Situated in northern Oregon on the banks of the Willamette River is Portland, a laid back city of 600,000 in the United States’s Pacific Northwest. First discovered by none other than the famous explorers Lewis and Clark, Portland has evolved over the years to what it is today, a cultural and tolerant hotspot - artistic, healthy and modern. It is a food-lover’s heaven and home to a huge number of local and independent businesses. Its eclectic and free spirited population and its quirky personality has led to the slogan “Keep Portland Weird”. Sometimes referred to as the “City of Roses” due to its large number of beautiful parks, its nature extends to its surroundings, the skyline dominated by the volcanic Mount Hood. Portland seamlessly blends the buzz of a big city with the feel of a smaller town and is sure to enchant visitors young and old.
Where to Stay
Portland offers a variety of rental options for those wanting to travel to this unique city. Hotels can be expensive, impersonal, and boring, and staying in one can feel like you are staying anywhere in the world. Why not opt for a more personal option and book private accommodation. Whether you are looking for an apartment, a holiday home, or a bed and breakfast in Portland, you are sure to enjoy your trip more than at a hotel. Portland is a city of neighbourhoods, and by booking an apartment of a holiday home rental, you can fully immerse yourself in one, getting a taste of the real city. Stay among the locals and live like they do to make the most of your time here.
- There are over 700 food carts in Portland.
- Portland is one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world.
- There are more microbreweries in Portland than in any other city on the planet.
- Portland is home to the biggest independent bookstore in America.
- Pumping your own gas is illegal in Oregon.
Things to See and Do
Portland is an incredibly charming place to wander around. Its neighbourhoods are unique and varied and you will stumble upon all sorts of gems. There are several museums, for example the Museum of Contemporary Craft, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and Pittock Mansion. Take a tour of the Portland Underground and explore the tunnel network that once linked the bars and basements of the Old Town and were notoriously used to transfer drunk or drugged people to the water to be shipped off and sold as slaves. There are many beautiful parks to see, including Forest Park (America’s largest urban park), and Mill Ends Park (the world’s smallest park).
Portland is also renowned for its music scene, being home to a number of popular bands and musicians and having a great live music scene. Whether you are looking for country, indie rock, electronic, or classical music, there are a number of venues to choose from and always something going on. There is great shopping in the city, too. Visit the nation’s largest bookstore, Powell’s City of Books for an unparalleled selection of new and used books. And don’t forget, Oregon has no sales tax!
Portland is a foodie’s paradise, offering a huge variety of meals to suit all budgets. The food carts have been mentioned and are a great option for quick, cheap eats. There are a huge number of brick and mortar restaurants for all budgets throughout the city as well, ranging from typical American fare, to Chinese, to Mexican, to Lebanese, and everything in between. Indulge yourself at Voodoo Doughnut, a wonderland of the delicious sweet treats. If you like beer, then this is the city for you. Portland is often called the microbrewery capital of the world, and for good reason. There are 73 microbreweries in the metro area, all brewing their own batches of high-quality beers. Many of them are also brewpubs, allowing you to enjoy a meal while sipping on one of their house made brews.
Getting around central Portland is quite easy, and if you like to walk or cycle, it is one of the best places to do so. WIth streets mostly laid out in a grid pattern and designated by their zones (SW, SE, NE, N, NW), it is simple to navigate. It is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States, with a huge amount of designated bike routes and lanes. It is easy to rent a bike and pick up a map and be zipping around town in no time. The downtown area is a wonderful place to walk around. Stop at one of the hundreds of delicious food carts for a quick meal between seeing the sites. Portland also has a very efficient public transit system. Made up of buses, streetcars, and light rail, and covers the whole city. One ticket covers all 3 options.