The largest urban area in Oregon, Portland is renowned as a clean, green and friendly city. Radiating around the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, the Portland area's lush green cityscape and inviting, walkable neighborhoods are the result of its mild Marine west coast climate combined with progressive urban planning.
As its name suggests, Portland's waterways are still in many respects its lifeblood. The city's port is one of the West Coast leaders in foreign waterborne cargo, and battleships and other oceangoing vessels go into drydock here for repair. But like many West Coast cities, Portland (along with near neighbors like Beaverton) has also seen burgeoning growth among high-tech industries.
Called "The City of Roses," Portland is indeed home to the acclaimed four-acre International Rose Test Gardens (with more than 10,000 plants, the "test" in the name comes from its status as one of 24 official testing sites for All American Rose selections). It is also a city of bridges, with a dozen spanning the Willamette (and two across the Columbia), from its oldest, the Hawthorne Bridge, to the newest, the Fremont. Additionally, Portland is home to attractions such as the lush Japanese Gardens, and the miles of hiker and biker friendly paths lacing Forest Park, the nation's largest urban wilderness.
Thanks to an efficient public transportation system that links the city's historic and cultural heart to Portland International Airport, it's easier than ever for travelers to reach downtown with minimal fuss. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, on the west bank of the Willamette, is packed with Portland's active denizens during summer months, and plays host to a variety of open-air concerts and festivals. Wander up from the north end of the park to get a glimpse of Old Town en route to Chinatown's colorful and chaotic streets. Farther west still find the Pearl District, Portland's old downtown in a former life, now a fashionable stretch of renovated warehouses home to galleries, restaurants and chic boutiques.
Portland is located in northwestern Oregon, off Interstate 5 on the Washington border. To learn more about Portland, please select a topic of interest from the navigation bar on the left.