Portland maintains an impressive variety of parks, from the world's smallest (the 24-square-inch Mill Ends Park) to 5,000-acre Forest Park, where visitors can run, hike or mountain bike on 75 miles of trails. Wildlife watchers walk along the paved Interlakes Trail at Smith and Bybee lakes—the largest protected wetlands in an American city. Nearby, Alder Creek's Jantzen Beach Store offers classes and rentals for kayaking on Columbia River.
Stay: To help guests take advantage of Portland's extensive bike paths, the trendy Ace Hotel established a free bicycle-lending program.
Eat: Everything served at Park Kitchen chef Scott Dolich's tavern The Bent Brick is from the Pacific Northwest. Dolich focuses on vegetables in small plates, like parsnips and carrots with rye berries, brown butter and sage. Even his cocktail program relies on locally made spirits.