02 Jan Cities to Watch: Portland
Portland is known for being a trailblazer of green initiatives (as well as the home of the actual Trail Blazers NBA team), its coffee shops and microbreweries, and its thriving music scene. It’s also one of the healthiest cities in the country, with easy walkability, a high concentration of cyclists, and a preference for local, organic food. Fans of art and theater will also find a lot to like here. On top of that, the immensely popular TV show “Portlandia,” a sketch comedy based entirely on the quirks of the city, is currently airing its 8th season! Portland is unlike any other city, and it’s proud of that fact. That’s probably why its unofficial slogan is “Keep Portland Weird!”
Washington Park: Portland is known for many things, but among the most prevalent are its parks and hiking spots! Washington Park contains 400+ acres of some of the city’s most popular locations, including the famous Oregon Zoo. On top of that it is home to several museums, war memorials, a beautiful Japanese garden and rose garden, an archery range, and miles of gorgeous forest hiking. It’s a great place to spend a day with the family.
Portland Art Museum: If you have an interest in art, you could do a lot worse than the Portland Art Museum. It’s one of the largest and oldest art museums on the entire West Coast, and has more than 42,000 works of art at any given time. It showcases both modern and contemporary art, Northwestern art, and Asian and Native American art on top of that, it hosts seasonal traveling exhibitions so that there’s always something new for returning visitors!
Pioneer Courthouse Square: Seated right in the heart of Downtown Portland, the Square is also referred to as “Portland’s living room.” Home to plenty of urban art, great spots for food, shopping, and entertainment, and more than 300 public events per year, there is always something exciting going on here. With over ten million visitors annually, you don’t want to miss out on one of Portland’s most popular attractions!
Dinner: A recent addition to Portland’s food scene, the food cart-turned-restaurant Stoopid Burger is home to some of the best burgers in town. For a new favorite among locals and tourists craving Chinese food, check out Chin’s Kitchen, or hit up The Woodsman Tavern for some late-night barbecue from Top Chef finalist Doug Adams. Finally, La Leña comes highly recommended for its delicious Peruvian dishes.
Entertainment: There’s never any shortage of quality entertainment in Portlandand one of the most popular places to go is the Moda Center arena. Catch Blazer games, massive concerts, plays, wrestling events, hockey and figure skating, and even rodeos! Plan ahead to see when your favorite events are happening. Also, check out the Keller Auditorium in downtown for Broadway stage productions, operas, ballets, and more.
Nightlife: One of downtown’s most popular latenight spots is Holocene, a bar/club with two dance floors, themed parties, and live music on weekends. If you’re particularly interested in Portland’s music scene, the Doug Fir Lounge is one of the best places to get your drink on and hear today’s best up-and-coming acts. Another popular Portland mainstay is Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub, a unique blend of Irish and Northwestern influence with a great whiskey selection.