Portland is an anomaly for modern-day cosmopolitan cities; it possesses both a big-city and a small-city feel. Despite having less than one million people who call Portland home, the city has the look, resources, amenities, and feel of a much larger metropolis. However, the close-knit nature of the city's community allows Portland a friendly atmosphere usually only afforded to smaller villages and towns. Students from cities larger than Portland, while finding the city on the small side, appreciate Portland's fusion of a big- and small-town feel. Moreover, most students believe that Portland, while being small in comparison to nearby Seattle and San Francisco, does not lack for entertaining endeavors and fun distractions for their trips away from Reed.
Away from Reed, students generally enjoy either visiting Portland's multiple commercial districts, seeing a film at one of the numerous theaters, or perhaps seeing the sights around Portland. Although almost every student raves about Powell's Books, the lush and varied gardens (Japanese, Chinese, rose, and rhododendron in variety), and Saturday Market, almost every student has a different opinion on which activities around Portland are their favorites. With the many different sorts of escapes offered by the Portland area, the best way to determine which will suit you best is to get out there and try them all; any person who comes to Portland will not be disappointed. Here is a suggested series of activities that usually ends up making everyone happy: a day trip downtown to visit the commercial districts and Powell's, followed by a romp in the Japanese Garden, and then a quick journey down to the Willamette to look at the water. Finish with a dinner at a good restaurant listed in the Off-Campus Dining section.