A lot of people think their hometown is boring, but only those who grew up in Boring, Oregon can say that their hometown is Boring… literally. The town of nearly 8,000 residents is about 20 miles southeast of Portland. It’s not particularly boring, but it’s not terribly exciting either… especially when compared to its famously quirky neighbor to the northwest. Either way you look at it, though, Boring has made a name for itself by embracing its unique moniker.
The name originally had nothing to do with the excitement level of the town… it comes from its founder, William H. Boring, a farmer who settled the area the 1870s. In fact, the founder’s great-grandson, Bob Boring, still lives in Boring. Time went on, and the name became something of a joke.
Then, in 2012, a Scottish woman named Elizabeth Leighton happened to pass through Boring on a cycling trip. She was immediately reminded of a similar village in Scotland: Dull. Dull’s name comes from the Gaelic word for “meadow”. It, like Boring, is a smaller town; it’s actually much smaller than Boring, with a population around 84.
In 2013, Boring and Dull finally united to form the League of Extraordinary Communities. Shortly after, Bland, a small village in Australia, joined forces with the League as well. While they’re not official Sister Cities through Sister Cities International, the three towns support each other to boost tourism, especially through tongue-in-cheek signage and merch. There’s also always an official “Boring & Dull Day” celebration in Boring, on August 9th. Dull commemorates the partnership with celebrations in October. And if you want to visit Boring but don’t want to be bored, try and time your trip to coincide with Boring’s decidedly not-boring Goth Float, a gathering of goths for a relaxing inner tube float down the lovely Clackamas River. Or check out these fun stops in town!
Here are a few other not-boring things to do in Oregon…
Header via Wikimedia Commons/Chris Murphy