Soar 500 feet over the city while enjoying the view with your kids aboard the Portland Tram. This modern solution was created ten years ago as an alternative to the notoriously narrow, winding roads of Portland’s cliffsides. Because the area was under such rapid expansion, the Portland Tram was born and now is a landmark that makes for a fun way to entertain your kids.
You can see all of Portland and the Willamette River Valley, even as far as Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood. The nearby South Waterfront is also a prime part of the adventure, where you can keep up the fun after the ride.
Fun Facts About the Portland Tram
While the Portland Tram is a short ride – just 3.5 minutes – it has 10,000 riders every weekday. People flock to Marquam Hill for various reasons, and this mode of public transport is a spectacular way to beat the curvy roads while giving you and your kids a scenic journey.
The Tram runs from South Waterfront to Marquam Hill, moving along at 22 mph. It’s a short ride 500 feet above; you’re treated to breathtaking views. Since the Trams load up and then go, don’t worry if you get to the platform and see it moving away. Another one will be along in just a few minutes.
What to Expect at the Portland Tram Terminals
Since the Portland Tram rides are just under 4 minutes, that doesn’t exactly equal an entire day of fun for your kids. But the terminals connect you to many other activities to help you make a day of this excursion. In the lower terminal at South Moody & Gibbs, there’s much to do with Elizabeth Caruthers Park just a block south, known for its seasonal farmers market. Just two blocks to the southeast, you can also access the South Waterfront Greenway.
Meanwhile, the upper terminal has more splendid views of downtown Portland. It’s also the largest enclosed sky bridge in the country. On a clear day, you can see the mountains in the distance from this vantage point. You’ll also be able to connect to the 4T Trail, where you can conduct your self-guided tour among the forested trails.
Best Times to Ride the Portland Tram with Your Kids
Weekdays are the most crowded rides for the Portland Tram, particularly during rush hour in the morning from 7am to 9am and in the afternoon from 4pm to 6pm. If you want to spend a more leisurely day with your kids without getting caught up in the commute, you should avoid those hours and aim for 10am to 3pm.
Saturdays are another excellent day to try out the Portland Tram without getting mixed in with the commuters. It runs from 9am to 5pm on that day though it is closed on Sundays, so plan your weekend accordingly.
With a fun and scenic ride and loads to do surrounding the Tram stations, your kids will love the experience of seeing Portland from a new angle and gliding along from above!