Named after a sister-city in coastal Maine, Portland, Oregon was originally a trading center when first founded in the 1830s. The Oregon settlement’s population began to grow near the end of the Oregon Trail, first during local gold rushes, and then into a food and forest products processing site. More recently, the Pacific Northwest center has evolved into a center for the knowledge community, and the area is now considered cosmopolitan and progressive. With a community of approximately 640,000 residents, Portland has become known for its reputation as a bastion of counterculture and its liberal political values. Portland is one of the greenest places to live, it is often awarded “most green cities” and “Greenest City in the U.S.”, it scored as the “8th most popular American City to live” in the 1009 Pew Research Center study, and in 2008 was awarded the title of “Greenest City in America” by Popular Science.
Contrary to urban myth, it doesn’t rain in Portland every day. The climate is, however a temperate climate with both Mediterranean and oceanic features. Portland’s weather is characterized by cool, rainy winters and warm, dry summers that get little to no rainfall – the majority of rain occurs between November and February. Fall is warm, with the warmest being August. Both spring and fall bring variable weather including cold snaps and warm fronts, however, mild temperatures in the 50s and 60s °F are the average.
Getting Around Portland
Transportation options are plenty in Portland. Getting in and out is easy enough through the Portland International Airport. No matter where your apartment is located, there’s a way to get from there to where you want to go – there are two routes offered by the city-owned Portland Streetcar that cover the downtown and Central City-adjacent districts, the Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light rail system’s five lines connect the suburbs to the city, and the TriMet’s buses cover the rest of the city. Additionally, the WES Commuter rail connects Portland's western suburbs, linking Wilsonville and Beaverton, and if you want to share a car, there is U-Haul Car Share, Getaround, Car2Go and Zipcar services available for city residents and some suburbs. Portland’s commuter aerial cableway, the Portland Aerial Tram links the Oregon Health & Science University Campus and the Williamette River’s South Waterfront District. If you’re into biking, you’re in luck – Portland is one of the most bicycle-friendly places, and will soon even have a 600-bike bake share program that will make getting from your apartment to your destination a breeze.
Commuting in Portland
While Portland ranks at number 13 on the list of American cities with the most traffic congestion, the average one-way commute only takes 24 minutes. The I-5 connects Portland to Southern Oregon, the Williamette Valley and California to the south, and goes north to Washington, the I-205 freeway loops with the I-405 on the east to the Portland International airport and around the central downtown area. Other routes include the US 26, US 30 and the I-84.
Portland’s general-interest daily news needs are served by the Oregonian. Other weekly and periodic newspapers include the alternative weekly Williamette Week, the Portland Tribune, The Asian Reporter, the weekly African-American The Skanner, and The Portland Mercury, which targets younger urban readers.
Every year, more than 10,000 ambitious people try to climb Mount Hood’s massive 11,240-foot summit, which is Oregon's number one landmark. Portland also boasts one of the West Coast’s most impressive historic commercial districts, with buildings that were built in the mid-to-late-19th century featuring cast iron fronts and High Victorian architectural styles. Local residents and tourists alike enjoy visiting the Sunken Village Archeological Site to see the well-preserved remains of a mid-13th to mid-18th century Chinookan village. In southwest Portland, the beautiful Piggot Castle is a popular attraction. Students attend the Portland State University and the University of Portland.
Things to do in Portland
Apartment residents who love sports will love Portland. Home to two major league sports franchises: the Portland Timbers, and the Portland Trail Blazers as well as the National Women’s Soccer League, Portland has sporting events year-round. Foodies also find Portland welcoming. Named by CNN and the U.S. News & World Report and other publications as the best city in the world for street food, Portland offers over 600 licensed food carts to choose from. If you enjoy trying new beers, you’ll find a bar near your restaurant to test some out -- Portland has more independent microbreweries and total breweries than any city in the world. There are 58 breweries in the city and more than 70 in the surrounding Metro area. In addition to being ranked as one of the best cities for food, Portland is known as one of the most vegan and vegetarian-friendly cities in the U.S. Portland is a dream city for bicycle enthusiasts, and is an elite bicycle racing destination, with the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association supporting hundreds of official bicycle-related events every year. If art is your passion, check out the first-class Portland Art Museum, the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest, featuring a collection of 42,000 objects.
Portland is home to the Rosebud and Thorn Pageant, and the Portland Rose Festival which is held annually in June. There are a variety of beer and brewing and beer festivals as well, including the Tom McCall Waterfront Park’s Oregon Brewers Festival at the end of July, the Holiday Ale Festival, the North American Organic Brewer’s Festival, the Spring Beer and Wine Festival, and the Portland International Beerfest, to name a few.
Portland Vacation spots
The Wildspring Gust Habitat in nearby Port Oxnard boasts five cabins and offers open- air slate hot-tubbing overlooking the Pacific Ocean, relaxing meditation alcoves and a labyrinth walk. At the Sunriver Resort, the entire family will find adventures to embark on. You can visit the on-site observatory to see the night sky, paddle the Deschutes River, snowshoe, go for a sailplane excursion, or hang by the pool. Hikers and backpackers will enjoy trekking into the 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area.
Where to move in Portland
If you are young and new to the Portland area, chances are an apartment in the NW Portland district will be home to your first apartment. It features neighborhoods directly adjacent to the city center, with high-rise condos and historic walk-ups that are a favorite of young professionals, students, and families. The Northwest area has another perk if you’re looking for love: according to the U.S. Census, the resident population is a median age of 34, with 80 percent being singles. NE Portland is more suited to people looking for a trendy destination for eating, drinking and window shopping in the Boise and Alberta Arts districts. An apartment downtown will put you within walking distance to the Max lines, streetcars and 32 bus lines. It also offers a “Free Rail Zone” running through downtown and the Lloyd District for residents who are vehicle-free.