Dynamic yet mellow, Oregon's largest metropolis boasts a vibrant downtown across the Willamette River from charming neighborhoods full of friendly – and often zany – people. It hums with a youthful vitality and is home to a landslide of liberal idealists, but it's located in a state where back roads brim with Republican red. Here Gore-Tex rain jackets in fine restaurants are as common as sideburns on a hipster. A haven for eco-activists, cyclists, grungesters, outdoor nuts, vegans, gardeners and dog-lovers, all supporting countless brewpubs, coffeehouses, knitting circles, lesbian potlucks and book clubs, Portland is a livable metropolis with pretty neighborhoods and a friendly, small-town atmosphere. It's an up-and-coming destination that has finally found itself but keeps redefining its ethos with every controversy (fluoride, anyone?). Racially progressive, culturally diverse and politically charged, the city is also – as many folks from out of state have discovered – an awesome spot to plant roots, settle in and chill out for while.