Many people think about moving to the Rose City, and with good reason. Portlanders love the proximity to both the mountains and beaches, and all the forest space for camping, fishing, and hiking in between. People also appreciate our city for it’s dedication to earth friendliness, support of local businesses as well as the arts, and endless supply of organic food and high end beverages.
If you’re looking for reasons to move to Portland, Oregon, we’ve got them in spades.
A Big(ish) City with a Small Town Feel
Portland is the second-largest city in the Pacific Northwest. The metro area’s population is pushing 2.5 million and it hosts several corporate headquarters, but the hustle and bustle could never overshadow Portland’s tight-knit community feel. We flock to locally owned grocery stores and farmers markets while protesting Wal-Mart’s bids to open. Restaurants boast locally sourced menu items, and you can sip locally-brewed craft beer everywhere from the movie theater to the laundromat. Shopping small and sourcing local is a way of life in Portland, and there are groups and organizations here that work to promote it. We also have a cultured variety of independent theaters and dozens of galleries that open for after-hours “art walks” in our favorite neighborhoods every month. And lastly, nothing is more “small town” than a short commute. If you live and work in Portland you’re almost guaranteed to get to the office in less than 30 minutes, thanks to several intersecting freeways and an admirable public transit system.
Portland is well known for two kinds of people: hippies and hipsters. Yes, we may be less conventional and more eco-friendly than your average Americans, but how else would we “keep Portland weird?” Many people have urban chicken coops, rainwater collection systems, and a healthy dedication to compost and recycling. In fact, City Hall has its own vegetable garden. We also have a significant mass of folks who wear flannel, listen to alternative music, and ride fixed-gear bikes to work. But in truth, this is nothing new. Portland has always been independent and environmentally conscious. We’ve earned a reputation for being happy and accepting, and we like it that way. So if you’re moving to Portland, come as you are! We’re certain our lifestyle will grow on you.
The Food and Drinks
This is a revered food city. There are plenty of high end restaurants run by some of the most respected chefs on the West Coast, but what makes dining in Portland different is its 600-some-odd food carts. On one block you can find Northern Thai food out of an Airstream trailer next to a Cajun spot, and a renovated caboose serving vegan barbecue, then meatball-stuffed Scandinavian flatbread. It’s all here and if you’re a foodie, it’s heaven.
Portland is also one of the world’s premier locations for beer, wine, and coffee. First, Oregon is the epicenter of the craft beer movement. Several of America’s favorite microbrews were born here, such as Widmer Brothers, Deschutes, Rogue and Full Sail, and every July we host what has become the largest beer festival in North America. Meanwhile, it is not uncommon to read about Portland’s coffee scene in the New York Times. Cafes on every block serve especially high-quality coffee with a cult-following. And last but not least, the Willamette Valley has long been a favorite destination of wine aficionados from across the globe. The State as a whole has more than 300 wineries and 500 vineyards. Don’t pass up a chance to take a trip through wine country in nearby McMinnville for a day of tasting.
Another thing most people know about Portland is the rainy weather. If you’re moving here, understand that between November and April you may go for weeks without seeing the sun. Some reports say that it rains in Portland 155 days of the year, and while that might sound pretty terrible, it doesn’t always feel terrible. It’s not a torrential downpour everyday, but more of an off-and-on drizzle that you won’t even notice after a while. This is why you won’t see many long-time Portlanders carrying an umbrella. If you can stand the rain, you will inevitably be rewarded with the most beautiful, outdoor-fun-filled summers you’ve ever experienced. Make a short drive to the beach, hike the mountains, float the rivers— you’re gonna love it.
Portland has a lot of “green” going for it. The city has put a great deal of effort into a green infrastructure and an impressive 30% urban canopy cover. All those trees reduce the amount of stormwater reaching municipal drain pipes by more than one billion gallons annually. We have several programs promoting green building developments and the nation’s greatest number of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects. We also have programs for recycling paint, metal scraps, building materials like wood and concrete, electronics, and practically everything else. You’ll see many early 20th century homes with solar panels and droves of people commuting to work by bike.
There are a million more great reasons to move to Portland. We haven’t even begun to talk about all the fun/weird events (naked cross-town bycicle ride anyone?) or the thriving mini-communities in each charmigly unique neighborhood. We could really go on and on and on!