Lonely Planet Lists 10 Reasons to Visit Portland. I Add More

Downtown Portland

Lonely Planet, famed travel advisor to the young, the adventurous, and the shoestring budget, has announced 10 reasons to visit Portland, OR. I’ll veer off from LP’s points, and add a few more, but let’s start with a few hits off their list.

1.     Beer: With over 30 breweries perfecting the craft of beer making, Portland is a must for any fan of this libation, not to mention a great location for anyone interested in working in the industry.

2.     Biking: Dedicated to bikable living, Portland has set aside a network of bike lanes all around the city, not to mention the Springwater Corridor, a car-free trail that loops the river, for bikes. Plus, Portland doesn’t have too many steep hills that make pedaling a problem. No surprise: Portland’s made the top of multiple “most bike friendly cities in the USA” lists.

3.     Funky hoods: Like most cities, different parts of the city have different flavors: Alberta Arts is arty and edgy, Sellwood sleepy and nostalgic, Hawthorne eclectic with a dash of hippy. But what makes Portland unique is how livable each part is: from your home in any of these neighborhoods- in fact, in most any of the close-in neighborhoods- you can walk to most any service you might require: the doctor, a dentist, a beer, some groceries, an independent movie house. You may never need to leave your little ‘hood.

Other reasons to visit, says LP, include the food carts, the fact that Portlandia is both inspired by and filmed here, that the weather breeds indoor creativity (like our great music scene, not lauded highly enough here for my taste), farmers markets, cheap happy hour culture, proximity to gorgeous natural environments... and our weirdness.

I agree with these points, but want to point out they make for kind of a visitor’s list, not a local’s. You’d probably have to live here to see how family-friendly Portland is, for instance, or how interesting the schools are. In Woodstock, for example, the local school where I walk my dog offers a Chinese immersion program.  Portland is also incredibly easy to live in: it’s not expensive (relatively speaking), the parking is easy (again, speaking from the position of someone who spent over a decade in San Francisco), and it’s full of innovative, creative people making incredible things. Not just beer, either. Portland makes fashion, theater, music, food , art, film, and literature on par with any major city—there's less of it, sure, but it’s all so easy (and affordable) to access. As to the rain, okay, sure. But we had 3 months of glorious hot summer. And now the trees are turning color and the woods look like stained glass windows.

The fact that the median sold home price for single-family homes in Portland was $255K in September, 2012 is my final piece of evidence that Portland is worth not just visiting, but considering as a place to buy a home. 

Tip of the hat for this story: Travel Portland.com

Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert

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