Find Yourself in Portland, Oregon!
Portland, Oregon, is often thought of as a big city with the friendly feel of small town. Its mild weather, amazing natural scenery, convenient location and neighborly residents have all contributed to Portland’s appearance on many “Best Of” lists, including: Online Insider’s “Top 10 Least Expensive Cities”, Money Magazine’s “Top 10 Places to Vacation” and “Top 10 Best Places to Live”, and American Style Magazine’s “Top 25 Arts Destinations”.
Although Portland is very urban and offers many cultural attractions, events and entertainment opportunities, one of the city’s greatest attributes is that it is surrounded by beautiful wilderness areas and rolling farm country. With nature all around, there are ample opportunities for nearly any outdoor activity that you can imagine.
It always rains here, right? Actually, Seattle gets more annual rainfall than Portland. And, although we do get our fair share of rain in the winter months, and even some occasional snow, Portland enjoys very mild weather in the summer months. Some might even say hot. The fantastically colored trees in the Fall are a breathtaking site to behold. And Spring blossoms prove that Portland is truly the “City of Roses.”
Coming to visit? Get your weekly weather forecast from the National Weather service.
With an ethnically diverse population of almost 2 million, Portland is the 28th largest metropolitan area in the country, the fourth largest city on the West Coast, and the largest city in the state. It includes six counties spread over 5000 square miles.
In 1806, Lewis and Clark “discovered” the area that would later become the city of Portland. In 1851, Asa Lovejoy, a native of Massachusetts, and Francis Pettygrove, a native of Maine, founded the city. Lovejoy wanted to name the city after his hometown of Boston, but Pettygrove wanted to name it after his own hometown, Portland. They tossed a coin to settle the dispute, and as you may have already guessed, Pettygrove won the toss.
Heed the Call of the Wild … in 30 minutes or less!
Portland, Oregon is surrounded by nature – forests, rivers, lakes, mountains and the Pacific Ocean. In fact, Forest Park, the country’s largest urban park is located right inside the city itself.
Camping, Kayaking, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding are just some of the activities enjoyed by Portlanders everyday. With National Forests and State and local parks located within short driving distance of Portland, it’s always easy to recharge your batteries in the great outdoors. People who live here have a special relationship with nature, even when they spend most of their time indoors. A careful balance between urban sprawl and protected open spaces is what makes Portland such a magical place.
Public and Private Schools
With almost 75 neighborhood elementary and middle schools that flow into 10 local high schools, Portland boasts the state’s largest public school system. In addition, Portland Public Schools offers a wide range of charter and magnet schools, specializing in numerous programs, including language immersion, fine arts, International Baccalaureate programs, and technical and health specialties. Portland also offers a large number of private schools that emphasize everything from foreign languages to fine arts to religion. And for parents who choose to teach their own children, Oregon offers one of the most supportive environments in the country for home schooling families.