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Seven Less Common Things To Know When Moving To Portland

With Portland hitting the top of several Moving Destination reports, out-of-staters are sure to hear several of the same tips: don’t try to fill your own tank of gas, be prepared for rain, no sales tax, etc. Here are a few of the more unusual tips that might be helpful for newbies.


1. ‘Extreme weather’ means something entirely different here. Wind storms of 55 mph can take down a handful of those famous Oregon trees and send branches flying into the roads, power lines and windows leaving tens of thousands of residents without power for a day or so. A morning of snow can mean a dangerous amount of ice for a population that rarely needs (or even owns) snow tires. Stay smart and stay safe when the weather acts up around Portland because we probably handle it different than you’re used to.

2. For those of you coming from the midwest, make sure to get your Emissions test done before you try to register your car. Usually, there’s a DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) close to the DMV, so you can take care of it on the way. Emissions tests may seem obvious to some, but many states in the U.S. don’t have emission laws or, if they do, they only pertain to the larger cities or specific counties. You can see here for more details of what you need to know for the Emissions test.

3. Formal attire isn’t common and it’s rarely required. Professional, sure, but in Oregon you will have a hard time finding anyone outside a wedding party or prom goer in formal wear. Trust me, if you try to wear an evening gown to the ballet, you will get odd looks from the people next to you in jeans. One of the fastest ways to blend into the Portland area is to embrace the smart casual attire.




4. There are bridges. Everywhere. The sooner you get to know which is which, the sooner you will know what part of the city locals are talking about. Here’s a map to get you started.




5. Being a Sports Fan is a bit more challenging than you may be used to. While Portland is a melting pot of all sports teams around the country, from Seattle Mariners to Miami Dolphins and everything in between, Portland has so much else going on that ‘the big games’ go unnoticed by most- the main exception being local the Portland Trailblazers and Oregon Ducks. Don’t lose hope, though, sports fans. There are several great sports bars around the area where you can find others to cheer along with you.

6. Locals are well aware the the rest of the world doesn’t know how to pronounce some of our names, so let us help you out ahead of time. Oregon = or-UH-gun, Couch Street = COOCH, Willamette = will-AM-ette, Aloha = al-OH-uh.



7. The MAX is Portland’s light rail train system that functions as part of the TriMet public transportation system.  The MAX is popular among people that live within the city or that commute for work from some of the surrounding areas such as Beaverton, Gresham, or Milwaukie. The MAX also has a line that runs right out to PDX airport. If you want to know more about where the MAX runs, see here.







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