The state of Oregon has for a long time been on my list of places that I wanted to visit. My boyfriend Philip lives in Portland and we decided I should come visit him over the summer. To me Oregon equals adventurous spirits, cool vans, lush forests, skyhigh mountains, and deep blue rivers. I honestly didn’t know much about Portland before this trip. I knew more about Seattle as it is the bigger city in The Pacific Northwest. Portland is kind of living in the shadow of Seattle and is often being overlooked by tourists, which is really a shame since Portland is such a unique city. Portland is known for being more liberal and focusing a lot on green living and taking care of the nature. The people there are surrounded by beautiful nature, which gives them a natural respect for the environment and the urge to take care of it. People there are also extremely friendly and seem to have a very laid back culture. I was amazed by the number of drivers who stopped at intersections with no traffic signals to let me cross the street and how many friendly greetings I got just walking around the small neighborhoods. Portland really makes you feel at home straight away.
How to get around
Portland is really easy to get around. They have great public transportation, which include buses, light rail, streetcars and what I liked the most – bikes! The city is really bicycle friendly. You can rent one of Nike’s neon-orange bikes from their more than 100 BikeTown stations scattered around the city. All you need to do is to just simply download the BIKETOWN mobile app on your mobile phone, register, unlock a bike and off you go exploring Portland city.
City Of Roses
I was really surprised how green and lush the city is. There is beautiful parks and flowers where ever you go. Take a walk in any neighborhood in Portland and you will see roses and other colorful flowers everywhere! Portland is really blanketed in pops of bright colors. If you want to see even more of it Portland’s International Rose Test Garden is officially the oldest operated public rose test garden in the United States and the garden is covered with more than 8.000 roses. The best months to view the roses are from may to september. It is open daily and is free to enter.
The Pearl was one of my favorite spots to hang out in Portland while visiting. It is a very vibrant and trendy neighborhood. This part of town will dazzle you with its polished rustic charm and wide selections of great restaurants, cafes, art galleries, cute boutiques, vibrant shops, parks, and coffee shops.
The district is also home to Powell’s Bookstore, who has grown into a Portland Landmark and one of the world’s best bookstores. I would recommend to go visit and lose yourself in the largest independent used and new bookstore on Earth. The store is covering an entire city block and it even have a coffee shop inside. The bookstore is definitely worth a visit even though you might not be the biggest book reader. The store is pretty impressive in itself with more than 1 million books in 3,500 different selections.
Forest Park is one of the largests urban parks in the United States and has a total of 5.200 acres, which makes it a perfect place to go for hike, a run or to enjoy one of the many biking trails. The forest park is a place where the locals go whenever they want to get away from the city and enjoy the nature. When I visited I was lucky enough to see a barred owl. I was pretty happy about seeing one in the middle of the day since they are normally active at night, but I guess this owl couldn’t sleep anymore and just wanted to show off for a while. I wasn’t complaining!
Hawaii is known for their food trucks, but so are Portland. Portland is famous for its gourmet food trucks, that you can literally find in all corners of the city. They are seriously everywhere to be found. I was surprised by how many there was. In downtown Portland around Alder St. there is a big concentration of food trucks and they are serving food from all over the world. So get hungry and go gorge at all the delicious food trucks Portland has to offer, I know I did. Yum!