Portland International Airport (877/739-4636, www.flypdx.com ), known by its aeronautical code PDX, is among the fastest-growing airports in the United States, and it has been selected two years in a row as the top airport in the country by readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. PDX is served by more than 15 major airlines, all of which can be accessed from the airport website’s list of airlines.
PDX is 15 miles from downtown Portland , but it you’re driving, allow at least half an hour to make the trip, and more if you are traveling during rush hour. From downtown, take I-84 east toward The Dalles , then take I-205 north toward Seattle. Take Airport Way West (Exit 24) off I-205.
Airport MAX (www.trimet.org ) makes it easy to avoid traffic with frequent light-rail train service to and from PDX and downtown and other stops on the MAX system. The airport service is called the Red Line, and it runs every 15 minutes from Beaverton Transit Center through downtown Portland to PDX. Depending on the day, the earliest trains begin operation from the airport around 5 a.m.; the final trains of the day leave PDX by midnight. Travel downtown to or from the airport requires an All Zone ticket, currently $2.30 per adult. The trip to or from the airport and the city center takes approximately 40 minutes.
To find the MAX station at PDX, proceed to the lower level (follow signs for baggage pickup), then turn right (south) at the base of the escalators. Proceed to the end of the terminal; at the final set of doors you’ll find automated ticketing machines for MAX, and right outside the doors is the train itself.
Several cab companies and shuttle services serve the airport; look for them at the center section of the airport terminal’s lower roadway—go out the doors from the baggage-claim level. Taxi fare to downtown is roughly $30 from the airport, and about $15 in a shuttle bus.
To drive to Portland from PDX, exit the airport and follow signs to Portland. This takes you first to I-205 South, then at Exit 21B follow signs to Portland, which puts you onto I-84 west. In 6 miles, at the junction of I-5, take the exit for I-5 South but remain in the on-ramp lane, which exits onto the Morrison Bridge and downtown.
Portland is served by three Amtrak (800/872-7245, www.amtrak.com ) lines. The Coast Starlight travels between Los Angeles and Seattle, with a daily stop each way in Portland. Traveling much the same route is the Cascades line, which operates multiple trains daily between Eugene , Portland , Seattle , and Vancouver, B.C. The Empire Builder links Portland and Chicago with once-daily service in each direction.
Handsome Union Station (800 NW 6th Ave.) is a glorious 1890s vestige of the glory days of rail travel that’s still in service as Portland’s Amtrak station.
Greyhound (550 NW 6th Ave., 503/243-2361 or 800/231-2222, www.greyhound.com ) provides intercity bus service from the Greyhound depot, one block south of Amtrak’s Union Station.
Portland sits on or near the routes of Interstates 5, 405, 205, and 84. I-5 runs from Seattle to San Diego, and I-84 goes east to Salt Lake City. I-405 circles downtown Portland to the west. I-205 bypasses the city to the east. U.S. 26 heads west to Cannon Beach  on the coast and east to the Cascades.