On the west coast, Portland is a bit of a sleeper compared to cities like San Francisco or Seattle. This is, as any Portlander will tell you, much of what makes the city so appealing. Most visitors arrive with an "I don't know, I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about" attitude. Upon their departure, those same visitors may still not be able to articulate what, precisely, they liked about Portland - but they'll often tell you they're thinking of moving to the Rose City. Portland, like the coffee its residents drink by the gallon, is addictive.
Portland is a closely tied to the water. The Willamette River runs through its center, while the enormous Columbia River flows along its northern edge, dividing Oregon and Washington. And yes, it rains quite a bit in Portland, though locals are quick to point out Seattle's annual rainfall numbers are higher. Visit in summer, when it's rarely too hot and it's never muggy, and you'll never want to leave. Within a short drive from downtown you can be hiking or wind-surfing in the Columbia Gorge, sipping Pinot Noir at a vineyard, playing in the sand on the Oregon coast, or staring at the crater of Mt. St. Helens. You'll want to work up an appetite, too, so you can sample the goods at some of Portland's more than 500 food carts in addition to its plethora of top-notch restaurants. And of course you'll wash it all down with locally-produced craft beer, wine, spirits, or coffee. Portland feeds both the stomach and the spirit, even if you think you don't have room for another bite.