“Keep Portland Weird”: so says the sticker you can find on countless car bumpers and shop windows throughout this Pacific Northwest city. Indeed, Portland is proud to be different; biking is about as popular as driving, donut shops glaze their pastries with NyQuil, and independent breweries, bands, and coffee shops are the norm. Though “weird,” Portland is also a community-oriented city, with a laid-back populace welcoming to people of all stripes.
Portland in Pop Culture
- Portlandia: This satirical show, shot on location, pokes fun at Portland’s alternative image.
- Movies shot in Portland: Twilight, Drugstore Cowboy, What the Bleep Do We Know!?, Paranoid Park
- Famous musicians from Portland: Sleater-Kinney, The Shins, The Decemberists, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Everclear, Modest Mouse
- Pioneer Courthouse Square: Often referred to as “Portland’s living room,” this 40,000-square-foot public space hosts free shows and festivals in the warmer months.
- Forest Park: At 5,000 acres, this is the largest urban wilderness park in the U.S.; it’s criss-crossed with hiking and biking trails.
- The Pearl District: This former warehouse area is now home to lofts for art galleries and specialty shops. It’s one of the best bets if you want to have a night out in the city and try some craft beers.
Eat and Drink Your Way Through Town
- Coffee: Artisanal coffee reigns supreme here—dozens of locally owned cafes roast their own beans. People gather around laptops and java at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which offers samples of local pours.
- Food trucks: CNN named the city the best in the world for street food. More than 600 licensed food trucks serve virtually anything you can think of—fried chicken, hamburgers, gelato, sushi, Thai, and sandwiches made from locally sourced ingredients.
- Craft beer: More breweries than any other in the world call Portland home. Some of the best in town are BridgePort, Hopworks Urban Brewery, and Hair of the Dog.
Where to Stay
- The Heathman Hotel: Located in downtown Portland’s Financial District, this luxury boutique hotel is within walking distance of Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Pearl District, and the Rose Garden.
- Portland Mayor’s Mansion: Antique decor and elegant gardens highlight this historic mansion-turned-B&B right on the edge of 30-acre Laurelhurst Park.
- Inn at Northrup Station: Multiple coffee shops, breweries, and theaters are within walking distance of this quirky all-suite inn in Northwest Portland.