You may have heard a lot about Portland, Oregon, located in the Pacific Northwest section of the United States, but you may not know why it is getting so much attention.
Here are the top 10 reasons we think you should add Portland to your list of must-see destinations.
Mount Hood is often visible in the background looking east from downtown, and you may even be able to see Mount St. Helens (the volcano that erupted in 1980) on a clear day. There are numerous parks that offer wonderful hiking, including a forest park that is within the city limits. Visit the world famous Multnomah Falls in Columbia Gorge.
You can get local craft beer almost anywhere you want, most restaurants, barber shops, stores, food carts, and many more. The local hops are some of the best in the world, so the beer is excellent. You can also tour local distilleries, wineries, and hundreds of coffee shops.
3. Bike Friendly
Lots of bike tours, bike-friendly streets with segmented, color-coded bike lanes, and vehicle drivers who are cautious and bike-conscious. This makes the cycling experience ideal for tourists and locals. There is also an excellent public transport system, with trams, trains and a bus system.
There are a large number of food carts available throughout the city. The entire blocks are dedicated to the cars in certain sections. The food in general is excellent and there are options for every type of diet. If you want locally grown, sustainable, organic, gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian options, this is the place for you. There’s also a love for junk food in Portland, like tater tots, mac n cheese, unique flavors of ice cream, and donuts.
Some of the recent popularity comes from the Portlandia television show. The show is filmed in Portland, and many people scour the city to find the locations featured on the show, including residential homes, women’s bookstores, and local restaurants.
The most famous is the Saturday market, which offers food, crafts, gifts and entertainers, which is held every weekend in the center. There are also farmers markets in each neighborhood during the week.
Portland was nicknamed “Bridgetown” for a reason. There are nearly a dozen bridges that span the Willamette River, separating East and West Portland. Some are drawbridges that allow ships to cross underneath. They are also accessible on foot, by bicycle, by car and by train.
Summer is full of music, beer, wine and rose festivals. Portlanders passionately support their local sports teams, the MLS Timbers and the NBA Trailblazers. The International Rose Test Garden has hundreds of varieties of roses to see. The Japanese and Chinese gardens are also popular attractions. Don’t forget to climb to the top of Pittock Mansion for an incredible view of the city.
9. Other nearby places
In addition to being close to the famous Mt St Helens, visitors also travel to the Oregon coast, heading north to visit Astoria (where the movie Goonies was filmed), then head up the coast to Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach. Portland is also 3 hours from Seattle, Salem, Eugene, Bend, and Corvallis.
10. Duty-free shopping
Oregon is one of the five US states with no sales tax, so you can save money when shopping. There are many brand name department stores, along with local niche stores to meet a wide variety of needs. Portland is also famous for its bookstores, vinyl record collections, antiques, recycled items, and retro clothing. Check out sidewalk sales and local farmers markets for even more options. Don’t forget your reusable bag!
If these 10 reasons aren’t enough to pique your interest in Portland, you may want to rethink the destinations you’ve visited in the past.