Located on the west coast of Oregon, this accessible, laidback city was named after pioneer Francis W. Pettygrove won a coin toss and named the city after his hometown of Portland, Maine. Once a major port of the Pacific Northwest, Portland is now a city known for microbreweries, coffee enthusiasts and its pioneering artistic community.

What to Do

Portland is a quiet and charming city that invites visitors to soak it in at their own pace. Find some Zen at the Portland Japanese Garden and stroll through The Grotto, a botanical garden and Catholic shrine. Enjoy Portland’s laidback atmosphere by checking out the art galleries and wine bars in the city. For shopping, check out the funky boutiques of the Pearl District. Then, hop on a streetcar and head to the trendy and sophisticated shops that line 21st and 23rd Streets in Nob Hill. The historic Victorian-era homes make Nob Hill an attractive destination to spend an afternoon walking around and sightseeing. From March through December, visitors can check out the Portland Saturday Market, held on both Saturdays and Sundays. The open-air marketplace has an international food court, street musicians and local arts and crafts. Nature lovers will enjoy a day trip to the nearby Pacific Ocean beaches or the waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge. In June, the Portland Rose Festival on the waterfront brings parades, fireworks, dragon boat races and a music festival to the city. The Mt. Hood Jazz Festival hosts both local and national talent during the first two weekends of August, and the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival brings blues bands from all over the world to Portland’s waterfront.

Where to Stay

Visitors may be surprised to learn that most hotels in Portland are rather affordable, although luxury lovers will find high-end options in downtown or on the waterfront. The Irvington neighborhood in the northeast part of the city has a number of reasonably priced bed and breakfasts, and those looking for a hotel with character will appreciate Portland’s restored historic properties and boutique hotels.

Getting There

The city of Portland is located in northwest Oregon. Portland International Airport, known more commonly at PDX, is the city’s main airport and is located just 12 miles from downtown.