Those who are new to Forest Grove are likely to know a few main things about the area. First off, the community is in close proximity to Portland, Oregon’s largest city and cultural powerhouse of the Pacific Northwest. Secondly, TriMet, the system of trams and buses operating throughout the metro area connect that Forest Grove to Portland. Though Pacific may lie on the outskirts of the Portland, Forest Grove is a relatively small college town. For those incoming freshmen or transfer students who don’t look closely, Forest Grove might be mistaken as a sleepy community without much entertainment, or simply as a jumping point into Portland. A closer look, however, reveals otherwise.

As the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of entertainment is likely to be movies, an easy place to start would be the Forest Theater, near the intersection of Pacific Avenue and A Street. Its sister theater, the Cornelius 9 Cinemas, is a popular spot for students to go to midnight premieres of the latest blockbusters.  For stage shows, right next to Pacific’s bookstore is Theatre in the Grove, which has recently put on such productions as “Dracula,” “Charlotte’s Web,” and “Chicago.”

Rainbow Lanes, Forest Groves bowling alley offers free bowling to Pacific students on Thursday nights starting in October. This can be a social and engaging way to get your mind off of writing your latest paper, working on a class project, or studying for an exam, even if only for a few hours.

While in the middle of the year Forest Grove can get exceedingly icy, at both the beginning and end of the school year there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy a hot and sunny day. If you’re able to take a jaunt out a few miles down Tualatin Valley Highway, Henry Hagg Lake and the accompanying park are wonderful places to go swim, throw a Frisbee, hike or just sunbathe while taking in some fresh air.

On Wednesdays, students can stop by the weekly Forest Grove Farmer’s Market on Main Street to see what local vendors and farms have to offer. The local eateries are also impressive. To name only a few on a remarkable list, Main Street is home to Izgara, which serves up an incredible array of Middle Eastern dishes and is highly recommended. Other perennial favorites include FG Sushi, a Japanese restaurant located on Birch Street; Maggie’s Buns, a little breakfast placed called  22nd Street Station; and the McMenamin’s Grand Lodge, the delicious local addition  to the chain, located on Pacific Avenue. You can even order Pizza Schmizza with your declining balance and have it delivered to your hall.

It would be impossible to name all the things to find and do in Forest Grove. In order to fully appreciate this gem of a city, the best course of action is to simply explore it yourself.

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