Divided by the Willamette River, Oregon's largest city has earned a reputation for its cuisine, creativity and sustainability. Seemingly everywhere you look, another independent retailer and craft brewery is setting up shop, while vast green spaces make the urban sprawl almost bucolic.
Portland is renowned for its food and drink scenes, due to its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean and Willamette Valley. Chefs and mixologists are especially drawn to the area's fresh, accessible ingredients and creative energy. In town, you'll find no less than 70 craft breweries and more food carts than you can count. Coffee culture is equally strong in Portland, with Stumptown Coffee Roasters leading the pack.
No matter what Portland neighbourhood you find yourself in, nature is within easy reach. Thanks to eco-forward urban planning policies, roughly one third of the city is covered in trees. Forest Park sprawls over 20 square kilometres, while Washington Park is home to the Hoyt Arboretum, International Rose Test Garden and Portland Japanese Garden. Meanwhile, Mount Hood, wine country and the Oregon Coast are all less than a two-hour's drive away.
Overcast skies are common in Portland – this is the Pacific Northwest, after all – but indoor activities are plentiful. You could fill an entire afternoon exploring Powell's City of Books, one of the largest independent bookstores in the world. For art lovers, the Portland Art Museum showcases Native American and Northwest art as well as paintings by famous Impressionists. It's also worth visiting Pittock Mansion for its downtown views.