How to Experience 'Bridgetown'
Portland has twelve bridges spanning the Willamette River, and two crossing the Columbia River. It’s this infrastructure, which dates back to 1908, that’s earned our city the nickname, “Bridgetown.” Portland’s bridges are also some of the best places to take in views of the rivers, and of the gorgeous downtown skyline. Check out some of these events and activities that will allow you to explore Bridgetown up close.
Portland’s annual Bridge Pedal takes place in August and offers cyclists the opportunity to bike the city’s many bridges without worrying about car traffic. The event was first held in 1996 and include 7,500 bikers. It’s grown to regularly host over 20,000 bikers, and is the third largest organized bike ride in the world.
Cathedral Park is a neighborhood in North Portland bordering the Eastern bank of the Willamette River. The park itself is located just underneath the St. Johns Bridge, and earned its name thanks to the large, Gothic arches that support the bridge’s structure. It’s a popular place for weddings, walks, and Instagram selfies.
Tilikum Crossing (also known as Bridge of the People) is a cable bridge that crosses the Willamette River from the South Waterfront area to the Central Eastside District. It serves city buses, the Portland Streetcar, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. No personal automobiles are allowed, so it’s a relatively relaxing place for a spin or a jog.
The Hawthorne Bridge in downtown Portland, Oregon is the oldest vertical-lift bridge still in operation in the United States. The bridge was opened in December, 1910 and spans the Willamette River, being one of Portland’s most popular bike and pedestrian bridges it has featured in a few movies and pop-culture songs.
Bridge to Brews
Beginning and ending at one of Portland’s oldest breweries, Widmer Brothers, the beloved annual run Bridge to Brews allows participants to enjoy two of the city’s iconic bridges on foot, the N Steel Bridge and the Fremont Bridge. The latter is the world’s second longest tied-arch bridge and provides dramatic views of downtown and the Willamette River. At the end of the race—runners can choose between a 5K and a 10K—participants can enjoy craft beers from a number of different local breweries like Widmer Brothers, StormBreaker, Burnside and Laurelwood.