Introduction to Portland
Portland, Oregon was called North America’s "Best Big City" by Money Magazine. Among the factors that make Portland a city worthy of this title are its thriving cultural scene, outstanding natural beauty, world-class dining, and efficient public transportation. Portland’s history starts out on a dark note: Many bar and hotel owners kidnapped young men and sold them to ship captains. The beginning of the 20th century brought secure lumber mill jobs and money from the California Gold Rush, stabilizing the economy. Where once a seedy waterfront stood, today Portland’s pedestrian-friendly downtown and limits on growth have made it a comfortable place to live.
Portland is renowned for its galleries, performance venues, and cinema. Pubs, coffee shops, farmers markets, parks, and gardens are everywhere. Culture is not hard to find as many cultural activities abound. The Portland Art Museum is one of the 25 largest museums in the country and includes centers for Northwest and Native American Art. The Portland Center for the Performing Arts hosts eight resident companies. The Oregon Historical Society has a collection of more than 85,000 artifacts and an extensive research library. The Oregon Zoo has about 1,000 specimens and is active in 21 Species Survival Plans. And the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry provides an active, engaging environment for adults and children alike.
Portland Sports and Leisure
Portland has NBA basketball, pre-NHL hockey, minor league baseball, and A-League soccer. The NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and the Portland Winter Hawks hockey team play in the Rose Garden. PGE Park offers Triple-A baseball’s Portland Beavers and A-League soccer’s Portland Timbers. The Portland International Raceway is home to G.I. Joe’s Presents Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland, the Pacific Northwest’s largest racing event. There is also a variety of camps, facilities, organizations, clubs, events, and teams throughout the city.
Described by Outside Magazine as one of the "10 Greatest Places to Live", Portland offers a lot in the outdoor department. Within the city, the parks system includes 37,000 acres of open space, even right in downtown. Two of Portland’s golf courses — Eastmoreland Golf Course and Heron Lakes Golf Course — have been rated by Golf Digest among the 75 best public courses. Bicycling magazine has named Portland the top cycling city in the U.S. two years in a row. Mt. Hood is nearby for the snow sports enthusiasts. Skiing, ice climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and snow shoeing are all sports easily enjoyed when living in Portland. Fishermen can enjoy lakes and rivers filled with steelhead, trout, and sturgeon.
Portland at Night
While the number of Portland nightclubs may not rival the numbers of comparably-sized cities, the clubs they do have are first-class ones. Martini bars are very popular, especially in the Pearl District. Many venues have late night happy hours and many restaurants provide substantial discounts on food ordered after 9pm. Brew pubs are extremely popular and remind residents of Portland’s heyday of brewing popularity during the '80s. Portland boasts more microbreweries and brew pubs than any other city in the United States.