Welcome to Portland, Oregon's most populous city and the third most populous city in the Pacific Northwest after Vancouver and Seattle. Portland is home to a diverse array of artists and arts organizations. In 2006, American Style magazine named it the 10th best Big City Arts Destination in the U.S.
Most of downtown's key attractions are within blocks of Portland's "heart and soul," Pioneer Courthouse Square: fantastic shopping and dining, live theater and music, the Portland Art Museum, and Tom McCall Waterfront Park, a great spot for jogging or rollerblading. Walk to historic Old Town, where you can enjoy Portland's homespun bazaar, Saturday Market, on weekends from March through December.
Once an industrial wasteland, the Pearl District has in recent years become Portland's hippest neighborhood. Just across Burnside Street from downtown, the area is home to art galleries, loft apartments, boutiques and restaurants. See the latest exhibits at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and try not to get lost in Powell's City of Books, the world's largest independent bookstore.
Across the river from downtown you'll find Portland's hippie hideaway known as the Hawthorne District. Running from 34th to 38th Street along Hawthorne Boulevard, the main commercial strip offers a bevy of boutiques (not all selling patchouli), coffee shops and restaurants. Enjoy a flick and a microbrew at the historic Bagdad Theater, or take in a play at one of the many small performance spaces.
Portland summers are dry and comfortable. You can visit the International Rose Test Garden, the Oregon coast (1.5 hours away), and the Timberline lodge (about an hour away). If you ski, Timberline offers summer skiing. The Rose Festival and all of its events are in June; the Grand Floral parade usually the second Saturday.