Are you planning to move to or within Portland, Oregon? Portland has much to offer beyond its great beer, tasty coffee, and eco-friendly reputation. Here are the 10 best neighborhoods in Portland to explore before finalizing your housing decision.
Portland, Oregon, is a vibrant city known for its unique blend of nature and urban living. Surrounded by stunning landscapes like Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, Portland offers endless outdoor activities. The city has a thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues.
The famous food and beverage scene features diverse cuisine, craft breweries, and artisan coffee shops and eventually makes it the best places to live in Portland. The city prides itself on its eco-consciousness and commitment to sustainability. With friendly locals and a welcoming atmosphere, Portland is where creativity and individuality thrive, making it a desirable destination for many.
In this article, you will learn about ten amazing neighborhoods in Portland where you enjoy your life.
How to Select the Best Neighborhoods in Portland?
Portland, Oregon, is a city characterized by diverse and unique neighborhoods, each with a distinct personality and sense of self-expression. The city has a laid-back atmosphere and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, evident in its abundance of bike lanes and eco-friendly initiatives.
With its proximity to the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest, Portland has become a hub for the booming tech industry, earning the nickname “The Silicon Forest.” Additionally, the city is recognized as the 9th greenest in the United States. It has become a popular destination for young professionals seeking career opportunities and a vibrant lifestyle.
Whether you’re a fan of amazing coffee, top-rated beer, vibrant arts, or supporting local businesses, Portland has a rich culture waiting to discover. The city is known for its charming streets that are easy to explore on foot and has the country’s highest percentage of bike commuters.
In Portland, many people will embrace the city’s motto of “keeping Portland weird” by expressing their individuality and unique interests. It’s a place to experience a delightful blend of quirkiness and community spirit.
So, dust off your parents’ vintage record player, grab a reliable raincoat and immerse yourself in the vibrant community of creative individuals flocking to this haven of self-expression. Make sure your bike tires are pumped up as you become part of the colorful fabric that makes Portland special.
Finding the perfect place to call home in Portland can be challenging, as you want to find a neighborhood that matches your vibe without breaking the bank. To simplify your search, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten quirky and charming neighborhoods contributing to Portland’s incredible reputation.
Moreover, we’ve developed a comprehensive ranking system for each neighborhood to assist you in making this significant decision.
The rankings are based on the following:
- Atmosphere: This includes the quality of nightlife and entertainment options, the variety of shopping and dining establishments, and beautiful parks and outdoor spaces.
- Amenities: We consider the availability and quality of schools, the efficiency of public transit options, and the presence of notable points of interest in each neighborhood.
- Experience: We consider safety, affordability, and walkability to gauge the overall living experience in each neighborhood.
As a team experienced in curating exceptional rental experiences nationwide, we may not have as many unique shops as Portland.
However, we have gained valuable insights throughout our journey. You can trust our recommendations as we leverage our expertise to present you with a thoughtfully curated list of the best neighborhoods to consider for your move to Portland, Oregon.
Here is the list of the top ten neighborhoods:
1. Goose Hollow
This neighborhood is ideal for young professionals and sports enthusiasts who desire a vibrant community with convenient access to downtown.
Goose Hollow earned its unique name from its fascinating past. Many local women raised geese in the wild and undeveloped areas when the neighborhood was established. Although the name has endured over the years, you won’t find any geese roaming the streets today.
This close-knit neighborhood perfectly blends downtown living and a well-established residential community. Sports enthusiasts will feel right at home as Goose Hollow is home to two legendary soccer teams, the Portland Thorns FC and the Portland Timbers FC, who share Providence Park. Join the spirited local crowds at the stadium or head to one of the nearby sports bars to catch the game while enjoying a local brew.
If you’re passionate about reusing and recycling, you’ll love Scrap, a beloved creative reuse center in Portland. It’s a treasure trove of ideas, inspiration, and materials for your weekend projects, making it one of the best Portland neighborhoods.
Goose Hollow excels in the Beauty & Parks category, scoring a perfect five. Explore neighboring Washington Park for breathtaking city views, the International Rose Garden, museums, wilderness areas, and even a zoo!
While living in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Portland comes with a higher price tag (Affordability: 2 out of 5), Goose Hollow offers convenience, historical charm, and ample green spaces. It’s a vegan foodie’s paradise conveniently located next to downtown.
2. Buckman & Kerns
This neighborhood is an excellent choice for young professionals seeking an urban, artsy, and bike-friendly environment.
Welcome to the quirky east side of Portland, specifically Buckman & Kerns. This charming neighborhood is known for its beautiful tree-lined streets, historic houses, and nearby tranquil parks. It’s the best neighborhoods in Portland Oregon, for pedestrians and cyclists who want to navigate the city easily.
Stroll along the charming streets, indulge in window shopping, and pause for a refreshing drink or two in the sunny weather. This neighborhood is perfect for those who want to bask in the beauty of picturesque parks and lush outdoor spaces.
Thanks to the thriving beer culture in the area, you’ll find a younger crowd of singles in their 20s and 30s. It’s a fantastic place to meet people and plan exciting outdoor adventures. Whether you connect through online dating or wait for a serendipitous encounter, you’ll have plenty of memorable date ideas to share with your friends afterward.
Get ready to laugh uncontrollably at the Helium Comedy Club, take a nostalgic journey through retro gaming at Electric Castle’s Wunderland, and support local food and music at the Portland Night Market. The possibilities for fun and entertainment are endless in this vibrant neighborhood.
After all the socializing, if you need some relaxation, Colonel Summers Park is a great spot to unwind. You can also bring your beloved furry companion to the Washington High Dog Park. Take in the scenic views along the waterfront at Eastbank Esplanade, and you’ll see why Buckman & Kerns earns a perfect score in Beauty & Parks.
With excellent scores in Schools, Points of Interest, and Public Transit, Buckman & Kerns is the perfect neighborhood for those seeking vibrant nightlife, cozy days at home, or outdoor adventures.
3. Mississippi Avenue
This neighborhood is an ideal choice for young families, hipsters, and young professionals who are seeking the renowned Portland vibe.
While officially known as Boise, locals often refer to it as the Mississippi Neighborhood, Mississippi Street, or the Mississippi District. This neighborhood is one of the most trendy areas in Portland. It boasts a vibrant atmosphere with fashionable shops, lively cafes, and a remarkable abundance of food carts.
This lively street is adorned with vibrant art and serves as a gateway to the countless attractions of this neighborhood. Situated just a 10-minute drive north of downtown, this effortlessly cool street is a hub for trendy shops, renowned restaurants, and ample opportunities for people-watching. You’ll find yourself captivated by the energetic atmosphere and immersed in this neighborhood’s vibrant culture.
If you’re a fan of having endless food options on a night out, this street will be a dream come true for you. Mississippi Avenue offers a diverse range of culinary delights to satisfy every craving. From classic Southern cuisine at Miss Delta Restaurant and Bar to delicious gluten-free pizza at Mississippi Pizza and even experimental farm-to-table dishes at the renowned Quaintrelle, you’ll find something to tantalize your taste buds.
While exploring the street, visit Sunlan Lighting, where you can meet ‘The Lightbulb Lady’ and discover an iconic store that takes light bulbs to a new level. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Paxton Gate, an eccentric shop featured in the famous “Portlandia.” Each shop along this street has a unique story waiting to be shared.
Mississippi Avenue excels in Nightlife & Entertainment, Shopping & Restaurants, and Walkability. However, it’s worth noting that affordability scores two out of five, which is typical for this vibrant and unconventional neighborhood.
Suppose you’re seeking an extraordinary, thrilling, and eccentric experience. In that case, Mississippi Avenue is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the true essence of Portland.
4. Downtown Portland
This neighborhood is an excellent choice for young professionals who want to be right amid all the action.
Portland’s quirky downtown is a memorable and unique neighborhood with a vibrant atmosphere. With its excellent connectivity, you’ll find plenty of walkable streets to explore. The area is known for its world-class shopping options and infectious positive energy.
Locals take pride in boasting about having one of the most stunning downtown areas in terms of abundant green spaces and seamless integration with the outdoors. With a perfect score in Beauty & Parks, you’ll always be within reach of a picturesque park that resembles a postcard scene.
In Downtown Portland, you’ll find a compact area easily navigable on foot and well-connected by the city’s public transportation systems, including the light rail, bus, and streetcar. With perfect scores in Walkability and Public Transit, residents can conveniently explore the neighborhood and the greater Portland area.
Downtown is a vibrant cultural hub that attracts both visitors and residents. Make sure to visit the South Park Blocks, a green corridor running through the heart of the city, home to renowned institutions like the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Historical Society, and Portland State University.
Weekend plans are never dull in Downtown Portland. Experience the whimsical charm of Mill Ends Park, a park measuring just 24 inches long but complete with a small swimming pool and a diving board for butterflies. Join the Oregon Brewers Festival crowds, which attract over 60,000 attendees. There’s fun to be found in every size.
While the neighborhood is focused on improving safety, it currently scores two out of five in that category. Investing in a sturdy bike lock is advisable to continue enjoying the convenience of cycling daily.
Downtown Portland is brimming with enchanting events, such as the Portland farmer’s market, the incredible Powell’s City bookstore, and a wide array of restaurants to satisfy your inner foodie. Magic awaits around every street corner.
5. Nob Hill
Downtown Portland is an ideal neighborhood for extroverts who thrive in a bustling environment and enjoy being surrounded by people. The area offers a vibrant social scene and is known for its high-end shopping options.
Nob Hill, situated in Northwest Portland, is often considered the city’s most European neighborhood. With its upscale ambiance, it is renowned for offering the finest shopping and excellent opportunities for people-watching.
Nob Hill carries a delightful piece of Portland’s history and attracts a steady stream of visitors who appreciate its walkable and bikeable streets. Suppose you seek a lively atmosphere, abundant character, and something happening at every corner. In that case, Nob Hill is the perfect destination.
Nob Hill prioritizes pedestrian and bike safety, with local laws designed to ensure your peace of mind while navigating the neighborhood. It boasts a perfect score in walkability, making it convenient to explore on foot, and it’s just a five-minute drive to downtown. Additionally, with a solid four out of five in Public Transit, getting around is a breeze.
Embracing Portland’s unique traditions and eccentric atmosphere, Nob Hill is home to the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium and Museum. This peculiar establishment showcases bizarre and extraordinary collections that must be seen to be believed.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Nob Hill offers easy access to natural spaces. You can embark on weekend hikes along the 70 miles of trails in nearby Forest Park or seek tranquility and serenity at the beautiful and authentic Portland Japanese Garden.
Nob Hill is a food lover’s paradise, offering a multitude of exceptional dining establishments. You can also indulge in a delightful shopping experience at the charming boutiques, discovering unique finds that will set new trends. Catch a movie at the renowned Cinema 21, showcase your singing skills with friends at VoiceBox karaoke, and take advantage of the numerous happy hour deals throughout the neighborhood.
Living in Nob Hill provides you with the excitement and entertainment of a big city while maintaining the cozy atmosphere of a neighborhood.
Ideal for individuals seeking a tranquil and secure community rich in historical significance.
Sellwood-Moreland is one of the best neighborhoods in Portland Oregon with a small-town neighborly vibe. Ideal for people looking for a quieter pace of life.
This self-sustaining neighborhood has a strong sense of community pride. An impressive perfect score in both Schools and Affordability makes this area at the top of the list for those considering family life in the future.
Sellwood-Moreland offers a charming blend of history and community, creating a unique atmosphere that adds depth and character to everyday life.
The neighborhood carries a rich historical vibe with attractions like an amusement park dating back to 1905 and a single-screen cinema that first opened its doors in 1926. It’s a place to appreciate the past while enjoying the present.
In Sellwood-Moreland, you’ll experience the pleasure of knowing your neighbors and being part of a close-knit community. The neighborhood also boasts a five-star rating in Shopping & Restaurants, providing access to delightful culinary experiences. From the tantalizing Asian-fusion teahouse, Jade Bistro & Patisserie, to the freshly baked bagels at Either/Or cafe, there’s something to satisfy every palate. You can even embrace the local spirit by becoming a regular at Kay’s Bar, a beloved dive bar that has stood the test since 1934.
Nature lovers will find solace in Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, a sprawling 170-acre area of meadows, woodlands, and wetlands. For scenic views, the winding trails along the Willamette River offer a perfect spot to catch a breathtaking sunset.
Sellwood-Moreland is a safe, welcoming, and vintage-inspired neighborhood that encapsulates the essence of old and new Portland. It provides an ideal setting for those seeking a relaxed and nostalgic community experience.
7. Hosford-Abernathy & Hawthorne
Ideal for young individuals seeking an energetic neighborhood with distinctive character, Sellwood-Moreland offers an affordable and vibrant community atmosphere.
Now let’s reveal one of the top neighborhood finalists. Coming in at seven places is the Hosford-Abernathy & Hawthorne neighborhood, renowned for its bohemian atmosphere. This is where eclectic charm meets quirky self-expression, offering a relaxed lifestyle alongside vibrant nightlife options.
Explore the vibrant streets of Hosford-Abernathy & Hawthorne, our third-place finalist, where you’ll discover a treasure trove of vintage shops offering unique statement pieces for your home, wardrobe, or gift-giving needs. Immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of eccentric cafes and prime thrift shopping, where endless possibilities await.
For breathtaking views of downtown, head to the top of Mount Tabor Park, an ancient volcano transformed into a century-old public space. Explore its forested trails, breathe fresh air, and embark on exciting adventures. And if you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, don’t miss the Portland Adult Soapbox Derby, where homemade vehicles race down the volcano slopes while spectators cheer you on.
After a day of exploration, catch an evening movie at the Cinemagic Theater, indulge in a delicious brunch at Fried Egg I’m in Love, or lose yourself in the eclectic House of Vintage. Hosford-Abernathy & Hawthorne excels in Affordability and Safety, with perfect scores in Public Transit, Walkability, Points of Interest, and Nightlife & Entertainment.
Join this thriving neighborhood, filled with classic diners, cozy bookstores, and unforgettable festivals. Savor the latest craft beer flavors, and challenge your pinball skills as you immerse yourself in the eccentric and quirky community of Hosford-Abernathy & Hawthorne.
8. Northwest District
Ideal for young professionals seeking an elegant and lavish lifestyle with abundant shopping opportunities.
NW 23rd Avenue, or Trendy-Third Avenue, epitomizes sophistication and luxury. It is the go-to shopping district for those seeking a classy and upscale lifestyle in Portland.
Nestled above Nob Hill, this neighborhood exudes a charming European ambiance. It offers a plethora of unique and exclusive stores and eateries along its vibrant stretch of NW 23rd. It’s a haven for shoppers with discerning tastes.
The Northwest District, situated between Washington Park and Forest Park, boasts stunning natural beauty and parks, earning it a high score in Beauty & Parks. Embark on a hike at the picturesque Hoyt Arboretum in Washington Park or explore the extensive 70-mile trail system at Forest Park for thrilling adventures while flaunting your stylish Lululemons.
Indulge your taste buds with irresistible flavors like Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, Honey Lavender, or Double Fold Vanilla at the renowned ice cream parlor Salt and Straw. If you prefer a delightful dining experience, head to The Fireside Gastro Pub for delectable northwestern cuisine in a contemporary setting, or visit Bamboo Sushi, the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant.
With excellent public schools, a vibrant nightlife, culinary delights that impress even the most discerning food critics, and a year-round calendar full of events and activities, the Northwest District secures its well-deserved second place among Portland’s top neighborhoods. It offers everything you need to live a fulfilling and engaging life.
9. Pearl District
Ideal for young professionals seeking to immerse themselves in the trendiest and most vibrant neighborhood in Portland.
Welcome to the Pearl District, the top neighborhood in Portland! It’s a chic, artistic, and lively area, perfect for urban living. This bustling neighborhood has an industrial vibe, beautiful art galleries, and innovative cultural institutions.
In the Pearl District, art is the star of the show. It boasts the highest number of art galleries in the city and is home to the largest theater organization. With perfect scores in all entertainment categories, you’ll have no shortage of art, culture, and delicious cuisine to enjoy and keep your social calendar full.
Every first Thursday of the month, the Pearl District comes alive with the First Thursday Street Gallery, where you can explore free exhibits and local artists’ work in art galleries. Dive into the world’s largest independently owned bookstore, which occupies an entire city block. Feel the joy of childhood at Jamison Square’s interactive fountains.
When it comes to brewpubs, the Pearl District doesn’t disappoint. With establishments like Deschutes Brewery and Public House offering a variety of experimental and classic beers, the area is a beer lover’s paradise. Other notable spots include the industrial-chic rooftop of 10 Barrel Brewing and the Teardrop Lounge, known for its handcrafted cocktails.
In the Pearl District, residents are always on the move, embracing upscale shopping, urban parks, and the area’s rich history. With consistently high scores in various categories, this neighborhood is a haven for those seeking a vibrant and sophisticated lifestyle.
Nestled in the southeast corner of Portland, you’ll find the charming neighborhood of Eastmoreland. This picturesque area exudes a sense of tranquility and elegance, making it a sought-after location for those seeking a serene and refined lifestyle.
One of the highlights of Eastmoreland is its beautiful tree-lined streets adorned with stunning homes that showcase timeless architectural styles. This neighborhood takes great pride in its well-manicured gardens and meticulously maintained properties, creating a visually pleasing and inviting atmosphere.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Eastmoreland offers ample opportunities to enjoy nature’s beauty. The neighborhood is home to the stunning Eastmoreland Golf Course, an 18-hole course surrounded by lush greenery and scenic views. Residents can also explore the peaceful trails of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, renowned for its vibrant collection of flowers and tranquil water features.
Eastmoreland’s strong sense of community is evident in its active neighborhood association and numerous community events. Whether it’s the annual Eastmoreland Garage Sale, where neighbors come together to sell their treasures, or the Eastmoreland Garden Tour, showcasing the neighborhood’s enchanting gardens, there’s always a sense of camaraderie and shared pride.
With its proximity to Reed College and highly rated public schools, Eastmoreland attracts families seeking top-notch education for their children. The neighborhood’s excellent schools contribute to its perfect score in the Schools category, providing families with peace of mind and a supportive learning environment.
While Eastmoreland may offer a quieter pace of life, it’s conveniently located near bustling commercial areas. Residents can easily access nearby neighborhoods and downtown Portland, opening up a world of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
Regarding rankings, Eastmoreland excels in Beauty & Parks, showcasing its well-preserved natural spaces and attractive surroundings. Safety is also highly regarded in this neighborhood, ensuring residents feel secure and comfortable daily.
For those who appreciate a harmonious blend of natural beauty, community spirit, and a refined atmosphere, Eastmoreland is the ideal neighborhood to call home. Experience the grace and tranquility of Eastmoreland and discover why it stands as a hidden gem within the vibrant city of Portland.
What You Need to Know Before Moving to Portland?
Now, let’s break down the numbers for our best neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon.
Starting with the not-so-great news, affordability scores low, coming in at 2.9 out of 5. Compared to larger coastal cities, Portland is relatively more affordable. However, it still has a higher cost of living than many areas further inland.
Like any big city, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings, and Portland scores a 3.3 for safety. Schools also fall in the middle of the scale, with an average score of 3.6.
Now, onto the good news. Portland is incredibly impressive regarding walkability, earning a remarkable 4.9 out of 5. You can comfortably explore the city on foot, so lace up your comfortable shoes and discover all that Portland offers.
With high scores in shopping, restaurants, points of interest, and nightlife & entertainment (4.6, 4.6, and 4.3, respectively), you won’t have any trouble finding ways to enjoy your free time and have a great social life right in your neighborhood.
Public transit and the beauty of parks also score well, earning a 4.3. Getting around the city is not only convenient but also a pleasant experience with an abundance of green spaces to enjoy.
Portland offers the best of both worlds: a natural city close to the beach and mountains and brimming with creative energy. Look at all that Portland offers and find your perfect neighborhood match.
Storage Units Near Portland, OR
Now that you’re up to date on the best neighborhood in Portland, it’s time to think about what comes next. If you find yourself in need of self-storage near Portland, OR, SecureSpace Self Storage is the way to go. We have facilities located conveniently nearby and each one is constantly monitored for your safety and peace of mind. Plus, we know the area like no other storage facility can – which makes us perfect guides for keeping your items secure. If you are looking for more local information checkout some more of our guides. Thanks For Reading!
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