Portland, Oregon, is known as the "City of Roses" because its climate is ideal for growing roses. The largest state in Oregon, Portland is centrally located and is therefore an ideal destination for those spending time in the Pacific Northwest.
The metro area has 2.4 million people, including the suburbs, and Portland itself has more than 600,000, making it the 25th largest U.S. city. The urban lifestyle, unsurpassed in terms of quality of life, makes Portland a city to visit and remember. It has a large number of restaurants, bars, shops, cafes, hotels, and parks. Portland is also one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in America.
Given Portland's reputation as hip, it retains its status as one of the most popular music cities in the United States. Portland has a respectable music scene, with a number of venues hosting events such as the Portland Jazz Festival and the Portland Music & Arts Festival, as well as other events.
If you need to park downtown, the best parking options are in one of the six Smart Park garages maintained by the City of Portland. There are other transit service providers serving other neighborhoods and communities in the greater Portland area, and several public transportation systems, such as the Portland Transit Authority, also offer services that partly overlap with the TriMet service areas. Intercity buses are also available at Union Station, and buses run between Portland and Portland International Airport.
TriMet also operates the Portland Tram Service, which consists of modern light rail services that run every 15 to 20 minutes on downtown streets.
Oregon's tallest waterfall, Multnomah Falls, is a great place to visit, with its 100-year-old observatory that offers views of the surrounding scenic landscape. The park also offers beautiful views of Portland and Mt. Hood and includes some of Oregon's most popular hiking trails, such as the Mount Hood Trail and the Hood River Trail.
"Secrets of Portlandia" is a free tour that provides an entertaining and informative intro to the City of Roses. You can also tour dozens of art galleries yourself by attending the first Thursday Hop in Portland's Westside.
Portland's annual Rose Festival in June is widely celebrated, and there are numerous farmers' markets available all year round.
It's fun to take a relaxed ride on the MAX train and see Portland and the world glide by, but it's also fun to absorb everything and see the history and culture of the city around you.
The easiest road to Portland is Interstate 5, which runs through Washington, Oregon, and California. US Route 26 arrives in Portland, following the Columbia River on the Oregon side and ending at the intersection of Interstate 84 and Interstate 90.
The Willamette River flows north, the much larger Columbia flows west, and the leafy West Hills slope heads downtown, dividing it into various sections. Most of the city, except the city center, is located on the north side of this river, where it flows westward. To the west are the "West Hills," where the wealthy have traditionally lived in Portland.