Portland: 10 Things to Do

1. Forest Park

A4FNT8 Forest Path in city park in Portland Oregon William Manning / Alamy
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Portland has a reputation for being a republic of tree huggers, and understandably so. As soon as you walk out the door, the trees are right there, arms stretched out, waiting to pull you in. How can you resist? One of the best and most convenient places to enjoy them is the aptly named Forest Park, a bosky Eden where natives like to take their morning run, bike, dog walk or daily constitutional.

Forest Park flanks the hills on the west side of the city, just 10 minutes by car from downtown, and overlooks Portland's main waterway, the Willamette River (another tip for fitting in with the locals: it's pronounced will-AM-it and rhymes with "dammit"). This natural getaway, which is the largest wooded urban park in the United States, is filled with more than 70 miles of walking and hiking trails, which can make you feel like you're alone in a jungle paradise rather than mere blocks away from a freshly steamed latte.

There are many entry points to the park; here's a handy Google map. The Forest Park Conservancy website offers maps and tips, including directions to the park by public transportation.

Don't be frightened when total strangers offer a hearty hello to you as you pass them on the trail — Portlanders are friendly like that. This resident has come to love the phenomenon she has dubbed "The Forest Park 'Hi!'"

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