Newcomer’s Guide to Portland
The city of Portland, Oregon is a vibrant and fun town with a thriving cultural scene. With many employment opportunities that keep the economy humming, as well as the countless coffee roasters and microbreweries that have popped up around the city, it’s easy to see why so many people have chosen to relocate to this exciting area. For those of you who’ve just made the move to Portland, here’s our guide to experience all that the city has to offer.
The first thing you need to know about Portland is that this community loves to get involved and stay connected. Festivals are thrown all year round and range from music events to popular food festivals where the entire town is sure to turn up. The largest community celebration is the Rose Festival, which begins every year in late May and continues through the middle of June. With friendly neighborhood block parties, numerous city art shows, and many other happenings, Portland shows its enthusiasm for community spirit far and wide.
The Tom McCall Waterfront Park is the best place in Portland for attending art shows, concerts, and other cultural events. Covering slightly more than 36 acres, this park is easy to access from downtown Portland and is located along the banks of the Willamette River. The park is perfect for biking, walking, or running along the smooth waterside trail. And although this park sits in the middle of the city, it has beautiful views of water and nature and is ideal for enjoying a peaceful moment in the great outdoors.
Portland is a foodie’s dream come true with a refined coffee culture, several fine dining restaurants, and interesting bistros located around the town. One unique aspect of the city’s food scene is the many food carts that populate the city neighborhoods. Beloved by locals and tourists alike, the food cart fare ranges from simple hot dogs to gourmet cuisine and includes everything you could imagine in-between. With over 600 food carts within the city limits, these trucks are guaranteed to have something delicious for everyone.
The food scene continues with great grocery shopping options that include everything from standard supermarket chains such as Safeway, Albertson’s, and Fred Meyer, to local shops that include food co-ops, organic corner stores, and specialty markets that feature Latin or Asian selections. One of the best aspects of the retail food scene is the abundance of farmers markets in the city. Fresh produce is available almost all year round year due to Portland’s long growing season, and many of the markets remain open through the holidays. Shopping at Christmastime is always a treat, as the markets sell homemade crafts along with artisan honey, jam, syrup, and other great edibles.
With the amazing proximity that Portland has to many activities, the city residents hardly have the time to be bored. The Pacific Ocean is only an hour drive away from the town and is the perfect destination for surfing and camping. Access to many of the Oregon mountain ranges are also about an hour away from the city, making it possible to go skiing and swimming on the same day! Wine aficionados will love the fact that several wine districts are within an easy driving distance from all parts of the city, including the city of Seattle, which is about a three-hour drive away. Portland also features an international airport for those who travel for business or for leisure.