Portland is Happening Now When’s the best time to visit Portland? Right now. Tomorrow. Ten days from now. Because every second of every day, something is happening here that isn’t happening anywhere else.

Portland is the largest city lying between San Francisco and Seattle. In comparison, Portland’s environment is not as fast-paced; instead it has a more laid-back, casual feel to it. Portland, however, is still a city just shy of 600,000 people, and as such has quite a few amenities, including an impressive music and arts scene and one of the largest collections of zine and independent publishers of any city in the nation.
 ChocolateFest – Jan. 20-22

ChocolateFest promises you the opportunity to sample, taste, savor, and delight in some of the finest chocolate from the Northwest and beyond! ChocolateFest is a fundraiser for the World Forestry Center, located in Portland, Oregon. The World Forestry Center produces ChocolateFest using its own staff and does not use an outside event services team. Therefore, 100% of the proceeds go right back to their mission of educating about the world’s forests, trees and environmental sustainability. Cost $15 and up. >MORE

34th Reel Music Festival – Jan. 13-Feb.5 Organizers have been on the lookout all year for new works—and timely classics—to feature in our annual celebration of sound, music, and image. Whether your passion is jazz, blues, rock, soul, opera, classical, avant-garde—or anything in between—we hope you find something to discover and inspire you in this eclectic mix of the familiar and unknown. NWFC classes and workshops are open to any community member seeking to explore filmmaking, whether professionally, avocationally or in between. Taught by a faculty of award-winning filmmakers, classes generally meet in the evenings and on weekends, and encourage technical skill-building and the development of one’s personal voice as a storyteller. Simply sign up for what interests you. >MORE

HOYT ARBORETUM – Home to more than 1,000 tree and shrub species (more than any other arboretum in America), Hoyt Arboretum sits next to Washington Park, only 2 miles (3.2 km) west of downtown, and is easily accessible by bus or light rail. As you stroll along 12 miles (19.3 km) of hiking trails, look for seasonal highlights like evergreen holly, corkscrew hazel, blooming wintersweet and budding magnolias. Stop inside the arboretum’s visitor center for free maps and guides to all the glorious flora.

MACLEAY PARK – Take the public transit straight to a trailhead! Part of Northwest Portland’s sprawling, 5,100-acre (2,064-hectare) Forest Park, this lush woodland area is open year-round. Hike from Lower Macleay, passing a unique WPA-era structure (known to locals as the “Witch’s Castle”) and the Portland Audubon Society, to century-old Pittock Mansion for panoramic views of the city and a fascinating local history lesson. Don’t expect a leisurely stroll — the path climbs 600 feet (138 m) to the top.

MT. TABOR PARK –  On sunny winter afternoons, legions of locals stretch their legs at Mt. Tabor Park in residential Southeast Portland. An extinct volcano dotted with open-air reservoirs, the park offers a number of wide, winding trails to the summit and two playgrounds where little ones can burn off any extra energy. Looking to burn a few extra calories yourself? The series of stairs found at the S.E. 69th & Yamhill entrance are better than a StairMaster.