Welcome to Portland, Oregon – the little coastal city that could. You may also know it by its many nicknames: PDX, Rose City, Rip City, and Bridgetown.
Portland put oddly shaped doughnuts and massive bookstores on the map. The city with more craft breweries per capita than any other city on the planet. If you’re one of many transplants who’s decided to put down roots in Stumptown (yup, another nickname), here are several things you should know about the city that gave the world Gus Van Sant, Courtney Love, and Tonya Harding.
What it’s Like Living in Portland, Oregon in 2021
If you live in Portland, there’s a good chance you’ll be in Multnomah County, but small parts of the city are also located in Clackamas County and Washington County. Portland’s population is 661,419, making it the 25th largest city in the United States. Also, the average age of a resident in the city is 37.1 years.
Weather and Climate
Portland’s warm seasons run from June 23 to September 19, with an average daily high temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool season lasts from November 15 to February 22, with an average daily high temperature of 36 degrees Fahrenheit.
The average Portland home costs $419,600, which is significantly higher than the average home compared to the rest of the nation. If you’re looking to rent instead, a two-bedroom will go for $1,430, which is only about $150 more expensive than the national average.
Cost of Living
According to the BestPlaces Cost of Living Index, with the U.S. average being 100, Portland has a 108 overall cost of living score. Not bad considering that includes groceries, restaurants, entertainment, transportation, utilities, housing, and medical bills.
The median household income is $95,998. Occupations in tech, science, distilleries, breweries, art, food, and forestry yield higher salaries in Portland compared to the rest of the country. Also, the unemployment rate in Portland is 7.2, whereas the national average is 6.7.
Schools and Universities
Portland has upwards of 6 public schools and 125 private schools for children K–12. One of the most highly acclaimed is the Oregon Episcopal School in southwest Portland. Even the Portland School District is considered to be one of the top 10 public schools in Oregon.
Portland prides itself on its many affordable, alternative, and eco-friendly methods of transportation. Carsharing is quick and convenient. Streetcar, not so much, but it’s available. TriMet is the public transit system, which runs both the bus lines and MAX light rail.
The League of American Bicyclists awarded Portland with a Platinum rating for being a bicycle friendly community. Only 4 other cities in the entire country have reached this status. Don’t own a bike? You could always rent one from BIKETOWN. Don’t want to pedal? Hop on a BOLT electric scooter.
6 More Interesting Facts About Portland
Portland Was Almost Named Boston
And it all came down to a coin toss.
Two of the city’s founders, Asa Lovejoy and Francis Pettygrove, couldn’t decide what to call the piece of land they’d recently come into. So they decided to flip a penny and name it after the winner’s hometown. Pettygrove, who hailed from Portland, Maine, won the toss over Boston, Massachusetts native Lovejoy.
Home to the Largest Arts and Crafts Market
Did you know that Portland hosts the largest arts and crafts market in the United States?
The Saturday Market first began in 1974 and has run each year since. It offers a wide variety of vendors—artists, carpenters, glassblowers, sculptors, jewelers, wineries, and much more. You can also expect a great turnout of food vendors, which some could argue is another reason to consider checking out the Saturday Market when visiting Portland.
Portland Is Sitting on a Volcano
Portland is known for not only its many parks, but the volcano that lies beneath one of them. Don’t get any ideas, 2021—it’s an inactive one. In fact, Portland is one of just four U.S. cities with a volcano inside city limits.
Mount Tabor is an extinct volcanic cinder cone that sits smack dab in the middle of the city. Sitting on top of this volcano is Mount Tabor Park, which has three official hiking trails and a soapbox derby course.
Parks, Parks, and More Parks
The Portland Parks and Recreation system preserves an astonishing 11,670 acres of natural, developed, and undeveloped parks. That includes 6 public gardens, 25 community gardens, 35 community parks, 5 golf courses, 47 habitat parks, 98 neighborhood parks, 12 regional parks, 12 urban parks, and thousands of acres of urban forest.
One of these notable parks is Forest Park, which is the largest forested park within city limits in the country. Pittock Mansion, a 46-room estate open for touring, sits on top of it. There’s also the world’s smallest park, Mill Ends Park. Originally intended as a spot for a light pole, the two-foot-in-diameter grassy circle near the Willamette River was recognized as an official city park in 1976.
Portlandia Is Actually Pretty Accurate
When you mention Portland, some think of the comedy sketch series “Portlandia,” which portrayed the city as a place for hipsters. The show originally considered the name “Portland” but thought that Portlandia did a better job of showcasing the city’s ideology, mindset, and even its way of life.
All jokes aside, Portlandia could also be referencing the Portlandia Sculpture created by Raymond Kaskey, located above the entrance of the Michael Graves’ Portland Building in downtown Portland. This sculpture is the second-largest copper repoussé statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty.
The Portland-Seattle Rivalry Is Real
Portland and Seattle share many similarities, but we wouldn’t say that in public. Both cities have ongoing public rivalries that stem from who has the better sports teams to who brews the better cup of coffee. Once you realize life isn’t a venti no-foam three-pump sugar-free vanilla latte (extra hot!) and a giant spaceship on stilts, we think you’ll see the light.
The Timbers-Sounders rivalry in Major League Soccer is one of the most heated in the Pacific Northwest, beginning as early as 1975. Maybe we’re playing favorites here, but who else chainsaws a gigantic log after every goal?
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