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The city of Portland is referred to by locals as “PDX” and offers an intriguing mixture of big-city amenities and small-town charm.
Situated in the northernmost part of Willamette Valley — a 150-mile stretch of the Oregon lowlands — Portland has a picturesque location. Specifically, on a clear day, the slopes of Mount Hood are visible on the horizon. The city is also surrounded by lush nature on all sides and is bordered by the Columbia and Willamette Rivers from the north and the south, offering an abundance of nature trails ideal for hiking. Portland lies 173 miles south of Seattle, WA. Meanwhile, Spokane, WA — a city famous for its Native American history — lies 351 miles northeast of Portland, while San Francisco is a 10 hours’ drive (636 miles) away.
Portland is the largest city in Oregon, almost twice the size of Seattle.
The city experiences all four seasons and boasts a generally misty climate complete with frequent rainfall. The spring months between March and May feature average temperatures of 52°F and abundant rainfall, as well as plenty of cloudy days. Summer (June through August) experiences daytime averages of 85°F and nighttime averages of 60°F. In the months between September and November, mild temperatures and many sunny days are typical, with average temperatures of 55°F. Meanwhile, winter lasts between December and February, and features average temperatures of 41°F with plenty of rain and occasional bouts of snow.
The fantastic food scene and environmentally progressive attitude are some of Portland’s strong suits. It was named the best food city in 2015 by The Washington Post and came in third on Forbes’ list of the best places for business and careers in the same year. Despite not having a diverse population, locals are very accepting of all cultures.
The lackadaisical dress code is one of the negatives of living in the city, with residents being famous for dressing down on all occasions.
An average, one-person meal in an inexpensive restaurant in Portland is $15, which matches the national average. A kilogram of apples in Portland costs $5.53, which is slightly higher than the U.S. average of $4.63, while a bottle of water in Portland ($2.15) is $.29, above the national average ($1.86).
The average cost of utilities for a 915-square-foot apartment in Portland is currently set at $176.69, which is slightly higher than the national average of $159.63.
Public transportation in Portland is ensured by TriMet, which offers citizens two light rail lines and more than 100 bus routes. A day pass costs $5, but children under 7 are free. Discounted fares are available to youth (7-17 years) and disabled individuals, as well as seniors older than 65. The light rail system in Portland can be split into two main parts: The MAX Light Rail is for local residents and is further split into color-coded lines, which cover the areas from Portland State University to Hillsboro. The WES commuter rail largely serves the nearby Beaverton School District and is mainly for commuters. Average light rail passes cost $5 and feature similar discounts as the TriMet system.
The average commute time in Portland is 26.1 minutes, which is just below the U.S. average of 26.4 minutes.
The average rent for an apartment in Portland is $1,763 per month.
The average apartment size in Portland is 758 sq. ft.
Rent for a studio apartment in Portland ranges between $417 and $6,033 per month.
Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Portland ranges between $434 and $7,534 per month.
Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Portland ranges between $518 and $12,972 per month.
Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in Portland ranges between $677 and $13,646 per month.
Columbia Sports, StanCorp Financial Group, Schnitzer Steel Industries and Northwest Natural Gases are some of the largest employers headquartered in Portland. Nearby, Nike and Intel also offer jobs to locals of Portland, while the Beaverton School District features rewarding educational employment, as well.
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The largest school district in the state of Oregon can be found in Portland, featuring 48,500 students and a total of 78 schools. Similarly, Portland Community College is the largest community college in the state, while the University of Portland is in high regard and has ties with the University of Notre Dame. Portland State University features 120 majors, minors and concentrations across seven colleges and schools.
Portland features some of the finest eateries on the West Coast. For instance, the Andina Restaurant serves exquisite Peruvian food, the Portland City Grill features American dishes with an Asian twist, while the Tin Shed offers incredible, down-home dining.
Besides the eateries, the city is famous for its gorgeous natural attractions. With more than 5,000 acres of land, the Portland Forest Park consists of exciting trails and fantastic opportunities for hiking, biking and observing nature. Meanwhile, the Portland Japanese garden features a gorgeous strolling pond garden and a welcoming tea garden, complete with a sand and stone garden. The International Rose Test Garden — with its 7,000 stunning rose bushes — can also be found in Portland’s Washington Park (the city’s nickname is the City of Roses). Entrance to the park is completely free from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The downtown core features the best shopping opportunities in Portland. Pioneer Square (also known as Portland Mall) is nicknamed “Portland’s Living Room” and features 40,000 square feet of premiere shopping, along with numerous free things to do, such as flower shows, public art shows and mini festivals.
The Edgefield is a prime sport for couples to enjoy historical buildings, organic gardens and romantic restaurants for a fun night out.
Families with children will definitely enjoy Oaks Amusement Park, which features science-based learning games, green parks, animal exhibits and a lot of free things to do.
Some of the top cultural attractions in the city are The Portland Art Museum — which is the seventh-oldest art museum in the country — and the annual Portland Marathon, which has been held for more than 40 years in Portland.
The Portland Timbers Major League Soccer Team plays at Providence Park. The Portland Trailblazers basketball team is currently renegotiating its contract.
In Portland, renters are entitled to a “habitable” home, meaning that the landlord pays in full for all wiring, plumbing, pest control and heating repairs. “Repair and deduct” policies can be exercised if a landlord fails to comply with an important responsibility, in which case the tenant can withhold rent. In Portland, the landlord is required to give 24 hours written notice before entering the home unless it’s a state of emergency.
Californians relocating to Portland will find a little friendly rivalry and ribbing from local residents. Despite this fact, their warm friendliness and openness will make you feel right at home.