10 Portland Travel App Essentials

10 Portland Travel App Essentials

Jason Rodway
Jul 31, 2013

Summer is fading away, but there's still time to fit in a trip to the great Pacific Northwest to visit Portland, Oregon. The City of Roses offers unrivaled natural wooded beauty, a thriving locally-sourced ingredients dining scene, one of the greatest bookstores in the nation, and all the unique quirks that add up to the spirit of Portlandia. Here are 10 travel apps to guide you across Stumptown...

Getting Around and Accommodations

Left: Portland Transit - Right: Portland Offline Travel Guide

Portland Transit - Android
If we can make a recommendation while visiting Portland: ditch the car and get across from point A to B via Portland Transit. You'll see so much more and experience the city in a more close-up and personal manner. This aptly named application spryly helps visitors (and locals) locate bus stops, creates travel itinerary using bus/streetcar routes, and also serves up in-app schedules and maps when needed. Remember, if it's good enough for the locals, it's the right one to use. $5 - Equivalent for iOS / Windows Phone

Portland Offline Travel Guide - Android
A lot of offline travel guides share the same overall features, but what sets POTG apart from the pack is its intensive data available related to accommodations in Portland. Countless hotel photos, location info, prices, and proximity of restaurants, events, and tourist spots are all listed in detail. Once an accommodation has been decided and booked, POTG can also help guide visitors around Portland with an offline map and point-of-interest database. $4

City Maps and Shopping Guide

Left: MapsWithMe - Right: Groupon

MapsWithMe - iOS
MapsWithMe is an offline map app where users pay for only the features wanted/needed. The free vision offers a certain amount of basic downloadable maps, a servicable reference while traveling in cities like Portland. For $5 the full version, opens up all the maps in their database, with point-of-interest search, and synchronized bookmarks. $3 - Also available for Android

Groupon - Windows Phone
Groupon is a resource many vacationers often forget about checking before visiting another city...but shouldn't! Significant local discounts on everything from hotel rooms, spa treatments, restaurant gift cards, and tourist destinations can be had for big discounts, perfect for vacationers on a budget. So after scheduling a holiday, next time be sure to reference available Groupon deals and purchase in advance. Free - Also available for iOS / Android

Tourist Attractions

Left: Portland Insider - Right: Travel Portland

Portland Insider - iOS
Portland Insider is a fantastic resource for those seeking experiences beyond the typical travel guide, designed for use by city natives and tourists alike. Users can expect on-the-ground insights into Portland's numerous distinct neighborhoods from a local's perspective, with art and architecture, fascinating regional facts, schedules/guides to annual festivals, unique art installations, and one of a kind eateries all offered in mobile form. $3 - Also available for Android

Travel Portland - iOS
Check out what the Portland Tourist Board recommends most with the official tourist guide to the City of Roses. This handy (and very stylish!) app has the finger on Portland's Pacific Northwest pulse, with a full events calendar, restaurant list, weather information and what's near me function using GPS to find what's worth discovering nearby. I love the 'Be PDX' category that shows off what makes Portland remarkable, detailing the city's vibrant local brewpubs, must-try food carts, craft stores, and more. Free - Also available for Android

Wine and Dine

Left: Big-Ass Sandwiches - Right: Eater

Big-Ass Sandwiches - iOS
Much like Austin and Los Angeles, Portland is well known for its legendary food trucks/carts. One often recommendeded to hunt down is Big-Ass Sandwiches. Nailing this notoriously popular sandwich joint isn't too hard with their own app that allows hungry visitors and locals to locate them, review the menu, and even make an order for pick up! Free

Eater - Android
The massively popular restaurant website has earned a place on our Android devices, as their app lists the best and worst of what 38 American cities have to offer from a culinary perspective, including Portland. Users can look at a built-in map view to locate what's nearby, tap a bookmark, review photos of the establishment and their offerings, and read a full review complete with menu selection and price range before even setting foot inside. Also, highly advisable if for use while in your own hometown. Free - Also available for iOS

Nightlife and Travel Necessities

Left: Cocktail Compass - Right: Free Wifi Finder

Cocktail Compass - Android
Currently only available in a small list of cities (for now), Cocktail Compass leads visitors to local drinking establishments, which Portland offers in plentitude. Particularly useful for a traveller watching their roaming data, the app is compatible for use with wi-fi networks, as well as offering selections based upon personal search preferences such as the availability of patios, specific neighborhoods, and listing establishments offering happy hour. At the end of the night smart users can use the "call a cab"feature to ensure a safe journey back to the hotel. Free - Also available for iOS

Free Wifi Finder - iOS
Staying connected while on a vacation can be an expensive challenge. While some hotels offer free wireless connection, it's not always easy to find free online access while roaming a new city. Nobody wants to be stuck with a massive phone bill upon returning from a holiday. Free Wifi Finder is an offline wi-fi database to help users find hotspots throughout any city, including Portland, for moments when a traveler may want to connect with friends back at home, Tweet, upload Instagrams, or update Facebook all without incurring huge wireless network fees. Free - Also available for Android - Equivalent for Windows Phone

(Images: Jason Rodway; as linked above)

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