More people in Portland commute to work via bicycle than in any other city in the country (more than twice the average of other urban centers), and innovations like bike-specific boulevards, traffic signals, and safety zones help riders roll along.
Hot trend in town
Forest Park offers up more than 5,000 acres and more than 70 miles of trails, creating the country's largest urban wilderness retreat—and residents put it to good use by hiking, biking, and running. The 11-mile Leif Erikson Road makes for a calorie-blasting out-and-back ride, or escape from the crowds for a hike along the leafy 30-mile Wildwood Trail.
Residents Report: "Why I love this city!"
"One of my favorite scenic walks is to make a loop along the east and west banks of the Willamette River. Sometimes we'll turn it into a longer outing by doing some antiquing mid-walk out in a neighborhood called Sellwood."
—MONICA HUNSBERGER, 36, college professor
The Avalon Hotel & Spa is perched near the banks of the Willamette River and has a riverfront running and cycling path right out the back door. Or check out the cardio and strength machines and yoga, Pilates, dance and sculpting classes over at the spa's plush fitness center (equipment use is free for guests; classes are $10 each). From $149; avalonhotelandspa.com
Wildwood Restaurant (wildwoodrestaurant.com) was one of the first to embrace the eat-local attitude, with menus created primarily from ingredients from Oregon wine country. The menu changes weekly to ensure flavors remain at their peak.