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Fun Facts & Trivia about Portland, Oregon*

  • Population:
    536,240; 1.9 million in the Portland metropolitan area
  • Area:
    145 square miles (375 square km)
  • Elevation:
    Average height of 173 feet above sea level (52.5 m)
  • Time zone:
    Pacific
  • Miles to ocean:
    78 (125 km)
  • Miles to a glacier:
    65 to the Palmer Glacier on Mount Hood (104 km)
  • Average temps:
    January, 39.6 F (4.2 C); July, 76 F (24.4 C
  • Average rainfall:
    36.3 inches (less than Atlanta, Houston, Baltimore, Indianapolis or Seattle - and without that nasty humidity)
  • Newspapers:
    The Oregonian (daily), The Portland Tribune (semiweekly), Willamette Week (weekly)
  • Major industry:
    Tourism, high-tech, health care and manufacturing
  • Weather:
    503.275.9792
  • Road conditions:
    503.222.6721 (AAA Oregon)
  • Airport:
    Portland International Airport (503.460.4040, www.flypdx.com)
  • Transit:
    MAX, Portland's light rail system (503.238.7433, www.tri-met.org) Tri-Met bus system (503.238.7433,www.tri-met.org) Portland Streetcar (503.238.7433, www.portlandstreetcar.org) Amtrak, Union Station (800.872.7245, www.amtrak.com)
  • Official Bird:
    Blue Heron
  • Official rose:
    Mme. Caroline Testout Rose

Sister Cities

CityCountryDate Established
SapporoJapanNovember 17, 1959
GuadalajaraMexicoSeptember 23, 1983
CorintoNicaraguaApril 17, 1985
AshkelonIsraelOctober 13, 1987
UlsanSouth KoreaNovember 20, 1987
SuzhouChinaJune 7, 1988
KhabarovskRussiaJune 10, 1988
KaohsiungTaiwanOctober 11, 1988
Mutare ZimbabweDecember 18, 1991
BolognaItalyJune 5, 2003

Portland Accolades

  • "This gateway to Oregon’s wine country is a wine destination in its own right."
    Food & Wine magazine (August 2003)
  • "Best running town" and home of the ‘Best urban running trail: the Leif Erickson Trail"
    Runner’s World (May 2003)
  • No. 1 urban destination for summer travel in the United States, according to Travel + Leisure readers; plus No. 1 for general safety; No. 1 for ease of getting around; No. 3 for fall travel.
    Travel + Leisure magazine (April 2003)
  • One of "America’s 10 Best Summer Vacations"
    Citysearch Editors’ Poll (June 2002)
  • One of "10 perfect places in North America to spend your summer holiday."
    Money magazine (April 2002)
  • One of America’s "Top 25 Arts Destinations"
    AmericanStyle magazine (Spring 2002)
  • Called "the next Napa" and ". . . the Burgundy of America."
    Gourmet magazine (January 2002)
  • No. 2, "Best Places to Live in the United States"
    Money magazine (December 2001)
  • "North America’s No. 1 Cycling City"
    Bicycling magazine (November 2001)
  • No. 5, "Top 100 Fantastic Places (and Things) for 2001"
    Travel + Leisure magazine (January 2001)

Portland Trivia

  • The Portland Saturday Market is the largest continuously operating open-air crafts market in the United States.
  • Powell’s City of Books, occupying an entire city block, is the world’s largest independent bookstore.
  • The Port of Portland’s combined terminals handle $10.5 billion worth of cargo each year.
  • Portland’s Junior Rose Festival Parade is the largest children’s parade in America.
  • Portlandia is the second-largest hammered-copper statue in the world (the Statue of Liberty is the first).
  • Portland’s International Rose Test Garden is the oldest in the nation.
  • More Asian elephants (27 to date) have been born in Portland than in any other North American city.
  • Portland is known as the epicenter of America’s craft brewing renaissance.
  • Portland is home to both the world’s smallest dedicated park, Mill Ends Park (24 inches in size), and the nation’s largest forestedcity wilderness
    the 5,000-acre Forest Park.
  • Portland has 37,000 acres of parks in the metro area.
  • Portland’s nicknames include “Rose City,” “City of Bridges,” “Rip City,” and “Rivercity.”
  • The Oregon Brewers Festival is the largest gathering of independent brewers in North America.
  • The city of Portland was officially incorporated on February 8, 1851.
  • There is no sales tax in Oregon.

*From the Portland Oregon Visitors Association


Fun Facts About Oregon

  • Oregon is the 10th largest state in the union, covering 97,073 square miles.
  • The population of Oregon is only 3.4 million, with 1.5 million living in the Portland area.
  • You may not pump your own gas in the state of Oregon.
  • The highest elevation point is Mt. Hood at 11,239 feet, and the lowest is at sea level.
  • The deepest river-carved gorge in North America, Hells Canyon (at 7,900 feet) is located in the Northeastern corner of the state.
  • There are more than 6,000 lakes and 112,000 miles of rivers and streams.
  • Oregon's birthday is Valentine's Day, February 14, 1859.
  • Most of Oregon is located in the Pacific time zone. Oregon's easternmost city, Ontario, is actually located in the Mountain time zone.
  • There are more than 5,900 registered campsites, 230 state parks and 13 national forests in Oregon.
  • Nearly half of Oregon's total area is forested - close to 30 million acres.
  • Oregon has more than 7,000 bridges, including 53 covered bridges.
  • There are 16 known hot springs in Oregon.
  • Oregon has 12 downhill ski areas, with 400 trails in three mountain ranges.
  • At 1,932 feet, Crater Lake, located in Southern Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States.
  • The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is one of the richest fossil bed sites in the world.
  • Oregon City, Oregon, was the first incorporated city west of the Rockies.
  • There are currently 17 ghost towns in Oregon.
  • There are nine lighthouses and one light ship along the Oregon Coast.
  • Astoria, founded in 1811, is the oldest U.S. settlement west of the Rockies.
  • Oregon has four National Historic Trails, and 14 National Historic Districts.
  • The Oregon State Bird is the Western Meadowlark.
  • The Oregon State Animal is the American Beaver.

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