So hip it inspires parody, Portland has become synonymous with alternative cool. Fortunately, the left-of-center attitude, dedication to green spaces and off-the-charts-amazing food and beer that draw people here keep getting better. Do your part to keep it weird by eating maple bacon doughnuts one minute and cheering on naked bike riders the next.
But Portland is more than just an urban freak fest. Head to the Pearl District where young professionals sip happy-hour cocktails next to boutique art galleries, or stroll Forest Park and the city’s famous rose gardens. Just outside city limits is the Columbia Gorge, a magical, moss-covered fairyland of massive waterfalls, walking trails and vistas over the mighty Columbia River. Slightly farther, pyramid-shaped Mount Hood beckons skiers, hikers and anglers.
Yes, it rains a lot in winter, but with an abundance of second-run movie theaters, live music venues and Powell’s Books (the world’s largest independent book store), there’s plenty to do. Summers are glorious – you’ll see lots of tattoos when the hibernators emerge to enjoy the weather.