Portland & Oregon

About Portland & Oregon

Portland, OR skyline from Marquam Bridge

With a population of more than 1.7 million in the greater metropolitan area, Portland is a major cultural center in the Pacific Northwest. Portlanders enjoy the Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, Portland Ballet, Portland Art Museum, numerous art galleries and live theater.

Famous for its addiction to books, Portland has numerous excellent bookstores, including the legendary Powell’s Bookstore. Portland's culinary scene is exceptional, not only for its quality and diversity but also for its affordability. The Northwest was home to the rebirth of the microbrew industry and Portland was the epicenter. Oregon also has numerous wineries located close to Portland. In addition, Portland features its own professional basketball, soccer and ice hockey teams.

Portland contains 7,500 acres of parkland in 160 locations, including Forest Park, the largest urban wilderness area within any U.S. city. The Pacific Ocean is 80 miles to the west and the Columbia Gorge, Mount Hood, the Cascade Mountains and millions of acres of national forest are within one to two hours drive from the city. Recreational opportunities are limitless year-round.

The Portland metropolitan area enjoys a strong diversified economy. Due to model land use laws, growth in Portland and Oregon has been rational and controlled, without much of the sprawl that has impacted other urban areas.

Portland has excellent public transportation (Tri-Met), including modern light rail and streetcar systems. As an added benefit, the OHSU offers all employees a substantially subsidized yearly transportation pass that can be used at any time on the bus and light rail and streetcar systems. OHSU also offers reduced parking rates for those residents who choose to drive to campus. Portland is also recognized nationally as a bicycle friendly city, and many faculty and housestaff bike to work on a regular basis.

View Portland area resources for OHSU employees and families

More on Portland...

MAX Light Rail Downtown Portland

Guide to Portland Neighborhoods

Guide to Portland Neighborhoods from the Portland Monthly Magazine.

Cost of Living

Portland consistently has a lower cost of living than most west coast metropolitan areas.  Visit this external cost of living wizard to compare your current city with Portland and other west coast cities.

Biking in Portland and to OHSU

Portland has consistently been one of the top bicycle-friendly cities.   In 2014 Bicycling.com ranked Portland as one of the best bike-friendly cities.  Several of our Faculty and Housestaff bike to work year-round. OHSU has an incentive program for those that bike to work and a free bike valet service located at the base of the tram.

View more about biking to OHSU


Portland is situated about 80 miles inland from the Pacific Coast and midway between the lower Coastal mountain range on the west and the higher Cascade mountain range on the east. Portland weather has a very definite winter-wet, summer dry climate. Summers are warm and dry while 80 percent of the annual total rainfall occurs from November through May.

View the winter severity index for Portland (3rd lowest)