Portland or Denver for a month?

Old Feb 28th, 2022, 08:49 PM
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Portland or Denver for a month?

My SO and I are deciding between Portland or Denver to stay for 1 month, from mid-April to mid-May, while working remote.

We both love nature, craft beer and vegan food. We'd want to stay outside of the downtown area, probably in the suburbs or quiet neighborhood with plenty of nature around. However, we want to minimize our time living in snowy conditions.

Anyone can provide insight on either Portand or Denver if it'd be a good fit for our interests? Or perhaps there's another destination that we didn't think about? We'd be driving from LA.
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Old Mar 1st, 2022, 06:19 AM
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You'll have to go a lot further than the suburbs of Denver to have plenty of nature around. Denver is a big city, and quite some distance from the mountains, quiet or nature. Denver has done a very good job with their parks and open space though - you're never far from a neighborhood park.

If you decide on Denver, you might look into a southwestern suburb like Ken Caryl or Littleton or a western suburb like Lakewood - closer to the mountains than if coming from the east.
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Old Mar 1st, 2022, 06:43 AM
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Portland is rather boring and it will be raining and have overcast skies much of the time. It does have plenty of nature, craft beer and vegan food. Denver is generally sunny but has air pollution. As mentioned the southwestern suburbs (such as the Red Rocks area) are closer to the mts.
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Old Mar 1st, 2022, 07:17 AM
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I vote for Denver as I know it well. Dry climate, mountain view’s plus good dining. Our Portland friends in AZ for the winter tell us so many negative things about what has happened to Portland recently, since the takeover and riots last year.
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Old Mar 1st, 2022, 07:38 AM
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I think that somewhere east of Portland, between downtown and Hood River along the Columbia River would be a good fit given your priorities. The whole area is craft beer heaven, and the outdoor activity menu is endless. There are lots of touring, cycling and hiking options in the Columbia River Gorge, where the many waterfalls will be in full flow, and all the orchards in the glorious Hood River Valley will be in bloom, with Mount Hood (where you can ski if interested) looming over everything. Spring is the ideal time for this area.

Or if you want sunshine and warmer temperatures, around 40 minutes past Hood River you'll be in "old west" sagebrush country (the mountains block the rain) surrounded by vineyards. Visit the eclectic Maryhill Museum or strange copy of Stonehenge overlooking the great river.

And of course there's Portland itself. It's a major foodie center as well as a capital of coffee and beer. It's wired, hip, but also walkable and reasonably affordable (except real estate.)

For slightly longer excursions, you can visit the fantastic coastal scenery along the north coast of Oregon or around the mouth of the Columbia at Cape Disappointment, a couple of hours from Portland. Or heading south, there are vineyards, wineries and historic sites in the Willamette Valley.

Some photos just because...

Mt. Hood from Portland



And from the Hood River Valley in the spring



Columbia Gorge from Chanticleer Point



Latourell Falls



Video (not mine) of the country around Maryhill Stonehenge, roughly 90 min. east of Portland


Last edited by Gardyloo; Mar 1st, 2022 at 07:45 AM.
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Old Mar 1st, 2022, 10:08 AM
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The central factor here is not likely to compare each city to the other, but instead, how many unique side trips in various directions you can take for diverse scenery and experiences.


While Denver offers mountains to the west, mountains to the northwest, mountains to the southwest, flat land to the east, flat land to the northeast, and flat land to the southeast, Portland offers ocean to the west, ocean to the southwest, ocean to the northwest, Seattle up the road, a volcano up the road, rivers all over the place, mountains to the east, mountains to the southeast, mountains to the northeast, the largest river in the western USA right out the back door.

Comparing homeless-filled central Portland to central Denver is barely even relevant in this context.


Surely the OP would stay in a cozy spot which would not mandate waking up each morning and climbing over the homeless to commence the day's activities.

When plotting a spot to stay for a whole month, one doesn't typically seek the $400-a-night palace right down the street from the homeless camp at city center.
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Old Mar 1st, 2022, 04:22 PM
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Take a look at Sunriver Oregon. It doesn't have the homeless problems that Portland and even Bend have. Bend and Sunriver have good craft breweries and all the nature that you want to visit. There are always several rental opportunities in Sunriver. The area east of the Cascades is considered the "dry side" of Oregon. We had one big snowstorm around the first of the year but I don't expect any more snowfalls over 2 inches this winter/spring. The quick way from LA is to turn off I-5 onto US 97 in Weed CA.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2022, 11:00 PM
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minimize our time living in snowy conditions

It would be highly unusual for snow to happen in Portland in April/May.

No interest in the Seattle area? Somewhere nearby like Whidbey Island has everything you are seeking.

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Old Apr 5th, 2022, 07:27 AM
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Assume you make a choice, what was it ????? Inquiring minds what to know.
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Old Apr 5th, 2022, 09:18 AM
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If it was a serious question, I'd think the OP would have come back early on. Or maybe he forgot he posted . . . or can't find his way back to Fodors . . .
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Old Apr 6th, 2022, 12:05 PM
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I have never been to Denver myself but i do live in Oregon. If you plan to stay out of downtown, I would say you are good with Portland. Though if you want vegan food, a lot of that is downtown Portland. But you can also find it outside Portland too. Naturewise, I do not think you will be disappointed. The mountains, rivers, lake, creeks, and even the ocean are within driving distance of Portland. Yes Portland has a bad rep for crime and homelessness, but it is still a decent place for a day visit. Ask the locals which places to sway away from. But you will not be disappointed in the food.
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Old Apr 12th, 2022, 04:47 PM
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I vote for Portland

Originally Posted by suze View Post
minimize our time living in snowy conditions

It would be highly unusual for snow to happen in Portland in April/May. .
Had to laugh when I saw this-- it's April 12 and we've had hail, snow, and rain since Sunday, the 10th. The week ahead doesn't look much nicer. But when the sun finally stays out, it's glorious here.

I vote for Portland. So many different eco-areas to visit! The coast, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the Columbia River Gorge. Heck, the PSU farmer's market on Saturday is a good time. Right in town, we have Forest Park for hiking or trail running. There are more places to hike than you can imagine. You won't have to stay in the burbs. Just find a nice Airbnb in inner SE or NE portland. There are lots. Have fun, wherever you choose.
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Old Apr 15th, 2022, 04:33 PM
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True enough, but you have to admit that it was "highly unusual" weather for the time of year.
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Old Apr 16th, 2022, 10:56 AM
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We live in Denver and just returned from our daughter's home in Portland.
Have to say, Portland is really a mess now. We were in the NW area, where trash littered every highway and every median, in addition to the homeless tents everywhere. It's really sad they can't manage their homeless problem any better.
I recommend Denver.
Although the OP must have already decided by now
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Old Apr 17th, 2022, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MoBro View Post
We live in Denver and just returned from our daughter's home in Portland.
Have to say, Portland is really a mess now. We were in the NW area, where trash littered every highway and every median, in addition to the homeless tents everywhere. It's really sad they can't manage their homeless problem any better.
I recommend Denver.
Although the OP must have already decided by now

Sure, but the center of Portland surely has zero to do with the equation involved for the OP.


Portland's homeless scenario compared to that of Denver's is a function of weather and population centers and not much else.
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Old Apr 17th, 2022, 02:25 PM
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No one is helping the OP, just debating with each other . . . If the question was serious, the visit would have already started, and even if the question was serious, the OP wasn't interested enough to come back and read the responses.
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Old Apr 18th, 2022, 07:43 AM
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"Sure, but the center of Portland surely has zero to do with the equation involved for the OP."
Not correct, since people will drive through these areas, no matter where they are going in Portland. It's unavoidable.

"Portland's homeless scenario compared to that of Denver's is a function of weather and population centers and not much else."
Not true.
Portland is doing nothing.
Denver is creating housing and offering transitional communities. It's helping.

The OP has apparently already made a choice, but has not reported back.
​​​​​​​

Last edited by MoBro; Apr 18th, 2022 at 07:45 AM.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2022, 10:21 AM
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{Portland is doing nothing.}

Find that a little hard to believe. People who don't live here say the same for Seattle. Simply not true. But the need and the complexity of "homeless" is huge.

In Seattle I think what might more unsettle people (visitors, tourists, locals alike) is all the grafitti, trash on the streets, things are just not running as smoothly as they did before the Covid Pandemic hit.

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