Portland, Oregon is one of the best kept secrets of the northwest. It’s often overshadowed by the larger Seattle area to the north and parts of California to the south. But make no mistake, visiting Portland is an experience that leaves people wanting to come back for more. The city has plenty of lodging options, making it easy to find a place that will meet your needs. Search for vacation rentals in Portland for a great alternative to hotels. The following are three great reasons to visit Portland. Craft Beer If you’re a fan of craft beer, then you’ll be pleased to find that there are about 70 breweries in Portland itself, and over 100 in the metro area. But you won’t always need to go from brewery to brewery to sample the best beer Portland has to offer. The city features multiple beer festivals throughout the year. You can also find “brew n’ view” movie theaters with more beer on tap than you’ll believe. The Outdoor Life Located in the heart of the northwest, Portland is perfect for those who want to escape to the great outdoors. A quick one hour drive from Portland will take you to Mt. Hood, which rises 11,249 above sea level. But you don’t have to be a mountaineer to enjoy this unique area. The Mt. Hood National Forest offers plenty of hiking trails, pristine lakes, waterfalls, meadows, and just about anything else you can ask for in a national forest. If you’re not in the mood for driving, then look no further than Forest Park, which is located just west of the downtown area. The park is considered one of the largest urban parks in the country, with 5,200 acres of natural wilderness that you can explore on the over 50 miles of trails. You can either explore the park yourself or take a guided hike along the trails. Shopping Galore Portland is known for its many quirky and unique blend of shops and boutiques. Depending on your shopping tastes, you can explore the different shopping districts that offer everything from the downright weird, to antiques, and even custom-made clothes you won’t find anywhere else. For example, the West End district offers more clothing shops for both men and women, while the Hawthorne district has more antiques and other vintage items. Also, don’t forget to visit the famous Powell’s City of Books, which is considered the largest independent bookstore in the country. Before you visit, research Portland vacation rentals to see what hotel alternatives are available. And with such a wide variety of activities, plan your trip to Portland carefully so you can make your visit a memorable one.