Portland, Oregon was named a top travel city by Lonely Planet placing it alongside other cities such as Bordeaux, France and Cape Town, South Africa. Placing 10th on the list, Lonely Planet had this to say about Portland, Oregon, “Portland doesn’t try to impress anyone and so impresses everyone. It’s America’s city of the future: a friendly, sustainable, ethical place that values good living and leisure over acquisitiveness and ambition.” For context, here’s a look at the Top 10 list that was recently released by Lonely Planet:

  1. Bordeaux, France
  2. Cape Town, South Africa
  3. Los Angeles, California
  4. Merida, Mexico
  5. Ohrid, Macedonia
  6. Pistoia, Italy
  7. Seoul, South Korea
  8. Lisbon, Portugal
  9. Moscow, Russia
  10. Portland, Oregon


What Makes Portland A Top Travel City?

Perhaps to answer this question, one must first take a trip to Portland International Airport where travelandleisure.com has named it the top airport in America for 4 years in a row. In the post naming PDX as the top airport, they had this to say:

“Kudos to the designers and the Port of Portland for an airport that is user-friendly, open, airy, and efficient,” wrote one survey taker. In addition to its navigability, PDX boasts an admirable on-time departure record—this airport is truly an extension of the city. You can order Middle Eastern fare from Aybla Grill and buy socks, bike helmets, and even yoga mats sporting the pattern found on the unforgettable carpet lining the terminals.

What Makes Portland Unique?

For those traveling to Portland via airplane and who happened to have a window seat generally already know the answer to this question long before the wheels hit the ground at PDX.

Portland Loves the Outdoors

Portland is surrounded by rich beauty and natural landscapes. From the Cascade Mountain Range to the Columbia and Willamette Rivers to the urban forests and places of recreation that dot the map in and around the city, there are plenty of places to explore that will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.

For natural and cultural landscape lovers, here are but a few spots that help make Portland unique:

  1. Portland International Rose Test Garden which features more than 10,000 roses and boasts spectacular views of downtown Portland and Mt. Hood.
  2. Forest Park is home to 70 miles of trails all within the city limits of Portland.
  3. Portland Japanese Garden which features authentic Japanese landscaping.
  4. Multnomah Falls is located along the Columbia River just 30 miles outside of Portland. Ask any Portlander about top places they like to take out-of-town visitors and this is it.
  5. Mt Hood is Oregon’s tallest peak and is located just 90 minutes from Portland.

Portland Loves Food and Drink

Has all this outdoor activity caused you to work up an appetite?

“Portlanders prefer places where they feel comfortable in their hiking boots and fleece,” says Michael Russell, the restaurant critic for the Oregonian in a recent article about Portland’s prominence on the national food scene.

Between all of Portland’s recreational and culinary options, that quote sounds about right.

Portland is Also Top City for Food and Drink

Over the past several years, Portland has become well-known for its food and drink culture. Over the past two years, smartertravel.com has named Portland to both Top Ten Food Truck city as well as Top Food and Drink city in the U.S. stating this about the city:

“According to foodies and beer connoisseurs alike, Portland (and the rest of Oregon) is taking over the culinary scene in the States.”

To add to Portland’s growing list of being named best places for [fill in the blank], thrillist.com also recently named Portland number one on its Every State in the USA, Ranked by Beer list saying this about Portland’s scene”

“Much ballyhoo has been made of the sheer number of breweries in the Portland metro area, which tops out at more than 70 and counting… but this isn’t a case of quantity over quality. It’s a case of quantity meeting quality head on.”

Portland Transit Makes It Easy to Get Places

Each year in Portland, 100 million trips are taken using its TRIMET public transit system.

Routinely ranked as a top city for transit, Portland takes sustainability with its various transportation options seriously. With a light rail system that literally picks you up and drops you off at the doorstep of PDX as well as virtually any other place within the greater metro area along with its vast trails for pedestrians, bike lanes, and even street cars, Portland transit makes it easy to get places.

In 2016, Portland opened the Tilikum Crossing making it the first bridge in the U.S. that is dedicated solely to pedestrians, bicycles, and multi-modal public transit which includes light rail and streetcar.

3 (of many) Reasons Why Portland is a Top Travel City:

  1. Portland is surrounded by rich beauty and natural landscapes.
  2. Portland is Also Top City for Food and Drink
  3. Public Transit Makes it Easy to Get Places

With its rich beauty and natural landscapes paired with a vast and unique culinary scene and a transit infrastructure that makes it easy to get places, it’s no wonder Portland has become a top travel destination amongst some of the most well-known cities that span the globe.