I spent my formative years living within a few miles of the ocean in San Diego. In the summer we went to the beach to cool off. Now I live in Portland, Oregon which is a few hours from the ocean. It has been a tough adjustment period and after nearly five years here, there are a few things I still haven't gotten used to.
There is an inordinate number of fountains in downtown Portland. I've always thought of fountains as mostly decorative with the occasional nut jumping into the fountain. Not so here. Fountains are a major attraction and it is where one goes in the summer time to cool off (and it's not just for the kids). This one seemed particularly fun as it even has it's own tide cycle and empties and refills every 15-20 minutes.
If you want to go to the beach don't expect to do any surfing. While we have "beaches" we don't have any waves. And unless you want to sit with huge crowds of people on a tiny stretch of beach you'll need a boat to get to the many islands that dot the Columbia near Portland. Our favorite beach is on Sand Island in the Columbia River Gorge.
|The Columbia River Gorge|
|The Beach on Sand Island|
(this beach will be much much wider in the summer after the river levels have dropped)
|Sand Island Aerial Image|