Tap Into Your Inner Outdoorsman
Photo courtesy Travel Portland
The Portland metro area sits in the seat of a natural bounty that makes Oregon a special place, from majestic snow-capped Mt. Hood in the Cascade Range, to the rugged rocky overlooks and forest-meets-sand of Oregon’s coastal beaches in the west, and on to the splendor of Oregon’s remote high desert to the east. If it’s the great outdoors you want, the region’s diverse geography offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities that make Portland the place to be.
Located just south of the Washington state line, at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, Portland makes an excellent base of operations for outdoor exploration and recreation of all kinds. Placing everything Pacific Northwest at your fingertips, you could say that Portland, whatever name you call it by—the City of Roses, Bridgetown, or Stumptown—is Pacific Northwest Central. This means easy access to approximately 700 miles of Oregon Cascades (the closest being the 11,250’ Mt. Hood), the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge, featuring numerous waterfalls including the 611 ft. Multnomah Falls, 11 national forests, 21 national wildlife refuges, 362 state parks, 17 national landmarks, and uncountable other attractions throughout the state that are sure to please your whole family. If you don’t want to travel too far from home though, don’t worry—the Portland metro area abounds with opportunities for recreational activities such as hiking, biking, golfing, fishing, camping, and more.
Named the second best bike-friendly city by Bicycling magazine, ranked the seventh fittest city by Huffington Post, and with a walk score of 63, Portland likes to stay active. In fact, along with microbrews, coffee, and an unimpeded degree of individualism, being outdoors is a key ingredient to quintessential Portland life. Harkening back to the pioneering days of Lewis and Clark, to the rugged hard workers in Oregon’s formidable logging industry, and to the myriad of professional sports played throughout the city today, Portland has always been a city that meets the outdoors head-on.
A WORD ABOUT RAIN
So you’ve heard Portland’s rainy? Well, that’s partly true, but partly myth. Portland receives approximately 35-42 inches of rainfall annually—an amount that is comparable to most east coast cities. Known to locals as Portland mist, the difference lies in that the rainfall is less heavy, but spread out over more months, with a rainy season (about 88% worth) occurring between late October and May (peak months are November-February). What does this mean for your outdoor recreation? Well you won’t see as many umbrellas as you might expect in Portland and you’ll also find that Oregonians don’t let the rain deter them much from pursuing outdoor activities. After a year, you won’t even notice it. The trade off to the rainy season? Summer months that are warm and gorgeous, with very little precipitation, ideal for outdoor recreation.