With a population of more than 1.7 million in the greater metropolitan area, Portland is a major cultural center in the Pacific Northwest. Portlanders enjoy the Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, Portland Ballet, Portland Art Museum, numerous art galleries and live theater.
Famous for its addiction to books, Portland has numerous excellent bookstores, including the legendary Powell’s Bookstore. Portland's culinary scene is exceptional, not only for its quality and diversity but also for its affordability. The Northwest was home to the rebirth of the microbrew industry and Portland was the epicenter. Oregon also has numerous wineries located close to Portland. In addition, Portland features its own professional basketball and soccer teams.
Portland contains 7,500 acres of parkland in 160 locations, including Forest Park, the largest urban wilderness area within any U.S. city. Oregon's Willamette Valley wine country starts only 20 miles South of the city, and offers the ability to sample world-famous Pinot Noir while surrounded by beautiful rolling hills. The Pacific Ocean is 80 miles to the west and the Columbia Gorge, Mount Hood, the Cascade Mountains and millions of acres of national forest are within one to two hours drive from the city. Recreational opportunities are limitless year-round.
The Portland metropolitan area enjoys a strong diversified economy. Due to model land use laws, growth in Portland and Oregon has been rational and controlled, without much of the sprawl that has impacted other urban areas.
Portland has excellent public transportation (Tri-Met), including modern light rail and streetcar systems. As an added benefit, the OHSU offers all employees a substantially subsidized yearly transportation pass that can be used at any time on the bus and light rail and streetcar systems. OHSU also offers reduced parking rates for those residents who choose to drive to campus. Portland is also recognized nationally as a bicycle friendly city, and many faculty and housestaff bike to work on a regular basis.
More on Portland
- The Ultimate Guide to Portland Neighborhoods from the Portland Monthly Magazine.
- Guide to Portland Neighborhoods from Travel Portland
- The 38 Essential Restaurants and Food Carts in Portland from EaterPDX
Cost of living
Portland consistently has a lower cost of living than most west coast metropolitan areas. Visit this external cost of living wizard to compare your current city with Portland and other west coast cities.
Biking in Portland and to OHSU
Portland has consistently been one of the top bicycle-friendly cities. In 2019, CNBC ranked Portland as the 2nd most bike-friendly city in the U.S. Several of our Faculty and Housestaff bike to work year-round. OHSU has an incentive program for those that bike to work and a free bike valet service located at the base of the tram.
Portland is situated about 80 miles inland from the Pacific Coast and midway between the lower Coastal mountain range on the west and the higher Cascade mountain range on the east. Portland weather has a very definite winter-wet, summer dry climate. Summers are warm and dry while 80 percent of the annual total rainfall occurs from November through May.