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 you are getting so much attention.
Here are the top 10 reasons why we think you should add Portland to your list of must-see destinations.
Mt. Hood is often visible in the background, looking east of the city center, and you can even see Mt. St. Helens (the volcano that erupted in the 1980s) on a clear day. There are numerous parks offering wonderful walks, including a Forest Park, which is within the city limits. Visit the world famous Multnomah Falls at Columbia Gorge.
You can buy local craft beer almost anywhere you want, in most restaurants, barber shops, shops, food carts and more. The local hops are one of the best in the world, so the beer is excellent. You can also visit local distilleries, wineries and hundreds of cafes.
3. Bike Friendly
Lots of bike rides, bike-friendly streets with color-coded, segmented bike lanes, and cautious, bicycle-conscious vehicle drivers. This makes the cycling experience ideal for tourists and locals. There is also an excellent public transport system with trams, trains and buses.
A plethora of food carts are available throughout the city. Entire blocks are dedicated to carts in certain sections. The food in general is excellent and there are options for all types of diet. Whether you want locally grown, sustainable, organic, gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian options, this is the place for you. There is also a love for junk food in Portland such as pies, macaroni and cheese, unique ice cream flavors and donuts.
Part of the recent popularity has come from the Portlandia TV show. The show is filmed in Portland, and many people visit the city to find the venues featured on the show, including residences, women's bookstores, and local restaurants.
The most famous is the Saturday Market, with food, crafts, gifts and artists that take place every weekend in the city 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 cross the Willamette River, separating east and west from Portland. Some are drawbridges that allow boats to pass underneath. They are also accessible on foot, by bike, by car and by train.
Daylight saving time is full of music, beer, wine and rose festivals. The Portlanders passionately support their local sports teams, the MLS Timbers and the NBA Trailblazers. The International Rose Test Garden has hundreds of rose varieties to check out. The Japanese and Chinese gardens are also popular attractions. Don't forget to walk to the top of Pittock Mansion for incredible city views.
9. Other nearby places
In addition to being near the famous Mt St Helens, visitors also travel to the Oregon coast, heading north to visit Astoria (where the Goonies movie was filmed), then down the coast to Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach. Portland is also 3 hours from Seattle, Salem, Eugene, Bend and Corvallis.
10. Tax Free Purchases
Oregon is one of five US states with no sales tax, so you can save money when shopping. There are many famous brand department stores as well as local niche stores to cater for a wide variety of needs. Portland is also famous for its bookstores, vinyl record collections, antiques, recycled items and retro clothing. Check out local sales markets and sidewalk farmers for even more options. Don't forget your reusable bag!
If these 10 reasons are not enough to increase your interest in Portland, you may want to rethink the destinations you have visited in the past!