Jess Kraft

6 Reasons Why Portland Should Be Your Winter Vacation Destination

Ah, a wintertime vacation. No matter where you live, there's just something about packing a bag, boarding a plane, and jetting off to a destination that feels like it's another world (even if it's just a state or two away).

For a lot of people, vacationing during the cold months means three things: sun, surf, and sand. And while we're obviously big fans of the Tropical Trip, we're going to let you in on a little secret about a city that doesn't get enough credit as a prime — yet unexpected — winter destination.

Enter: Portland. Yup, you read that right. The country's coolest city *also* happens to be an amazing place to spend some time off during the winter.

Unlike a lot of cities, Portlanders don't go into hibernation at the first sign of a little chilly rain. Quite the contrary: Everything — from food to culture to shopping to nature — seems to come alive when the temperatures drop.

We teamed up with Travel Portland to bring you all the reasons why the City of Roses should be your ultimate travel destination this winter (and spring, and summer, and fall, if we're being honest).

Here are 6 reasons why you need to take a trip to Portland this winter.

1. The beer scene is next level.

First thing's first: let's talk beer. With 75-plus breweries (and more opening all the time), Portland should be at the top of every craft beer lover's travel list. With local spots that have been around for decades, gluten-free options, and new, experimental breweries, this city is a playground for beer experts and novices alike.

Check out the ultimate guide to Portland breweries here, and learn why the bustling Portland beer scene is the perfect place to camp out during your winter vacation.

2. Portland Night Market lets you party while you shop.

Is there a better way to escape the blistery winter wind than by heading indoors for a shopping spree? Yeah, we didn't think so.

Although the city of Portland has a plethora of shopping options from high-end to vintage to handmade, our *favorite* place for some retail therapy is the Portland Night Market.

Twice every winter, Portland Night Market gets businesses of all types to come together and create a totally immersive, 360-degree experience for shoppers. In addition to its diverse, tax-free (!) shopping options, the market also gives the people what they REALLY want: delicious food, boozy beverages, and live music so you can party while you purchase.

3. The winter cocktails will warm you up from the inside out.

There's nothing quite as cozy as warming up with a toasty, full-of-flavor cocktail on a blistery winter evening.

And lucky for us, Portland is known for its cocktail scene. Whether you're in the mood to sip a hot toddy out of a mug or share a fabulously-large tiki rum bowl with your travel buddies, this city has endless options for adult bevys that will warm you up from the inside out.

4. The arts and entertainment scene comes alive.

One of the best parts of vacationing in Portland during the winter is that its arts and culture scene starts to flourish once the temperates drop.

Whether you're catching the latest acclaimed indie at the Portland International Film Festival or attending a workshop with a local theater group at the Fertile Grounds Festival, there are no shortage of ways to get cultured during the colder months.

5. Comfort food is king.

Let's get one thing straight: Once the temperature drops low enough that you have to trade in your jean jacket for a parka, no one wants a salad.

Come wintertime, it's ALL about comfort food, and that just happens to be Portland's specialty. It doesn't matter if you're craving some fancy mac & cheese or a bowl of pho that's bigger than your head — a comfort food tour of Portland is an unbeatable way to spend a few days in our favorite city.

6. The Portland Winter Light Festival illuminates the city.

And if a winter vaca to Portland doesn't sound enchanting AF already, here's the cherry on top: Every winter, the city lights up (literally) with art installations, performances, and fire sculptures (yes, that's a thing), all themed around illuminating the winter darkness.

The Portland Winter Light Festival is the best way to experience art, culture, and pure magic all at once, and we think it's the perfect activity to top off a truly unforgettable winter trip.

BRB, booking our tickets NOW.

This post is sponsored by Travel Portland.