Walking creds: Yes, your friend who moved to Portland to become a parrot therapist is obnoxiously obsessed with his new home, but the throngs who have flocked to the City of Roses do have a point. It’s the rare city that lives up to the hype, and that you can explore most of by foot -- or, if you want to fit in, by fixie -- makes it all the more enticing. Posh neighborhoods like the Pearl have still kept their bohemian character intact, and the Alberta Arts district is a dense thicket of excellent restaurants, bars, and galleries all bunched into a 20-block stretch on the northeast side of the city. Also of note, the weather’s mild year-round, especially if you carry a rain shell.
Best neighborhood for a stroll: The Pearl is still Portland’s easiest and best neighborhood to explore on foot. Yes, it has given into the center-of-a-black-hole pressure from developers licking their chops over old buildings and construction tax breaks. But it’s also bursting with restaurants, bars, breweries, galleries, and residences, a mix of uses that have kept this section of northwest Portland bustling.