Living In Portland

Portland is acclaimed for its beauty, vitality and livability. Residents combine an appreciation of both cultural and recreational activities with a comfortable, informal style which embraces diversity. Friendly people, moderate climate, varied recreational activities and magnificent scenery all add to the enjoyment of life in the Pacific Northwest. Portland has been voted the most bike-friendly city in the United States and has a very usable and well-coordinated mass transit system.


While Portland is known for rain, more than not, it is gentle and short-lived, and it undoubtedly keeps the city green.  The average annual rainfall is 42 inches, giving you a great excuse to invest in a new raincoat.  While there are seasonal variations, the weather is without extremes of heat or cold.  It rarely gets below freezing in winter.  The summer days are typically full of clear blue skies with a peak temperature in the low 80's and nighttime low in the high 50's.  Most Portlanders forgo air conditioning. 


Portland and its surrounding areas offer an assortment of recreational opportunities. The thrill seekers will enjoy everything from showboarding to kitesurfing to zoobombing.  Portland is easily one of the top hiking cities in the entire US.  Within an hour or two drive of this metropolis, lies a variety of landscapes, from deserts to a lush forested coast line, high altitude peaks draped with glaciers, and even an active volcano, all with abundant hiking trails.  Those who like a more leisurely activity may enjoy snowshoeing, waterfall exploring or berry picking, the beautiful Pacific ocean beaches are just 90 miles away.  Mountain lakes, streams and snowcapped peaks are within 60 miles.  Mt. Hood offers the only year-round skiing in the U.S. The world-famous Columbia River Gorge begins just 25 miles east of Portland. Forest Park, the largest wilderness park within city limits in the U.S., offers 74 miles of trails along streams and in old-growth forests. The Willamette River, which cuts through the city, is popular for boating, water skiing and salmon fishing.  For those who enjoy a good sporting event the city is home to Portland Trail Blazers basketball, Winter Hawks hockey, the National Women's Soccer League Champion Portland Thorns and Major League Soccer team the Portland Timbers.  There are also many local recreational leagues for a variety of interests, including basketball, softball, flag football, Frisbee golf and Ultimate Frisbee.

Food & Drink

Portland has been described as the new foodie paradise in the New York Times because of the plethora of restaurants and food carts.  You can enjoy everything from southern food with a northwest flair to smorgasbord of Thai food to the most delightful vegan and vegetarian fare you can imagine.  In addition, you can find exciting nightlife, dozens of microbreweries, and hundreds of coffee houses making Portland an enjoyable place to relax.

If wine is what you fancy, visit the Willamette Valley enjoying more than 200 wineries.  A day of wine tasting and a picnic at a gorgeous vineyard can be a perfect ending to the week.

Cultural Activities

Powell’s Books is the world’s largest independent new and used bookstore.  The International Rose Test Gardens boast more than 8,000 differing types of exquisite roses.

The Portland Saturday Market offers crafts, food and entertainment from March to December. The art galleries in the Pearl District have special open houses during the evening on the first Thursday of each month.  Alberta Street offers an alternative last Thursday of the month celebration with local artists and street-wide activities.  Local farmers markets can be found throughout Portland from April to October, with the largest market downtown on the park blocks.

Portland summers are filled with festivals and concerts including the PDX adult soap box derby, a multitude of Brewfests, the Oregon Zoo Summer concert series and MusicFest NW.   Portland has an outstanding symphony, opera association with nationally renowned singers, symphonic choir and several theater groups, performing both traditional and avant-garde productions. 

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Oregon ZooPortland Art Museum and Central Library are among the educational facilities of the city. 

Some useful Portland websites: