is always a treat for anyone who loves books; Lan Su Chinese Garden is a lovely oasis in downtown; nearby Washington Park has a wonderful Japanese garden, zoo and the International Rose Test garden and is easily accessible on public transportation. The Columbia River Gorge, less than 20 miles from downtown, is one of Oregon's crown jewels and can certainly fill all or most of a day. If you are renting a car it is easy to get to but if you'd rather not drive there is a shuttle service as well as various bus tours.

Posted by
1534 posts

My son moved to Portland almost 3 years ago and I love to visit. As mentioned above, the Chinese and Japanese gardens are stunning. Unfortunately, at least in May, 2021, downtown is not a pleasant place to visit. My son and his partner only go downtown now if there is a need and only during the day. I hope I am not exaggerating the situation. Please do some more research before your go.

Posted by
2248 posts

+1 Carol;)

Two days in each is plenty. We have lived in both areas a number of times(born and raised in OR), and are in the Seattle area now.

If you plan on doing the gorge, just know that new this year is timed permits even for driving the scenic highway. The new system goes into effect May 24th, and the online system is not up and running yet, so keep an eye on it.

Posted by
4475 posts

If you've never been to Vancouver/Victoria, you should consider one of them to replace Portland as your second city.

Posted by
78 posts

I went to Vancouver 3 years ago so wanted to hit the US big cities in the Pacific Northwest.

Posted by
260 posts

If you are visiting Portland for Downtown stick to the Pearl District. NW 23rd, NW 21st and NW 13th all are great places to walk and eat. WA park like others have said. Don’t go to Chinatown.

Posted by
1321 posts

totally agree with edryer4356 - if you like Italian food there are a few good ones in NW. I have lived in both and used to prefer Portland over Seattle but there is more to do in Seattle. If you like music, well even if you don't, EMP (experience music project) is a must do on my list

Posted by
260 posts

Also outside of Downtown, there is Alberta Street from NE 12th to NE 25th which nice to walk and find good places to eat on the weekends and also Fremont Street from NE 57th to NE 38th. If you go to Fremont go to PIPs Donuts!!! One of the best donuts in Portland and way better then Blue Star and Voodoo donuts! And if your into Soccer catch a Timbers Game.

Posted by
7906 posts

Amazon is moving its central Seattle office due to the high crime rate. Seattle was nice to visit in 2019, but take care now.

Posted by
78 posts

Update: just booked my flight Sept 1-6 to/from Seattle. To fly open jaw from Atlanta to Portland and home from Seattle would have been $250 extra to an already pricey flight considering it’s 5 hours for me. I’m leaning towards to scrapping visiting Portland all together on this trip and saving Oregon for another trip. Amtrak has $54 round trip trains if I decide to change mind, but I have much more to see in Seattle. Also as a big sports fan, the Mariners, Sounders, and UW Huskies football all have home games during the days I am visiting in addition to everything else the city has to offer.

Posted by
291 posts

I work for the Huskies--feel free to DM me if you have any questions about game day stuff.