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10 Best Portland Neighborhoods to Check Out

10 Best Portland Neighborhoods to Check Out

Moving to a new city is always difficult, and finding a place to live is a big part of that. 

Fortunately, Portland, Oregon has neighborhoods that boast green spaces and rich culture – the options are pretty numerous for the average resident

Well, if you ever decide to relocate to the City of Roses or just take a nice long vacation there, we’ve compiled a list of the best Portland neighborhoods for you.

1. Pearl District 

Best Portland Neighborhood for Young Professionals

Pearl District
Median Home Value$599,189
Median Rent$1,570
Median Household Income$104,093

If you enjoy shopping and going out, the Pearl District is the place to be. It’s located in the heart of downtown and is home to several green parks, visual and performing arts centers, and numerous fine dining establishments. 

Top attractions in this area include Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Historical Society. This neighborhood is ideal for young professionals looking to live in the heart of Portland’s hippest neighborhood.

This neighborhood is also so walkable that residents can do their errands on foot or by bike. If you’re a book lover, you can take a stroll through the streets and see Powell’s City of Books, the world’s largest independent bookstore. 

There is also a lot to discover in the Pearl District’s food scene. There are trendy restaurants as well as numerous food carts on the street that offer everything from fine dining to casual dining.

Although it lacks detached, single-family homes, it does have a large number of condos and a few townhomes. If this is the case, be prepared to be constantly on the move and to seize the day every day.

2. Goose Hollow 

Best Portland Neighborhood for Young Couples

Goose Hollow
Median Home Value$410,954
Median Rent$1,279
Median Household Income$58,405

We say it’s great for young couples, but Goose Hollow will undoubtedly appeal to sports fans too. This neighborhood is home to two legendary soccer teams in the city: the Portland Thorns and the Portland Timbers. 

If you’re not into sports, you can still enjoy this part of town because it has the ideal mix of downtown living and residential community, as well as beautiful scenery. 

Visit Washington Park for some of the best city views, as well as the International Rose Garden, museums, wilderness, and a zoo. You can even drop by bars and sip a beer while you cheer for your favorite sports team.

Goose Hollow can also be the ideal location for young couples starting families because of its convenient access to downtown culture and activities. There are enough artistic settings here for parents to include their children. 

Additionally, housing for young families is quite good. Housing options are available for all sizes of families, ranging from cramped studio apartments to expansive Victorian homes with 6,000 square feet of history. 

In addition, Portland State University, which is nearby Goose Hollow, provides a wealth of family-friendly activities, including playing soccer on the intramural field and attending the school’s numerous cultural events.

3. Nob Hill 

Best Portland Neighborhood for Singles, Families, and Urban Professionals

Nob Hill
Median Home Value$637,276
Median Rent$1,427
Median Household Income$73,493

Nob Hill, formerly known as the Alphabet District, is a trendy neighborhood for a lot of reasons. 

Locals are not far from major employers in the city – evidently, retail and dining are major employers in the area. The Nob Hill neighborhood is home to over 1,700 businesses, ranging from retail to service.

Now, families settle in Nob Hill for its educational access. There are public schools as well as private institutions that offer primary and secondary education. 

This trendy neighborhood is a must-visit for many Portlanders who enjoy shopping and strolling the area’s walkable and bikeable streets since they are filled with boutique shops, restaurants, and cafes.

This area preserves a charming aspect of Portland’s past. To say the least, Nob Hill offers the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium and Museum, which houses odd and strange collections in order to maintain the city’s customs and reputation for weirdness.

The natural scenery is abundant on Nob Hill as well. Take a weekend hike up the hill to Pittock Mansion via the sidewalk staircases in the west hills, then down through Forest Park to Lower Macleay Park on Upshur. 

4. Old Town and Chinatown 

Best Portland Neighborhood for a Chinatown Experience

Old Town and Chinatown
Median Home Value$396,326
Median Rent$762
Median Household Income$22,805

This historic area, which is Portland’s oldest neighborhood, is in a fantastic location in north downtown Portland near the riverfront. The Old Town is especially popular with tourists and those looking for nightlife in downtown Portland.

Speaking of that, there are numerous places to drink and have a good time here, ranging from Ground Kontrol, an arcade/bar, to Darcelle XV, a drag burlesque show. Best of all, each location is walkable, so go on a pub crawl and see how many you can hit in a single night! 

That said, the Portland Saturday Market, the Classical Chinese Garden, and the world-famous Portland Voodoo Doughnut are what keep most people aware of Oldtown and Chinatown. On top of that, the “Portland Oregon” sign is also in this area.

If you’re just visiting and want to experience one of the city’s most unique tours, take the Shanghai Tunnels Tour. Take the historical or haunted tour (or both), which will take you beneath the bowels of Old Town to reveal one of Portland’s darker aspects.

5. Southeast Portland 

Best Portland Neighborhood for Culture and Experience

Southeast Portland
Median Home Value$540,430
Median Rent$1,700
Median Household Income$89,584

Southeast Portland neighborhoods stretch from the Willamette River east to the outskirts of Gresham and from Burnside south to Milwaukie. 

From Division to Sunnyside to the Buckman District, each SE neighborhood has an abundance of eateries and boutiques that you could easily spend a couple of days exploring.

Head south of SE Belmont St and a few blocks up SE Hawthorne Blvd to enter the world of nonstop gift shops, vintage clothing stores, brewpubs, and cafes. 

The ‘BEERvana’ lifestyle can also be found in the Southeast quadrant’s walkable neighborhoods, which are brimming with great tasting rooms, brew pubs, and bottle shops.

If that isn’t the reason for your visit, you can always enjoy the beautiful parks in the area, such as Mt. Tabor Park, or head south to Sellwood, which has antique shops.

You can also visit the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, East Burnside Street, and 28th Avenue for the food scene. Laurelhurst Park is close by too if you’d like to take a stroll through coniferous trees after your meal.

6. Laurelhurst 

Best Portland Neighborhood for Growing Families

Median Home Value$767,122
Median Rent$1,694
Median Household Income$139,580

Laurelhurst is a well-known area of Southeast Portland. It is the Southeast neighborhood, with historic homes, tree-bordered and winding streets, that is home to Laurelhurst Park. 

The neighborhood is ideal for families and is very walkable. They even have a Laurelhurst Kids Club, a group that organizes playdates and compiles a list of other local parents with kids. 

Education is also given priority in this community, with a staggering 34 public and private schools nearby, including Laurelhurst K-8, Benson High School, and Grant High School.

Like any other neighborhood, Laurelhurst has a passion for the arts and the outdoors. 

The Laurelhurst Theater, which is a great place to see a new or classic movie, and yes, the aforementioned Laurelhurst Park, are excellent examples of this. The said park has picnic tables, a sports area, a playground, and a spring-fed pond in it.

If you want to live in this neighborhood, make sure you stay on trend with home styles. Homes in this community include Arts and Crafts, Bungalow, Portland Foursquare, and Spanish Revival styles. 

7. The West Hills 

Best Portland Neighborhood for Outdoor Enthusiasts

The West Hills
Median Home Value$868,138
Median Rent$1,575
Median Household Income$164,372

The abundance of green space in West Hills is one of the main factors contributing to its popularity. It’s a pretty nice place to run around if you want to stay in shape during your stay.

Its main attraction is Forest Park, which covers more than 5100 acres along the eastern slope of the Tualatin Mountains and holds the title of the largest wooded urban park in the US. 

Without leaving the city limits, you can experience the magnificence of the forestlands of the Pacific Northwest on its 70-mile network of trails.

In addition to the green spaces, this upscale neighborhood, which is primarily residential, has stilted homes and winding streets. And yes, because of the beautiful views it offers, Portland’s elite have actually lived in the West Hills since the 1920s.

Council Crest Park, Portland’s highest point (more than 1,000 feet above sea level), offers West Hills residents a 180-degree view as well as miles of trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and an off-leash dog area perfect for well-trained fur pets

This area is also home to Pittock Mansion, the Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, Washington Park, and the Oregon Zoo, in addition to the Forest Park. 

And given this, it should come as no surprise that real estate in the Portland metro area’s West Hills is among the most sought-after.

8. Mississippi Avenue 

Best Portland Neighborhood for Young Families and Trendy People

Mississippi Avenue
Median Home Value$431,922
Median Rent$1,641
Median Household Income$84,930

Boise, also known as Mississippi Avenue, is another of Portland’s trendiest neighborhoods, home to hip stores, lively cafes, and a number of food carts. 

This street is ideal for young families, hipsters, and young professionals seeking a good workspace in the renowned Portland vibe –  and is only ten minutes north of downtown as a bonus.

The nightlife you seek is perfect on Mississippi Avenue. Even in the middle of the night, this street has something to satisfy every food craving. 

There is the renowned, experimental farm-to-table Quaintrelle. There are also the neighborhood favorites Mississippi Pizza and Miss Delta Restaurant and Bar, where you can get some traditional biscuits and gravy. 

Because of the enormous popularity of the nightlife here, it has become a “destination neighborhood.” Just don’t get overwhelmed by the fact that the streets are congested with bike and foot traffic, as well as buses that pass every few minutes.

On a more serious note, Portland Community College has a strong presence in this neighborhood, as many residents are students or faculty. Not to mention the substantial commercial investment.

9. Arlington Heights 

Best Portland Neighborhood for Quiet, Nature-loving Families

Arlington Heights
Median Home Value$833,844
Median Rent$1,183
Median Household Income$125,435

Arlington Heights, located in Southwest Portland, is also one of Portland’s most scenic neighborhoods, nestled in the Tualatin mountain range. 

But what makes this place special is that it is a family-friendly neighborhood. As of this writing, there are approximately 300 single-family homes here, not to mention some of the city’s most renowned parks, ideal for family outings.

Obviously, this neighborhood is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts as they can walk to the 10 miles of rails in Hoyt Arboretum in one to three blocks. You can also hike around Washington Park’s reservoirs and enjoy the park’s other activities.

Overall, because there is so much to do in this neighborhood, relocating here is an excellent choice. Being in this neighborhood makes you want to slow down and take in all of the beauty it offers. 

The houses alone are worth the tour, built in a variety of styles ranging from Victorian cottages, English Tudors, and ranch homes to the most recent modern styles. We can’t imagine what else you could do if you lived there.

10. Hollywood Neighborhood 

Best Portland Neighborhood for Millennials

Hollywood Neighborhood
Median Home Value$576,964
Median Rent$1,275
Median Household Income$81,872

This Northeast Portland neighborhood is home to an unusually high number of Old Portland treasures that have withstood the test of time. Hollywood, with a transit hub at its heart, is an ideal stop on any Portland adventure.

Despite its proximity to the freeway and the presence of two major thoroughfares, Hollywood is ideal for both pedestrians and vehicles. Also, because it’s so small, you can easily walk through it in a few hours, depending on how many stops you make. 

Now, the best thing to do in this neighborhood, first and foremost, is to visit the ever-famous Hollywood Theater. After all, it caused such a stir that the entire neighborhood was renamed after it. 

You can now find limited runs of both contemporary and classic films there, as well as themed nights like Queer Horror and Kung Fu Theater, as the theater also hosts those types of events. 

Visit Wedgehead, a pinball arcade, and bar that just opened in 2018, for a little bit more competitive entertainment. The Moon and Sixpence Pub is one of the best places to go if you want a taste of the Old World.

Today, Hollywood epitomizes the Portland way of life. This neighborhood is full of character, with tree-lined streets, covered porches, and families out for a stroll. 

It’s true that neighborhoods are defined by their location and lifestyle. However, they are more about the people who live in them. So, whichever of these places you choose to live in, you will definitely enjoy the diverse lifestyle of a true Portlander!

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