Portland is known for being laid-back, environmentally conscious, and family friendly. This is a great place for parents with small kids, who will be welcomed with smiles and sippy cups in most restaurants (and what's a wee one not to like about a city that has a water spray sculpture of Ramona, Ribsy, and Henry Huggins?). Older kids will enjoy the OMSI, thrill rides at the Oaks Amusement Park and the cool shopping venues, like Powell's and Portland's Saturday Market.
Summer is the time to go to Portland, when museums and parks have longer hours, Pioneer Courthouse Square offers Flicks on the Bricks, and the city pulses with life. Think twice about visiting Portland in the winter months unless you like the rain (with some sleet and hail thrown in). Spring comes early to the Rose City so a trip in April when the roses start blooming is a good idea, too.
Temperatures in Portland fluctuate a lot from day to day and even hour to hour. There are four seasons, though winters are mild (read: rainy) and Portland rarely gets more than a sprinkling of snow. Go in the spring or summer, and wear layers and bring an umbrella just in case. The best weather is in the summer, when it's rarely humid and often gorgeously sunny. Get more weather info.
There is only one airport in Portland: Portland International Airport (PDX). Three Amtrak trains, (the Amtrak Cascades, Coast Starlight, and Empire Builder) also service the city, as do Greyhound bus lines.
Public transportation includes light rail from the airport to the city, and buses, street cars, and the tram within the city. However, the city's pretty spread out and you may want to spend part of the day on different sides of the Willamette River, so if you want to make the most of your visit you may need to rent a car. TriMet is Portland's public transportation system, which includes buses, Max light rail, and Portland street cars. If you're not intimidated by all the schedules, service is efficient, friendly, and affordable (not more than $2.05 per ride, depending on where you're going). Children under seven ride free with a paying adult.
Portland packs festivals into the summer months to make the most of the fine weather. The biggest festival in the Rose City is not surprisingly the Portland Rose Festival, which takes place in early June. There's also:
TravelPortland.com is the official visitors' site.
Buy a Portland Attractions Pass and gain entrance to 10 top attractions at a fraction of the standard prices. An adult pass costs $35 and a youth pass (ages five to 18) costs $29. You can buy the passes at the Visitor Information Center at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Visit TravelPortland.com for more information.