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Three Perfect Days: Portland

America’s hipster capital is home to world-class dining, dozens of microbreweries, a quirky arts scene and some of the most beautiful parks and natural landscapes in the country. Other than that, it’s pretty nice here.

Author Justin Goldman

A few of the 11 bridges that cross the Willamette River in downtown Portland / Daniel Cronin

Picture 1 of 12

PORTLAND BY THE NUMBERS

Population
583,776

Average Annual Precipitation, in inches
35.98

Size, in acres, of Forest Park, the
largest urban forest in the U.S
5,157

Area, in square inches, of Mills End Park, the smallest park in the world
452

Sales Tax in Oregon
0

Square feet of retail floor space at Powell’s Books
68,000

Bridges crossing the Willamette River in Portland
11

Number of Portland streets after which “the Simpsons” creator Matt Groening named characters
7

 

3pd_sidebarThe Attainment of Brewvana

Portland raises beer to a higher level

Craft-brewed beer has become increasingly popular in America, with microbreweries popping up in San Diego, Brooklyn and everywhere in between. But no city has quite the obsession with suds that Portland has had since the state legislature legalized brewpubs in 1985. “Brewvana” is now home to 53 breweries and counting. So why is Portland such a great place for beer?

“We’ve got 25 percent of the world’s hops within three hours of Portland,” says Christian Ettinger, owner and brewmaster of Hopworks Urban Brewery (pictured) and Hopworks Bike Bar, which specialize in organic beer. “You’ve got the most amazing soft water coming off Mount Hood. You’ve got good access to barley. One of the best craft yeast laboratories is also on Mount Hood. So you’ve got all four ingredients being supplied in a local way.”

There are so many great breweries in and around Portland that there are tours devoted to them. Ashley Rose Salvitti started her company, Brewvana, in 2011. She now has three buses and runs about 10 tours a week. “The community in Portland supports beer,” Salvitti says. “You can go to your barbershop and drink beer. You don’t want to go see a movie unless you can be served beer. It’s in everything we do.”

If you’re looking for a crash course in local beer, the annual Oregon Brewers Festival, which features more than 80 craft breweries, takes place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park July 23–27. The festival draws 80,000 people, so if you’re planning to attend, Ettinger advises you develop a strategy. “Go in with a plan,” he says. “Go in early, so everything you want is available. Go there with friends, because that’s what beer is all about. And stay hydrated.”

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LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

The inside scoop from those in the know

3pd_face_1Gin Hicks

Artist, Fortune Tattoo

“You have to go see a punk show at The Know on Alberta. It’s been there forever. It’s super-small—you’re getting sweaty, you’re getting covered in beer—but it’s the time of your life. Every time I go there, it makes me feel like a kid again.”

3pd_face_2Ellisa Valo

Freelance Writer

“Blue Star has really good doughnuts; Lardo does crazy sandwiches and bacon-dusted french fries; Ración does molecular gastronomy stuff. All three are boom-boom-boom in the same building, so you can do a little food crawl.”

3pd_face_3Mark Cushing

Bartender, Enso Urban Winery

“Go to Forest Park and hike Wildwood Trail, which is 30 miles. You can enter this ancient forest and be surrounded by 100 different colors of green and, for however long you want, be completely lost in nature.”


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3 Responses to “Three Perfect Days: Portland”

  1. Sue lang Says:
    July 16th, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Thank you

  2. Cornelius Cornhagen Says:
    July 29th, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    The second-person narrative is kind of creepy. Are they ordering me to do this stuff? Are they presciently forecasting my future? Is the author having an out-of-body experience?

  3. Julee Jackson Says:
    September 1st, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I was born and raised in Portland and vicinity. I now live in Florida. Returning to Portland for a few days vacation and LOVED this article. Will check out most of places this article refers to. Thanks, downloading it now. Having trouble finding a way to download the iPhone app though.

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