Portland has been proclaimed North America’s “Best Big City,” according to Money magazine. Portland is the largest city in Oregon and the second largest city in the Pacific Northwest behind Seattle, Washington.
Portland started as a spot known as “The Clearing,” on the banks of the Willamette River. In 1843, Francis Pettygrove of Portland, Maine beat Asa Lovejoy of Boston, Massachusetts in a legendary coin toss and named the city after his hometown.
Today, the population of Portland is estimated to be between 500,000 and 600,000. The surrounding metropolitan area is approximately 2 million, or the 24th largest in the United States.
Portland is often cited as a well-planned city. The credit for this starts with Oregon’s proactive land-use policies, particularly an urban growth boundary that has spared land from development. As a result, residents enjoy many benefits of a more compact urban area, including extensive parks, efficient public transportation, and less traffic than similarly sized cities.
Portland is known as “The City of Roses.” Its climate is ideal for roses, and the city has many rose gardens, including the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. Portland is also home the NBA Portland Trail Blazers, who play in the Rose Garden Arena. Other attractions include the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Forest Park (the largest city park in the US at over 20 km²), Waterfront Park, the Portland Classical Chinese Garden (based on a Suzhou design), and more breweries than any other city in the world.
Colleges and universities include Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University, Cascade College, Capstone College, Concordia University, George Fox University, Lewis & Clark College, Linfield College, Marylhurst University, Pacific University, Reed College, University of Portland, Warner Pacific College and Willamette University.