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What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

It seems like your question got cut off, and it’s not clear what specific aspect of Portland, Oregon, you’re inquiring about. Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, and there are various elements that people might refer to when discussing Portland. Here are a few aspects you might be interested in:

  1. Portland, Oregon vs. Portland, Maine:
    • It’s worth noting that there is another city named Portland, which is located in Maine on the East Coast of the United States. When people mention “Portland,” they might be referring to either Portland, Oregon, or Portland, Maine.
  2. Portland, Oregon vs. Other Cities:
    • If you are comparing Portland, Oregon, to other cities, differences may include climate, culture, demographics, and regional characteristics. Portland, Oregon, is known for its outdoor activities, eco-friendly initiatives, and a vibrant arts and food scene.
  3. Neighborhoods within Portland, Oregon:
    • Portland is also diverse in terms of its neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its unique character, demographics, and attractions. For example, the Pearl District is known for its art galleries and upscale condos, while Hawthorne has a more bohemian and eclectic vibe.
  4. Portland, Oregon Geography:
    • The city is situated in the Willamette Valley near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. The surrounding geography includes forests, mountains, and a generally green and lush environment.
  5. Cultural and Lifestyle Aspects:
    • Portland, Oregon, is often associated with a laid-back lifestyle, a strong emphasis on sustainability, a love for outdoor activities, and a thriving craft beer and coffee culture.

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

If you have a specific aspect or comparison in mind, please provide more details, and I’d be happy to provide more tailored information!

For the longest time, I wanted to live in Portland. So much so that my wife didn’t want me travelling there. I had a reputation for finding a place I liked and up and moving on a whim. Since then, I have had a chance to visit multiple times. There are parts I liked, but others that turned me off. Specifically the aggression of many people experiencing homelessness. This caught me by surprise.

I have lived and travelled to many big cities around the world, but I was shocked at how physical and in my face many people experiencing homelessness (if they were) were towards me. It was not a one-off incident. It occurred multiple times on multiple trips. Not giving money seemed grounds for getting up in people’s faces and even getting physical. I can handle myself, but not with an unexpected junky. I would not want to worry about my family dealing with this regularly.

Yes, Denver.

Sadly, has also had some violence, especially in our most tourist-centric areas. But I have yet to experience it personally. Also, I’ve learned where to avoid. I would learn this in Portland, too, but it soured me to the downtown area. Also, there must be more police presence to manage this in Portland. Whereas in Denver, there is more of a presence.

Those expenses aside, Oregon is beautiful, and I love exploring it. I love visiting. But, aside from the insane traffic – which I can usually avoid, I love Denver. It is a solid city, with great options for all interests. Yes, it lacks an ocean, but for the most part, that is its only real fault.

In addition to the amazing access to nature, we also have a thriving arts scene. With recent articles like this coming out, I can only imagine it will keep thriving. One personal example: One afternoon last December, I took the family to see the Hip-Hop Nut Cracker. Then to dinner. Followed by an evening with country legend Kris Kristofferson.

Ultimately, it is all about what you seek in a city. But I do love Denver. I have moved around here, but it is my longest place ever. Considering my love of moving, to me, that says a lot. In the future, I would still consider Oregon, but somewhere outside of Portland.

They are completely different in so many ways:

  1. Portland residents are much more friendly and willing to perform random acts of kindness than people of Denver.
  2. While mountains somewhat surround Denver, it’s relatively flat and bare. Portland is engulfed in trees and is a really beautiful city.
  3. Portland is a lot more accessible regarding things to do, the distance between them, and the relative fullness of it all.
  4. Denver sucks
  5. See the answer above.

Side note: I moved to Portland from Colorado and have been to Denver many times and still, beyond my control, have to visit occasionally. I’m highly familiar with Denver, and frankly, it’s, in my opinion, one of the worst cities I’ve ever been to. I’m not trying to ‘hate’ on Denver… Well, maybe I am. However, some good people still call the city home, and I plea to them now: get out while you can!

Why is Jeffrey Dahmer so handsome?

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

I think it’s a matter of personal preference. You need to experience both places personally to draw your conclusion. They’re just too unique to sum up, especially as I don’t know you. If you like rain (this cannot be stated enough, if you don’t like it, don’t come here. We have the highest rates of suicide up in the PNW for a reason), the outdoors, a big city, and a ton of events throughout the year, Portland is your place.

I’ve never been to Portland, though I know many people who live there and like it. And I’ve lived in Denver much of my life. I’ve also lived in the DC area, Fort Collins, CO; Minneapolis, Bloomington, IN. And several places overseas. I’ve also travelled a lot, so you shouldn’t assume I’m a provincial because I haven’t been to Portland.

Denver’s a great place.

I have never lived in or visited a city in this country. I’d rather live than here. It gets a lot of hate on Quora, and when I read some people’s posts, I often wonder if they are talking about the same city. Denver has nice people, a beautiful climate if you’re not a sissy about snow, one of the best nature and science museums anywhere, great restaurants, some of the best breweries in the country, a booming economy, lots of things to do, diversity etc. You could do worse than come here.

On the other hand, it has become the victim of its awesomeness. Living here’s no longer affordable, and the traffic could be better. Lots of people come here and find they need help to afford to stay. I hear that Portland is suffering at least some of the same problems. If I were looking for a new place to live, I would give them both a pass and try to find something smaller and more affordable. But that’s just me.

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

We made exactly that choice and chose Portland for several reasons. 1) Portland is a more liberal area, and that was important to us. 2) the weather is MUCH milder in Portland. I saw a friend’s Facebook from Denver, and she was getting snow in May on occasion, and I could not deal with that. 3) we LOVED the energy of Portland — I grew up in Chicago, and the style of buildings downtown is similar but on a much smaller scale.

To me, Portland is like a tiny jewel version of Chicago with all the things that make a city wonderful and less of Chicago’s issues. I admit I don’t know Denver well, but I have been there a handful of times, and Portland had something unique that I did not feel in Denver — maybe it is the river running through the centre of town that appeals.

Portland and the surrounding areas are also becoming known as the “Silicon Forest”, with many high-tech jobs coming here. And in Portland, you are an hour from the ocean, have many rivers for water sports if that is your thing, and are an hour from the mountains for hiking and skiing. It is just about perfect. The only fly in the ointment at all is the homeless population, which is probably similar in downtown Denver as it is the same where we came from (Los Angeles.)

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

First off, there are many, many good things. There is much to do: outdoor options galore, good jobs, beautiful vistas, etc. But to answer your question: people here could be more friendly. I’ve lived in the Midwest and the West Coast and have travelled through the South, Southwest, the East Coast, and the other mountain states. Coloradans, particularly Denverites, are easily among the most unfriendly, if not outright mean, people I’ve ever met.

There is a nasty superiority complex here that makes everyone worthy of derision first, and there is an expectation that you have to earn your social place before you will be accepted. Expect to be ignored and treated like crap as a newcomer (‘natives’ are especially harsh in their treatment of people who moved in from out of state). There is a major bullying issue in schools and workplaces that is somewhat accepted as normal, but sadly, there is also a high suicide rate and an even sadder history of mass shootings.

Add to that the extremely polarized politics. Pockets of the state are extremely liberal (Boulder), and parts are extremely conservative (Douglas County and Colorado Springs). Few places are a mixture, and there is outright hostility to people of a different viewpoint among these populations. Despite the projected image of Coloradans being easy-going ski bums, outdoors people, and even potheads, it isn’t true. It’s a high-strung place; people are generally only mellow if they are high or exhausted from exertion.

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

I live just outside of Denver, work in downtown Denver, and have been here for over a year. I’ve never felt this way about a place, but I don’t like it. I find Denver incredibly dirty and scuzzy. There is a huge homeless problem and the drugs that are associated with that. It’s not well-controlled either, so it’s a loose atmosphere that can and does turn violent. There was a murder right outside my workplace a few months ago.

Denver is also very brown and dry. I didn’t know how much I valued and missed the green until I moved here. It’s just not a lush place. The mountains are beautiful, yes, and hiking is great. But the dryness does get to you. When I first moved here, I had a bloody nose for a while, and my skin got very dry. The combination of the dryness and the extreme sun has negatively impacted my skin; I look older.

The pace of life is also very slow, which is exactly what some people want, but for me, it’s too slow. I came from two of the biggest cities in the US and was used to a certain pace and a certain level of stimulation. In Denver, you’re just not going to find that. The effect that this has had on me has been negative. It’s caused a sense of depression that I didn’t previously have. Denver is perfect for some people; it all depends on your preferences. But for me, not so much.

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

It is self-segregated. Different cultures separate themselves and typically stick with people like themselves- racially, politically, economically, and spiritually. They don’t mix like in places like New York or San Fran. Making friends is also difficult- especially if you don’t drink or consume marijuana. It is not likely that a stranger will acknowledge you, greet you or look you in the eye.

If you take the initiative and greet a stranger, you would be lucky to get a short glance and some unintelligible muttering before they are back on their device- unless you are a movie star. Also, people don’t land in Denver because they want to be surrounded by “different” people or break new ground in anything artistic. People end up here because they like craft beer, marijuana and their careers- usually in some start-up tech co or big corporation.

Thus, it is very predictable and drab. I have been here for 44 years. Before you say “then leave”, I will say I would like to and probably will in the next 5 years. When you talk to people, they are usually nice, however. I have found this through driving rideshare temporarily.

Would you rather live in Portland or Denver?

Even though I’ve never been to Portland, I believe I’m qualified to answer this because the weather is one of my main reasons for choosing Denver as my home city. It might sound superficial to some people, but I’m diagnosed with depression, and longer periods of grey and rainy days can add to its severity.

Statistically, Colorado has more sunny days than Florida.Even in the winter, the snowy grey sky episodes are short-lived and quickly followed by beautiful sunny blue sky winter days. Portland is smaller and more walkable, with easy access to green spaces to the north and the airport to the south. Portland is also an hour from the coast.

Denver is larger, sprawling, and congested. It gets more sun, is less prone to an earthquake or volcanic eruption and is near some of the most beautiful geography in the country. It’s also more centrally located, so flying to other destinations is easier. Both cities are great. It’s hard to say one is better than the other. I live in Portland and could just as easily live in Denver.

Would you rather live in Portland or Denver?

I made that choice over 30 years ago. As a bicyclist, I miss some very nice multi-use paths they had, and until very recently, they had probably the best jazz club I’ve ever been to, El Chapultepec. I also loved Cheeseman Park and the early Street Fair, But between idiocy over the Broncos, smog, and crime (out of 3 apartments I rented, I was burglarized in one and had peeping toms in another,) I don’t miss it at all. And the snow becomes a filthy mess within a day. 

But I was/am probably prejudiced from my years in Boulder when that didn’t require being rich. OTOH, Portland is a terrible place; it rains all the time, all the people are mean, and the roads & traffic are horrible and getting worse. So, move to Denver.

Denver/ CO Springs Cons:

We often see Portland in the news for the same reasons I hate travelling to downtown Denver now. Denver was so much cleaner through 2016 than it is now. I loved taking the light rail [RTD] and going downtown. Now, homeless camps all over the sidewalks [starting back up again after every sweep, yet rents keep pushing people onto the streets], mental illness is a major problem [I feel for the guys who yell in your face at the train station but it is a sign of a major and untackled problem], drugs everywhere [dude its Colorado so let’s get some meth I guess].

Colorado Springs is the run-down version of Denver now, with the same or even more expensive housing prices if you are looking at a starter condo. Wages need to keep up with prices, too. $5 / gallon gas and no solid transportation system, $80 for half the food, $80 could get you a few years back; salaries stuck in 2018 [better than 2016 but still $85k for tech and a median of $36k for some of the worst housing prices and skyrocketing everything else], median housing prices higher than some parts of Seattle [CO Springs is more expensive than Kitap]. 

Water is scarcer than ever thanks to people coming here. Taxes increase on everything yearly. Among the lowest high school grad rates in the country with many schools nearly unaccredited [DPS improved and has been on an improvement plan with threats for becoming unaccredited forever/Adams has among the lowest grad rates in the country/ CO Springs now allows students to graduate with a 1.5 GPA].

CO Springs is falling apart, by the way. 

The run-down trails, pothole-filled roads, and lack of care given to $450-550k+ homes are amazing. Sure, I’ll buy a house over asking at $550k so I can sink $150k into repairs, and my yard will still be weeds and dirt. Sounds *** great!! I’ve been here since 1999 [11 years old]. Seeing what this place has become, even the burbs of St Louis aside from Florissant/Berkeley, of course [my whole family is from there] are better than this s**hole. 

I’ll take up kayaking and spelunking and buy a plane ticket to visit the home I am building far from these crapholes in West Cliffe/Silver Cliffe for $150 round trip any day. Bleak!

Denver Pros:

Mountains and maybe the economy if you are in certain fields and from places like Arkansas [most jobs will be driving a box truck or working at Papa John]. Still, since everyone and their mother wants to move here, our job competition is among the highest in the country. 

Tech workers looking for price sanity might be better off in places like Kansas City or even St Louis [1400-1600% growth in startup funding 2016 and 2017/ 16% tech job growth in 2018/ 13% tech job growth overall predicted for the next 5 years YOY/among the least job competition/ same salaries as Denver/5 respectable schools with one being considered Ivy League quality within reach/ 3 million person MSA with more cultural options but you have this one area north of the core that makes up 90% of the crime with the difference being its less populated than Chicago or New Orleans].

I’m not sure about Portland, but looking at the job market and housing prices South of town, I could easily live there over the Springs, where I am looking at $20-$30k more for the same square footage and a slightly longer commute to my Denver job. If I lose my gig, I am also staring down $15/hr at $1600 monthly rent.

Would you rather live in Portland or Denver?

I’ve never been to Denver, except the Denver airport, for a connection, so I don’t know! That being said, I’ve lived in Portland all my life and don’t plan on leaving soon!

UPDATE: I went to Denver a few months ago, and it was nice! I would not mind living there; in fact, it reminds me a lot of Portland in terms of atmosphere. 

As a vegetarian, though, it did remind me of how lucky I am to live in Portland, where at any given restaurant, you will be warned that your vegetarian meal was cooked in the same room as a meat dish. Ordered a bean and cheese burrito at a Mexican restaurant in Denver and was told AFTER finding a giant piece of pork on top of my burrito that nearly everything in the restaurant used a traditional lard base. Okay- sorry- I went off on a tangent. Denver was nice!

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

I consider Portland better than Denver in many ways, but I need to learn about the real estate market. I’ll start with the climate, which is relatively mild and wet most of the year, without the extremes you get in Denver. Also, I prefer living near sea level. I can tolerate altitude in Denver and Colorado Springs, but I had altitude sickness for four solid days when I went to Mexico City.

Portland has great food and wine, and although I don’t care about beer, I hear the various local beers are very good. I don’t care about skiing, but Portland also has skiing nearby at Mt. Hood.

Buying a little bungalow on the east side of Portland is still possible for less than half a million dollars. Buying a decent apartment on the west side/downtown/Alphabet district for roughly the same amount is also possible.

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?

I’ve lived both in Seattle (visiting Portland fairly often) and outside Denver. I’d return to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) in a second.

Here’s what I think the advantages are:

  • Denver weather is bizarre and wildly inconsistent. Just this past fall, we had a swing of 60° here in 8 hours! I’ve known people who suffered thousands of dollars of damage to their cars and even the roofs of their houses from massive hailstorms. Plus, you don’t have to shovel rain!
  • It’s much greener in the PNW, which I find much more pleasant than the xeric desert here in CO. I constantly get nosebleeds and the like from the super dry air here.
  • You’re living at sea level. It took me many months to acclimate to the thinner air here, and I still feel like I “skipped” a breath occasionally.
  • There’s a much stronger foodie culture in the PNW (which I love!).

There are also several areas in which Denver is better (though they are less personally important to me):

  • Denver has best-in-the-world access to skiing within an easy drive.
  • The mountains are glorious to explore in all seasons, and there are many amazingly scenic places to visit (e.g., Crested Butte is one of my favourites).
  • The political climate in CO is much more balanced between Left/Right, so you’ll find much less of an echo chamber among your neighbours, and people have to learn to be polite and get along.

Many subjective personal preferences will lead you to choose one over the other, and they both have much to offer! But, my personal preference will always be for the PNW.

Which city is better for a single millennial woman – Denver or Portland?

Which city is better for a single millennial woman – Denver or Portland? I live in Dallas, TX, and I hate it here because of the hot and humid summers and the fact that it’s too boring. I am outdoorsy and love to hike and drive, chasing views.

Denver gets rather cold in the winter and hot in the summer, although it is dry. Lots of sun and little rain, no humidity. Portland’s weather tends to be mild throughout the year. Both cities have nearby natural areas, though Colorado is on the dry side, and the forests surrounding Portland are just short of being a rainforest. Plus, Portland has some rather large rivers. 

Denver has more diverse and structured cultural events throughout the year, whereas Portland has community celebrations throughout the summer months. The grocery stores in Denver are open 24 hours a day. In Portland, they close every night. The Denver area has a lot of majestic mountain views; Portland sits in a flora paradise. Both have plenty of paths to hike to your heart’s delight. 

Portland is the world’s most woman-friendly city regarding women’s rights, especially concerning their healthcare. However, the Denver area has long been a hotbed of feminism. You would land a better job in Denver.

These are the superficial “symptoms” of Portland’s hotness:

  • “Creative class” mecca. With many designers, artists, musicians and small businesses, Portland fosters an independent and creative state of mind. People (generally) value a different kind of success – forming your own small business, creatively solving a city challenge, or going out on your own to make a food cart. Wearing khakis and having a successful corporate job is not mainstream.
  • Family friendly. It’s a good place for young people transitioning into adulthood with young kids. Schools are decent, the parks are great, and the restaurants, etc., are generally kid-friendly.
  • Relatively affordable. It’s not cheap, but the cost of living in Portland is less than San Francisco, Seattle or Los Angeles – and much less than, for example, New York.
  • The “Green” lifestyle is mainstream. Portland is among the best cities for biking, pedestrians and public transport. We have curbside composting. The city is actively investing in improving the quality of life and protecting green space rather than just cutting taxes.

Here are what I believe to be the root causes:

  • Reasonable climate. Not too hot, not too cold, not too snowy, dry or wet. Portland has a beautiful, not-too-hot northwest summer and a temperate winter. It’s not so warm that a million people want to live here or that you need air conditioning.
  • Access to a variety of outdoor recreation destinations & climates. With rivers, beaches, forests and mountains within 100 miles, everything from water-skiing to snow-skiing, sun-bathing, and fly-fishing is right here. People who want to combine outdoor recreation access with the amenities of city life (culture, etc.) are in their sweet spot.
  • And here’s the moneymaker: Zoning. Beginning in the 1970s, the Portland metro area instituted an urban growth boundary, effectively preventing sprawl and encouraging an effective use of space. It begets Portland’s focus on exploring space and neighbourhood connectedness.

There are plenty of downsides to living in Portland, too. But there are better questions than this one for that answer.

I spent a summer in Portland, and here’s what I loved about it:

Weather – To be fair, I was there for the sunny season. But they get only one week of frost during the rainy season. You may hide indoors because it’s damp, but never because it’s too hot or cold.

Nature – To this day, Oregon is the most beautiful place I have ever been. And it’s so accessible. Ten minutes to Forest Park. Forty-five minutes to the Gorge. An hour and a half to Mt Hood or the Coast. Granted, it tends to be crowded because Oregonians love their nature. But it’s still there.

Activity – Everyone up there is enormously active. Name a sport and groups of people practise it at the highest level of snobbery.

Interactions – Portlanders interact the way New Yorkers don’t. They get out, they join clubs, they chat in the park, they throw festivals, they hang out.

All that sustainable stuff – I’m not a hipster or hippie, but I do recycle compost, garden, and bike places. It’s nice to live somewhere that values and encourages these things.

The weirdness – One thing I disliked about the Midwest was the push for conformity. The only thing that will get you sneered at in Portland is being a “stodgy conservative” type. Anything goes. It keeps life interesting and encourages people to try new things. You can’t look odder than a mayor in lederhosen.


Portland. Go to Portland and take all your friends. Denver sucks- no indoor plumbing, unreliable electrical grid, -20° and Boeing snow all winter, 100+ in the summer. It’s a terrible place to live.

Too many people are moving here (especially from Texas), the traffic is terrible (seriously- the grid is built on an infrastructure plan from the 1800s and can’t handle the traffic we’ve got), and every third licensed plate is from Texas (nobody is actually from Denver, and I get it- between Ted Cruz and climate change I wouldn’t want to live there either, but don’t drive like an asshole, drill for oil all over our outdoor recreation areas and right next to it water sources and schools, and run around saying how great Texas is- IF IT’S SO GREAT GO BACK).
So yeah, go to Portland. Also, tell everyone that skiing is better in Utah.

Portland has a fantastic food scene, And if you like great food, Portland is the place. It also rains a lot in Portland. Denver Has very agreeable weather for me. The food is horrible, but I love to cook, so I cook a lot at home. It never rains. It never snows. All that stuff happens in the mountains, but not really in Denver. ( we do have hail, though).

Comes down to what you’re looking for personally and why you’re considering both cities. The weather and the fact that I have a dog that hates the rain made my decision much easier. It was also the cost of living. Today, I might make a different decision.

What’s the difference between Portland Oregon and Denver Colorado?