The center of downtown - Pioneer Square, Portland's 'Living Room'.

The center of downtown – Pioneer Square, Portland’s ‘Living Room’.

We rode the light rail in from the Portland, OR airport to downtown.. took only about ten minutes longer than a taxi.. and at a fraction of the cost. Judy’s ticket was $2.50 one-way and mine.. a ‘honored citizen’ rate (senior citizen) was $1.00.

Portland's light rail is colorful, clean, inexpensive and efficient.

Portland’s light rail is colorful, clean, inexpensive and efficient.

Willamette River Front Park, Portland, OR

Willamette River Front Park, Portland, OR

The Willamette river runs right through downtown Portland. The river walk is a long, biker, jogger, dog walker friendly green strip running the length of the downtown section of the river. The Oregon Maritime Museum is aboard a nineteenth century sternwheeler tug boat located on the river walk, as is the retired USN submarine, the Blueback.

Wildlife native the Pacific Northwest is celebrated in the form of bronze, life size sculptures throughout downtown.

Wildlife native the Pacific Northwest is celebrated in the form of bronze, life size sculptures throughout downtown.

As you wander the downtown Portland area you will encounter life size bronze sculptures of wildlife native to the Pacific Norhtwest, such as otter, beaver, ducks, seals, sea lions, etc.

A rainy climate means frequent rainbows.

A rainy climate means frequent rainbows.

One huge advantage of frequent rain showers is frequent rainbows. This one was photographed from the downtown Portland City Grill on the 30th floor of the Bancorp building.

How do those Portlanders manage to stay 'bronzed' with so many rainy days?

How do those Portlanders manage to stay ‘bronzed’ with so many rainy days?

Somehow, the natives manage to stay ‘bronzed’ and healthy looking… maybe it is all of that fresh air and exercise! (Did I mention that downtown Portland seems to be the most bicycle friendly town I have ever seen, outside of Amsterdam?)

Downtown Portland is an interesting blend of old and new, historic and contemporary architecture.

Downtown Portland is an interesting blend of old and new, historic and contemporary architecture.

We disembarked the light rail from airport at the Pioneer Square station, just one block from our hotel, the downtown Portland Hilton.

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Our hotel.. the Hilton, of course.. just a block from Pioneer Square and the light rail connection to the airport.

There are public restrooms everywhere.. all very clean and modern looking. I guess when Portlanders gotta go, they want to ‘go’ in style!

Even the public restrooms are classy, clean and new. This style is titled the "Portland Loo".

Even the public restrooms are classy, clean and new. This style is titled the “Portland Loo”.

Is this a scene from 'Portlandia' or is it for real? A multi-level public garbage can!

Is this a scene from ‘Portlandia’ or is it for real? A multi-level public garbage can!

Still have not figured out the exact purpose of a solar powered garbage can.

WTF? A solar powered garbage can? For what purpose?.. to make sure street people never go without a hot meal? Now we are in 'Portlandia".

WTF? A solar powered garbage can? For what purpose?.. to make sure street people never go without a hot meal? Now we are in ‘Portlandia”.

Many downtown Portland sites reminded me that this city is the inspiration for ‘Portlandia” (the series satirizing Portland’s New Age-ish culture on the IFC cable channel).

And Portland wants me to know that they believe in me! How comforting!

And Portland wants me to know that they believe in me! How comforting!

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You’ve heard of public bicycle rental of course, but did you know that Portland has ‘Car2Go’ auto rentals?

In case you hadn't already figured it out... City of Portland municipal vehicles remind you that Portland is 'The City That Works'.

In case you hadn’t already figured it out… City of Portland municipal vehicles remind you that Portland is ‘The City That Works’.

Even municipal vehicles remind you that Portland is ‘The City That Works’.

You gotta give 'em credit, Portland knows how to integrate the colorful with the classy.

You gotta give ’em credit, Portland knows how to integrate the colorful with the classy.

And they have a sense of humor... unless there really is honey in those stalls. You go check first. I'll wait here.

And they have a sense of humor… unless there really is honey in those stalls. You go check first. I’ll wait here.

With the superstructure of the 1896 battleship ‘Oregon’ in the background, one has the option of using a ‘Honey Bucket’ instead of one of the more modern, permanent facilities. We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in Portland and look forward to returning. Did I mention that the shopping is world class, as well? View a list of great hotel deals in downtown Portland right HERE.

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