Portland is often painted as a city filled with hippies and tree huggers, which is somewhat true, but there’s so much more to the city than what meets the eye. Hailing from such a chaotic and bustling city like Los Angeles, coming to Portland, which is mostly a newly built city, was somewhat of a shock to me. Compared to a hodge podge city like Los Angeles, Portland seemed insanely organized when I was met with its clear-cut biker-friendly lanes and its highly planned public parks and playgrounds.
Not only did I notice that the city of Portland was remarkably organized, I noticed that many people live a very high quality of life with endless options for outdoor activity and countless local cafes and restaurants conveniently located throughout the city.
We ate brunch at a local favorite called Lovejoy Bakery conveniently located on Lovejoy Street in the Pearl District. This cafe was filled with Portland’s popular artisanal coffee and breakfast favorites like oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches. Lovejoy Bakery is just one example of the countless small businesses that thrive in the city of Portland.
Television shows like “Portlandia” make fun of the fact that Portlanders are obsessed with the ideas of locally sourced foods and one-off cafes and restaurants unique to Portland, but when the food tastes that good, it’s easy to understand the hype. When you come to Portland, definitely stay away from the chain businesses you can eat and shop at back home and ask some locals what their Portland favorites are — chances are they’re a hardcore foodie and can tell you some delicious places to try out.
One thing about Portland is that there’s so much greenery everywhere. Even in the middle of the city, you’ll find park areas designated for walking and bike riding. This city is filled with bikers and pedestrians partly because of the fact that the streets are so well-organized and also because of the commitment that many Portlanders have toward sustainability.
The second photo was taken just a few blocks from Portland State University where farmers’ markets take place year-round. Come to this local farmer’s market for some locally grown produce and countless delicious samples you can snack on while strolling around the market.
Here in Portland you can easily get around without a car. If renting a car isn’t an option for you, don’t fret! Because the city of Portland is relatively small, it’s easy to get around the city by walking or by using the Light Rail (Portland’s popular form of public transportation), which can easily get you from one side of the city to the other.
Another awesome thing about Portland is its proximity to many berry and nut farms which provides the city with plenty of farm-to-table options. These photos were taken about 35 minutes outside of Portland in a city called Hillsboro. Countless farms and local shops, such as the Berry Barn pictured, sell fresh fruits and vegetables for locals and visitors to enjoy. With all of the beautiful rain Portland gets throughout the fall and winter, it definitely doesn’t fall short in the fresh fruit department. Come get them while they’re in season!
Oregon in general has some remarkable differences from California. In Oregon, since marijuana is now legal I saw advertisements for products like cannabis-infused sugar packets and marijuana ice cream. Because the purchasing of cannabis edibles in marijuana dispensaries became legal in Oregon on June 2, there have been many of these new innovations.
Strangely, people aren’t allowed to pump their own gas. When you arrive at a gas station in Oregon, you have to wait for a service person to fill your tank. If you break this law in Oregon, you’ll be charged $500 if you’re caught!
Portland is an amazing and dynamic city that not only has a vibrant city-life but also has countless opportunities for outdoor activity. If you like food, nature and artistic flare, you’re bound to love Portland, Oregon.
Contact Allison David at [email protected].