Think Portland is a dream town? Outside magazine does.

In its August issue, the publication named Portland the East Coast’s best town for outdoor sporting and overall quality of life as part of its “Top 25 Dream Towns” in America.

“Portland has good outdoor recreation along with great livability,” the magazine’s executive editor, Sam Moulton, said Thursday.

The short article cites several qualities of the city that contribute to its appeal, including “the gritty, yet gorgeous waterfront,” a low cost of living, and easy access to ski slopes, hiking trails and waterways.

In the 15 years that Outside has published its “Dream Towns” feature, Portland has been recognized three times, the first coming in 1999 and the second in 2007.

Lianon Close, marketing manager for Portland’s Convention & Visitors Bureau, said she believes the article will help draw visitors to the city.

“The more people read about Portland, the more they’ll look into coming,” said Close. “Outside magazine has a great readership, and I’m happy to see that they mention something other than just the food.”

Moulton said the criteria for choosing communities change slightly each year. “This year we emphasized recreation, the livability and the lifestyle of the towns, rather than relying on hard socioeconomic data,” he said.

One bit of data the magazine reported incorrectly was Portland’s population. Outside said the city is home to 516,000 people. The population is actually closer to 65,000. Another Portland, 3,000 miles away, may have led researchers astray. Portland, Ore., has a population of about 500,000.

Outside magazine did spend some quality time doing hands-on research in Portland. Three editors from the magazine, including Moulton, spent several days enjoying the city’s restaurants and experiencing the area’s outdoor activities.

“Portland hits the sweet spot in a couple different ways. It has great culture, restaurants, bars, and an active and dynamic downtown,” said Moulton. “And of course there is good skiing, paddling and other outdoor activities nearby.”

Staff Writer Max Monks can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:

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