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The Saturday City: Portland
Portland, Oregon is a city located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and one too often overlooked by tourists, living in the shadow of cities like L.A., Seattle, Vegas, Chicago, or New York City. But Portland is one of America’s most unique (and liberal) cities, famous for its outdoor adventures, micro-brewed beer, green living, parks, and boutique food.
My first trip here was a few years ago for Thanksgiving. While in Spain I made friends who lived in Portland and paid them a visit on my way to Asia. Then last year I came back and spent more time eating my way around the city. What started as a like during my first trip turned into love on my second. And now, I can’t wait to return next month as part of my book tour. Portland has joined the very tiny list of cities I would actually live in.
What I really love about Portland is the high quality of life. It’s easy to get around, there is good public transportation available, it’s compact, there’s delicious food, the locals are friendly, it’s environmentally friendly, and, most importantly, there’s great beer.
I think Portland has a lot to offer travelers. It’s a shame this city gets overlooked so often. But if you do make it here (and you should), here’s my list of top things to do:
See Pittock Mansion – A stunning Victorian mansion in the western part of Portland that dates back nearly a century. The mansion contains beautiful artwork and furniture collected by the original owners. You can explore the mansion by yourself or on a guided tour.
Explore the Portland Underground – The Portland Underground Tour explores a series of tunnels in the Old Town section of Portland. The tours focus on the history of the tunnels, where kidnappers sold their victims to work aboard boats leaving port. I love underground city tours; I find learning about how cities grow and build on top of themselves fascinating (Seattle and Edinburgh underground tours are especially interesting) and this tour is no exception. They also offer paranormal related tours but I tend to stay away from those.
Wander Downtown Portland – The heart of the city is centered around Pioneer Square and is a great place to explore local shops, hang out in the square, and just wander around. There’s nothing really special about this area but I like grabbing a drink, sitting in the square, and people-watching on a nice day.
Hang out in the Pearl District – A very hip and trendy neighborhood on the streetcar line. It is an excellent place to hang out and people-watch while eating at some of the best restaurants in the city. On the first Thursday of every month, all the art galleries open their doors for casual viewing, and many serve wine and cheese. The famous Powell’s Bookstore is also located in this
Source: Nomadic Matt Traveler Blog
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