For those of you who may not know it, we have a lot of bridges in Portland, Oregon. Hence the nicknames city of bridges or bridgetown. When you have a large river that runs through the middle of the city like the Willamette does, its bound to have a lot of bridges. Some may think that this makes for an eyesore or weird looking city, but being the wonderful city of Portland, they have managed to make the bridges look very nice to where its an addition to the overall aesthetic appeal of the city. There are eight bridges downtown total connecting both side of the river. Many friendly Portlandians (local natives of Portland) like to think of the bridges as a sign of the city holding hands. Many of these bridges are unique in their design and age. Among them is the Steel Bridge, a telescoping double-decker vertical lift bridge, which is the only one of its kind the whole world, and then theres the Hawthorne Bridge, the oldest operating lift bridge in the city. Portlandians love their bridges and it can be very exciting the first time your car is lifted into the air for a boat to pass through. And then before you know its your tenth time and you are in a hurry, wish the boat would pick up the pace.
If you are ever in Portland I highly recommend stopping and taking look at our lovely bridges. The best way to fit in and experience the bridges is by bicycle, just like a true Portlandian would. 6% of Portland’s population commutes by bike. According to a 2013 Census Bureau survey, the city is listed as one of the top bike town’s in the country. There many bike tour companies downtown such as Portland Bicycle Tours, that is more than willing to show you around, but honestly, if you wanted to rent a bike and explore the city on your own thats totally fine.
Due to Portland’s large number of high quality microbreweries it has also been dubbed the name Beervana. According to the Oregon Brewers Guild there is a total of 31 microbreweries operating in Portland alone, thats more than any other city in the world. The beer scene in Portland is crazy, to get a good sense of it you can visit a variety of brew pubs, bars, and clubs around town.
But if you are not much of a beer person, don’t worry they got the hard stuff. Head over to Distillery Row in Southeast Portland. This part of town is filled with entrepreneurship, and great food. There are many micro distilleries that offer tours and tasting on Saturday and tours during the week, by appointment. There are many of famous distilleries, among them House of Spirits, where they keep everything pretty old school. They offer a pre-Prohibition style of gin and a small Apothecary Line of one of kind liquor. Another well known distillery is New Deal Distillery, where they have a popular line of vodka among aficionados in Portland and around the world.