15 Best Places to Live in Oregon

Written by Darren Griffiths
Updated on
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Both diverse in population and geography, Oregon can be found in the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America, sandwiched between Washington, Idaho, California, and Nevada.

Oregon is the place for those who have an avid love for the great outdoors but also like to be able to mingle with hipsters and city dwellers. Relocating to Oregon would see you gain the best of both worlds and a little more!

Although the Oregon state capital is Salem, the city of Portland is where the action is at. This city is famed for its progressive and trendsetting culture. Coffee lovers need to head to Portland, for this city is home to some of the USA’s best baristas; with this level of competition, everyone is upping their game.

Influential prerequisites when looking for a new home include proximity to good public schools, cost of living, and affordability of family homes. To make your search for a new home in Oregon a little easier, we have created a list of the 15 best places to live in Oregon; let’s take a look.

1. Bethany

Bethany, OregonSource: ridepdx / Flickr

The first spot on our list is the town of Bethany, one of the best places to live in Oregon. Bethany boasts some of the best suburban living with beautiful landscapes, excellent dining options, and many recreational activities.

While living in Bethany, you’ll find many hiking routes and nature parks that will allow you to enjoy the outdoors. Bethany Lake Park is one of its most popular spots, a forty-two-acre park perfect for walking, biking, and great picnics.

When considering moving to Bethany, you can choose from three home collections by Taylor Morrison. This charming town delivers on its promise of having the best suburban living, retail centers, and a charming lifestyle.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Bethany are:

  • Pirate Park
  • Forest Park
  • Somerset West Swim Center
  • Oregon Zoo
  • Five Oaks Museum
  • Doug Fir Lounge
  • Washington Park
  • Portland Japanese Garden

2. Northwest Heights

Northwest HeightsSource: www.portlandoregon.gov
Northwest Heights

Northwest Heights is located near downtown Portland and Sunset Corridor, a community filled with natural beauty and the convenience of having an urban lifestyle. Northwest Heights sits along the edge of Forest Park and has fantastic views of Tualatin Valley.

When considering moving to Northwest Heights, you’ll immediately notice the neighborhoods lined with traditional and contemporary-style homes. Northwest Heights is known for its remote neighborhood while still having high-quality restaurants for its residents.

The schools in Northwest Heights are considered part of the Portland School District and are notoriously ranked among the best schools in Oregon. If you’re relocating for work, no need to worry. Downtown Portland is only a short fifteen-minute commute.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Northwest Heights are:

  • Silver Dollar Pizza & Sports Bar
  • International Rose Test Garden
  • Portland Japanese Garden
  • Providence Park
  • Wildwood Adventures

3. Healy Heights

Healy HeightsSource: Walklandia / Flickr
Healy Heights

Healy Heights can be found in the West Hills, southwest of Portland’s CBD. For anyone who wants to remain within the city limits with the option of breaking free and reconnecting with nature should the tide take them, Healy Heights is the place to be.

The Marquam Nature Park featuring the popular Flicker Trails borders the Healy Heights neighborhood. Being on the very outskirts of Portland and home to just fifteen hundred residents, there is a real village-like accessible to the area.

House prices here are steep, thus making it somewhat of an exclusive neighborhood; home value is around a quarter of a million, making this an aspirational area for some. Tenants may have to reconsider their plans to move here for rent is way above the national average.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Healy Heights are:

  • Healy Heights Park
  • International Rose Test Garden
  • Oregon Zoo
  • Forest Park
  • Powell’s City of Books
  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park

4. Arnold Creek

Arnold CreekSource: Visitor7 / Wikimedia
Arnold Creek

Arnold Creek is a small neighborhood in the state and is considered one of the best places to live in Oregon. With a population of around fifteen hundred, Oregon offers the people who live there a suburban lifestyle.

Residents living in Arnold Creek, for the most part, own their homes, with only a few renters remaining. If you’re moving to Arnold Creek with family, you’ll be pleased to know that the neighborhood of Arnold Creek has an excellent school system for its children. While strolling the neighborhood of Arnold Creek, you’ll quickly notice its abundance of birds and wildlife.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Arnold Creek are:

  • Marshall Park
  • Mount Park
  • Country-Club South Shore
  • Evergreen
  • Uplands
  • Collins View

5. Southwest Hills

Southwest HillsSource: Ahorica / shutterstock
Southwest Hills

Located in Southwest Portland is Southwest Hills, one of the best places to live in Oregon. If you’re moving to Southwest Hills for job opportunities, you won’t be disappointed with its commute due to its proximity to Portland. This upscale neighborhood is situated close to the downtown area.

Being the hip side of town, it will be no surprise to read that the median home value is above the national average, but it is a small price to pay to be at the very heart of the action. Many condos on the market boast impressive views of the city skyline, and these homes don’t stick on the market for long, so if Southwest Hills is where you want to be based, you better be on the ball.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Southwest Hills are:

  • Tualatin Hills Nature Park
  • Fanno Creek Greenway Trail
  • Cinetopia Progress Ridge 14
  • Cooper Mountain Vineyards
  • Cooper Mountain Nature Park
  • Hyland Forest Park

6. Arlington Heights

Arlington HeightsSource: A.Davey / Flickr
Arlington Heights

Arlington Heights is another small, welcoming suburb of Portland. Just twenty-eight residents live here, creating a city-village atmosphere in the area. As with all suburbs of Portland on our list so far, crime levels here are nearly non-existent. This close-knit community adopts a neighborhood watch policy that helps keep crime out of the area.

Parents will be pleased to hear that there are 19 outstanding public schools in the Arlington Heights area. Lincoln High School is one of the best schools in the state.

This suburb neighbors Southwest Hills and, as such, is ideally close to Washington Park, Oregon Zoo, and the Portland Japanese Garden.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Arlington Heights are:

  • Metropolis Performing Arts Center
  • Lake Arlington
  • Shalom Memorial Park
  • Paragon Arlington Heights Movie Theater
  • Gatsbys Sports Club
  • Rolling Green Country Club
  • CMZ Cinema Arlington Heights

7. Beaumont-Wilshire

Beaumont-WilshireSource: www.portlandoregon.gov

Beaumont-Wilshire is a little further out from Portland’s CBD than Arlington Heights and Southwest Hills, home to a little over eight thousand residents.

There are some gorgeous townhouses on the market here in Beaumont-Wilshire.

With home values sitting above the national average, it is still not the most affordable area to live in Oregon. Frustratingly, the median rent is pretty high, too, making it particularly hard for millennials to move in.

Portland’s thriving economy is serving its residents well, for Beaumont-Wilshire is another neighborhood where the median household income is over $100k a year. Considering that 32% of the residents have a Master’s degree or higher, this high income can be attributed to the high levels of education in the area.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Beaumont-Wilshire are:

  • Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai
  • Grand Central Bakery
  • Jim & Patty’s Coffee
  • Wilshire Park
  • Beaumont Market

8. Alameda

AlamedaSource: H.L.I.T. / Flickr

Alameda is undoubtedly an urban area, and for those who want the most accessible access to Oregon’s great hikes and trails, perhaps stick to the Healy Heights districts. The home value here is rather dear, but this can be explained by the proximity to Portland’s central business hub.

Properties here are more than easy on the eye. These spacious townhouses are something of an American dream. At the lower end of the scale, there are more cottage-like, humble-family homes for under half a million. You’ll seldom get change if a buy a home valued any higher.

This is an excellent area for families to live, with 23 schools in the district and 21% of residents being of school age, plenty is going on for youngsters.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Alameda:

  • USS Hornet Museum
  • The Hangar 1 Distillery
  • Crown Memorial State Beach
  • Crab Cover Visitor Center
  • Downtown Alameda
  • Shoreline Park

9. Bridlemile

BridlemileSource: www.movingtoportland.net

Lying just northwest of Healy Heights is the urban hamlet of Bridlemile, home to a little over seven thousand residents. Although a suburb of Portland on paper, Bridlemile is a destination in its own right.

Locals love Cafe Du Berry and Oak and Olive Restaurant, so arrange a dinner date with your new neighbors if you move in!

Compared to Alameda, Bridlemile has a more pleasing cost of living. This is the first area on our list of the 15 best places to live in Oregon, where the median rent is below the national average. With these rent costs, this area is a hotspot for people saving to get on the property ladder in the Portland area.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do near Bridlemile are:

  • Moda Center
  • World Forestry Center
  • Mill Ends Park
  • Jamison Square
  • South Waterfront Lower Tram Terminal
  • Oaks Amusement Park
  • Oregon Zoo

10. Grant Park

Grant ParkSource: Visitor7 / Wikimedia
Grant Park

One resident of Grant Park says that the area is so safe that should she forget to lock her car, she seldom rushes to go and secure it. Perhaps this can be attributed to the affluent nature of the area, with most families earning upwards of six figures, or perhaps due to the small population of just forty-seven hundred residents. Either way, comments like that instantly put newcomers at ease, right?

Sadly, tenants will be disappointed with the rent value here because we have jumped above the national average. Given that Grant Park is right in Portland’s bustling hub, this is a reasonably reasonable cost; bear that in mind.

Parents who work in the city would do well in Grant Park, with 19 schools in the area, youngsters have a solid start in life, and plenty of entertainment facilities around to keep everyone happy and active.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Grand Park are:

  • Portland Mini Maker Faire
  • Llyod Center Ice Rink
  • Laurelhurst Park
  • Matt Dishman Community Center & Pool
  • Tigard Festival of Balloons

11. South Burlingame

South BurlingameSource: www.youtube.com
South Burlingame

Nestled in the southwest area of Portland’s far reach is the neighborhood of South Burlingame, home to just a little over five thousand residents.

Being a little further away from Portland’s booming business center South Burlingame is far more affordable for the average working family.

Home value is slightly over the national average, and properties here have more space to grow. The quality of the build cannot be faulted in this area, for sure. For around half a million, you can invest in an impressive 5-bedroom family home on View Point Terrace, with 3-bathrooms to match.

With 20 public schools in the South Burlingame district from elementary to middle and up to high school, children here are on the receiving end of some of the USA’s best educational offerings.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in South Burlingame are:

  • Boulevard Taphouse
  • Moonlight Grill PDX
  • The Muddy Rudder Public House

12. Marshall Park

Marshall ParkSource: brx0 / Flickr
Marshall Park

Portland is as good as we’re making it out to be, and with such a great city offering such a range of beautiful suburbs, why would you look elsewhere in the state?

Marshall Park is a small but happy suburb, and with the Marshall Park Playground within walking distance of nearly every home in the neighborhood, it is a great place to settle down and raise a family.

In many other cities worldwide, being this close to the city center would mean high crime rates but not in Portland and Marshall Park. This is one of the safest suburbs of the city. With no violent crimes being reported in years.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Marshall Park are:

  • Oregon Zoo
  • Portland Saturday Market
  • Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
  • The Grotto
  • Hoyt Arboretum
  • OMSI Museum
  • Forest Park

13. Hilldale

HillsideSource: www.portlandoregon.gov

Sitting just north of Arlington Heights is the suburb of Hilldale. For those city workers who need to be close to Oregon’s lavish greenery, then Hillside is a great place to build a home. With Macleay Park to the north and Washington Park to the south, there are no excuses not to get outdoors and fit while living in Hilldale.

House prices here are a little more aspirational, around a quarter of a million; this price does exclude many groups of people from finding a home here. That said, should you not need the large spaces to raise a family, you can find a quaint and cozy condo here in Hillside for a little over the national average.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Hilldale, Oregon, are:

  • Oaks Amusement Park
  • Cuttle Fish and Corals
  • Oregon Zoo
  • Washington Park
  • George Himes City Park
  • Hillsdale City Park
  • Gabriel Park
  • Hillsdale Farmers Market

14. Collins View

Collins ViewSource: www.portlandonthemarket.com
Collins View

According to locals, there are 12 different Starbucks in the Collins View area; you’ll always be able to get your caffeine fix while living here!

This is another affluent area of Portland with an average annual income of six figures. It will come as little surprise to read that this is a highly educated area, too, with 31% of people having a degree and 41% owning a Master’s.

Should parents want their children to grow up around focused, educated, career-driven neighbors, Collins View is the place to be.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Collins View are:

  • Oregon Zoo
  • Washington Park
  • Pool House Historical Landmark
  • Portland Art Museum
  • Portland Saturday Market

15. Markham

Markham, PortlandSource: www.apartments.com

Last but by no means least on our list of the 15 best places to live in Oregon is Markham. Around four thousand residents call this neighborhood of Portland home, and if their reviews are to be believed, they are very happy with their lives here.

Markham is one of the best places in the Portland area to buy a home, and with a median home value of $329,601, it is also one of the most affordable areas.

Considering Markham is noted as an urban area, looking at the houses on the market right now, they all boast expansive gardens with tall trees for shade and privacy. The best of both worlds, for sure.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Markham are:

  • Durham Cathedral
  • Eno River State Park
  • Duke Chapel
  • The Carolina Theatre
  • Cook Park
  • Oriental Museum
  • Durham Town Hall

15 Best Places to Live in Oregon:

  • Bethany
  • Northwest Heights
  • Healy Heights
  • Arnold Creek
  • Southwest Hills
  • Arlington Heights
  • Beaumont-Wilshire
  • Alameda
  • Bridlemile
  • Grant Park
  • South Burlingame
  • Marshall Park
  • Hilldale
  • Collins View
  • Markham