About Portland

by SmarterTravel Staff

Portland earns its reputation as a clean, friendly, affordable, and laid-back city—true selling points for visitors looking for a relaxed visit to the Northwest. In Portland, the great outdoors extends a beckoning finger into the city with views of nearby Mt. Hood and endless opportunities to hike, bike, run, and paddle.

Portland makes up for a lack of blockbuster attractions with its diversity of vibrant neighborhoods. The Downtown Cultural District is home to the Portland Art Museum, the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, the Northwest Film Center, and other museums and galleries. Old Town, the historic center of the city, brims with dining, shopping, and cultural attractions. It's also home to the famed Portland Saturday Market, the largest continuously operated open-air arts and crafts market in the U.S. The Pearl District is another hot spot for arts and culture, while the Northwest District brims with cafes, boutiques, and performance spaces. Dozens of other neighborhoods offer more hidden gems to keep coming back for.


Portland residents have a passion for food, particularly the fresh and local variety. Farmland surrounds the city with nearly year-round abundance, and it's easy to sample local flavors at restaurants within city limits. As you're savoring Portland, don't forget to try the city's signature libations: Oregon wines (most notably Pinot Noir), local microbrewed beer, and, of course, that nectar of the Northwest, coffee.

Visitors will find flights to Portland from airlines including Alaska, JetBlue, and Southwest. Portland is about a three-hour drive from Seattle, so travelers visiting both cities have the choice to fly into either city.

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