Fun & Relaxation
The Pacific Northwest’s singular blend of cosmopolitan and rural cultures creates the ideal environment to accommodate your unique interests and personality.
The Northwest is replete with opportunities to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Since all of the cities lie within close range of rivers, forests, mountains, and the ocean, the range of activities one can pursue is abundant. A small sample of what we have to offer:
- Ski resorts, hiking trails, and camping in our magnificent volcanic mountains
- Fossil beds and painted hills in southern Oregon
- Wildlife sanctuaries in Washington and Oregon’s gorgeous forests
- Dune-buggy excursions in the most expansive sand dunes on the West Coast
- Surfing and other water sports on the Pacific Ocean
- Whitewater rafting, kayaking, kiteboarding, canoeing, and fishing on our pristine rivers
- Horseback riding, skydiving, off-road cycling, and much, much more
The people of the Northwest are truly animal lovers and they are very passionate about their pets. Dog-friendly parks with off-leash areas, feline day spas, and sumptuous equine stabling are plentiful. You might be surprised to learn that many of the Northwest’s cities are specially zoned to allow residents to keep chickens and other small farm animals. Urban goats can even be hired as eco-friendly lawnmowers and weed-eaters, and are utilized this way in city green spaces.
The distinct culture of the Northwest is a fabric woven from the many cultures and backgrounds of our inhabitants. Our diverse spectrum of cultural activity expresses our appreciation for each unique individual in our community. Here are a few ways to immerse yourself in our rich and varied history:
- Historical and cultural lectures and art displays hosted by Portland’s Native American Art Council
- Highland Games held by the Oregon Scottish Society: food, fun, and a traditional Scottish Highland Games competition
- Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, presented by the Portland Guadalajara Sister City Association, is the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in North America, and features traditional music, dance, food, crafts, sports, and guest-performers from Guadalajara
- The Portland Greek Festival features Greek music, dance, food, and activities
- Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program’s annual Festival Japan, with performances of Japanese music and dance, plus food and activities
Beloved by locals and visitors alike, outdoor markets of all kinds conduct a thriving trade in the Northwest’s cities.
Farm Fresh Produce
The Pacific Northwest’s fertile soil and ideal growing conditions yield an abundance of enticing produce. Local growers put this bounty to good use, holding farmers markets where one can find countless varieties of local fruits, vegetables, berries, jams, honey, and other farm-fresh fare.
Portland, Vancouver, Salem, and Eugene host weekly Saturday Markets, which are notable examples of the open-air markets profuse throughout the region. Browse handcrafted wares and art, and enjoy the dynamic atmosphere created by live music, delicious foods, street performers, and much more.
Craft beers have long been a point of pride for those living in the Pacific Northwest. Tours, tastings, and home brewing classes are offered at many breweries throughout the region.
Coffee house culture is nearly synonymous with the Pacific Northwest. Every day of the year in our countless cafés, residents can be found chatting, working remotely, or curling up with a book in an accommodating niche. Local shops take particular pride in roasting their own coffee beans in-house, and all brew their aromatic beverages with distinctive enthusiasm and expertise.
A Place for You
No matter what your cultural heritage, lifestyle, personality, or interests, the Pacific Northwest’s lively cities and spectacular surroundings are certain to have what you need to enrich and enliven your recreation time.