Portland is a hip, urban hotspot with national accolades for its cuisine as well as a vibrant arts scene, great theatres and funky shopping districts inspired by the creative spirit of the city. It has eco-conscious residents who ride bikes everywhere, adding to the city’s booming bike culture. Get a taste for the food scene at some of the more than 500 food carts, which are located in ‘pods’ all over the city. A new crop of urban wineries is producing wine inside city limits, and you can visit their tasting rooms to try numerous vintages, while Distillery Row is home to six local distilleries making everything from whiskey and gin to rum and aquavit. Shopping is great in the Pearl District, once an industrial area that now holds upscale boutiques and the city’s highest concentration of galleries. Be sure to check out Northwest 23rd Avenue, a stretch inside a residential neighbourhood with big trees and old bungalows that holds clothing shops, shoe stores and fine restaurants. The city is dotted with small squares and parks offering coffee shops and an urban city feel. The most prestigious being Pioneer Square where recently the awards ceremony for the international games was held. Make sure you try test the Squares acoustics which have a bizarre amplification effect.