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Cars in Portland
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Why rent a car in Portland?
Portland sprawls, via many bridges, across the Willamette River. It’s a great place for getting around by bike and public transit, but a car will almost always get you there faster. And then there’s the rain. Much of the year you’ll want a vehicle to help you stay dry.
Where to go in Portland
Portland’s downtown is compact and easy to get around on foot or by streetcar. To explore the hip East Side neighborhoods, a car can make life easier but isn’t essential. To hit Portland’s surrounding attractions however, you’ll definitely need your own wheels. Cruise forty minutes southwest to the bucolic Willamette Valley Wine Country or 30 minutes east to spectacular waterfalls and lush hikes in the Columbia Gorge. In 90 minutes, you can reach pyramid-shaped Mt. Hood for alpine wilderness (east) or the Oregon Coast and its endless white sandy beaches (west).
Getting around Portland
During commute hours, expect the freeways to be backed up in all directions and the downtown streets to move very slowly. Most of Portland is on a grid and figuring out the basics is quite easy, but with the tangle of freeways and numerous one-way streets, a GPS is still a good idea. Look for Smart Park lots for the cheapest parking downtown.
Portland car rental locations
All the major rental agencies can be found at Portland International Airport (PDX), as well as at locations around town. Wherever you pick up your car, you’ll get a great deal on your Portland car rental from Hotwire.