7 Fun Facts About Portland You Didn’t Know

Before you lock in your Oregon itinerary, brush up on this city trivia

Uncover some of Portland’s best gems.


Whether you’re visiting the City of Roses for the first time or returning to experience something new, plenty of surprises await. Here are seven fun facts that can help you plan your Portland trip.

Expect service with a smile

Thanks to a law passed in 1951, you’ll receive full-service fill-ups at most Oregon gas stations. There are some exceptions for rural communities, but city gas stations still hold firm on this rule—so be prepared to relax in the driver’s seat when you pull up to the tank. Consider it an added perk while vacationing in Portland!

You can shop ’til you drop

Oregon has no state sales tax, which, for many, is a great incentive to splurge. Think ahead about big-ticket items you may want to shop for, like a new cell phone or laptop. To make your spree even more guilt-free, check out one of Portland’s outlet malls. With no sales tax on top of already reduced prices, you’ll save plenty of money for a nice dinner!

You can satisfy cravings 24/7

Stop in at Voodoo Doughnut for the namesake Voodoo Doll doughnut and flavors like Grape Ape.

You’ve probably heard of Portland’s iconic Voodoo Doughnut. Even though there’s likely a line of customers, these perfectly sweet, creative concoctions are worth the wait if you have a sweet tooth. From classics to unique flavors, Voodoo serves up yeast, cake and vegan doughnuts 24 hours a day. The city has also gained a reputation for its robust food truck parks, where passersby can pick up a variety of quick bites on the way to their Portland hotels or one of the area's many attractions.

It doesn’t always rain

Like Seattle, Portland has a reputation for being grey and wet. Fear not! Portland’s annual rainfall is 44 inches, barely a notch above the U.S. average of 39 inches. Summers, in fact, can be quite hot and dry. If you’re traveling to Portland during winter months, expect more rain than snow. But there’s no need to pack an umbrella—and you’ll hardly ever see locals carrying one around. Most showers are more mist than downpour.

There are microbreweries on every corner

Portland is known as “Beervana” thanks to its standing as a microbrewery capital. You’ll find more than 75 microbreweries around the area—each one cooking with local ingredients, including hops and barley grown in the Willamette Valley. Sip some samples at the annual Oregon Brewers Festival, which takes place downtown in Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

You won’t need to pack a book

Need a paperback for your travels? Powell’s City of Books, the world’s largest independently owned bookstore, is a can’t-miss for fans of old-school print and paper. More than one million used and new books occupy an entire city block in Portland’s Pearl District—a fabulous neighborhood for drinks and dining. Get lost in the classics or enjoy one of many live author readings.

Surfs up within reach

Feel the ocean breeze after a worthwhile drive to scenic Lincoln City.

A scenic, two-hour drive from Portland to Lincoln City takes you along the Pacific Coast and right past many of its beaches. Before you make the trip, be sure to check the weather—especially if you plan on soaking in the sun. It may be 90 degrees in Portland in the prime of summer, but those ocean breezes can mean you’re in for a vastly different temperature along the coastline.


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