Portland, Oregon

A city like no other, Portland is a progressive and affordable urban center known for its independent spirit, innovative mindset and creative industries.

Living Arts & Culture

Portland has a vibrant art, music, and literary scene with the Time-Based Art Festival, Music Fest Northwest, The Portland Zine Symposium and the Wordstock Festival, among others. Portland is also home to Powell’s City of Books, “the largest independent bookstore in the United States.” There are many art walks, including First Thursday in the Pearl District, Last Friday on the Inner Southeast Side and Last Thursday in the Alberta Arts District.

The Nature Scene

Portland is just 60 miles from both Mount Hood and the Pacific Ocean. And with the Columbia Gorge just half an hour away and the Willamette River running straight through the heart of the city, Portland lets you enjoy nature in any way you can imagine, any time you want.

Green in landscape and mindset, Portland is a leader in the sustainability movement. Portland’s citizens inhabit numerous LEED-certified historic buildings, such as the Ecotrust’s Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center, and Portland Center Stage’s Gerding Theater at the Armory. Popular Science magazine ranked Portland Number One in its list of America’s 50 Greenest Cities: “America’s top green city has it all: Half its power comes from renewable sources, a quarter of the workforce commutes by bike, carpool or public transportation, and it has 35 buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.”

One more incentive — the Portland metro area has 37,000 acres (14,973 hectares) of green space, including 288 public parks and 166 miles (267 kilometers) of trails.

Getting Around

Public transportation and biking are favored modes of transportation by Portlanders. Portland has the nation’s highest percentage of bicycle commuters, 3.5 percent — about eight times the national average (U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, July 2007). Public transit includes buses and the MAX light rail operated by Tri-Met, the Portland Streetcar, and the Portland aerial tram.

Local Flavor

Known for its burgeoning food scene, Portland has a national reputation for its locally based restaurants (New York Times, Sept 2007) and its Farmer’s Markets.

Of Note

  • Proclaimed North America’s “Best Big City” by Money Magazine.
  • 2008 Distinctive Destination (one of 12 cities chosen in the United States) — National Trust for Historic Preservation (February 2008)
  • “Top 10 Cities to Beat,” Portland: Leader of the New Urbanism, Business Week (January 2008)
  • “Top 10 Cities for Independent Moviemakers” — Movie Maker magazine (Winter 2008 and Winter 2006)
  • No. 1 in United States for biking to work — U.S. Census Bureau (July 2007)
  • One of the World’s Top Travel Destinations for 2007 — Frommer’s Guidebooks/Frommer’s.com (January 2007)
  • Source: Travel Portland