Categories > Guides and Tips

Top 7 US Places Similar to Portland Other Weird Cities to See

Top 7 US Places Similar to Portland: Other Weird Cities to See

Portland is surely one of the most beautiful cities out there. It’s not a secret that it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States thanks to its food trucks, bike-friendly roads, variety of breweries… and slight weirdness.

Did you know there are other places where you can get a similar blend of things, though? Let’s go over the top 7 places in the US similar to Portland!

1. Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho

The first obvious choice is Boise, Idaho. To most of its residents, the city is known as a place with exciting outdoor activities and thriving downtown stores as well as a vibrant artistic culture. 

Even though Boise is considered one of America’s fastest-growing cities, it’s still known for its affordability. People living in the area are vocal about the place’s pretty low prices, especially on basic expenses.

On top of it all, many think that the city could be a great place for millennials. This is simply because Boise provides a distinct home-work-life balance that is difficult to find in other Northwestern cities.

We gathered the information below from Data USA, Numbeo, and Bestplaces to give you statistical facts about Boise.

Boise By The Numbers: Quick Facts to Know

Average Cost of LivingFamily of four estimated monthly cost: $3,339.04
Single person estimated monthly cost: $966.80
Median Household Income$60,035
Crime RateViolent Crime: 16.3
Property Crime: 34.2
*On a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime)

Why is Boise similar to Portland? 

  • They have a thing for potatoes 

Boise has a slight obsession with potatoes since growers in Idaho annually produce more than 13 billion pounds of them. If you love potatoes, you might want to visit Goodwood Barbecue Company here, a barbecue restaurant with amazing potato skins and potato salad dishes. 

The state of Oregon also has a thing for potatoes. In fact, one of the 23 agricultural commodity commissions in Oregon is called the Oregon Potato Commission and is based in the Northwest District of Portland. They represent the potato industry of the state that is actually ranked number 4 in the United States for potato production.

  • Variety of festivals 

Both Boise and Portland do have a variety of festivals. People in Boise enjoy the celebration of the Idaho International Film Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Gene Harris Jazz Festival, and Treefort Music Fest.

For Portlanders, there are various festivals as well including the Chocolatefest, Reel Music Festival, Portland International Film Festival, Spring Beer & Wine Fest, and so much more. 

  • BEERvana 

Boise is a beer-lover’s paradise like Portland. The place has been called “Beervana” because of pubs like Bogus Brewing, Cloud 9 Brewery, 10 Barrel Brewery, Slanted Rock Brewery, Kilted DRAGON Brewery, TableRock BrewPub, and others.

And Portland is the ultimate BEERvana of all. According to Travel Portland, Portland has an estimated 70 breweries  – one of the highest totals of any city in the world.

2. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

It’s a given that there are a lot of things to see in Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museums of Art and Natural History, the West Side Market, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (they are the heart of rock and roll, after all).

If you’re thinking of permanently locating in the city, you’ll find the job market favorable. This is what makes the city favorable for young professionals and start-ups. 

In case you don’t know much about the city, we’ve compiled a list of all the facts and figures you’ll need to know if you’re considering moving there.

Cleveland By The Numbers: Quick Facts to Know

Average Cost of LivingFamily of four estimated monthly cost: $3,704.51
Single person estimated monthly cost: $1,048.29
Median Household Income$32,053
Crime RateViolent Crime: 72.5
Property Crime: 74.5
*On a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime)

Why is Cleveland similar to Portland? 

  • A love of corned beef

Clevelanders go to Slyman’s when they’re hungry. Their award-winning corned beef sandwiches will make your mouth water, that’s for sure.

In Portland, there’s another variety of this food, which is corned beef hash. Some restaurants serve layers of meat and hash browns, while others use cheese or sauces to add flavor.

  • Weird laws 

Although Cleveland is home to some weird laws, Portland has some of them too. Both definitely have interesting legislation.

In Cleveland, it’s illegal to catch mice without a hunting license; there’s no selling of cornflakes every Sunday; and there’s no roller skating without notifying the police. 

While the weirdest law in Portland could be that it’s illegal to walk down the street with your shoes untied. It’s also unlawful to sit, stand on, or lean over a bridge in Portland, which is especially strange considering it’s also called Bridgetown.

3. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

The third-largest city in the United States, Chicago, Illinois, is the perfect city for people who want to live in a world-class city while maintaining Midwest values. Like in Portland, living in the Windy City isn’t cheap, but it is still less expensive than in comparable cities. 

However, despite their differences, Portland and Chicago do have certain things in common: they’re both large enough to accommodate their populations, offering residents many options for work and play.

Chicago’s workforce, on the other hand, is extremely diverse. It is, in fact, a popular destination for young professionals since the median age of the city is 35. 

Speaking of that, marketing jobs in the city are in high demand, particularly in the fields of sports entertainment, technology, startups, and large organizations.

Here’s a short fact sheet about the city.

Average Cost of LivingFamily of four estimated monthly cost: $3,733.92
Single person estimated monthly cost: $1,036.38
Median Household Income$61,811
Crime RateViolent Crime: 49.9
Property Crime: 46.3
*On a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime)

Why is Chicago similar to Portland? 

  • Love for food

Chicago and Portland do love to celebrate food. In fact, residents feast on “The Taste of Chicago,” the largest culinary event in the city, which attracts guests from all over the world. 

Here, visitors can enjoy not just food but also musical performances by famous locals and artists for five days in July.

There’s also an international culinary festival that turns the world’s eyes on Portland kitchens. 

“Fest Festival”, which is what they call it, is an event every month of September since 2012. It features marquee events, special dinner series, hands-on classes, boozy discussions, and other activities.

4. Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

When it comes to unique and vibrant cultures, Seattle and Portland have that in common. They are both liberal cities. However, Portland places more of a focus on communitarianism than Seattle does on libertarianism.

On the other hand, when compared to the average cost of living in the US, Portland and Seattle are both pricey cities. But it’s worth noting that the former is more affordable than the Emerald City.

To give a simple background on Seattle, we have collected data from various sources for your reference.

Seattle By The Numbers: Quick Facts to Know

Average Cost of LivingFamily of four estimated monthly cost: $4,507.00
Single person estimated monthly cost: $1,256.99
Median Household Income$102,486
Crime RateViolent Crime: 32.3
Property Crime: 76.9
*On a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime)

Why is Seattle similar to Portland? 

  • The summers are glorious 

The variety of summertime activities is only one of the many advantages of living in Seattle as well as in Portland.

With the average high ranging around 75 degrees, summer days in Seattle are ideal for any outdoor sport or activity. There are also a lot of hiking routes in the city.

It’s also the same thing for Portland. There’s something for everyone in the city, from free movies in the park to local riverfront adventures and splash pad visits. Not to mention you can bike along Eastbank Esplanade.

  • Abundant green spaces 

One thing you can enjoy both in Portland and Seattle is the opportunity to get close to nature.

There are a lot of lovely parks and green spaces in Seattle. The most popular ones are Kerry Park, Volunteer Park, Washington Park Arboretum, Green Lake Park, and Gas Works Park.

  • Great coffee 

Seattle has the most coffee manufacturers per capita in the country. Everyone can find something to appreciate in Seattle’s best coffee culture, whether it’s sampling coffee history or sipping a handcrafted brew.

‘Portland Neighborhood’ believes that the city is truly center stage for what is known as ‘third wave specialty coffee.’ So, it should come as no surprise that Portland is home to hundreds of coffee shops. 

Coava Roasters, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Nosso Familia Coffee, and many others are among the best in town.

5. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

If you’re looking for some fun activities, Albuquerque is also on the same road as Portland. There are a ton of celebrations and events taking place in and around the city – whether your passion extends to music, food, film, art, or dance, you can find something for yourself.

The nightlife in Duke City is generally considered to be calm compared to other cities, however, which is definitely a no-no to party-goers. Still, their culinary scene is something they take pride in and you may even pick up cooking skills while you’re here. 

Want to know the specifics of the basic costs in Albuquerque? We have it for you. 

Albuquerque By The Numbers: Quick Facts to Know

Average Cost of LivingFamily of four estimated monthly cost: $3,178.77
Single person estimated monthly cost: $884.20
Median Household Income$55,567
Crime RateViolent Crime: 51
Property Crime: 85.3
*On a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime)

Why is Albuquerque similar to Portland? 

  • Perfect place to see the stars 

You can stargaze in Albuquerque practically every night of the year because of its high height above sea level, bright skies, and low levels of light pollution.

Portland can also be your place to stargaze, but there are only specific places for that. Make sure to get to Stub Stewart State Park or Rooster Rock Park, which are the spots in the city that host star parties.

  • Art is everywhere 

One of the best local art scenes is recognized in Albuquerque

Albuquerque is an accessible hub for Southwestern and Native American art, with a variety of cultural centers, art museums, art galleries, and theaters. Artists here conduct exhibitions, participate in activities, go to seminars, and attend lectures in the city’s galleries.

Meanwhile, Portland’s rich art culture is the center of attraction in the city. So whether you’d like to spend the day at an art gallery, a museum, or spend your evening at the theater, the town has it all. Portland’s arts and culture scene is thriving.

6. Missoula, Montana

Missoula, Montana

If you want to be somewhere less crowded, Missoula, Montana could be your next home as the city has the third-lowest population density in the country. There, you can purchase a property that is a good distance from the closest neighbor.

The place has a lot of things in common with Portland: a greener community, a culture-minded setting, home to the best-crafted breweries, and many more. Missoula could easily be another place to experience a Portland-esque way of life.

Below are a few of the facts about Missoula.

Missoula By The Numbers: Quick Facts to Know

Average Cost of LivingFamily of four estimated monthly cost: $5,123
Single person estimated monthly cost: $1,766
Median Household Income$47,426
Crime RateViolent Crime: 24.5
Property Crime: 63.1
*On a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime)

Why is Missoula similar to Portland? 

  • Bicycle friendly 

Like Portland, Missoula is bike-friendly. In fact, the latter has more than 20 miles of bike lanes throughout the city. 

It’s best to note that both cities are also home to the International Adventure Cycling Association.

  • Vegan-friendly 

Montana has a reputation for steak, but Missoula has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Its restaurants serve vegan pizza, vegan donuts, and vegan polenta.

Portland also has great places for vegans. As a matter of fact, the city may well be the most vegan-friendly mid-sized city in America. It has an incredible vegan food cart scene, with numerous all-vegan carts scattered throughout the city.

7. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

North Carolina offers its citizens the excitement of metropolitan life while being only minutes away from the wonders of nature. This mountain town has breathtaking views and is known as “The Land of The Sky” by the locals.

Even though Asheville is a small city, its vibrant culture makes up for its size. You may be sure to find something to do in this picturesque city hidden away in the Appalachian Mountains no matter your lifestyle – which is something you can also experience in Portland.

The Art Scene in Asheville is also thriving like in Portland. There are more than a dozen museums in the mountain town to visit if you prefer to explore art traditionally, one of the notable ones is the Asheville Art Museum.

If you are considering mountain living, Asheville offers just the right amount of options for potential homeowners. Let’s take a look at some of the statistical facts regarding the city.

Asheville By The Numbers: Quick Facts to Know

Average Cost of LivingFamily of four estimated monthly cost: $3,786.59
Single person estimated monthly cost: $1,063.53
Median Household Income$49,930
Crime RateViolent Crime: 33.1
Property Crime: 67.2
*On a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime)

Why is Ashville similar to Portland? 

  • Secret tunnels 

There are rumors that the downtown area of Asheville contains hidden tunnels. According to some, during the early part of the twenty-first century, the tunnels were a component of a dormant design for an underground metro system for Asheville’s elite.

If it’s tunnels we’re talking about, Portland also has one – the Shanghai Tunnels. 

Although it’s not a secret tunnel now, some say the tunnels were also used as secret passageways to underground pimps, drug, and gambling dens (its history is kinda rough, we know)

  • Keep Asheville Weird” and “Keep Portland Weird”

You might see bumper stickers with the slogan “Keep Asheville Weird” while on vacation in Asheville. This is not the official slogan of the city of Asheville, but it is a sentiment shared by many residents.

On the contrary, “Keep Portland Weird” is the official slogan of the City of Roses. It was inspired by Austin, Texas’s “Keep Austin Weird” organization and slogan, and was brought to Portland in 2003.

Whether to visit or relocate, there are sure a lot of cities in the United States that share some of the distinguished experiences you can feel in Portland. Some of them are as unique and as weird as the City of Roses, while others are more serious in any possible way.

For now, you can keep looking through our articles to find more information about other related cities!

Related topics