There’s no shortage of things to do in Portland, especially for the hip and the hairy. But does it deserve the title Beard Capital of the US? We’ve done our research and found 6 reasons why it just might.
1. Portland loves all things one-of-a-kind
Long-time Portland resident Gus Van Sant famously said Oregon is, “a place that’s isolated from the rest of the country, so everyone feels abandoned together.” But far from being angsty and too cool for school, this is a city that celebrates individuality; so whatever you decide to grow on your face, you’re A-OK in the City of Roses.
Beards are more than just facial hair in Portland—they’re a canvas for self-expression. Two Portland based artists have even Instagrammed their way to fuzz-fame with their artistic face shrubbery. From dousing their beards in pink glitter to arranging flowers on their face like a Macy’s display, this hirsute duo are the Picasso and Braque of beards.
3. Portland is the home of the ‘lumbersexual’
This forested state has been a haven for wood-chopping since the days of Paul Bunyan. But now there’s a new kind of lumberjack in town: the Lumbersexual. This counter-cultural gent has a penchant for plaid and a beard to rival Zeus – and what’s more, he carries himself with the quiet gravitas of a woodsman.
4. Lady Whiskers
Portland is an equal opportunist in the beard department. The free-spirited folk of Oregon don’t discriminate against female follicles; in fact, they celebrate them. In Portland, Kore Bobisuthi can wear her facial hair with pride, and has even traveled from her home in Oakland to enter beard competitions here, stating that the city has shown her nothing but love.
5. Competitive bearding
Speaking of beard competitions, it’s one of Portland’s most bizarre pastimes. If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Portland, this is it: Cool kids trek from all over America to Portland to show off their inspiring tufts and fight for a place in the annuls of facial-hair history at one of the city’s many beard competitions. If you’re in town for the annual mustache pageant, don’t miss out!
6. There’s something in the air
Portland can get a little chilly in the winter. One of the reasons so many residents sport a beard is that thick facial hair is like a free face-hat. As we all know, the wilderness is no place for a baby face, so the beard-loving people of Portland have championed the beard balaclava.
So whether or not you have full on face-fuzz, Seattle sideburns, muttonchops or even an old-timey mustache, Portland’s probably the place for you.