Portland
Photo Courtesy of Kyle Johnson

Portland's large reader population enjoys a library and a bookstore that each cover an entire city block. The city is a rich new-media outpost—with film, literature, art, and music spanning the cultural spectrum in a variety of venues and installations. The museum scene offers a full complement of content from art to history, science to forestry, all easily accessible and striving to give visitors context for their NW experience. Note that Portlandia (not the TV show) is the second-largest bronze statue in the United States, eclipsed only by the one on Staten Island. See it!

Summer serves up some of the most entertaining events on the festival calendar. Cinco de Mayo kicks off the season; then the Rose Festival officially welcomes summer in June. The Waterfront Blues Fest fuels a carefree, all-ages party well into the evening on the Fourth of July, attracting national headliners. The Oregon Brewers Fest puts the beer in Beervana with summer and winter events. Go international with the Chinese, Polish, Italian, Greek, and German festivals. Music/Techfest NW is Portland's all-out SXSW knockoff in fall. Portland International Film Fest lights up screens in winter. Bottom line—the party's always pumping.