Portland, romantically referred to as The City of Roses, sits on the banks of the slow-rolling, yet wide-banked Willamette River. Looking northeast from downtown, visitors see the silhouette of Mount Hood, where many Portland residents spend their weekends. The city, and indeed the region, has been cut from emerald forests that still provide much of the country's timber.
Portland is filled with cultural enclaves and notable neighborhoods. Separated by the Willamette, the city can be broken into east and west, with the core of downtown found on the western bank and Pioneer Courthouse Square holding court in the heart of it all. Portland is a walking-friendly city in which wide sidewalks, clean streets, and clustered attractions combine to make it easy to explore.
As with most Oregonians, Portlanders take pride in their outdoor pursuits. Green spaces and stunning parks - including the International Rose Test Gardens, the Portland Japanese Garden, and the Portland Classical Chinese Garden - run through the entire city and make for easy sanctuaries in an otherwise urban setting. Visit the World Forestry Center to learn more about this well-forested region.
Portland is also a hip city filled to the brim with art and live music. See a live show at the intimate Crystal Ballroom or Aladdin Theater. Stay at McMenamins Kennedy School if you want all your entertainment options in one place - the grade-school-turned-brewery/gym/movie theater/eatery has 5 restaurants and bars - and shows movies! Or venture out to a show or exhibit at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts or Portland Art Museum.
Did You Know: Contrary to popular belief, the city was not named for its nautical prowess; instead, the city name was the result of a coin toss between town founders - the city was nearly named Boston instead.