11 Best Neighborhoods in Portland Oregon

March 27, 2019
Last updated:
March 23, 2022
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Portland, OR has quickly become a highly attractive place for people to flock to. Its natural beauty, thriving economy, and affordable housing market make it a great place to live. This article will list some of the best neighborhoods in Portland to call home.

Ecofriendly and laid back, Portland, Oregon sits on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, below the stunning and ever-present, snow-capped Mount Hood. For homebuyers, Portland boasts historically significant architectural styles, featuring Greek Revival, Tudor, Craftsman inspired bungalows, Prairie, original & rehabbed Colonials, and Queen Anne Victorians.

Downtown Portland offers a wide range of high rise condos and riverfront penthouses. Residents are active and vigilant. The City is plotted out into 95 officially recognized, volunteer-based neighborhood associations, ensuring family-friendly charm, and maintaining the unique character of each neighborhood.

The largest city in Oregon, Portland is well known for highly rated public schools, lush residential boulevards lined with ancient trees, and a network of large parks, bridges and bicycle paths.  Twelve bridges span the Willamette River, earning Portland the nickname of “Bridge City.” Famous for local breweries and coffee shops, the city also hosts thriving art, theater and music scenes.

Discover eleven of the unique neighborhoods described in this article, and become enamored with your favorite! Once you have your preapproval from your favorite Portland online mortgage lender Sammamish Mortgage you can own the best house in the neighborhood!

1. Downtown Portland

Downtown Portland is a compact, walkable city that offers easy access to excellent food, green spaces, cultural offerings and zero sales tax shopping. It is easily accessible by car, bike or public transportation, and it even has parking. The Pioneer Courthouse Square is the most visited spot in town, and hosts hundreds of events each year.

Residents enjoy a farmers’ market on summer Mondays, free concerts, movies and a gala holiday tree-lighting party. The green lawns, riverside paths and refreshing fountains of Waterfront Park entice joggers, cyclists and family picnics. The park hosts a full slate of summer festivals, including the century-old Rose Festival and the legendary Oregon Brewers Festival.

The downtown area offers a full selection of high-rise condos for urban living, from new high-rise buildings to waterfront penthouses right on the Willamette River.

Median Home Value: $574,201

2. Pearl District

At one time a neglected area of abandoned warehouses and railways, the Pearl District has become renowned worldwide for its astounding urban renewal. It is now one of Portland’s most desirable neighborhoods, and is home to some of the city’s best-known chefs and restaurants, world-class art galleries, vibrant shops and boutiques.

This district is located in the heart of downtown, where family friendly parks are side by side with finance, real estate and advertising business agencies and software firms, all complimented by the iconic neighborhoods’ residential buildings.

The Pearl district is predominantly condos, lofts and apartment buildings carved out of the old warehouses.  Homebuyers will also discover a handful of townhomes and detached single-family homes.

Median Home Value: $484,445

3. Northwest District

Unlike downtown, the Northwest District is a residential area and boasts an active family friendly nightlife. A variety of shopping options, including interesting independent retail stores, restaurants and bars are all easily accessible. It is an animal friendly area where families can browse and stroll with their dogs.

For something truly different try the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, a museum and art gallery containing a fascinating collection of oddities from past and present.  Think vampire-killing kits, interactive alien autopsies, live magic shows and, oddly enough, an ice cream parlor.

Northwest district offers a true banquet of housing options. Homebuyers can explore craftsman style bungalows, Queen Anne Victorians, and modest single-family homes.  The diverse condo market includes new condos, and classic brick apartments converted to condos. New townhomes are also readily available.

Median Home Value: $864,665

4. Goose Hollow

Goose Hollow is a charming neighborhood with a delightful mix of old and new homes and community spaces.  It borders downtown Portland, and is one of the original neighborhoods of “Old Portland”, established in 1845.  The locals claim that the name comes from disputes in the 1870’s regarding free ranging domestic geese.

Goose Hollow features some of the best examples of Portland’s architecture, both old and new. It has a mix of architectural styles, from modern apartment buildings and condos, to majestic old Portland foursquare homes. Situated on shaded, tree-lined streets, many of the beautiful old homes are well maintained as residences, and others are now used as commercial spaces. Walking is the best way to see this neighborhood and the views from Vista Avenue Viaduct are not to be missed.

Median Home Value: $611,671

5. Mount Tabor

Mount Tabor is an older, more established neighborhood where most of the homes were built in the 1900s. It is a neighborhood of detached single-family homes where you can find charming Arts and Crafts, Bungalows, Colonials, English Cottages, Tudors and even a few modern styles.

Mount Tabor is named for the 636-foot high extinct volcano, its landmark.

The neighborhood has majestic city and mountain views, proximity to downtown and the scenic 195-acre Mount Tabor public park. Hawthorne Boulevard is the hub of activity for Mount Tabor, full of shops and restaurants, which ends at the base of the popular Mount Tabor Park. The park has trails, bike paths, and stands of old growth Douglas Firs.

Median Home Value: $669,526

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6. Irvington

If your house hunting dream includes large, stately, historic homes on oversized lots, be sure to tour Irvington, located in the northeast section of Portland.  Each year, on the Sunday after Mother’s day, owners of many of the 75 historically designated homes on the northern end of Irvington open up their doors for a public tour.  Irvington community finds its roots in social activism & integration, with a healthy mix of ethnic groups and young couples. Irvington Community Association is very active in preserving the charm and essence of this neighborhood.

Homes vary from older mansions built in the early 1900’s on the ancient tree-lined boulevards, to modest tract-type houses northwest near Irving Park. Apartments are available on the southern edge.

Access to downtown is a breeze, with the major freeway ramps of i-84 ad I-5 located nearby.  On the southern border, homeowners can enjoy a strip of restaurants, bars with video lottery, coffee houses, salons, and high-end boutiques. Two large parks flank the neighborhood to the east and west.

Median Home Value: $867,135

7. Buckman

Just east of downtown Portland, bordering the Willamette River lies the Buckman neighborhood. Homebuyers will enjoy a half a dozen parks, independent retail, coffee, pub and dining options

Restored traditional old Portland homes abound in Buckman’s Hawthorne District, one of the most unique, and popular areas in Southeast Portland. Homebuyers will find classic styles including the Old Portland Foursquare, Craftsman, and Victorian. The neighborhood also houses classic old apartment buildings and a quirky mix of infill housing.  Low-rise condo buildings are scattered throughout. The area is known for its liberal residents, and a fun and funky feel.

Buckman residents enjoy a free annual family picnic in Colonel Summers park, with easy parking and a laid-back vibe. Animal lovers interested in raising a combination of 3 or less chickens, ducks,  pygmy goats or beehives do not need a permit. The community maintains a shared vegetable garden, and is home to the prestigious Buckman Arts Magnet elementary school.

Median home value: $655,938

8. Eastmoreland

Eastmoreland is an early-twentieth century, tree-filled neighborhood in SE Portland, featuring Colonial Revival and English Cottage styles of architecture.  A plethora of Elm trees line the wide neighborhood streets attracting quiet neighbors. Downtown Portland is just a 15 minute drive away. In 2015, the light rail was constructed as an alternate means to travel to Portland state university

Almost 85% of residents live within a half mile of a park.  They can enjoy a game of golf at Eastmoreland Golf Course, a stroll through the botanical gardens, and Shakespearian plays produced by the students at local Reed College.  The Springwater corridor features a 21mile trail. Dining options are limited to the restaurant at the golf course and the café at Reed College.

Median home value $909,858

9. Arlington Heights

Steep, winding streets, climbing to 1000 feet above the city, provide this northwest Portland neighborhood, with some of the most amazing views of Mount Hood in the area.

Gorgeous homes are built in all manner of styles.  Arlington Heights is perfect for homeowners who desire a remote and quiet neighborhood filled with grand parks.  Forest Park has the distinction of being the largest urban park in the United States, where dog-friendly residents can escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and horses are welcome on various equestrian trails.  The Japanese Garden, Washington Park Zoo and International Rose Test Garden draw nature lovers from far and wide.

There are no major highways through the neighborhood, but residents enjoy a variety of bars, restaurants and coffee shops.

Median home value: $1,094,939

10. Healy Heights

This tight knit community is located in the west hills of the Portland’s Southwest section. From these heights, residents claim the best views of Downtown Portland, the Willamette River, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams.

Homebuyers in Portland will discover a variety of architectural styles from which to choose.  Builders used locally-sourced wood in many of the cabin-inspired homes. Searching for a Mediterranean style home with a courtyard?  Start in Healy Heights. Be sure not to miss the many older, stunning Victorian homes. An inventory of smaller bungalows and cottages can also be found tucked between the trees.

Entertainment options in Healy Heights include fine dining & boutique shops, while the Lilac garden and trails in Marquam Nature Park offer plenty of greenspace for the outdoor lovers.

Median home value: $1,185,988

11. Southwest Hills

Southwest Hills, nestled amongst the ancient Tualatin Mountains in southwest Portland, includes two well-known smaller neighborhoods: Portland Heights and Council Crest. From Council Crest you can see five snow-capped peaks and 3,000 square miles of land and rivers.  Much of the western portion of the neighborhood lies outside the Portland city limits, in unincorporated Multnomah County.

Council Crest consists of mainly detached single-family homes. Many homes in Portland Heights were built in the early 1900s, and feature Colonial and Tudor style architecture.  A few condos and apartments are scattered throughout. The hilly terrain is not very walker friendly, and little public transportation is available, so residents will require cars to move about.

Median home value: $1,088,739

Snow-capped mountains and lush river valleys adorn the dynamic Portland area. Whether your home search takes you to a traditional Portland foursquare home, a riverfront penthouse, a mansion in the hills, or a Craftsman-inspired bungalow, the housing inventory in Portland’s many neighborhoods will not disappoint. Apply today at sammamishmortgage.com for a preapproval letter, and enjoy shopping for the best home in one of Portland’s favorite neighborhoods.

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Ready to Apply For a Mortgage in Portland?

Do you have questions about home loans in Portland? Are you ready to apply for a mortgage to buy a home? If so, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a mortgage company from Bellevue, Washington serving the entire state, as well as Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We have been offering a number of different mortgage programs to buyers all over the Pacific Northwest since 1992. Contact us today with any questions you have about mortgages.

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