Big City Tales

Chillin’ Out in Portland | March 4, 2018

It’s no big secret that Portland, Oregon is a haven for easy-going, young (and older!) cool hipster types who enjoy nothing more than chillin’ out at their favorite specialty coffee cafe, farmers market or green space. Even having only once briefly visited the city, its funky, “keep it weird” vibe and strong environmental consciousness was very palpable and highly appealing. Yes, this is a city you want to hang out in.

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Counterculture Movement

In the 1960s, the influence of the hippie scene in nearby San Francisco began to infiltrate Portland society. Within a decade, the city became known for its progressive outlook and social activism that was evident in the establishment of numerous food cooperatives, publicly funded radio stations and media outlets, and places like the Crystal Ballroom that catered to the psychedelic drug, music and beat poetry crowd.

During this time issues such as Native American rights and the environment were a major focus, as well as urban development initiatives to keep sprawl to a minimum, maximize land use, and provide optimum park space.

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Environmental Efforts

With over 10,000 acres of public parks, Portland is often recognized as one of the best city park systems in the United States. City planners have long placed an emphasis on acquiring and safeguarding its natural spaces, which include the largest wilderness park located within city limits and the smallest park in the world.

From the riverfront and downtown core to the most outlying neighborhoods, parks dominate the landscape meaning that a high percentage of people live within close proximity to accessible green space.

In recent decades, Portland has also been lauded for its sustainability initiatives that have frequently earned it the “Greenest City in America” designation. Be it offering plenty of public transportation options or enabling a thriving walking/cycling community, there is no doubt that it’s all about being “green” in Portland.

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Public gardens are also prevalent and one of the most popular is the Japanese Garden that has been recognized for its authenticity and variety of features.

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City of Roses

Portland’s temperate climate makes it an ideal place to grow roses; hence one of the city’s nicknames is “Rose City”.  The International Rose Test Garden attracts throngs of visitors every year. There are more than 8,000 varieties of roses on display with prime viewing months being May to September.

Foodie Scene

Even before the food truck/cart craze descended on major urban centers, Portland was known for its street food cuisine and farm-to-table dining options. Micro-roasteries and micro-breweries are also very prevalent, along with farmers markets. Stumptown Coffee Roasters and the Portland Farmers Market should not be missed.

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Anything is Possible Attitude

As the city’s recent tourism campaign proudly boasts, Portland is a place where you can basically “be, do, eat or drink” whatever you want. With such a positive mantra, Portland is a place worth revisiting and soaking up its unique and infectious ambiance.

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