Shopping in airports is something I don’t get. Besides a meal on layovers, the most I’ve ever purchased at an airport is a bottle of water or candy bar, and yes, toothpaste after TSA has confiscated my lethal tube of Colgate. I go to airports to go somewhere, not to shop.
But the Portland International Airport is so cool, I would fly half way across the country to shop there. Portland Oregon itself is so fun and funky that it shouldn’t surprise you that its airport — PDX — is so fun.
The people of Portland so love their airport that they wear T-shirts and socks with the PDX carpet pattern. Now that’s just weird! Keep Portland Weird!
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Big Name Stores at PDX
One reason shopping at PDX is so much fun for travelers is the lack of sales tax. Oregon has no sales tax. Yummy!
Book lovers know Portland as the home of Powell’s Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world. They’ve got a location in the airport welcoming people to the City of Books. What’s not to love about that!
Portland is also the corporate home of some fabulous brands that have filled the Meyer family closets for years — Columbia, Pendleton, Nike. They all have outlets at PDX, often carrying the latest and greatest not yet found in stores around the world.
So while I never shop at airports, I bought my husband a Columbia sweatshirt. I tried on a pair of boots that I was so tempted to buy, but my carry-on bag was already full-to-overflowing. And I already had a Columbia jacket and a Pendleton scarf in the bag. My hands were full because of the box of VooDoo Doughnuts I was taking home.
Other Fun Things at Portland Airport
How cool is this? PDX has a 17-seat movie theater that plays only movies made by Oregon residents. The movies are all about 15 minutes in length. Just go in, sit down and kill a few hours waiting for your flight. The Hollywood Theater is on Concourse C.
Also on Concourse C is the very first distillery operated in a commercial airport anywhere in the world. Westward Whiskey offers short classes on how whiskey, gin, vodka, etc., is distilled and a few pairings.
Finally, there’s a section where local food trucks and carts may set up for a few weeks or few months. The selection rotates around and makes a trip to PDX fun for locals as well as visitors to the city of Portland.
Another bonus: PDX has free wifi! All airports should have free wifi, but they don’t. So cheers to those who do!
Portland – PDX – Travel Advice
So here’s my travel advice: Book a round trip flight to PDX. Take an empty carry-on bag. When you get off the plane, don’t bother to leave security. Shop all of the name brands as well as the Made In Oregon shop. Catch a movie or two, learn about distilling, eat some fun local food.
Then board your plane and head back home.
However, if you would like to spend some time in Portland, might I suggestion some time at the Edgefield Poor Farm. I simply love this place.
I simply love Portland. It’s so weird!