If you decided to move to the West Coast and looking for an open-minded, relaxed, and artsy place surrounded by wonderful nature to call home, look no further than Oregon’s largest city. But before you go searching for the best neighborhoods in Portland, take some time and find as much information possible about the ones you are interested in. That’s where we step in.
Prior to packing your bags and moving to Portland, Oregon, make sure that the new location suits all your needs, whether you are single or relocating with a family. The great thing about PDX is that it has so much to offer to people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests, and choosing among the best areas to live in Portland shouldn’t be too much of a trouble.
With a population of about 620,000 people, it is by far the biggest city in the Beaver State. It cherishes its reputation of a liberal bastion, which makes it highly suitable for folks with progressive beliefs. Let’s take a look at the top communities in the so-called City of Roses that can make for a perfect home, whether you’re a student, artist, young professional, or a family person.
What Are the Different Areas of Portland
PDX sits on the Willamette River, which breaks it into the eastern and western portion, while Burnside Street acts as a border between the northern and southern districts.
The city has 95 communities divided into six different sections, or sextants including Southwest, Northwest, and North. South Portland, the newest, sixth sextant (or quadrant as locals are expected to call it), was officially created on May 1, 2020.
The North Sections of Portland
includes many industrial and residential neighborhoods, as well as the better part of Old Town Chinatown, the Northwest, and Pearl District. A range of streets, mostly in Northwest, are named alphabetically – from Ankeny through York.
It is interesting to know that Pearl is a new name given to the formal industrial area north of Downtown. Many warehouses have been converted into lofts, and also, a lot of condominiums have been built on empty land.
The increasing development of this section has attracted a lot of shops, brewpubs, some of the best restaurants in Portland, and art galleries. An event called First Thursday sponsored by galleries is a spontaneous artists’ reception organized every month.
presents a blend of industrial, residential, and commercial areas. It has a couple of nicknames, including NoPo, and is home to the University of Portland and International Raceway.
The St John’s Bridge connects industrial areas of Northwest and North. John’s bridge was completed in 1931 and restored between 2003 and 2005.
A planned development named Vanport was constructed to the north of this area during World War II and grew to be the second-largest town in the country. Unfortunately, a disastrous flood in 1948 wiped it out.
is a large section; therefore, it can be divided geographically, ethnically, and culturally into inner and outer areas. It also has many distinct communities, including Alameda Ridge and Irvington, famous for some of the oldest and most expensive houses. On the other hand, the King is more a working-class type of neighborhood.
The South Sections
Between the Willamette River and I-405 freeway loop lies the Downtown. Centered around Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Downtown is pedestrian-friendly, with a combination of narrow streets and compact square blocks.
Downtown is filled with cultural, educational, recreational, business, retail, and governmental resources, including Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society, and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The City Hall, the Portland Building, and Pioneer Courthouse are also located here. The Wells Fargo Center (546 feet) is in Downtown, as well as Portland State University – the only public, urban university in the state.
Beyond Downtown, visitors may also be interested in visiting the Vietnam Veteran Memorial, the Japanese Garden, International Rose Test Garden, and Oregon Zoo. Neighborhoods like South Portland, Hillsdale, and South Burlingame can also be attractive, especially for their retail and commercial districts and unique residential houses.
has blue-collar roots and has developed over the years into a mixture of different backgrounds. For example, the Hawthorne is famous for its small sub-culturally oriented shops and hippie/radical crowd.
was established in May 2020. Its borders are Willamette River to the east and Naito Parkway and Tryon Creek to the west.
The best areas to live in Portland Oregon hide some truly wonderful neighborhoods, such as Nob Hill, Arlington Heights, and Hawthorne. Some are unique for their bar scene or restaurants, others have beautiful open green spaces, but each one has a unique spirit that makes you feel like you have found a lifetime companion.
Nob Hill/Northwestern District – One of Portland’s Oldest Neighborhoods
Also known as Northwest and the Alphabet District, Nob Hill is a rather small but densely populated residential and retail neighborhood. It is also one of Portland’s oldest ones, with homes dating back to the city’s early days. With a combination of restored old buildings and new developments, it is a great location to find a beautiful place at a lower price, especially compared to the neighboring Pearl District. Even though it has more than 14,000 residents, it is considered a small area with just 976 acres.
Nob Hill’s streets are packed with trendy boutiques and shops, as well as restaurants and cafes. Whether you are a baby boomer or a millennial, you will find your favorite place in Nob Hill.
Thanks to the PDX Streetcar system, it is linked with the Portland State University, South Waterfront area, and the Cultural District. Within its boundaries is the campus of Linfield College and the Dovelewis Emergency Animal Hospital.
As a newcomer, you will adore some unique places, such as Music Millennium, a record shop that’s been around since 1969. If you consider yourself a chocoholic, you will most likely be a regular guest at Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe.
Housing and Education Options
If you are not moving to the city alone and you have kids, the good news is that there are 22 public and private schools within two miles of the center of Nob Hill. If you are considering this location for a future home, you won’t have to worry about the education of your kids.
Compared to other parts, the housing in Nob Hill is affordable, and options vary from townhouses and condos to newer and historic detached single-family houses. When it comes to real estate prices, according to point2homes, an average price per square foot is around $400, while the median rent is $1,329, according to Niche.
Dining in Pearl Is Like a Trip Around the World
If you’re wondering: “What are the cool neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon?”, the answer might be the Pearl District. Once an industrial corner full of warehouses and work yards, it has become one of the most desirable and posh locations to live in. Whether you are a young adult looking for a vibrant part of town or plan to raise kids, this downtown location has so much to offer.
It is particularly suitable for families who want to be close to family-friendly activities and young adults who are seeking fantastic nightlife. It is a highly walkable location, and many residents prefer going on foot or using public transportation to driving a car. Dining out is also a delight, considering the number of world-class restaurants.
Where to Eat and Drink When in Pearl
From casual places to fancy dining, the district offers cuisines from different parts of the world – Mexico, Italy, Japan. It is like a trip around the world.
One of the places that have earned their spot on the list of neighborhood’s favorite places is Carlita’s. Since opening in 2017, Carlita’s has been attracting guests with delicious tacos and cocktails. We recommend visiting it on Tuesday because it is Taco Tuesday, so you can enjoy tacos with shredded cabbage and juicy meats.
Another great place is Via Delizia. Opened as a cafe with only pastries and gelato, it developed into a famous restaurant serving pizza, salads, and pasta. After you move here, we suggest that your first-morning coffee is one from Via Delizia. Espressos – Italian style – will make you fall in love with this place. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself not being able to refuse the gelato. In Via Delizia, it is house-churned, and it has been the neighborhood’s favorite for more than a decade.
Where to Shop
As with food, the options for where to shop are various. If you consider yourself a book lover, there is a big chance that Powell’s City of Books will take your breath away. It claims to be the world’s largest independent bookstore. On the other hand, if buying clothes is what brings you joy, don’t miss visiting Lizard Lounge, a place where you can find pieces of art from global and local brands.
Housing and Education Options
Condos and lofts – lots, lots of them. According to zillow.com, the median list price per square foot is $520, so if you can afford it and see yourself living in Portland, Oregon, here is where your future home should be. However, if you wish to rent an apartment, according to trulia.com, monthly rents for 3-bedroom apartments go from $1,400 to $4,500.
If you are a parent, this place will give you a lot of school options for your kids, both public and private. To name a few – Emerson School is a non-profit school, but there are also Lincoln High, Chapman Middle, and East-West Sylvan.
Where Is the Hipster Part of Portland? Right Here in Hawthorne
If you are thinking about how to meet new neighbors, moving to Hawthorne will be quite interesting, because you are relocating to a place famous for its hippie and hipster community. Thrift shops, bookstores, and fine dining also make this Southeast neighborhood unique and attractive.
Once an affordable part of the city, Hawthorne has become one of the most expensive ones. But still, it is attractive for young adults and couples. When you become a local, you will see how nice it is to browse books in Pawell’s Books and to get breakfast at Utopia Cafe.
Welcome to One of the Best Bohemian Neighborhoods
If you consider yourself a hunter for antiques, you will discover a whole new level of hunting once you move to Hawthorne. Just imagine 1,300 square feet of vintage art, furniture, and clothing. Unbelievable but possible, and it is called the House of Vintage.
August is the month reserved for Hawthorne Street Fair, one of the most beautiful and most popular fairs in the city. Many activities for kids and music stages spread throughout the shopping area make this fair one of the must-see summer events.
Arlington Heights Is Also One of the Best Neighborhoods in Portland for Outdoor Enthusiasts and Families
While you are looking for the most useful moving tips and thinking about the adequate way to relocate all your belongings, you should also consider what kind of house or apartment is the most adequate for you and your family.
If you are considering single-families homes, Arlington Heights is the place for you.
With more than 300 single-family homes and many recently renovated parks, it is a neighborhood made for families who enjoy outdoor activities.
Parks Ideal for Kids to Play and Grownups to Relax
Whether you choose a relaxing walk through Washington Park – one of the most popular parks in the city or want to explore the 12 miles of hiking trails in Hoyt Arboretum, there is no doubt that you will have a great time.
If you’re interested, you can also visit the International Rose Garden, take your kids to some of the playgrounds, and see what the easiest way to get to the Zoo is. The Children’s Museum is worth visiting, whether you are a kid or a parent.
All in All, What Is the Best Neighborhood to Live in Portland Oregon?
Well, that is a tough one. As you can notice, the best areas to live in Portland Oregon are, at the same time, very alike and pretty different. It’s all about the details, and that’s a good thing, especially for those who want to find the perfect new home.
But before you step into your street, you need to organize your relocation. You could start by seeing how to save on moving costs, including how to choose the best-sized boxes and other supplies. If you need some help, the most suitable solution is to find a reliable Portland moving company that provides moving and packing services. Besides, you should have enough means to cover the cost of living in Portland, Oregon.