Portland, Oregon

You'll notice right away that Portland is a city that's friendly enough to feel like a small town. Maybe that's why it's long been a magnet for designers, musicians, artists, and writers.

One of the ten best cities to live in the world

Major creative shops as well as design and artisan entrepreneurs make their headquarters here because it's a great place to live with stellar food, culture, and nature. Portland was just named one of Metropolis magazine's ten Best Cities to Live In worldwide, and it's the only U.S. city on the list! They ranked cities on housing, transportation, sustainability and culture.

An darkened room with art enthusiasts exploring an art installation at DISJECTA, a contemporary art center in Portland, Oregon.

Living Arts & Culture

Portland has a vibrant art, music, and literary scene with the Time-Based Art Festival, Music Fest Northwest, The Portland Zine Symposium and the Wordstock Festival, among others. Portland is also home to Powell’s City of Books, “the largest independent bookstore in the United States.” There are many art walks, including First Thursday in the Pearl District, Last Friday on the Inner Southeast Side and Last Thursday in the Alberta Arts District.

Getting Around

Getting around Portland is so easy. It's incredibly bike friendly with dedicated bike lanes, shared bike streets, and one of the country's most active cycling communities. The public transportation system includes frequent buses, the MAX light rail operated by Tri-Met, the Portland Streetcar, and the Portland aerial tram. And look out for the orange bikes of Portland's new bike share system, Biketown.

Portland Broadway Bridge

The Great Outdoors

Hike, bike, surf, snowboard, ski, climb—however you like to get outdoors, you can do it in and nearby Portland.

Portland is just 60 miles from both Mount Hood and the Pacific Ocean. The windsurfing and amazing hikes of the Columbia Gorge are just half an hour away.

The natural beauty of the region is folded right into the city. Portland has one of the country's largest urban reserves. Forest Park, located within city limits, is a 5,000-acre wooded area with an extensive trail system for hiking and biking. The Portland metro area has 37,000 acres (14,973 hectares) of green space, including 288 public parks and 166 miles (267 kilometers) of trails. And the Willamette River running straight through the heart of the city is plied by kayaks, dragon boats, sail boats, and canoes.

Local Flavor

Portland has a national reputation for its innovative restaurants and year-round Farmer’s Markets, and food carts line city blocks, offering affordable cuisine from around the world.

People walking among food carts on a sunny day at the Alder Street pod in downtown Portland, Oregon.

West Coast

Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boise, Las Vegas, and Vancouver, BC are within driving distance or are short flights making Portland part of a larger west coast community.

Visit PNCA today

Come explore and experience how PNCA is dedicated to empowering students to reimagine what art and design can do in the world.