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Here Are the 5 Best Neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon

What do Beervana, Rip City, Stumptown, City of Churches, Little Beirut, and City of Roses have in common? They are all nicknames for the same place. That’s right – Portland, Oregon, has several monikers that allude to its diversity and uniqueness. You can only imagine how tricky picking the best neighborhoods in Portland can be given the sheer number of distinct, picturesque communities that are part of the only directly elected metropolitan planning organization in the US. Luckily, we’re here to help with your search.

If you had an idea to go through Portland’s districts one by one, keep in mind that this place has as many as 95 official neighborhoods, and each one of them has its association. So it might take some time to research them all. For that reason, we decided to ease your relocation and offer you a selection of several communities that stand out according to our criteria. We considered their location, housing prices, education and job opportunities, safety, etc. So if you are moving to Portland, you’re in the right place.

Welcome to PDX

As the capital of Oregon, with around 2.5 million residents in its metropolitan area, the so-called Beervana is the largest and most populous place in the state. It is also known as a very environmentally conscious and progressive city, with public park areas that cover more than 10,000 acres. Although it has many nicknames, the City of Roses is the one that stood the test of time. For more than a century, it has been used to describe the climate of this region with warm and dry summers and rainy winters, ideal for growing roses.

How to Choose Among the Best Neighborhoods in Portland

Besides the best restaurants in Portland, you are probably curious to find out more about the cost of living in Portland, since that will have a significant impact on your choice of neighborhood. The population here has been growing fast over the past few years, and the cost of everyday life has kept up. Although the cost of living index is higher than the national average, it still depends on where you want to settle, if you are relocating alone, etc. Relocating to the suburbs is more affordable everywhere, and Beervana is not an exception.

So when planning your moving budget, make sure to compare prices in different areas. Downtown isn’t always the greatest solution for everyone, regardless of how popular it is. Generally speaking, what’s great for one person doesn’t have to be so great for others. Moving into a smaller home or compromising on location is not for everyone. Therefore, there are many great areas to live in Portland, Oregon, but it is up to you to determine where it feels like home. Let’s take a look at a couple of our picks and see which place has what it takes to become your future home.

There's always something going on in the city center.

Pearl District, an Up-and-Coming Neighborhood

What used to be an industrial area, full of workhouses, is now a trendy neighborhood in the center, favorite among young Portlanders. Located in the heart of downtown, Pearl District is a perfect place for all those who prefer to be where everything happens. Hottest clubs, finest restaurants, and even great public schools – it seems Pearl District has it all.

You won’t find a lot of families with children here, but it is not like there are not any. The majority of people are renting their home in this community, so one of the advantages of moving alone here is that you’ll meet a lot of people who are in a similar situation as you. When house-hunting, you will hardly find single houses here since the majority of places for rent are condos and lofts.

Eat, Shop, Drink, and Play – All in the Same District

Sometimes, it seems like it’s impossible to keep up with all things going around in this neighborhood. From club openings, book promotions, live music events, art galleries, cool breweries and pubs to fine dining restaurants, and plenty of shops. And what is also great is that you can walk around as much as you want, because this area has a high walkability score.

If you want to be in the heart of downtown, this is a great community to settle in.

More Affordable Version of Pearl District – Northwest, AKA Nob Hill

Just like the title says, Nob Hill is another posh neighborhood, but living there can be somewhat cheaper. The Nob Hill is actually called the Northwest District, but it is frequently referred to as the Northwest or Nob Hill.

This is a small but densely populated area filled with trendy shops, cafes, and restaurants. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, this place is a mix of some early Victorian buildings and contemporary ones, which means that here you can find a variety of properties to rent or buy. It is well connected to Downtown and the Pearl District by Portland Streetcar’s first line, as well as a couple of Trimet bus lines.

There is a curious fact associated with this district: native Portlander and the creator of the legendary TV show The Simpsons, Matt Groening, named some of his characters after the streets in the Northwest. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you stumble upon the Lovejoy, Quimby, or Kearney Street when exploring your new neighborhood.

What to Do Around Nob Hill

As we previously mentioned, you will find plenty of boutique shops and restaurants here, as well as one of the oldest record stores, the iconic Music Millenium dating from 1969. The Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe is a place where you can get your daily dose of chocolate while taking a break from shopping. Foodies can find anything from traditional American to Italian and French cuisine, so there’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a bar or afternoon tea spot. Although life here is quite urban, there are still some streets where you can experience a quiet lifestyle. For the outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby Forest Park offers 70 miles of trails specially designed for hiking.

For those who can't afford Downtown, but still want to be close to the center, Northwestern is the right choice.

Arlington Heights – Suitable for Families

After those two trendy areas, it is now the time to introduce the districts that are particularly suitable for raising a family. In that category, our top family-friendly choice has to be Arlington Heights, situated in the Tualatin mountain range. It is located in Portland’s southwest part, where some of the prettiest parks can be found, and also a lot of single houses. Around two-thirds of the houses were built before WWII, and you can find a variety of styles, from Victorian, ranch homes, to English Tudors and modern properties.

The majority of residents, around two-thirds of them, are homeowners, which is great for the community spirit. Everyone knows everyone, and there are also a lot of families with children, enjoying life in this area to the fullest.

Are Some of the Best Schools Close to Arlington Heights?

Around 20 private and public schools can be found in and around Arlington Heights, which is excellent news for those who are relocating with children. When it comes to elementary schools, those that are well-known for their performance are Chapman and Ainsworth Elementary school. In the category of high schools, most parents prefer Lincoln High and East-West Sylvan.

Around 40% of residents have at least a master’s degree or higher education, according to Niche, a webpage that focuses on small groups of people and communities across the United States.

Tips for Relocating With Children

If you know that not even relocation with a pet is smooth, your anxiety about moving out is probably higher than ever if you have kids. Children are specific because you never know how they can react and adapt to new circumstances, regardless of their age. There are so many tips that can help prepare your kids for moving, but we decided to focus on a few essential ones:

  • Make it fun for them. Dedicate special attention and time to turn it all into a positive event. At the same time, it will help parents as well to cope with stress when moving out if they focus more on the important things, instead of overthinking will their TV arrive intact or not.
  • Involve them in the process. Let them pack their toys, clothes, and blankets, and experience everything almost the same as adults. For packing their belongings, you can use duct tape in different colors, decorate the writings, to make those boxes and packing supplies appear more tempting to them.
  • Talk with them a lot. If you have a teenager, then you know how quickly things can escalate if something is not as they want it to be. Hence, you really have to put an effort to talk them through the entire process carefully and explain all the benefits because you want them to avoid getting relocation depression.
Involve the youngest ones in the process as much as you can.

Take a Trip to Another Family Neighborhood Called Laurelhurst

We are staying within the family-friendly category and have another recommendation for you called Laurelhurst. If you are looking for a highly walkable place with a strong neighbor association and over 34 schools, just a bit over 10 minutes away from downtown, Laurelhurst might be the right choice. The majority of residents are homeowners, and the rents are slightly higher here, but you can get so much more for your money. Here you will mainly find vintage single homes that vary in style, but overall offer a lot of space and privacy.

Laurelhurst Kids Club

The most significant advantage of Laurelhurst has to be its Kids Club, since this is not something you see often, and it is quite a convenient solution. There is a list of people with children in this community, so they can organize playdates, rate babysitters, or review schools that are nearby and talk about other related topics. Since there are around 30 schools, public and private, that come as an option for kids from this community, there are a lot of things to discuss.

Outdoor Activities in Laurelhurst

This community is also an excellent choice for everyone who is into an outdoorsy lifestyle. And the Laurelhurst Park offers so many possibilities for those who prefer sports. Besides basketball and volleyball courts, there’s a soccer field, two tennis courts, loads of picnic tables, a playground, and many more. If you are not into sports, you can just relax by the pond, feed the ducks, and enjoy people watching.

Unpacking can be done much faster once you leave your kids on a playdate.

Ladd’s Addition, the First Planned Neighborhood

The plan for this community, named after a mid-19th century mayor William Ladd, was made in 1891, and it has remained preserved and protected without any significant changes ever since. That makes it one of the oldest planned residential development not just here, but in the entire western US.

In this tranquil place, you can enjoy as many as five rose gardens and find a residential house of your dreams. And many of them are now recognized as national historical sites, which comes with a higher price tag. Some find it too expensive and not so easily accessible, but those who once settle here don’t move away so quickly. Also, this community is renowned for its diagonal street pattern that can be found nowhere else in the entire city.

Ladd’s Rose Gardens

If you are a fan of roses, or the nickname of this city is especially intriguing to you, you’ll come to love Ladd’s Addition. With five rose gardens and street roads that go zig-zag around them, this is the ideal place to experience local living. These gardens now count more than 3,000 roses in as many as sixty varieties.

Do you dream of having a home in an old street full of roses?

All in All, What Is the Best Neighborhood to Live in Portland, Oregon ?

As you probably figured out by now, there’s no definitive answer to this question. There are so many reasons why you should move here, regardless of whether you’re a young single looking to find a job before moving to another state or planning to settle down and raise a family. All of the above-listed communities have their advantages and some minor flaws, but the final decision depends on your preferred lifestyle, your future goals, and specific preferences.

If some of these districts seem like your cup of tea, don’t hesitate to contact professional Portland movers and make your move to the City of Roses a walk in the park. Besides basic moving services, you can also find out how car shipping works, order auto-shipping, and use your car to get around much more comfortable and catch a glimpse of everyday life in communities you’re intrigued by. Leave your belonging in storage and take your time. It is not a decision you should make in a rush. If relocating with professionals is too expensive for your pocket, you can always opt for the cheapest way to move out of state.