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PDX: Go by Tram

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The tram gives Portland visitors stunning views of the city, river, and mountains beyond. Grab the streetcar from downtown out to the waterfront. You're delivered to the lower terminal for the three-minute ride carrying you 3,300 feet at 20 MPH to the upper terminal at OHSU. Linger for photo ops then head back down to explore. If it's nice, skip the streetcar and walk back along the river. Daily workout, check. Roundtrip cost: $4.

At the lower terminal, the Daily Cafe is an easy find in the atrium of the OHSU Clinical building as you disembark the pill-shaped car, built with precision by the Swiss. Head for the river and stroll along the shore in any weather. Double back along SW Bond Ave and consider lunch at Bambuza Vietnamese Bistro. Check out the pricey high-rise condos on the market in the real estate office windows, then relax in one of the pocket parks to people watch.

It snows in Portland. A couple of times a winter, even downtown gets dusted and it's a huge mess. I've dreamed about getting my ski gear on, grabbing my boards and heading for the PDX Tram at the South Waterfront. I'd casually climb aboard with the patients and medical folks heading up to "Pill Hill" and blow their minds.

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