The city of Portland, situated at the navigable head point of
the Willamette River, was the major port on the American Pacific
northwest coast during most of the 19th century. Although not the
capital of Oregon, it is the largest city in the State and its
commercial centre straddles the Willamette River with its neatly
planned city blocks.
Portland is today recognised as a fun city for tourists,
essentially designed for outdoor living with miles of wilderness
trails, woods and waterways within the city limits, set against the
backdrop of the Mount Hood glacier with its ski resorts, less than
an hour away.
The city is known for its stunning gardens, particularly the
International Rose Garden where many thousands of rose bushes from
around the world thrive and bloom. Roses form the centre of the
city's Rose Festival in June, just one of the unique festivities
that fill Portland's annual calendar. The other most popular event
is the Oregon Brewers Festival, held annually in July, which
celebrates the dozens of local micro-breweries, vineyards and
distilleries in heady style.
A further attraction of Portland is its superb cuisine and
exceptional dining opportunities. The region is renowned for its
seafood, berries, pears, hazelnuts, wild game and fresh vegetables,
which are all put to good use by some inspired local chefs.
All things considered it is not surprising that Portland is
rated as an ideal place for modern travellers to stop and smell the