When you combine one of the hippest and most happening cities in the United States with one of the most gorgeous natural areas in the world just next door, you may not be surprised to find we’re talking about Portland, Oregon, and the nearby Columbia River Gorge.
The metropolitan action of the state’s largest city is legendary around the globe. And the splendor of the natural wonder it rests beside is a real one-two punch for excitement and adventure.
Portland’s core population of over 650,000 people grows to almost three million once you take the greater metro area into account. Between the sublime foodie scene, amazing music venues and unique quirkiness, the Rose City is alluring for so many reasons. Downtown has everything from great museums to boutiques hawking local wares. The Pearl District is a bustling hotspot of pubs, restaurants and funky stores. Or check out the art galleries in the Albert Arts District. Need to hit the great outdoors in the Columbia River Gorge? Stomp about the lovely Multnomah Falls for a cascade of wonder. Check out the valley view from atop Crown Point. Or take a nice long hike up and down the Cape Horn Trail along the Columbia River itself.