Portland, Yours to Share

Dive in to summer festival season and myriad blooming rose gardens.

Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn

With acts that have ranged from Phoebe Bridgers to Stevie Wonder, McMenamins Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn are an annual rite of summer and a hot ticket for cool nights.

Ice Cream in Portland

Savor culinary creativity by the scoop at Portland's top ice cream spots, including regional chains, frozen yogurt shops and vegan options.

Summer in Portland

Celebrate Pride, explore the urban outdoors and tune in to the Rose City's summer festivals.

Make a Splash in the Willamette River

When summertime heats up in Portland, cooling off is as easy as heading to one of the city’s many riverfront beaches or docks for a refreshing dip or getting the gear for water sports such as kayaking, or SUP.

Portlanders

Meet some of the people who make this place what it is in our new community-based video series.

Food Cart Finder

Search 500+ Portland food carts by cuisine, trademark dishes and dietary needs.

Illustration by Subin Yang

A City of Neighborhoods

Portland is known for the vibrancy and uniqueness of its many neighborhoods, each with a distinct sense of place, and — in quirky Portland fashion — spread across six so-called "quadrants."

Locals will tell you that you haven’t truly been to Portland until you’ve connected with our diverse communities.

Visit our neighborhoods page to get acquainted with more than 20 awesome Portland neighborhoods.



North Portland

North Portland sits atop the City of Roses, bordered by the Columbia River to the north, the Willamette River to the southwest and North Williams Avenue to the east. Portland’s so-called “Fifth Quadrant” is a lively patchwork of commercial districts, natural spaces and residential areas. It’s home to some of the city’s most charming neighborhoods, including St. Johns, Mississippi, Williams and Kenton.



Northwest Portland

Northwest Portland stretches from Forest Park in the west to the Willamette River at the east, encompassing the central city’s Old Town Chinatown and Pearl District, Northwest/Nob Hill, Slabtown and miles of wooded hillsides. Its west side is forested and serene; its east side is urban and lively, a vital part of the central city.



Northeast Portland

For shows, sports and big events, Northeast Portland is hard to beat. In addition to being home to the Moda Center and the Oregon Convention Center, Portland’s largest quadrant boasts striking architecture, historic theaters, a variety of public golf courses and other attractions. You’ll also find numerous colorful neighborhoods, including the Alberta Arts District, Hollywood, Lloyd and many more.



Southwest and South Portland

Best known for lively downtown Portland — the compact, walkable heart of the City of Roses — Southwest Portland is also home to Washington Park’s numerous attractions, Goose Hollow’s blend of historic and modern, the small-town charm of Multnomah Village and more. Nearby South Portland is a laid-back river community offering water recreation, low-key urban green spaces and lots of spots to eat, drink and shop.



Southeast Portland

If you’re searching for Portland’s best-known attributes — hip, artsy, quirky, foody — you may find yourself in Southeast Portland. It’s home to some of the city’s liveliest neighborhoods and popular areas for eating and imbibing, like the Hawthorne District, the Central Eastside and the Jade District. Farther out, you’ll find peaceful parks and family-friendly attractions like the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and Oaks Amusement Park.

Upcoming Events

Check out our events calendar to find fun events and activities around the city.

Editor's Pick
Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival
June 27–July 28, 2024

Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival

Various Locations Cost Varies

Chamber Music Northwest’s annual summer festival combines high-caliber classical music with a laid-back…

Editor's Pick
Music
Editor's Pick
Pedalpalooza
Ongoing

Pedalpalooza

Multiple locations Free

Portland's cycling culture peaks during summer's multi-week Pedalpalooza, featuring 200+ local-led, themed rides…

Editor's Pick
Outdoors
Editor's Pick
Piano Push Play
July 11–Aug. 31, 2024

Piano Push Play

Various Locations

Piano Push Play invites local artists to transform old, donated pianos into whimsical works of art which are…

Editor's Pick
Music
Editor's Pick
Summer Free For All
July 11–Aug. 31, 2024

Summer Free For All

Citywide Free

Portland Parks & Recreation offers over 400 free events including free movie screenings, concerts and rock…

Editor's Pick
Film, For Kids, Music, Outdoors
Editor's Pick
West End Wednesdays
Ongoing

West End Wednesdays

Various Locations Free

West End Wednesday exists to ignite new energy and define a common vision for downtown SW Portland. Building…

Editor's Pick
Art & Design, Food & Drink, Shopping
Editor's Pick
Bigfoot Adventure Cruise
Ongoing

Bigfoot Adventure Cruise

Portland Spirit Cruises $70 – $82

Explore the history and lore of Bigfoot while traveling 80 miles (129 km) roundtrip on a high-speed jetboat from…

Editor's Pick
Outdoors

Frequently Asked Questions About Portland, Oregon

Where is Portland, Oregon?

Portland is on the northwestern border of the state of Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, north of California and south of Washington. Portland, Oregon’s largest city, is 78 miles (126 km) from the Oregon Coast, at the convergence of two major rivers (the Columbia and Willamette), near the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood, Willamette Valley wine country and other regional destinations. The Portland metro area rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla and many other tribes.

How far is Portland from Seattle?

Portland is 175 miles (282 km) from Seattle, or about a three-hour drive by car. The trip from Seattle to Portland can also be made by bus, train (via Amtrak), plane (via Alaska Airlines and Delta, among others) or even by bike — if you’re a seasoned distance cyclist, that is.

How many days should I spend in Portland, Oregon?

For the most robust Portland experience, a week will allow you to deeply immerse yourself in the city. If you’re limited to a weekend, however, you can still experience many of Portland’s main attractions. Check out our collection of itineraries to plan based on the length of your stay and which part of the city or region you’d like to explore. Our events calendar can also help you find things to do during your next trip to Portland.

No matter how long your scheduled visit is, there are always more live music venues, art galleries, food carts and natural areas to explore.

What is life in Portland, Oregon, like?

Portland is known for having the amenities of a major city (such as an international airport, an efficient public transit system, major league sports teams and many museums and art galleries) and the charms of a small city (such as plentiful arts and crafts fairs, independent bookstores and local traditions like the annual Rose Festival Parade and the World Naked Bike Ride).

It’s typical to spend a day in Portland strolling through one of the city’s many unique neighborhoods, visiting locally owned businesses, restaurants, public green spaces and cultural attractions.

Perhaps because of our abundant rainfall, Portland’s culture of coziness encourages people to spend time indoors honing their crafts, making art, enjoying delicious food, seeing live music, browsing bookstores, and sipping tea, beer, wine, cocktails and coffee.

Rain or shine, you can take advantage of the city’s proximity to nature by playing in the Willamette River, wandering through lush public parks and gardens, biking the city’s 162 miles (261 km) of bike lanes and hiking trails both within city limits and in the nearby Columbia River Gorge.

What is there to do in Portland, Oregon?

Portland’s calendar is packed year-round with events, live music and performances, meaning there’s never a shortage of things to do. (Use our events calendar to explore upcoming Portland events based on their dates and your interests.)

Portland also offers a seemingly infinite array of things to see, taste and do. For a first-time trip, we recommend checking out our list of top sights and things to do in Portland. To take a deeper dive, check out our culture collection where you can explore dozens of ways to enjoy Portland’s music, art, bike culture, food, beer, outdoors, makers, tax-free shopping, cultural communities, nightlife, sports, cannabis, weirdness and more.

What should I see in Portland, Oregon?

The things you should see during a trip to Portland, Oregon depend on your interests. For first-time visitors, we recommend checking out our list of top sights and things to do in Portland, which highlights popular attractions like Powell’s City of Books, Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Saturday Market, Forest Park and more.

For a deeper dive into things to see and do in Portland, check out our culture collection where you can explore dozens of ways to enjoy the city’s music, art, bike culture, food, beer, outdoors, makers, cultural communities, nightlife, sports, cannabis, weirdness and more.

What makes Portland, Oregon, unique?

Above all, the people of Portland are why the city is so exceptional. Portland has a thriving community of artists and makers who encourage innovation in design and craft (whether it be creating a sneaker or a new flavor of doughnut). In Portland, it’s good to experiment with what you love.

Portlanders also place a high value on sustainability, which can be seen in the way locals maintain and enjoy the city’s public gardens and green spaces, urban forests, miles of protected bike lanes, efficient public transportation and preserved natural areas.

What is Portland known for?

Portland is perhaps best known for being a sustainability-minded, bike-friendly city with easy access to nature; plentiful coffee, art, craft beer, delicious food and live music; and crafty people who celebrate individuality and creativity (which, yes, some people call “weird”). Check out our culture collection to explore more things Portland is known for and visit our list of top sights and things to do for a round-up of can’t-miss local attractions.

Portland’s layout is also unique. With 12 bridges entirely within city limits, and several more connecting Portland to Vancouver, Washington, the city’s “Bridgetown” moniker is certainly accurate. Portland is divided into north and south by Burnside Street and into east and west by the Willamette River. What’s the final result of this awesome confluence of bridges, rivers and bustling streets? A vibrant city with six quadrants (yes, there are six of them!) and more than 90 formally recognized neighborhoods — each with its own unique style, each calling out to be explored.

What food is Portland famous for?

Portland is a renowned culinary destination — broadly speaking, it’s a city famous for fresh food featuring local ingredients. You’ll find everything from some of the finest seafood in the world to truly delectable doughnuts. Portland is also known as perhaps the greatest city for food carts. And if you’re looking for outdoor dining, you’re in luck: The number of patio options in Portland is truly impressive.

While Portland doesn’t necessarily have a single iconic food, it does have a number of must-taste specialties. The Maple Bacon Bar at Voodoo Doughnut, the white curry (with brisket burnt ends) at Eem and khao man gai at Nong’s are a few you won’t want to miss. And don’t forget about the beverages for which Portland is most famous: coffee and craft beer. (We’re no slouches when it comes to wine and tea, either.)

Is Portland, Oregon, safe to visit?

Yes — Portland is a safe city for visitors. Like many cities, Portland is confronting issues related to social justice, livability and the coronavirus pandemic. But for a major American city, Portland continues to have comparatively low rates of violent crime. Of course, it makes sense for visitors to Portland to exercise caution, stay aware of their surroundings and take steps to learn more about safety in Portland.

What is the best time of year to visit Portland, Oregon?

The best time of year to visit Portland depends on your preferences, as each season has its own unique weather conditions, events and attractions. You can explore the changing colors of fall, the cultural offerings of winter, the gorgeous blooms of spring and the abundant outdoor adventures of summer.

No matter when you visit, Portland offers tax-free shopping, diverse cultural offerings, live music, award-winning culinary experiences and more. You can also visit our events calendar to discover more things to do and see based on your interests and the dates of your trip.

Why do people say, “Keep Portland Weird”?

The phrase “Keep Portland Weird” actually has roots in Austin, Texas, where independent businesses adopted the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” in 2002 to encourage people to shop locally. Terry Currier, the owner of Music Millenium, is said to have been so inspired by the phrase he brought it back to Portland (a city that, like Austin, has its own culture of weirdness).

Portland’s quirks appear in many ways, including at annual events like the World Naked Bike Ride and the Adult Soapbox Derby, or in strange places like the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium and the world’s smallest park. The city’s thriving and ever-expanding community of artists, designers and makers also help foster Portland’s culture of embracing individuality and creative expression.

You can find the city’s iconic black and yellow “KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD” mural at 22 SW Third Ave., behind Dante’s and across the street from Voodoo Doughnut.

What is the racial makeup of Portland, Oregon?

According to the U.S. Census, as of 2021 the racial makeup of Portland, Oregon, is:
  • White: 77.4%
  • Black or African American: 5.8%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.8%
  • Asian: 8.2%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.6%
  • Two or More Races: 5.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 9.7%
(These percentages do not add up to 100% because some categories reflect people who listed more than one race.)

Can I drink tap water in Portland?

Yes, Portland’s tap water is safe to drink. Most of the city’s tap water comes from rainfall collected in the Bull Run watershed, a drainage basin located 30 miles (48 km) east of Portland. Bull Run water isn’t filtered (though a new filtration system is being installed and is expected to start filtering Bull Run water by 2027), but chlorine is added to the water to disinfect it of any potential natural contaminants. For more information about Portland’s tap water, visit the City of Portland’s About Portland’s Water System website.

Why do they call Portland “Stumptown”?

Portland earned the nickname “Stumptown” during a period of unprecedented change to the once-forested area in the mid-1800s, when white settlers chopped down vast numbers of trees to make room for city development. Though the trees were cleared, many of their hard-to-remove stumps were left behind (they were so prevalent, in fact, that Portlanders used to jump from stump to stump to avoid trekking through muddy roads). The Portland of today is stump-free, but the nickname “Stumptown” lives on.

Why is Portland called “Rip City?”

The term “Rip City” was born during an NBA basketball game on Feb. 18, 1971, between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Lakers. When Blazers guard Jim Barnett hit an unexpected long-range shot, play-by-play announcer Bill Schonely blurted out (for reasons still unknown) “Rip city! All right!”

Unfortunately, the Trail Blazers lost the game 136 to 114, but Schonely’s celebratory words, “Rip City,” live on today as both a nickname and rallying cry for Portlanders and Blazers fans around the world.

Plan Your Trip

Use these resources to guide your trip to the Rose City.