Death-defying feats have a history here. The Air Show celebrated its 25th year in 2012 and one of the largest events in Washington County, drawing an average of 75,000 each summer. If you’re craving some flight time during the winter months check out the Classic Aviation Museum. Occupying its own hangar at the Hillsboro Airport the museum showcases aircraft and aviation equipment with a focus on Cold War-era fighter jets and air shows year round.
Hillsboro was home to the “Mother Queen of Oregon,” or Mary Ramsey Wood. Wood was an American pioneer who was reported to be the oldest living person in the United States when she died at the supposed age of 120. The legend says she traveled to the Oregon Territory across the Oregon Trail at the age of 66. There is evidence that her age was exaggerated, however, and she may have actually been in her late 90s when she died.
Hillsboro makes up the center of the Silicon Forest. Oregon’s version of Silicon Valley includes Intel, Yahoo! and Oracle. Together they make up 17,000 jobs for Hillsboro.
The Hillsboro Pharmacy and Fountain has been serving residents of the greater Hillsboro area for more than a century. Founded in 1873 by Dr. F.A. Bailey, the Hillsboro Pharmacy offers up-to-date medications and merchandise for every need and budget alongside burgers and shakes. Fill your prescription and your stomach. A milkshake sounds like just what the doctor ordered.
Hillsboro is about 30 minutes outside of Portland, but it has a history all its own. The city has nine sites on the National Register of Historical Places. These include Old Scotch Church, completed in 1876 and Imbrie Farm, which includes a house built in 1866.
Oregon is the second largest hops producing state in the US. So, it’s only fitting that Hillsboro’s pro baseball team replaced the Portland Beavers in 2012 to become the Hillsboro Hops.
What says summertime more than ice cream trucks and running through sprinklers? In Hillsboro it’s wandering minstrels and giant turkey legs. For 13 days each summer the Oregon Renaissance Festival of Hillsboro offers just this. Festival-goers can offer tokens to their favorite jousting knights, peruse the handmade artisan crafts, and chow down on steaks on a stake.
Hillsboro has produced athletes who have gone on to represent their country (and city) in the most prestigious competition in the world. Several Olympic medalists including Josh Inman and Thomas Garrigus grew up in Hillsboro.
This city has the seventh lowest crime rate of Oregon’s 20 biggest cities.
If you’ve ever found yourself distracted by something shiny then the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is for you (and your family). The museum displays gems, fossils, meteorites, crystals, lapidary specimens, petrified wood, and much more in themed galleries. The Northwest Mineral Gallery even features the world's largest "opal"-filled thunder egg.
Hillsboro has the fifth most affordable housing market, beating out Portland which ranked seventh. Hillsboro housing market lists 35.5 percent of houses within the $290,994 price range of a homebuyer earning the median income of $64,943.
The Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve offers a peaceful retreat into nature for those needing a break from city life. The reserve is home to upland ash and fir forests along with thousands of ducks and geese, deer, otters, beavers, herons and eagles. Go for a walk along the trails or break out those binoculars and take up bird watching.
You can expect dinner and a show at this historic building. Reopened in 2008 the theater hosts films, live performances, live music, and it has its own bistro. Originally built in 1888 as the First National Bank of Hillsboro, the theater continues to be a good place to put your money.
Hillsboro is a car dependent city with a walk score of 41. It has the 18th shortest commute of Oregon’s 20 biggest cities with an average of 24.7 minutes for workers 16 and older. At least it’s not Gresham with a commute of 26.9. If you want to ride into Portland you might be better off taking the blue line on the MAX, part of the metro area’s public transportation.
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