Portland: The Capital of Cool
It’s the largest city in Oregon and one with a uniquely creative and gloriously kooky vibe. In Portland
, you can check out a celebrated food and drink scene, enjoy live music every night of the week, and explore a packed calendar of events, from film festivals to naked bike rides. But there’s also plenty to do beyond the city, from hiking, camping and cycling to skiing Mt Hood.
A hub for creators and designers, Portland’s retail scene is all about one-of-a-kind handmade creations, vintage fashion boutiques sitting alongside big-name brands, and new and used bookstores, all of which is helped along nicely by its tax-free status (Oregon is one of just five tax free US states). From March to December, shopping enthusiasts will love Portland’s Saturday Market, the largest continuously operating arts and crafts fair in the US.
Portland’s renowned food carts
, of which there are now more than 600, are grouped in pods. Start in the city centre, at SW 9th and Alder, where 60 carts serving food from right across the globe cover an entire block. There are a few must tries: jian bing, a type of Chinese pancake, at Bing Mi; Hainanese chicken at Nong’s Khao Man Gai; and the Frying Scotsman’s fish and chips.
If you’re looking for an experience that’s not quite so casual, explore Portland’s restaurant scene. The focus is definitely on the farm-to-fork movement, with chefs championing the region’s outstanding produce. Book a table at Middle Eastern influenced Tusk or the restaurant that put the city on the culinary map, Le Pigeon.
Craft beer lovers will find something to their taste at the 70-plus breweries
, beer fests, tasting experiences and beer labs. For those who prefer grapes to hops, there are guided wine tours in the nearby Willamette Valley, with harvest and farm-to-table tours, and nearly a dozen urban wineries within the city itself. The local passion for craft and fine ingredients extends to coffee as well, with a swag of independent roasters and small cafes brewing up espressos, Americanos and lattes. And if you’re not sure where to start, join one of the many tours led by knowledgeable and fun local guides, who show visitors the best and brightest.
Portland’s creativity is evident across its accommodation with elegantly styled traditional hotels, home to art galleries and award-winning bars and restaurants, as well as eclectic designed ‘anti-hotels’ that fully embrace the creative spirit of the city.
Leaving the city, visitors can choose from mountains or coast. Just 90 minutes east of Portland is Mt Hood
, perfect for travellers looking to extend their ski season. Mt Hood Meadows offers some of the Northwest’s best terrain, accessible to all levels of skiers and boarders, with 11 lifts, terrain parks and the double black diamond-heavy Super Bowl. Mt Hood is also home to the historic Timberline Lodge. Built in 1937 and known for its cameo in the cult horror flick The Shining, this beautiful National Historic Landmark remains a magnificent ski lodge and mountain retreat.
Need more inspiration to experience Portland? Find our suggested itineraries here
or check out our USA Tailor-made collection brochure
to discover more of this spectacular country. Alternatively, enquire now
, call (AU) 1300 295 049 or (NZ) 0800 238 368 or see your travel agent to custom make your own tailor-made itinerary.