My wife and I are planning a 3 days trip in Portland and another 3 days in Seattle during mid-September. I have a few questions to ask.
1. We won't have a car, but love getting around by bikes (darn no folding bikes) or even public transit. We plan to stay at places that are close to public transit or bike rental facilities. Do you know of any hotels or areas close to such things? I suppose Downtown but where exactly.
2. We also love fresh seafood and SF doesn't have really good fresh seafood. We hear that PNW do and can you recommend some good places? Again, we won't have a car.
3. We also want to experience local culture and where should we go for that.
1) Virtually everything on the West side of the river is accessible via mass transit (red line from the airport will take you into downtown). There are numerous bike rental places along the transit routes but I have not used any. Are you looking for a cheap hotel? A historic hotel? The East side of the river is more residential and the most bike-friendly.
2) There is not an incredible "seafood" restaurant in Portland. Southpark is the closest and I would rate them as very good. However, there are many options for exceptional seafood in other restaurants. Andina, Paley's place, etc. will have exceptional seafood -when- it's on their menus. The Heathman is hit or miss but I prefer it over Jake's. (BTW, most guides to Portland will recommend Jake's seafood... IMO it's not worth the $$$).
3) Portland food trucks, Pioneer Square, various East Side neighborhoods.
Paley's place is pricey, but really good. As Greg_R stated, it has great seafood when it's available. Not sure how "fresh" it is, but all their food is top notch. I suggest you make reservations if you decide to go there.
I would have thought that SF would have more fresh seafood options than PDX, since it's right by the ocean.
For local culture, it's always fun to go to Stumptown and get snubbed at by the hipsters. Beer is also a must; there are so many great breweries.