Portland Speak

Now you’ve learned all about “Pilot Speak,” here are some words and phrases you’ll need to know about the great city of Portland before you officially call it home. Be sure to check out these maps of Portland to get a feel for the "City of Roses."

city of Portland buildings


NW 23rd is filled with many shops and restaurants that are popular with the under-30 crowd. Together with NW 21st, it is the main street in the Nob Hill neighborhood. (15 minutes from campus.)


NE Alberta is the heart of the Alberta Arts district and has several art galleries, shops, and restaurants.  On the last Thursday of every month from June to August, Alberta hosts a festival called “Last Thursday” for creatives, artists, musicians, and street performers. (15 minutes from campus.)

The Coast 

It’s not the beach or the shore… true Oregonians call it the coast! Globally renowned for its rugged beauty, the Oregon Coast offers everything from sandy beaches and quaint towns to world-class hiking, camping, and surfing. If you go, be sure to bring a jacket! (90 minutes from campus.)


Located in SE Portland, Division St. is home to some of Portland’s most famous restaurants. (20 minutes from campus.)


Downtown Portland is located on the west bank of the Willamette River, in SW Portland. It is home to some of Portland’s main cultural destinations (the Portland Art Museum, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, the Keller Auditorium) as well as countless restaurants, bars, and events. (20 minutes from campus.)

Farmer’s Market 

Portland hosts weekly Farmer’s Markets all over the city, where you can purchase farm-fresh produce and artisanal food items. The closest to UP’s campus is the St. John’s Farmer’s Market which is within walking distance at 7340 N Philadelphia Ave and is open every Saturday from May through October.

Forest Park 

One of the largest city parks in the country, Forest Park is visible across the Willamette River from campus and offers more than 70 miles of hiking and jogging trails. (15 minutes from campus.)

The Gorge

 The Columbia River Gorge is home to countless waterfalls, breath-taking views, and world-class hiking trails. Popular spots include Multnomah Falls and Dog Mountain. (30–45 minutes from campus.)

photo of waterfall


SE Hawthorne is one of the streets that helps keep Portland weird. Located in the heart of vibrant and fun SE Portland, Hawthorne is famous for its counter-culture shops. (20 min from campus.)

Liquid Sunshine

When it rains in the Pacific Northwest, but it is still sunny outside.

The MAX 

MAX (Metropolitan Area Express) is Portland’s lightrail system and connects downtown Portland with Beaverton, Clackamas, Gresham, Hillsboro, North/Northeast Portland, Southeast Portland, Milwaukie, and Portland International Airport. The closest MAX stop to campus is at the intersection of N. Interstate and N. Rosa Parks. (10 minutes from campus.)


A chain of over 60 restaurants, brewpubs, music venues, historic hotels, and movie theaters. Famous for restoring historic buildings (such as the St. John’s Pub and the Kennedy School), there is a McMenamin’s location in nearly every Portland neighborhood.


 N. Mississippi and N. Williams are home to one of Portland’s hottest neighborhoods, featuring a long stretch of shops, restaurants, music venues, and bars. (10 minutes from campus.)

Moda Center 

Primary indoor arena in N/NE Portland. Home of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, the Moda Center also hosts the WHL's Portland Winterhawks games as well as concerts and events throughout the year. (15 minutes from campus.)


Nickname for North Portland, the area of Portland where UP is located.


Portland International Airport, rated the country’s best airport several times. PDX is also a nickname for the city of Portland. (20 minutes from campus.)

The Pearl 

One of Portland’s poshest neighborhoods, the Pearl District (located just north of downtown in NW Portland) offers a wide variety of shops, galleries, and restaurants. On the first Thursday of every month, the Pearl District hosts a district-wide celebration where art galleries and businesses stay open late to debut new exhibitions with free food and wine. (15 minutes from campus.)

Pioneer Courthouse Square 

Affectionately known as “Portland’s Living Room,” Pioneer Courthouse Square is located in downtown Portland and hosts a wide variety of events, including the annual Christmas tree lighting.

Portland Saturday Market 

Portland Saturday Market is a large outdoor arts and crafts market located in downtown Portland. It takes place every Saturday and Sunday from March until Christmas.

Portland Saturday Market

Providence Park

Outdoor sports venue in SW Portland. Home of the MLS's Portland Timbers and the NWSL's Portland Thorns. (15 minutes from campus).

Rip City 

What fans of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers call Portland.

Rose City 

The official nickname for Portland, sometimes also worded as “City of Roses.”

Rose Quarter 

The Rose Quarter is located near downtown in N/NE Portland, and is home to the Moda Center (where the Portland Trailblazers play) and the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum. It is also one of the city’s main public transportation hubs.

Soccer City USA 

A nickname for Portland, due to the city’s world-famous support for the Portland Timbers of the MLS, the Portland Thorns of the NWSL, and — of course! — the Portland Pilots.

St. Johns 

The neighborhood northwest of the University, with many shops, restaurants, and the famous St. Johns Bridge and Cathedral Park. (5 minutes from campus.)

photo of St Johns Bridge

The Streetcar 

The Portland Streetcar is a public transportation option that services areas surrounding downtown Portland, including NW 23rd, the South Waterfront, and the Central Eastside.


 A common nickname for Portland. The name originated from the many stumps created when Portland first became a city.

Swan Island

 The shipyard and industrial area on the Willamette River that is visible from campus.


Portland’s public transportation system, including bus and The MAX (light rail). Two bus lines stop next to campus: the #44 and the #35. Both connect to the Rose Quarter and downtown Portland.

Washington Park 

Located just above downtown Portland, Washington Park is home to the Oregon Zoo, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Japanese Garden, among many other attractions. (20 minutes from campus.)