|In the Shadow of Mt. Hood|
|Photo: Brent Bradley|
In the shadow of snow-capped Mount Hood, its downtown civic center is stylish and urbane.
Bisected by the Willamette River and the 10 super structures that bridge it, the city limits also embrace miles of hiking trails and the largest forested urban park in the country.
As well-known as it is for its craft breweries -- there are 29, including six of the 25 largest in the country -- Portland is also a draw for wine connoisseurs and aficionados. Restaurants, wine bars and European-style bistros shine with acclaimed selections from vineyards throughout the Columbia Gorge and nearby Yakima and Willamette Valleys. Portland also hosts an exciting culinary scene that's literally all over the map. Here, you can find a wide range of authentic ethnic restaurants, trendy fusion venues reflecting the personalities of their chefs and patrons, as well as internationally praised fine dining. There may be no greater contrasts, however, than Portland's assortment of small, accessible neighborhoods. Each has its unique charm, from upscale modern chic to old European to just plain funky. And all these neighborhood galleries and one-of-a-kind retailers offer endless memorable shopping opportunities.
The Pearl DistrictCurrently Portland's hot neighborhood, the Pearl District was a gritty industrial area just 10 years ago. Now it boasts upscale residential and business lofts along with contemporary art galleries; chic boutiques featuring fine clothing, footwear and jewelry; stylish salons, spas and fitness providers; and more than 60 home furnishings shops. The Pearl's most famous draw is
Northwest Nob HillThe neighborhood known as Nob Hill, or Northwest 23rd Avenue, is just minutes from the Pearl. Home to perhaps the city's liveliest street scene, it's a well-established destination for upscale shopping and elegant dining. Some of Portland's most intricate Victorian architecture accommodates these outstanding boutiques and restaurants. You'll find well-known anchor stores here including
Northeast Alberta StreetI was particularly taken by Alberta Street between Northeast 12th and 33rd Avenues. Instead of the ubiquitous banners that hang from the streetlights of most urban shopping areas, area artisans have fashioned distinctive metalwork pieces into permanent displays of art.
North Mississippi AvenueOne of Portland's oldest neighborhoods is quickly becoming the city's most up-and-coming one. Along a few short blocks between North Freemont Street and North Mason Street, residents are driving a revival that includes renovating buildings and residences and opening many of the hottest shops and eateries. It's a great location for the
|Alberta's Eclectic Offerings|
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