PDXceptional...the best place to live in America PDXceptional...the best place to live in America PDXceptional...the best place to live in America PDXceptional...the best place to live in America

Portland at nightA national magazine recently selected Portland, Oregon, as "the best place to live in America." We hate to see that kind of thing get out. We’re selfish—we want Portland for ourselves. And you, of course. Here’s a very brief take on the scene:

Portland is the civic version of a nice, polite farm kid who went away to school and learned how to live, dress, dance, and dine well—then came back home to settle down. Speaks several languages even while still saying "aw shucks" a lot. Digs independent film, bookstores, fine food, live theater, and county fairs.

View of city from rose gardens MAX...lightrail Japanese gardens
This is a city with a vibrant high-rise downtown area that is less than three miles from the largest wilderness park inside any city in America. Where it seems like a city ordinance that every block must have a coffeehouse and a great ethnic restaurant. Home of high-tech and low crime, a killer local music scene, police on bikes and horses, tranquil Japanese and Chinese gardens, noisy downtown clubs, rivers you can swim in and live to tell about it (well, in the summer anyway), a floating dance floor, a plethora of bridges, and 30-pound salmon swimming past the city lights.
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Oregon coast
Ski jump

We're in quite a state

Go west through rolling farmland and deep green forest and soon you arrive at the Pacific Ocean and the clean, uncrowded beaches, chilly but good wetsuit-clad surfing, and kayaking of the Oregon coast. Travel out through the basalt cliffs and towering waterfalls of the world-famous Columbia River Gorge, where windsurfing and kiteboarding rule the waves. Go east through rising hills and climb to the winter ski country (Reed maintains a ski cabin here for its students) and summer hiking and mountain biking of 11,225-foot Mt. Hood and its national forest. Down the far slope lies the high desert and bright sun of eastern Oregon. None of these places is more than two hours from Reed.

umbrella at ReedThe weather report

Rain in Portland is like any legend—based in fact, but pretty soundly exaggerated. You will certainly get rained on here, but it actually rains more in, say, Manhattan or Miami—but not quite so regularly. The fine distinctions between drizzle, showers, and sprinkles will become known to you. Your fashion sense will take a turn toward the waterproof. Never fear—you will also get to wear shorts and T-shirts. Outside, even.

Here’s how it really is: The autumn and spring will often be beautiful and comfortably warm; the winter will most often be fine library weather. Warped as it may be, you may even come to like a rainy night. A day or two each year it will snow a little. Several winter days will be clear and startlingly bright—you will revel in them.

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A short history of times

At Reed College you are:

  • 10 minutes on foot or five minutes by bike to anywhere else at Reed College;

  • 10 minutes by bike or bus to the restaurants, coffee houses, and theaters of Hawthorne Boulevard;

  • 15 minutes to the cultural opportunities of downtown Portland;

  • 15 minutes to Forest Park (the largest wilderness park in any city in America);

  • 15 minutes to the new Rose Garden Arena, home to every event and concert from the NBA to REM;

  • 50 minutes by car to the world-famous Columbia River Gorge and its spectacular scenery, hiking, world-class mountain-biking, and windsurfing;

  • 90 minutes to 11,225-foot Mount Hood, the Reed ski cabin, three separate downhill ski and snowboard areas, and hundreds of miles of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing;

  • 90 minutes to the Pacific Ocean and miles of pristine beaches, surfing, and sea kayaking;

  • 20 minutes to Portland’s international airport; 360 minutes or less to any city in America.

history of times clock
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