Portland travel information
Portland is a city full of life, located where the Columbia and Willamette rivers meet was a good starting point for its becoming the third-largest port on the West Coast.
For decades people looking for something of a more sophisticated destination, overlooked this paradise on the Willamette River, but this soon changed and in the past decade many have discovered it as a wonderful destination to visit and to live.
Besides the fact that is a great port, the city is also close to mountains and desert areas adding an air of natural beauty to the city. The presence of splendid Mount Hood about 70 miles to the east, offers a wonderful view especially on a clear day when its peaks can be seen from the city, though the presence of Mount St. Helen's can sometimes overshadow the view when it erupts as it did in 1980.
You can enjoy a visit to the city all year round as here you can find a temperate climate that keeps the city green most of the time and makes it the perfect place for gardeners. You can expect clear days mostly in late summer and early fall, winters do not come with low temperatures but rain can be quite frequent.
This climate is very adequate for flowers especially roses and the city is also called The City of Roses. Starting from March there is a wonderful floral spectacle; the streets and gardens bloom with the colors of flowering trees, camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas. The locals are very proud of their flowers and they celebrate their favorite with a Rose Festival with a grand parade second in size only to Pasadena's Rose Parade that lasts all June. The roses are in full bloom at this time. During the festival there are also many events including Rose Festival Air Show, Fleet Week auto and boat races, visiting navy ship.
But Portland is not only a city of flowers, it is also a great producer of sporting-goods and sportswear, fabricated-metals, and other products; there are many computer and semiconductor firms, shipbuilders, and manufacturers of furniture that develop their business here.
As in almost every city, its past is very cared for and architectural preservation is a major preoccupation. The 1860s brick buildings with cast-iron columns and the 1890s ornate terra-cotta designs are a top priority as they give a specific grace to areas like Skidmore Old Town, Yamhill, and Glazed Terra-Cotta national historic districts. The older industrial buildings, in the Pearl District are also given attention and they were transformed into residential lofts, restaurants, office space, galleries, and boutiques.
Downtown Portland is one of the most elegant centers in America; it is a mix of old and new with historic buildings, museums and also hotels, shops, restaurants, and entertainment centers. Everything is clean and compact and it is easy to get around using either MAX light rail or bus.
There’s no lack in art in the city, late-19th-century and modern architecture can be found everywhere: in police stations, office towers, banks, playgrounds, and on the sides of buildings and the brick-paved transit mall exhibits beautiful fountains and sculptures. Speaking of performing arts, Portland has many professional theater companies like: the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Opera, and Chamber Music Northwest. And if you are into a different kind of entertainment, Portland offers some of the best live-band and club action in the country.
Families will have no reasons to complain as their kids will find endless entertainment possibilities including the Oregon Zoo, Oaks Amusement Park, Washington Park, home to the Hoyt Arboretum, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the International Rose Test Garden and the Japanese Garden.
Whether you come to Portland for the flower and music festivals, to enjoy the vital arts scene, taste the many kinds of beer produced here the city is a place where there's much to do day or night, rain or shine and you will have a great time.