Healthcare Traveler Destination: Portland, OR
One of America’s greatest cities, Portland offers a wealth of fabulous experiences for just about every type of traveler, including the healthcare traveler. It’s renowned for its food, music and shopping scenes while being just a short drive from Willamette Valley, where some of the country’s best wine is produced. Nature lover and outdoor adventurers will love it too, with lots of green space right in the city, while mountains, lakes, rivers and beautiful beaches are only a short drive away.
Stroll Through the Gardens
Portland is known as the City of Roses, thanks to Washington Park’s Rose Test Garden. Founded over a century ago, it’s the oldest continuously operated public test garden in the country, established during the First World War to preserve the species of European roses that were subject to decimation by bombings. From April through October, you’ll be able to take a stroll through thousands of rose bushes blooming in a stunning variety of hues.
The Portland Japanese Garden nearby is an especially ideal place for enjoying beauty and quiet contemplation. Taking a stroll here after a challenging shift is sure to be mood-transforming for anyone on an allied travel job. It includes five separate garden styles that are aimed to provide a sense of peace, including the Natural Garden, Tea Garden, Strolling Pond Garden, Flat Garden and the Sand and Stone Garden. There are tranquil streams, pretty bridges and pagodas, an authentic Japanese Tea House and spectacular views of Mount Hood in the distance.
Portland is a bargain shoppers’ delight with some 50 vintage shops for scoring fabulous finds. You’ll find places like Xtabay with its continuously updated, meticulously curated items that include endless racks of dresses, including Red Carpet-worthy gowns as well as tailored suits and costume jewelry. Super cheap clothing can be found at what locals refer to as “The bins,” where items are sold by the pound. While you may have to dig for the buried treasure, you’ll usually turn up quite a few gems.
Endless Street Food
There is no other place in the nation better when it comes to the astounding array of food trucks Portland offers. When the question, “What to eat?” inevitably comes up here, the list of options can make that difficult to answer but one thing’s for sure, you’ll never get bored dining here. There are countless clusters of unique food carts cooking up creative cuisine, from Wolf and Bear’s vegetarian-pleasing menu and famous poutine at Potato Champion, to fennel sausage pies at Pyro Pizza and the popular carved-out pineapples filled with steak, shrimp and rice at Trap Kitchen.
If you enjoy good music, you’ll appreciate Portland’s diverse offerings, with live music hosted on any given night of the week. No matter what your flavor, from jazz and pop to indie rock, punk, folk and country, you’ll find it here. The historic Crystal Ballroom frequently hosts big-name artists and an unusual floating dance floor, While Edgefield features summer concerts on the lawn. Some of the popular spots for local music include the Old Church and Laurelthirst Public House, but the list is practically endless.
Amazing Day Trips
Healthcare travelers who accept an assignment in Portland will have easy access to some amazing day trips, like Multnomah Falls. Just a 45-minute drive along the Columbia River Gorge, it’s the state’s most photographed waterfall, plunging 620 feet into a pool below. To see more, drive 60 miles south to Silver Falls State Park which features 10 waterfalls along the Trail of Ten Falls, half of which are at least 100 feet tall. Beautiful Cannon Beach is just 90 minutes away, home to some of the world’s most scenic coastal stretches as well as a downtown filled with unique shops, art galleries and eateries. Nearby is Ecola State Park, with lush trails that wind through ancient old-growth forest at the edge of the Pacific.
Mount Hood can be reached in just a couple of hours, offering skiing and boarding in the winter, and hiking and mountain biking during the warmer months. The Willamette Valley is a special treat for wine enthusiasts, world-renowned for its vineyards and wineries. During a day trip you can enjoy sampling the area’s award-winning Pinot Noirs and learn about cool-climate production.