- Mill Ends Park – The smallest park in the world is a 452-square-inch park on the SW corner of Naito Pkwy and Taylor St. Its original life was to be a light pole, but when mother nature decided she would grow despite the concrete jungle and the weeds began to peak through, the city couldn’t help but appreciate its beauty.
- Burnside Skatepark - Legend has it that in 1990, a few skateboarders hauled bags of cement to a scrap of unclaimed ground beneath the Burnside Bridge. They built a couple of ramps and started skating. Word spread like wild fire and soon more wildcat construction followed—as well as successful negotiations with surrounding property owners and even city council. Today, the Burnside Skatepark is a global icon of skate culture. Its rounded and ever-evolving bowls and walls have a strange, organic beauty: the poetry of concrete, applied with love.
- You can see four volcanoes from Downtown Portland - Each of which could conceivably erupt at any second. So, theoretically, Portlanders cheat death just by waking up. What’s not to love about that?
- Portlanders love to break strange world records - Largest gathering of redheads: August 2015, more than 1,300 gingers congregated in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Biggest tree hug: In Hoyt Arboretum, 951 people gave minute-long hugs to trees. Burpees: That ridiculous push-up/plank/jump extreme exercise? Someone did 9,480 over three days. High-speed grocery bagging: Executives from a local scanning technology company clocked 50 items in 51.91 seconds. Most successful three-point basketball shots in one minute: Twenty-five, to be precise.
- Multipurpose Coffee Shops – Need I say more? Coffee + laundry: North Portland’s Spin Laundry Lounge ingeniously combines clean clothes with Fog Valley Coffee. Coffee + nonprofit: Volunteers founded TaborSpace in a disused bell tower at Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church—it’s now a nonprofit café and grassroots community center. Coffee + bar: A beautiful little Euro-accented bolt hole on NW 21st Avenue is Sterling Coffee Roasters by day, convivial M Bar by night.
- Portland’s famed International Rose Test Garden - It cultivates 10,000 varieties. Among them blooms the world’s oldest known rose, soon to celebrate its 1,200th birthday: a “dog rose” known as Rosa canina, cut from a giant rose bush at a cathedral in Hildesheim, Germany. Portland’s test garden was founded in 1917 to provide a home for European hybrids that rose enthusiasts worried would be destroyed in World War I. The original Hildesheim Rose burned during Allied Forces’ 1945 bombing. Eight weeks later, it sprouted 25 new shoots.
Every city has their niches, the things that make them unique, the places locals couldn’t imagine living without and the things that people will travel near and far to see; from micro parks to big hikes, from small towns to major cities, from secret treasures to the world renowned. Every city needs to be loved; here are just a few reasons to love Portland.