Area Codes -- The Portland metro area has two area codes—503 and 971—and it is necessary to dial all 10 digits when making local calls.
Dentist -- Contact the Multnomah Dental Society (www.multnomahdental.org; tel. 503/513-5010) for a referral.
Disabled Travelers -- Thanks to provisions in the Americans with Disabilities Act, most public places are required to comply with disability-friendly regulations—almost all public establishments (including hotels, restaurants, and museums, but not certain National Historic Landmarks) in Portland, and all modes of public transportation—bus, light rail, streetcar—provide accessible entrances. Portland is a particularly wheelchair-friendly city, at least on the relatively flat streets of downtown and the east side; using a wheelchair is much more difficult in the West Hills neighborhoods. (For more information on traveling with a disability in the Pacific Northwest, visit www.frommers.com/destinations/washington-state/planning-a-trip/tips-for-travelers-with-disabilities.)
Doctor-- If you need a physician referral while in Portland, contact Legacy Referral Services (www.legacyhealth.org; tel. 503/335-3500).
Emergencies -- For police, fire, or medical emergencies, phone tel. 911.
Family Travel -- Most restaurants in the Pacific northwest can supply a booster seat or high-chair, but special kids’ menus are more likely to be found in chain restaurants and neighborhood eateries than in fine-dining establishments. Nearly all attractions offers a reduced rate for children. In general, you will find Portland, Seattle, and the Oregon coast very kid-friendly.
Hospitals -- Two conveniently located area hospitals are Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, 1015 NW 22nd Ave. (www.legacyhealth.org; tel. 503/413-7711), and Providence Portland Medical Center, 4805 NE Glisan St. (www.providence.org; tel. 503/215-1111).
Newspapers & Magazines -- The Oregonian (www.oregonlive.com) is Portland’s daily paper. Portland Monthly (www.portlandmonthly.com) is a good lifestyle monthly. For arts and entertainment information and listings, consult the “A&E” section of the Friday Oregonian, or pick up a free copy of Willamette Week (www.wweek.com/homepage/) at sidewalk newspaper boxes.
Pharmacies -- Fred Meyer and Safeway grocery stores have pharmacy departments that are open 7 days a week. Also look for Walgreens and CVS.
Safety -- Portland and Seattle are generally safe cities, but exercise the usual cautions on the street and while using public transportation. Car break-ins and bike thefts are the most common crimes, so do not leave items in your car in plain view, and if you’re riding a bike, make certain you have a good lock and don’t leave the bike unattended for long periods of time. State parks along the coast are generally safe, but again, don’t leave anything valuable in your car. This is particularly important to remember at the waterfall parking lots in the Columbia River Gorge area.
Smoking -- Smoking indoors in public places is banned in Oregon.
Taxes -- Portland is a shopper’s paradise—there’s no sales tax. However, there’s a 14.5% tax on hotel rooms within the city and a 17% tax on car rentals (plus additional fees if you pick up your rental car at the airport, adding anywhere from 10–16%.)
Time Zone -- Portland is on Pacific time, 3 hours earlier the East Coast.
For more information about traveling in the Pacific Northwest (packing, electricity, mobile phones, time, customs, etc.) visit www.frommers.com/destinations/washington-state/planning-a-trip/fast-facts.
Oregon's Cannabis Laws
You’ve probably heard that since 2015 the recreational use of marijuana has been legal in Portland. That doesn’t mean you can stroll down the street puffing on a reefer. You must be 21 years of age to purchase pot from a licensed retailer (they will check your I.D.). Smoking marijuana in public in Oregon is illegal, even if you're smoking with a vape pen. You can only consume at home or on private property—but not in your hotel (because of anti-smoking laws enacted to control the use of tobacco in hotels). This means no bars, community parks, public outdoor smoking areas, on buses and airplanes, or federal land. And don’t smoke in your car and then drive when you’re stoned: it’s dangerous. Getting busted smoking weed in public could result in fines and even jail time.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.