These Portland Neighborhoods are Some of the Best in Oregon

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Distinguished for its green spaces, vibrant cultural districts, picturesque views, and excellent public transit, Portland, Oregon, houses some of the best neighborhoods on the West Coast. This article will take you on a tour of some of these iconic Portland neighborhoods, showcasing their unique charm and offerings.

Whether you’re drawn to historic homes in Oregon, trendy shops, an abundance of parks, or the allure of coffee shops on every corner, Portland has a neighborhood for you.

Mississippi Avenue

Population: 76,000
Median Income: $66,000
Median Home Price: $425K

Nestled in the heart of North Portland, Mississippi Avenue has blossomed into one of Portland’s hippest and most vibrant neighborhoods. The residential streets are lined with historic Victorian homes that add to the area’s charm, while the main strip hosts trendy shops, popular restaurants, and a thriving nightlife.

The housing market on Mississippi Avenue offers an eclectic mix of restored historic homes, new-build condos, and apartments. Thanks to the neighborhood’s growing popularity and convenient location, the median home price tends to trend higher than the city’s average.

Regarding schools, the area offers an array of top-ranked public and private schools, including the Portland Jewish Academy, contributing to the neighborhood’s family-friendly environment.

Pearl District

Population: 5,997
Median Income: $72,323
Median Home Price: $437K

Situated northwest of Downtown Portland, the Pearl District was once a neglected area of warehouses. Today, it’s one of the most coveted neighborhoods in the city, known for its renovated lofts, upscale boutiques, and noteworthy art galleries.

The neighborhood’s NW 23rd Avenue is a popular shopping destination, hosting a mix of local stores, big brand retailers, and quaint coffee shops.

The Pearl District’s housing market showcases a blend of historic renovated lofts, luxury condos, and modern apartment complexes, contributing to the neighborhood’s urban chic atmosphere. As one of the demand neighborhoods, the median home price in the Pearl District is above Portland’s average.

The neighborhood offers excellent public schools near prestigious institutions like Portland State University. Additionally, the Pearl District boasts several parks, including the expansive Jamison Square, making it an ideal location for those seeking outdoor spaces within city limits.

Alberta Arts District

Population: 3,982
Median Income: $50,269
Median Home Price: $757K

Positioned in Northeast Portland, the Alberta Arts District is a vibrant and creative neighborhood renowned for its monthly street fair, Last Thursday, where artists and musicians showcase their talent. Its key feature, Alberta Street, is a hub of trendy shops, art galleries, and unique eateries, offering a strong sense of culture and community.

Housing in the Alberta Arts District comprises charming early-20th-century homes, new townhouses, and apartments. The median home price is affordable compared to other Portland neighborhoods, making it an attractive option for a diverse range of residents.

The neighborhood is part of Portland Public Schools, which offers highly rated elementary, middle, and high schools. Local attractions include Alberta Park and the Alberta Rose Theatre, which provide plenty of entertainment options for residents.

Hawthorne District

Population: 7,850
Median Income: $75,123
Median Home Price: $520K

Just east of the Willamette River and nestled between Division Street and Burnside Street lies the quirky and eclectic Hawthorne District.

This neighborhood in Southeast Portland is recognized for its vintage bungalows, bohemian vibe, and bustling Hawthorne Boulevard, lined with an array of eclectic shops, coffeehouses, and restaurants like the famous Spanish coffee shop Sapphire Hotel.

Housing in the Hawthorne District is quite diverse, with a mix of charming historic homes, modern condos, and apartments. The median home price, while more moderate than some of Portland’s more upscale neighborhoods, still indicates the area’s desirability and access to downtown Portland.

Schools in the Hawthorne District are part of the Portland Public Schools district, and several highly-rated public and private schools are within its limits. Regarding attractions, this neighborhood shines with its array of indie boutiques, vintage theaters, and classic Portland eateries.

Downtown Portland

Population: 12,500
Median Income: $67,540
Median Home Price: $485K

Downtown Portland is located at the heart of the city, a vibrant district that blends commercial, residential, and cultural spaces. This part of the city, crisscrossed by the MAX Light Rail, provides easy access to Portland’s public transportation and is within walking distance to several parks, including the beautiful waterfront park along the Willamette River.

The housing market in Downtown Portland is primarily composed of condos and apartments, with a few historic homes scattered throughout. The median home price aligns with the city average, providing potential residents with a wide range of options.

Downtown Portland falls within the Portland Public Schools district, offering several well-regarded public schools. Downtown is also home to Portland State University, one of the largest universities in Oregon. It’s a neighborhood teeming with life, from cultural performances at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall to fresh produce at the Portland Farmers Market.

Nob Hill

Population: 6,550
Median Income: $81,000
Median Home Price: $800K

Nestled in Northwest Portland, Nob Hill, also known as the Alphabet District, is a charming neighborhood filled with tree-lined streets, Victorian homes, and a bustling retail corridor along NW 21st and 23rd Avenues. Known for its walkable streets and classic Portland architecture, it offers urban convenience and residential calm.

Real estate in Nob Hill leans toward the more expensive side, with the median home price being significantly higher than the city’s average, reflecting the neighborhood’s desirability and high quality of life. It features historic homes, apartments, and condos, each offering unique charm.

Schools in Nob Hill are part of the Portland Public School district and are generally highly rated. The neighborhood has numerous dining options, trendy boutiques, and landmarks like the historic Pittock Mansion, offering breathtaking panoramic city views.

South Waterfront

Population: 3,000
Median Income: $95,500
Median Home Price: $670K

South Waterfront, located in Southwest Portland, is one of the city’s newest neighborhoods. Once an industrial district, this area has transformed into a vibrant urban community featuring some of Portland’s tallest buildings and stunning river views. Its Greenway, a beautiful stretch of public parks along the Willamette River, and the aerial tram to Oregon Health & Science University are standout features.

South Waterfront’s housing market mainly comprises high-rise condos, luxury apartments, and a few townhouses. The median home price is considerably high due to the neighborhood’s modern amenities, panoramic views, and proximity to downtown Portland.

This neighborhood falls under the Portland Public Schools district, and several quality schools are nearby. Besides, it boasts a strong sense of community and various restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques, making it an appealing choice for those seeking a contemporary urban living experience.

Northwest Portland

Population: 21,000
Median Income: $71,000
Median Home Price: $600K

Lying directly north of Downtown and extending into the West Hills, Northwest Portland is a dynamic mix of residential zones and commercial areas, each with its distinct charm. The neighborhood, home to the trendy Pearl District and the historic Old Town Chinatown, boasts diverse experiences, from urban park visits to unique culinary experiences at Chinese restaurants.

The housing market in Northwest Portland features a mix of modern condos, charming townhouses, and historic homes with Victorian and Craftsman influences. With a median home price higher than the city average, the area reflects the demand for the quality of life it offers.

Northwest Portland is under the purview of Portland Public Schools and hosts several good schools. Attractions in this neighborhood are diverse, including Powell’s City of Books, the Lan Su Chinese Garden, and the Portland Art Museum. With its rich mix of culture, food, and outdoor spaces, Northwest Portland remains a magnet for locals and visitors alike.

Northwest District

Population: 12,500
Median Income: $70,000
Median Home Price: $580K

The Northwest District, or Nob Hill, is a quaint neighborhood tucked into the larger Northwest Portland region. Dotted with historic homes and marked by tranquil residential streets, the area is characterized by its walkable streets and access to popular Portland spots like Forest Park and the Pearl District.

The housing market in the Northwest District is vibrant, with a mix of charming Victorian houses, modern condos, and older apartments, making it a desired location for many Portlanders. The median home price sits above the city’s average, reflecting the high demand for properties in this neighborhood.

Schools in the area fall under the Portland Public Schools district, with several highly-rated schools nearby. The neighborhood offers a strong sense of community with many parks, independent businesses, and popular restaurants like Papa Haydn along NW 23rd Avenue.

Arlington Heights

Population: 800
Median Income: $110,000
Median Home Price: $860K

Tucked into the Tualatin Mountains of Southwest Portland is the upscale neighborhood of Arlington Heights. This residential enclave, characterized by winding roads, lush greenery, and stunning views of downtown Portland, is known for its proximity to Washington Park, one of the city’s most beloved green spaces.

Housing in Arlington Heights is on the pricier side, with the median home price significantly above the city average. Arlington Heights has access to several good public schools in the Portland Public Schools district.

The area’s major attractions include the famous Oregon Zoo and the Portland Japanese Garden, contributing to the neighborhood’s appeal to families and nature enthusiasts alike.

St. Johns

Population: 14,500
Median Income: $60,000
Median Home Price: $410K

On the northernmost tip of Portland lies St. Johns, a neighborhood known for its strong sense of community, affordability, and the iconic St. Johns Bridge. The area, offering views of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, has a quaint downtown, beautiful parks, and access to outdoor activities.

Housing in St. Johns is more affordable than in other Portland neighborhoods, with the median home price below the city’s average. The market comprises a mix of older homes, new construction, and apartments.

St. Johns falls under the Portland Public Schools district, and the neighborhood houses several public and charter schools. Local attractions include the St. Johns Farmers Market, Cathedral Park, and the historic St. Johns Theater.


Population: 11,500

Median Income: $85,000

Median Home Price: $500K

Nestled along the east bank of the Willamette River in Southeast Portland, Sellwood-Moreland carries a small-town charm with its well-preserved older homes, leafy streets, and abundant parks and outdoor spaces. The neighborhood, bisected by SE Tacoma Street, features a walkable business district offering a range of restaurants, boutique stores, and coffee shops.

The housing market in Sellwood-Moreland offers a blend of historic bungalows, Craftsman-style homes, and new condos. The median home price is above the city’s average, reflecting the neighborhood’s appeal and accessibility. Residents can access public and private schools within the Portland Public Schools district, including the esteemed Sellwood Middle School.

Significant attractions in Sellwood-Moreland include the Oaks Amusement Park, the Johnson Creek Park, and the unique antique shops along SE Milwaukie Avenue. This area offers a mix of residential calm and vibrant city life, making it a popular neighborhood in Portland.


Population: 7,500
Median Income: $60,000
Median Home Price: $450K

Sunnyside, a lively neighborhood in Southeast Portland, is known for its vibrant Hawthorne Blvd, packed with hip boutiques, coffee shops, and favorite restaurants such as Apizza Scholls. This diverse neighborhood is renowned for its artistic flair and community-oriented residents.

The housing market in Sunnyside is a mix of older Victorian and Craftsman homes, condos, and apartments. With its central location and thriving culture, the median home price is around the city’s average. The neighborhood falls under the jurisdiction of the Portland Public Schools, with several good public and private schools in the vicinity.

Known as the home of the original “People’s Co-Op” and the historic Bagdad Theater, Sunnyside offers a strong sense of community and a unique, quirky culture. With its charm, vibrant business district, and close access to downtown, Sunnyside is a top pick for many Portland residents.


Population: 4,500
Median Income: $80,000
Median Home Price: $650K

One of Portland’s oldest and most iconic neighborhoods, Laurelhurst is located in East Portland and is bordered by popular areas like Kerns and Sunnyside. Known for its picturesque streets lined with towering trees and beautiful homes, Laurelhurst is centered around its namesake park, the stunning Laurelhurst Park.

Housing in Laurelhurst predominantly consists of well-maintained older homes built in the early 20th century, with the median home price higher than the city’s average. These houses and the neighborhood’s historic status make it a high-demand area.

Laurelhurst is home to highly-rated schools in the Portland Public Schools district. The key attraction, Laurelhurst Park, is a major draw for families and outdoor enthusiasts. The neighborhood’s timeless charm, strong community feel, and proximity to urban amenities make it a highly desirable place to live in Portland.

Mt. Tabor

Population: 10,000
Median Income: $70,000
Median Home Price: $550K

The neighborhood of Mt. Tabor is located in Southeast Portland, known for its namesake park – the beautiful Mt. Tabor Park. This park, once an ancient cinder cone volcano, offers stunning views of downtown Portland and the Cascade Mountains, not to mention miles of hiking trails and open green spaces.

The Mt. Tabor real estate market primarily consists of single-family homes, including historic Craftsman and bungalow styles and new modern homes. The median home price reflects the neighborhood’s desirable location, the larger-than-average home sizes, and the well-rated public schools that fall under the Portland Public Schools district.

Significant attractions in Mt. Tabor includes the famous Mt. Tabor Park, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and the bustling Hawthorne District with its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Overall, the neighborhood’s green spaces, convenient location, and a strong sense of community make it a great place to live in Portland.


Population: 9,500
Median Income: $66,000
Median Home Price: $480K

Belmont is another unique neighborhood in Southeast Portland, running along Belmont Street, a hub of local boutiques, cafes, and exciting eateries. This vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood is filled with historic charm, reflected in the area’s diverse architecture and community-oriented atmosphere.

The housing market in Belmont is a mix of older homes, many of which have been well-preserved or updated, along with newer condos and apartments. The median home price is around the city average, making it an affordable option for many residents. Belmont falls within the jurisdiction of the Portland Public Schools district, with several good schools in the area.

Belmont’s attractions are diverse, ranging from the famous Belmont Street with its independent businesses to the proximity to Laurelhurst Park and the Sunnyside Environmental School’s community gardens. Belmont offers a vibrant urban lifestyle, a strong sense of community, and access to green spaces.

As you can see, each neighborhood in Portland offers its unique charm, ranging from the historic homes of Laurelhurst to the modern high-rise condos of the South Waterfront. No matter your lifestyle or needs, Portland’s neighborhoods offer a unique blend of city life, nature, community, and culture.

FAQs: Portland Neighborhoods

If you still have questions about Portland neighborhoods, we included them below.

What is the most excellent neighborhood in Portland?

The Pearl District is often considered one of the coolest neighborhoods in Portland. This area is known for its stylish boutiques, art galleries, trendy dining spots, and craft breweries. It’s popular with young professionals and artists.

What are the six quadrants of Portland?

While traditionally considered four quadrants (NW, NE, SW, SE), Portland has six sections. These include North Portland, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Northwest, and the relatively new South Portland, created to accommodate a growing city.

Which side of Portland is better?

This factor depends on your preferences. The west side, including downtown and the Northwest District, is known for its urban feel and historic buildings. Home to neighborhoods like Hawthorne and Alberta, the east side is celebrated for its creative, eclectic vibe.

What is the most walkable suburb in Portland?

Milwaukie, situated just south of Portland, is often hailed as a highly walkable suburb. It offers an array of shops, restaurants, and parks and has good public transit connections to downtown Portland.

What salary do you need to live in Portland, Oregon?

A comfortable salary in Portland would be around $60,000 to $80,000 annually, depending on your lifestyle and financial obligations. However, this could have changed due to inflation and cost of living adjustments.

Is Portland expensive to live in?

Portland’s cost of living is above the national average, particularly regarding housing. However, it can be more affordable than other west coast cities like San Francisco or Seattle.

Is Seattle or Portland safer?

As of 2021, overall crime rates were generally lower in Seattle than in Portland. However, safety can vary significantly from neighborhood to neighborhood in both cities.

Is Portland more walkable than Seattle?

Both cities are known for their walkability, but Portland often gets the edge due to its extensive network of bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets.

What is the famous street in downtown Portland?

Burnside Street is one of the most famous streets in downtown Portland. It divides the city into north and south and hosts many attractions, including Powell’s City of Books, one of the largest independent bookstores in the world.

Final Thoughts

Portland, Oregon, is a vibrant city with diverse neighborhoods, each offering a unique flavor. The city’s walkability, the eclectic blend of urban and suburban areas, and the range of lifestyle options make it desirable.

Whether you prefer the artistic vibe of the East side or the historic charm of the West, you’re bound to find a corner of Portland that feels like home. Remember that while the cost of living can be high compared to other west coast cities, it may still be affordable.

If you’re considering a move to or within Portland, Oregon, it’s a great idea to reach out to a local real estate agent who can guide you in finding a neighborhood and home that fits your lifestyle.

At eXp Realty, our local agents have extensive knowledge and expertise to help you find a new home for you. Plus, you can sign up to be alerted when new properties come on the market.

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