Portland, Oregon figured out how to offer travelers the best of each city rolled into one.

A reliable light rail system, responsible urban planning featuring parks and walking/biking trails, an eclectic art scene and an evolving food market makes this Northwest city a travelers haven.

Its bustling culture positioned between the Tualatin Mountains, Oregon Coast Range and the actively volcanic Cascade Range, while located at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers makes Portland the perfect stop while traveling the Oregon Trail.

Its natural beauty and landscaped scenery offers travelers a rejuvenating and progressive experience.

Portland is divided by the Willamette River, which runs north and south, and Burnside Street, which runs east and west. Organized and managable, the city is organized as a grid with numerous bridges to cross the river and intercepting streets to make it east to navigate.

From historic Old Town in the northwest part of the city to the swanky, vivacious Pearl District, upscale Nob Hill and the rich culture of central downtown, Portland’s many different neighborhoods offer an array of entertainment, sightseeing, nightlife and outdoor activities.

No matter the season, Portland is a highlight year-round. The city is known for it’s skiing in the outlining mountains during through the spring, Rose Festival in the summer, International Film Festival in the winter and many breweries to visit any time of year. Not only does Portland deserve to be top on the travel list, it has become the most progressive destination to visit in the Pacific Northwest.

Here are a few must-see and must-dos while visiting the city:

Where to Stay?

Hotel Rose is a boutique hotel located in downtown Portland across from the riverbank of the Willamette River. The fun, energetic vibe inside the hotel mirrors that of the city’s. Not only is Hotel Rose located steps from the iconic river, it is a short walk to many shops, restaurants, food carts, coffee shops and the famous Powell’s City of Books. The boutique hotel is also located across the street from a light rail stop, which makes getting around Portland convenient and easy.

Not only does Hotel Rose offer an array of ammenities, including complimentary bike rentals with your stay, it has a full-service bar on site. H50 Bistro and Bar, which was named Portland’s Diner’s Choice Winner for Best American Food and Best Scenic View, serves dinner and drinks daily in its bar area while the dining room gets an overhaul. The bar also offers a delicious happy hour with an ever-changing menu. Not only is the hotel in prime location, but the views of Portland it offers from some of the rooms makes this boutique hotel worth the stay.

What to See?

Powell’s City of Books is a major attraction and rightfully so with it encompassing a 68,000 square foot area in the heart of downtown Portland. The bookstore is a like a small city within itself. For bibliophiles, a complete day might not be enough time to get through the many color-coded aisles and floors of this bookstore. The Classical Chinese Gardens is also a popular sight in Portland. It is the largetst Ming-Style Chinese Garden outside of China. It occupies a full city block and is filled with a variety of flora, waterfalls, a pond and beautiful architecture.

Tasting some of Oregon’s famous microbrews is a worthwhile activity for beer lovers, or travelers who are looking to expand their varietal of beer. Well-known for their microbreweries, Portland is home to more than 60 of them spread throughout the city. A full day can be spend roaming around the city, enjoying some suds. Hair of the Dog Brewing Company offers great beer, good food and lots of Porland culture.

Another fun option when in Portland, but depending on the time of year, is to attend a Portland Timbers’ soccer game. The city revolves around the sport when it’s in season and watching the team play and experiencing the energy from the crowd first-hand at a home game is an unforgettable experience. This MLS powerhouse is worth rooting for when visiting their city.

Where to Eat?

Portland has a blooming restaurant scene. Offering a wide variety of styles and flavors, from ethnic food to American pub fare, the city is a foodie mecca. Each restaurant has its own vibe, while most are laid-back, there are also some upscale eateries located in downtown Portland and within the other sections of the city, such as Knob Hill and the Pearl District.

But for a quality meal that is the most economic, convenient and cultural, eating at the city’s food carts is a must-do when visiting Portland. From vegetarian to even greater eclectic varieties, the food cart craze is at the heart of Portland. The food carts, which are referred to as “pods,” are a big part of Portland’s food scene. With more than 600 to choose from, their locations differ throughout the city. For a map and more information on where to find the pods along with a list of the different cuisines, visit Food Carts Portland.

So the next time you are up for a road trip, or just looking for a new place to explore, Portland is the way to go.

Travel Tip Shared by Ashley