Union Station Portland is one of many places in the City of Roses that I love to walk around...just because. I don't need to be planning a train trip to anywhere to enjoy it there. It's just an exceptionally cool place to hang out for a while, especially when people are running to and from their trains. The romance of trains has a real hold on me and watching them roll in and out of Union Station is a lot of fun.
With it's Romanesque styling, the interior and exterior of Portland's Union Station takes you back to a time of yesteryear, when train travel was one of the few modes of transportation in and out of Portland.
You'll easily spot the neon, "Go By Train" sign near the top of the tall building as you head through Old Town on the way to the station. At night, it gives off a comforting glow. Lights in the downtown area have always made me a happy camper.
With it's super high ceilings, long and nostalgic-looking ticket counter and marble floors and walls, Union Station, which opened it's doors to the city residents in 1896, is a hub of train transportation for Amtrak and those taking railway trips to Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
If you have no real agenda, you can always board the lovely Amtrak Cascades here and take a journey that extends up into Washington state and into Vancouver, BC or clear down south to Eugene. It's a romantic treat for a couple or simply an excuse to take a leisurely trip with friends.
Another exceptional option is catching the daily Amtrak Coast Starlight to take a 35-hour railway trip from Seattle to Los Angeles. Good food, comfortable sleeping quarters and some awesome scenery provide an all-around great time.
Union Station in Portland sits adjacent to Wilfs restaurant. You can sit down for a yummy lunch or dinner and listen to live music while you wait for your train or just take a relaxing afternoon out. Within the station, you can stop in the souvenir shop and pick out some goodies to memorialize your visit. You can also grab a quick bite there, if you're looking for something to munch on the run.
Getting there is easy. There is quite a lot of paid parking around the station and the building extends out along 5th and 6th Avenues, providing easy access to TriMet busses, the MAX light rail and the Portland Streetcar. The central downtown area is only a few blocks away.
Since 1975, Union Station in Portland has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It truly is a gorgeous building and a train trip out is something to seriously consider. Have fun! ;)