Stuck in the Portland Airport During the Holidays? Enjoy it!

free, Things to Do, Travel Tips — By Brie Milgrom on November 24, 2010 at 6:08 am

There are reasons why Condé Nast Traveler voted Portland International Airport best Airport in the US three years in a row: delicious restaurants, excellent shopping, and lots of free WiFi access. Oh, and did I mention no sales tax? Here’s a map. If you find yourself on a long layover (by choice or thanks to Mother Nature) here are some highlights:

-Powell’s Books. Yes, synonymous with Portland, this bookstore has three locations inside the Portland Airport. Pick up a novel or the latest top selling non-fiction book to ease your boredom. Spent all your money on your flight? They have sale books too.


-Coffee People. Amazing coffee, and the Portland Airport is the only place you’ll find it. Want to stay awake for two days? Try the Black Tiger. Coffee People’s drinks include an extra shot of espresso. Prefer to walk on the mild side? The decaf mocha and Mexican hot chocolate are excellent. The baristas are friendly and service is top-notch. I look forward to flying just to visit Coffee People.

-Flying Elephant’s Deli. Elephant’s Delicatessen is a local chain with fresh, local and delicious food. Grab a salad to take on the plane, pick up a Ritter Sport chocolate bar with marzipan, or try the macaroni and cheese. Yum. Elephant’s is outside of security. You’ll have to be re-screened. Also there is a NIKE store and larger Powell’s than in terminal C or D.

Pick up locally handcrafted items at Made in Oregon and Real Mother Goose. Get a haircut at The Barbers. Go to Dragontree Spa for some pampering.

So. You’ve sampled the best of what the PDX Airport has to offer, are still stir crazy, and have time before your flight leaves. Hop on the MAX (Portland’s light rail) to nearby IKEA for things you didn’t know you needed until you stepped in the door. Or, take a cab to the Grotto (about 4 miles). See a copy of Michelangelo’s Pièta commissioned by the Vatican, meditate in the Chapel of Mary, and gaze out over Portland in the comfort of a black leather recliner.

[All photos courtesy Brie Milgrom]

Tags: Coffee People, Elephant's Deli, IKEA, Nike, PDX, Portland Airport, Powell's Books, The Grotto

    1 Comment

  • Gracie says:

    I’ve been to several of the fun places mentioned here while waiting to board my flight. I’ve gotten sandwiches from Elephant’s, delicious coffee from Coffee People, and books to read from Powell’s. Made in Oregon is my favorite place to buy gifts for the people I’m traveling to see.

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