Michael Strickland's blog on all things travel: news, deals, destinations, dreams and more.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Portland: My favorite U.S. city I've never been to

If you asked me what my favorite U.S. city was, I'd probably say San Diego or Chicago. But there are many cities I've never visited, and of all those, Portland is hands-down my favorite.

Yes, I know this makes no sense: how can I judge a city I've never been to? Well, every time I hear something about Portland, it sounds like the perfect place for me. Mountains, forests and scenic beauty all around. Eclectic, down-to-earth populace. Progressive culture, a great music scene, bike-friendly... the list goes on. If only I didn't have a Wicked Witch of the West-like aversion to rain, I'd probably be living there now.

I hope to someday soon move Portland off the "never been to" list. When that happens, I have a feeling it'll still remain one of my favorite U.S. cities. In the meantime, here are a few links to help you explore Portland:

Touring by bicycle. Fun travelogue from the New York Times Travel section. Note the recommendation to bring a rain jacket, waterproof map and ability to quickly jump off your bike and duck into a cafe when the clouds open up.

Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags. My friend Scot's Portland-based "alt country" band, described by one critic as "what The Wallflowers would sound like if they chewed tobacco instead of bubble gum." Listen to some tunes on their website.

Beer Nutz: Portland. The wacky guys from Beer Nutz go on a beer tour of Portland. "A beautiful, rainy day in Portland," they say in the intro. Isn't that redundant?



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