Oregon - Rough Guides

Portland, Oregon

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Having been spared the kind of aggressive, remorseless development that many Seattle residents have come to loathe, Portland still retains a pleasant, small-city feel, both for its well-preserved Beaux Arts architecture and walkable urban core, as well as its easygoing atmosphere. That said, there’s not a lot to keep intrepid tourists here for more than a day, with most of the city’s handful of major attractions located within close walking distance of each other on the short city blocks – half the size of most American cities. On the other hand, while Portland’s unpretentious bohemian flavor may be lost on more gung-ho travelers, the city remains an excellent spot for casual visitors to slack around for weeks at a time, with a wealth of good diners, microbreweries, clubs, bookstores and coffee houses to keep you occupied. The city was named after Portland, Maine, following a coin toss between its two East Coast founders in 1845 (“Boston” was the other option). Its location on a deep part of the Willamette River, just 78 miles from the Pacific and surrounded by fertile valleys, made it a perfect trading port, and it grew quickly, replacing its clapboard houses with ornate facades and Gothic gables.
The Rough Guide to USA

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The Rough Guide to USA

by Samantha Cook, Tim Perry, and Greg Ward (Rough Guides)

Having been spared the kind of aggressive, remorseless development that many Seattle residents have come to loathe, Portland still retains a pleasant, small-city feel, both for its well-preserved Beaux Arts architecture and walkable urban core, as well as its easygoing atmosphere. That said, there’s not a lot to keep intrepid tourists here for more than a day, with most of the city’s handful of major attractions located within close walking distance of each other on the short city blocks – half the size of most American cities. On the other hand, while Portland’s unpretentious bohemian flavor may be lost on more gung-ho travelers, the city remains an excellent spot for casual visitors to slack around for weeks at a time, with a wealth of good diners, microbreweries, clubs, bookstores and coffee houses to keep you occupied.

The city was named after Portland, Maine, following a coin toss between its two East Coast founders in 1845 (“Boston” was the other option). Its location on a deep part of the Willamette River, just 78 miles from the Pacific and surrounded by fertile valleys, made it a perfect trading port, and it grew quickly, replacing its clapboard houses with ornate facades and Gothic gables.

©  Samantha Cook, Tim Perry, and Greg Ward/Rough Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Portland
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: All contact information for accommodations, dining, and activities is provided in the eTrail.
Driving Directions: Directions to Oregon - Rough Guides

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May 2018