Top 5 Reasons to plan a road trip to Portland Oregon USA

Top 5 Reasons to plan a road trip to Portland Oregon USA

This year we planned a road trip to Portland Oregon USA. The idea was to explore areas around this city, but I liked this city so much that I decided to write the reason to convince travelers to explore this place.There’s a lot to explore in America. The Pacific North West or PNW is one of the most scenic parts for any traveler to explore in the USA. It is known for evergreen trees and volcanos. Also, mountains and beaches are amazing option to plan hikes or road trips.

Portland is the second largest city in the Pacific north-west of USA. It lies between San Francisco and Seattle. Travelers usually visit Seattle and explore Portland on a short trip but there’s a lot to explore in and around this city. It’s called the city of roses too.

This was a perfect family trip or the ZNMD Trip I planned. ZNMD in Hindi is Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara which means “you only live once or YOLO ”. We planned a cousin’s reunion which brings our childhood memories back. After the success of previous road trip from Seattle to Leavenworth this time, we all met again in Seattle , where people flew from all around the world and we decided to take a road trip to Portland and nearby exotic locations.

I have shared the idea about my znmd trip in my previous blog to Leavenworth read the post here – Roadtrip to Leavenworth

It was a short drive of approximately less than 3 hours from Seattle to  Portland, Map below

Roadtrip in Winters amidst Rains

Starting from Seattle in the Christmas time in December ( which is an offseason due to cold and rain), we decided to leave in the morning so that we can immediately across the main areas before it gets difficult to drive. It was a challenging road trip, but our spirits were high so we decided to take up this challenge.

Sooner we crossed the well known beautiful stretch of Evergreen trees. No matter in all the other areas we found a landscape of leafless trees (which was also beautiful in its own way) but this area had all the green Evergreen trees. Evergreen tree has always fascinated me since childhood because these are also the Christmas trees and planning this trip in December (  The Christmas month ) has only added to the charm. But, soon it rained!

“It’s my pleasure to share that 2017 was the year when I have done my maximum monsoon travel and witnessed some amazingly beautiful moments and successful trips. Ending this year again with a rain filled trip was giving me a nostalgic feeling.  Being in the monsoon road trip is something which is not preferred in the west or USA but coming from Indian origin we were just enjoying the rains too . Its amazing that we celebrate this season in India. As I have shared in my previous blogs on monsoon , rains are rare and celebrated back in India ! “

Read my post on Monsoon Travel- Best Places to visit in Monsoon in India 


1 Shopping

First thing is that we were all geared up to do what is the most preferred in Portland that that is Shopping.   I have discovered that this place offers one of the best range of designer and other clothing brands across many amazing retail outlets as well as the mall at the best rates ever ( Yes I mean it !!). This city redefined my definition of shopping. We spent the entire evening shopping, after all, it was Christmas time. Christmas shopping is something which everybody should do no matter if even you are on a road trip or a travel excursion. I found one of the best deal in the Blue Star mall, Pioneer Place to high-end galleries of Pearl District. Washington Square mall is the largest mall here and much recommended for shopping.

Though in the picture below the city looks standstill a lot was happening. Shopping and food go hand in hand. There are amazing food options in Portland. We ate Voodoo Donuts 🍩 and  Pretzels as we spent hours shopping. This place is perfect for mall hopping too. If that was not enough we visited the China Town as well!

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2 Downtown is beautiful

After making a justice to our Christmas shopping along with some amazing pretzels we stepped out to reach Hotel which was approximately an hour away from these places. Our Hotel was in Downtown and this was one of the liveliest places during Christmas time. Downtown is easily accessible to other famous places in Portland. Places to see are Art Museum, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, China Town, and Skidmore Fountain.

The city has many bridges. One of the many bridges in this city is Broadway Bridge as seen from my hotel in Downtown. Portland has approximately 12 bridges on the river Willamette.

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The list of Parks and garden to explore are endless.If that’s not enough the Christmas tree in downtown is a must to visit, beautifully lit up it was one of the biggest Christmas trees of this season that I have seen.

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3 It connects to exotic locations

Portland is the connecting place to one of the most scenic areas the Pacific Northwest. One can plan hikes, volcanic mountain road trips, visiting scenic waterfalls all in a day. I planned my visit to Multnomah Falls and Mount Hood this time. In One hour drive, one can reach “more than hundred wineries” or mountains perfect for hiking or skiing. Portland is near to some of the perfect ski areas as well. One can plan multiple trips to these beautiful places and come back in the evening.

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4 Is Portland Weird?

Keep Portland Weird is a slogan found in the city. Do I think Portland is weird? Well, not sure! But I gathered that the locals have a mixed feeling about this achievement as city ranked 11th in the weirdness quotient in an Oregonian newspaper. They do have voodoo donuts and an amazing environment. It has famous food carts as the kitchen on wheels. Amazing events take place all year through. The atmosphere is not fast-paced but laid back. Due to so many contrasts which exists simultaneously this city might be coming on this list. It has a lot to offer and it’s catching up fast in the must-visit list of travelers now. You need to visit Portland to find the answer to this question.

5 Beautiful Landscapes of City

Portland has a rocking downtown to quint and pretty neighborhoods. It has many historic and modern architectural buildings. The city is so beautiful. Even in the offseason of December, the Christmas Lights added a charm to the place. One can plan a trip to this place to simply soak in the city charm and enjoy the landscapes of the city life. We were lucky to witness the snowfall and that gave a beautiful character to the city.Check out the exclusive pictures of Portland during snowfall below.

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Portland Max Light Rail: Snow does not keep anyone waiting. Life goes on as usual.

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We were staying at the Marriott Hotel which was in the Downtown. We plan this hotel strategically to make sure its easier by hopping the malls and witnessing the Christmas lighting in the night. Downtown is definitely one of the best options to stay as it is near to most of the important landmarks suggested above.


Yes, I am always planning a revisit to the place I travel. I am visiting again for more shopping and trying out again the Voodoo Donught. I want to plan few more road trips from Portland, and a visit to Mount Saint Helen is on top of my list .

I visited this city as a road trip from Seattle. My reason was to see the PNW Landscapes and I saw amazing winter views. It snowed on the day I reached and that is a rare phenomenon in this city. I think nature was welcoming to me.
See this picture isn’t it a beautiful place?Tell us about your favorite city.

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Top 5 Reasons to plan a road trip to Portland Oregon USA

18 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons to plan a road trip to Portland Oregon USA

  1. Lisa

    I’ve never been to Portland, oregon, so this was a very interesting read. That’s funny about the Keep Portland Weird slogan; at least it’s something you’ll always remember. I’m going to look up these voodoo donuts, they sound interesting!

  2. Dada

    Oh yes I am going there! I am not a big fan of shopping so I wouldnt go to Portland in Oregon for that but we love hiking and nature so Portland would be a perfect base for exploring the surrounding area! I am intrigued by the voodoo donuts!

  3. Jenn and Ed Coleman

    I think they choose Keep Portland Weird because Keep Portland Green had to many herbal implications. The evergreen forests are really spectacular, especially if you’re not used to seeing them. With a blanket of snow, I could see how you could think you make it to Christmas Town. ZNMD. (can’t wait to try this out as I travel)

  4. Nicole Anderson

    I love walking in the ran, but have never thought of taking a road trip through the rain and snow. It looks like fun, and would definitely give a new perspective on the scenery, I have not had a lot of experience driving in snow, so that makes me a little nervous. I could always go shopping. That Christmas tree in the Portland downtown area does look fabulous. Oregan you are on my list!

  5. Iulia

    I always, but absolutely always, love a good road-trip. Yours looked amazing also because it was with your family – those are always fun! I think that I would like to visit the Pacific North-West coast, someday…who knows? At least for those voodoo donuts (don’t know what they are, but they sure sound interesting:))

  6. Aditi

    Wow.. Passing through exotic locations sounds wonderful. I’m so tempted to try this road trip. And like they say, keep Portland weird! 😉 Cheers!!

  7. Archana Singh

    when I started reading your article, I found weird to have shopping as the first point because for me road trips are all about nature and sightseeing. But to each his own. Portland, Oregon is really one of the most beautiful drives I have been to. Though I did it in Spring but I am sure it must be beautiful in rains too.

  8. Pingback: Top 5 Reasons to plan a road trip to Portland Oregon USA – bye:myself

  9. Kate Storm

    Voodoo Soughnuts is definitely worth visiting on a return visit–get the maple and bacon!! So tasty. I’d also definitely recommend stopping at Powell’s City of Books, which is easily the biggest bookstore we’ve ever visited. Multnomah Falls must have been gorgeous in the snow–we didn’t make it out there on trip, but maybe next time! We’re always planning to revisit places, too. 😀

  10. Ami Bhat

    I learnt a few new things here… Like that this was the city of roses and it has a weird quotient. Woodoo donuts… What exactly do they add to it? Nice to read this one.

  11. rajat

    I’ve done few road trips on snow but Poland seems bit different from my other trips. I wish i could visit Poland soon and could “Keep Portland Weird” 😛

  12. Krupa

    we definitely wanted to visit oregon and surely portland. but never thought of taking a road trip though. but this post give enough reasons for us to take a road trip now. Thanks for sharing.

  13. A speck in time

    We will have to go again, the first time it was just for a day. Look like it will be fun to stay there for some more days.

  14. anshul

    Would love to visit Portland, such a beautiful trail of snow en route. What is the craft beer and jazz scene of Portland like?

  15. Mei

    I’ve been to the West Coast many times, but never made it to the Pacific North West! Good to know it’s a good place for shopping, since this morning I was saying that I need to travel to a new place for some shopping! Haha..

  16. Dominic

    I grew up in the US but have never been to Portland. Looks like you had a great time. Love the outdoors shots.

  17. Medha Verma

    I like the idea of a weird city! I didn’t know that Portland ranked 11th in the weirdness quotient in an Oregonian newspaper but it sounds very intriguing. I’d love to see (and taste) voodoo donuts, haha!

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