Once known as America's best kept secret, Portland is now one of the country's hottest travel destinations. Money magazine recently ranked Portland #2 among Big Cities in which to live in the U.S., and its unique and thriving festivals, outdoors and dining scenes keep it consistently among the travel hotspots. Portland has the personality of a small community and the activities and vitality of a large city
With moderate temperatures and varied and beautiful terrain, Portland is the quintessential outdoor city. The magnificent waterways overlook the Mount Hood glacier, a backdrop that sets the scene for a spectacular visit at any time of year. Forest Park offers 40 miles of wilderness trails, streams and woods within the city limits. Hiking, biking and exploring opportunities are always close at hand. Smith and Bybee Lakes display stunning wildlife and have great flatwater paddling in America's largest protected wetland within a city. Just a short drive away, is magnificent Multnomah Falls, the nation's second-highest year-round waterfall. For a mellower outdoors experience, visit one of the city's stunning gardens: the Leach Botanical, Classical Chinese, Japanese, or Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens
Chances are good that the city will be bustling with a festival when you arrive. Favorites include the Rose Festival in June, and The Bite of Oregon food and music fete in August. The always popular Oregon Brewers Festival in July can be combined with a tour and sampling at one of the many excellent, local microbreweries. Tours of local vineyards and distilleries provide further tastings of family- produced, distinctive wines and brandies prepared by using the finest fruit and centuries-old methods
Finally, don't leave Portland without sampling some fine local fare. The region's renowned seafood, berries, pears, cherries, hazelnuts, wild game and vegetables of all kinds inspired noted chef and Portland native, James Beard. This in turn laid the foundation for his lifelong dedication to fine cooking, simple menus and fresh ingredients. The tradition continues, and Portland is known for its superb cuisine and exceptional dining. Culture and art; the Trailblazers and the Hawks; Mount Hood with its tempting menu of year round outdoor activities; fine wines, beers, and restaurants; farmers markets and excellent shopping: these are just a few of the many reasons to visit and enjoy Portland, Oregon.