Oregon’s largest city, Portland is a mid-size U.S. city (population around 650,000) situated along banks of the Willamette and Columbia rivers on the northern border of Oregon.
The city is vibrant and offbeat, bursting with creativity, youthful energy and progressive ideas. It’s known for its eccentric locals, beautiful natural scenery, cultural offerings and dynamic food scene. Nicknamed PDX, P-town, Stumptown, City of Roses and Little Beirut, Portland, Oregon, is a place where eccentricity and self-expression rule, leading to the official city motto and bumper sticker slogan of Keep Portland Weird. It’s a place that embraces and celebrates its nonconformity and independence, and it’s a huge draw for millions of visitors every year.
There’s so much for residents and visitors to love about Portland. The city’s top sights include the world’s largest bookstore, a variety of arts and farmers markets, the Oregon Zoo, the International Rose Test Garden, Chinese and Japanese gardens, and dozens of parks and green spaces, including Portland Forest Park, which offers 70 miles of secluded hiking trails in the urban center. A variety of recreational opportunities are available in the city and in the nearby surroundings, as the natural playgrounds of the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, Oregon Coast and Central Oregon are within easy reach.
Portland, Oregon, is a mecca for foodies and is consistently named one of America’s best food cities. The city is renowned for its 600-plus food carts offering fast, inexpensive and top-notch street food. Farm-to-table dining is huge here, thanks to the hundreds of nearby farms and wineries. There are more than 3,000 restaurants around town offering everything from gourmet pizza and international cuisine to vegan fare and artisan chocolates – and the world’s most unusual doughnuts. Food and drink events, farm dinners, the famous Pine Street Market, Portland Farmers Market and more make Portland one of the top places to eat in the country.
And then there are the brewpubs. Portland ranks high on the list of the most brewpubs and breweries per capita in the United States, and Portlanders are passionate about all things beer, so much so that another of the city’s nicknames is Beervana. They’re equally passionate about coffee. And local distilleries. And wine, especially of the local variety from the nearby Willamette Valley.
Add in a lively nightlife scene, tax-free shopping, boutique and luxury hotels, rooftop bars and dog-friendly patios, alternative yoga, tattoo studios, casinos, professional sports teams in hockey, soccer and basketball, a strong biking scene, LGBTQ friendliness, a highly vocal protest culture and a wide range of annual events focused on everything from naked bike riding to beer to roller derby, and you’ve got a place that is wildly popular and beyond description. On this site you’ll find the brightest and the best of Portland, Oregon, the best places to shop, eat, play and stay in one of most dynamic cities in the world.
Discover the Portland, Oregon, Metropolitan Area
The City of Portland is the hub of the Portland Metropolitan Area, or Greater Portland, which encompasses 24 cities and three counties in both Oregon and Washington. Other major cities in the metro area include Hillsboro, Gresham and Beaverton, all in Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, which is directly across the Columbia River from Portland. The metro area cities and towns are linked with 11 bridges across the Willamette and Columbia Rivers and various waterways. The population of the Greater Portland area is nearly 2.3 million, and residents enjoy a pleasant quality of life with abundant recreation, plentiful real estate options, good schools and well-planned public transportation that allows for easy commuting.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far is Portland, Oregon, from Seattle?
The drive between Portland and Seattle is about 174 miles, an easy three-hour drive on Interstate 5.
How far is Portland, Oregon, from:
Mt. Hood? About 75 minutes from downtown
Columbia River Gorge? About 35 minutes from downtown
Wine Country? About 35 minutes from downtown
Oregon Coast? About 90 minutes from downtown to the North Coast
What is the best season to visit Portland, Oregon?
The seasonal temperatures in Portland are relatively mild. The rainiest season is from October to mid-spring. Summer is usually dry and very warm. May through September is the most popular time to visit due to good weather, lots of festivals and flowers and trees in bloom. In winter the temperatures rarely fall below freezing, but it’s rainy.
Does it rain every day in Portland, Oregon?
No. On average there are about 144 sunny days per year in Portland.
What’s the best way to get around Portland, Oregon?
Downtown Portland is easily walkable, but if you want to explore the city like a local, hop on a bike. Numerous websites and guides are dedicated to helping cyclists easily navigate Portland. The region’s mass transit system, TriMet, uses five light rail lines to connect downtown with Portland International Airport and surrounding areas. TriMet offers light rail and bus options, and tickets start at around $2.50. To get around outside of the city center, you’ll need a car.
Why do Portlanders say to Keep Portland Weird?
Keep Portland Weird is a popular motto found on signs, public buildings and bumper stickers. Originally intended to promote local businesses, it was adopted from the Keep Austin Weird slogan. It has evolved into a city slogan that heralds individuality, self-expression, art and atypical lifestyle choices.