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Want a surefire way to make a Portlander upset? Reduce their city to a TV show reference or a pastry shop and watch the fumes rise from their beanie. Here’s 5 ways you can experience the real Portland (and you get to avoid standing in line for a donut).

Head to the Eastside

The westside has the downtown area and some great shops and restaurants, but you’ll be swimming with a lot of other fishes. Break away from the pack and head across one of the many bridges to the inner industrial eastside of Portland, where you’ll find the bars and restaurants that the locals hang at. Shop on Hawthorne, stroll around Ladd’s Addition and see the rose gardens that have been a part of Portland’s identity for more than a century.

Hike and Bike

It would be a crime to visit the Pacific Northwest and stay on concrete the entire time. Portland has hundreds of miles of hiking trails located all around it, with plenty of those right inside the city limits. Forest Park is one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves at over 5,000 acres of lush Pacific Northwest rainforest. Want to pick up the pace a bit? Rent a bike and explore the entirety of Portland on two wheels — it is one of the bike-friendliest cities on the west coast.

Don’t Use an Umbrella

Ok, it’s a little bit of a myth that Portlander’s don’t use umbrellas. But the fact is that Portland gets a lot of rain and sometimes that rain is sporadic. If you are out experiencing Portland you are probably going to get tired of wrangling that umbrella amongst all the other urban explorers, so invest in a good raincoat (and Columbia is a local company!) and go umbrella-free for your visit. You’ll be happier and you won’t get any dirty looks from the HARDCORE RAIN PURISTS.

Must Attend Brunch

All those local bars can do a pretty good job of serving local beers and cocktails, which means you might be waking up a little late to do a traditional breakfast. Luckily, Portland has compensated for the late-to-rise crowd with some of the best brunches west of the Rockies. No matter what your diet is — vegan, carnivore, pescatarian, or raw  — there is a brunch spot waiting for you with unlimited mimosas.

Plaid and Flannel

When grunge became a thing in the 90’s, fashion icons everywhere started wearing plaid and flannel which doesn’t make much sense if you live in warmer weather. That’s because a nice wool plaid shirt is perfect for the Portland climate: it will keep you warm, wick away moisture and make you look like a real outdoorsy type. You’ll have your pick for the perfect flannel, but we suggest Portland-based Pendleton for a shirt that will last way past the end of your assignment.

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