Portland lies to the far northwest of Oregon, straddling the Willamette River just south of its confluence with the Columbia River at Vancouver, Washington. Portland is the biggest city between San Francisco and Seattle, and vies with those cities as the spiritual capital of the laid-back northern Pacific coast.
The Portland Mercury is Portland's local indie newspaper available every Thursday. Local upcoming events can be found in their calendar. There is another local paper too, The Willamette Week (but you can call it the Willie Week if you want to sound cool.) It is bigger than the Mercury, a little more stuffy and conservative but a great reference for local restaurants.
Portand International Airport (PDX) - a taxi from the airport to downtown will cost you around $30, while the MAX light rail will set you back a couple of bucks, and drop you in Pioneer Square, right downtown.
Amtrak provides service to Portland from all along the west coast. The Amtrak Cascades service runs three trains a day between Eugene, Oregon to the south, and Seattle in the north. This is quicker and much more reliable than the regular trains, which can be delayed for hours on the long routes from California or Canada.
Portland's Union Station is located north of downtown, about a 15-minute walk from Pioneer Square. It is adjacent to the Greyhound bus station.
From Washington to the north and California as well as most of the rest of Oregon to the south, the easiest way to get to Portland is on Interstate Highway 5. Highway 5 runs directly through downtown Portland with a number of exits.
From Boise and other points east, Highway 84 leads along the Columbia into Portland. From the Oregon Coast Highway and other points along the Pacific coast to the west, the easiest approach is Highway 26. It cuts east towards Portland between Cannon Beach and Seaside.
Greyhound provides bus service along the West coast as well as from points inland.
No useful boat lines exist, although you can cruise up and down the river.
Portland is an easy city to bike, walk or use public transport.
Take advantage of the Northwest's famous microbrews - small breweries that serve their own (and other's) craft beers. A world away from the generic beers that are the mainstay of America (comparable to 'real ales' in the UK).
Portland is home to one of the largest community wireless networks based on the works of The Personal Telco Project. Check to find one of nearly 100 spots you can log onto the Internet from free of any charge. Many major attractions such as Pioneer Square, PGE Park and many local parks are covered.