If you only know Portland from TV or the the tagline “Keep Portland Weird!” it might be surprising to learn that it’s not just a city full of naked bike rides, flannel, and artisan, shade-grown bird-friendly coffee (although yes, we have all that too). It’s also consistently ranked as among the best cities to live and work in in the US, and beats out those other US cities (yes, we’re looking at you, Seattle) as one of the most livable cities in the world. A quickly growing city, Portland boasts a surprising number of amenities you’d expect in a bigger city despite only having only 2.4 million people in the city and surrounding metro area.
While Portland may be known for its bike culture, downtown Portland is famous for its walkability, and was the first city to adopt a Pedestrian Master Plan to cater to those who prefer to take in the city on foot. Portland’s small 200 foot blocks make traversing town a breeze, and it houses 165 public stair cases (about 9,000 steps, but who’s counting?) in the 30,000 blocks in the greater Portland area.
Walk along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and shop the word famous Saturday Market, or get lost in the world’s largest independent bookstore, Powell’s City of Books, on your way to see a Timbers game, movie, live music at one of our many theaters and venues. Shop our famous local creators in the Peal District, stock up on fresh local groceries at the PSU Farmer’s Market, then hop the street car up to NW 23rd for your ice cream and coffee fix. Or, cross any of the ten bridges that span the Willamette River to the east side, home to Lloyd Center Mall, the funky Hawthorne Street, and of course the Moda Center, home of the Portland Trailblazers. For the foodie at heart, Portland boasts an impressive array of chefs who fearlessly obsessively craft their menus from fresh, local ingredients.
If you prefer your time to be spent in the great outdoors, Portland has it all within an afternoon drive — forest, beaches, jetties, mountains — as well as the country’s largest (smallest) public parks within city limits.
With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that people flock to Portland and make it their homes.