This is Portland

Time to bundle up, get cozy and herald in the holidays in the City of Roses.

New Year’s Eve in Portland

When the clock strikes midnight, you could be dancing to bhangra beats, cruising on the Willamette River or indulging in chocolate and Champagne.

Downtown Portland Coffee Crawl

Portland’s bean scene is as accessible as it is diverse. In fact, you don’t have to leave downtown to sample some of the best cups.

Holidays in Portland

'Tis the season for festive occasions, cheerful company, and sweet treats.

Portland Candy Makers and Chocolatiers

These Portland candy artisans craft unique sweets, be they creamy cacao confections, rainbow-colored candies or salty-sweet treats.

Holiday Light Displays in Portland

Portland is full of bright ways to embrace the shorter days of winter; here are some of the stars in the city’s constellation of holiday light displays.

Made-In-Portland Gift Guide

Ready to shop? Everything in this guide comes from Portland-based makers, and most of these goodies can be found at Made Here PDX. Happy holidays!


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

Food Cart Finder

Search 200+ 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.

Upcoming Events

Editor's Pick
Benson Hotel Annual Gingerbread Display
Nov. 30–Dec. 30, 2022

Benson Hotel Annual Gingerbread Display

The Benson Portland, Curio Collection by Hilton Free

The Benson Portland, a Curio Collection hotel by Hilton, invites the public back again for a live un…

Editor's Pick
Editor's Pick
Christmas Festival of Lights
Nov. 25–Dec. 30, 2022

Christmas Festival of Lights

The Grotto $6 – $14

Presenting the sights, sounds and sensations of the season, The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lig…

Editor's Pick
Editor's Pick
Haunted Shanghai Tunnel Tour

Haunted Shanghai Tunnel Tour

Old Town Pizza & Brewing – Downtown $30 – $35

Haunted Shanghai Tunnel Tour – with beer tasting Book a tour in the heart of the legendary Shanghai …

Editor's Pick
Beer, Guided Tour, History
Editor's Pick
PDX Pop-Up Shops
Nov. 30–Dec. 31, 2022

PDX Pop-Up Shops

Various Downtown Locations

The pop-up shops are back this holiday season, turning Portland’s vacant retail space into tempora…

Editor's Pick
Editor's Pick
Small Shops Big Hearts
Nov. 17–Dec. 11, 2022

Small Shops Big Hearts

Shops Citywide Free

Portland’s small business community is coming together to put the fun back into holiday shopping. …

Editor's Pick
Editor's Pick
Nov. 21, 2022–Jan. 5, 2023


Oregon Zoo $21 – $29

Kids and adults agree: it wouldn’t be the holidays in Portland without a visit to ZooLights. In ad…

Editor's Pick
For Kids, 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. To find out what each season and month in Portland offers, check out our When to Visit page. 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.

Illustration by Subin Yang

The Portland Region

Portland is the perfect launchpad for adventure, with the rugged Oregon Coast, snow-capped Mount Hood, lush wine country and waterfall-filled Columbia Gorge all within easy driving distance of the city.

Mount Hood

Located 90 minutes from Portland, Mount Hood — Oregon’s tallest peak — offers four seasons of fun. Scenic recreation offerings range from camping, hiking and fishing to nearly year-round skiing. Whether you’re hitting the slopes, exploring the mountain’s miles of trails or cozying up to a fireplace, Mount Hood provides a treasured escape from the city.

The Columbia Gorge

Just 30 miles (48 km) east of Portland, explore the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, a deep canyon that’s home to more than 90 gorgeous waterfalls, epic vistas and nearly endless options for outdoor recreation. Hiking and water sports like windsurfing and kiteboarding are major draws in the gorge.

Wine Country

A short drive from the city, Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country wows with lush scenery and, of course, delectable wines. In addition to scores of vineyards and tasting rooms featuring pinot noir and other varietals, this area boasts quaint towns, farms and scenic routes to explore by car, bike or boat.

The Oregon Coast

Just 79 miles (127 km) west of Portland, the rugged, unspoiled Oregon Coast offers rocky vistas, miles of public beaches, family attractions and surfing. Towns along the coast include busy fishing ports, historic settlements, artistic enclaves and vacation resorts. Here, you can explore tide pools, hike, whale-watch and savor fresh seafood and microbrews.