Moving to Portland

One of the major cities of Oregon, Portland is consistently drawing thousands of new residents each year. With a plethora of job opportunities, umpteen recreational activities, diverse landscapes, and green and open spaces, it’s not difficult to see why so many people are drawn to Portland. While there’s so much to love about life in a city, what you also get as a combined package are a high cost of living, increased population, and heavy traffic.

Here’s when living in the suburbs makes more sense. You can enjoy a more relaxed and comfortable lifestyle while reaping almost all of the city benefits. If you’re planning to move close to Portland, this surrounding suburbs guide can help you out. Keep reading further to know about some of the best suburbs of Portland.

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1. Lake Oswego

Quick Overview

Population: 39,821

Median Home Value: $799,000

Median Rent: $1,796/month

Median Household Income: $84,244

Commute Time To Work: 24.4 minutes

Violent Crimes Per Year (US Average is 22.7): 8.4

Property Crimes Per Year (US Average is 35.4): 22.0

Unemployment Rate (US Average is 6.0%): 4.5%

A Little Bit About Lake Oswego

Located around 8 miles south of Portland, this affluent residential community was once a popular vacation spot for the wealthy families of Portland. The suburb now has spacious and beautiful homes that are nestled in misty pockets of the hills. Interestingly, this suburb can cater to your sophisticated shopping and eating needs while also giving you a taste of the tranquility of rural farmland.

Lake Oswego has a number of parks and is also known to have exceptional schools, which makes it a good place for families with children. Along with a family-friendly feel, the suburb also offers endless outdoor recreational activities and a thriving art culture. All in all, if you wish to enjoy peaceful and laidback living while still staying close to Portland, Lake Oswego is a great choice to consider.

Key Attractions

George Rogers Park: Lake Oswego is all about green and open spaces and this park is the suburb’s first community park. George Rogers Park is a 26-acre green area located on the bank of the Willamette River, at the intersection of the Ladd and South State streets. From two baseball fields, a soccer field, a memorial garden, a kids playground, and outdoor tennis courts, there’s a lot to enjoy at this park.

Lakewood Center For The Arts: Home to the popular Lakewood Theatre Company, this center was built in 1952 to inspire and nurture a love for theater and the arts in the community. It aims to maintain a permanent multi-art and theater facility and sponsor educational and cultural programming in visual arts and community events. The center has two stages for plays and musicals, an art gallery, a thrift shop, and a snack bar. A major attraction of the center is the annual Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts that is an education program with a city-wide celebration of visual arts.

The Best Schools Serving Lake Oswego

Elementary

Forest Hills Elementary School, Andrews Road, Lake Oswego District

Lake Grove Elementary School, Southwest Boones Ferry Road, Lake Oswego District

Oak Creek Elementary School, Kingsgate Road, Lake Oswego District

Middle

Lake Oswego Middle School, Country Club Road, Lake Oswego District

Lakeridge Middle School, Jean Road, Lake Oswego District

High

Lake Oswego Senior High School, Country Club Road, Lake Oswego District

Lakeridge High School, Overlook Drive, Lake Oswego District

Westside Christian High School, Pfaffle Street Tigard, Lake Oswego District

2. Happy Valley

Quick Overview

Population: 23,781

Median Home Value: $624,200

Median Rent: $1,459/month

Median Household Income: $100,438

Commute Time To Work: 30.3 minutes

Violent Crimes Per Year (US Average is 22.7): 9.9

Property Crimes Per Year (US Average is 35.4): 31.7

Unemployment Rate (US Average is 6.0%): 6.1%

A Little Bit About Happy Valley

It’s not just the name of this Portland suburb that draws many people here who wish to call it home, but also a number of opportunities to attract the attention of all. The city is located along the northern border of Clackamas County and has some great outdoorsy destinations like the Clackamas River and the Mount Talbert Nature Park. The suburb is most known for the location of Mount Scott, an extinct volcano, which is the highest point in the area.

Happy Valley is one of the fastest-growing cities in Oregon. It experiences a Mediterranean climate with a decent amount of rain each year. The city is also home to a number of eateries and has some good schools for children as well. It’s also one of the safest places to live in Oregon as it has a significantly lower crime rate in comparison to the national average.

Key Attractions

Happy Valley Park: Featuring 24 acres of wetlands, this park is one of the major attractions of Happy Valley. Along with a couple of picnic areas and some horseshoe pits, this park also has volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts. There are ample activities for children to enjoy, including a spectacular Splash Pad and a modular play system. A new addition is the All Abilities Park which is a play structure that lets everyone participate in play irrespective of their ability, age, or social status.

Oregon Military Museum: Housing a collection of irreplaceable treasures that define the military legacy of Oregon, this museum is another key attraction of Happy Valley. You can spot some rare and one-of-its-kind artifacts in this museum that may not be seen elsewhere. From tracked vehicles to ribbon-laden uniforms, and rare weapons to prisoner-of-war relics, this museum sure does have unique collections for you to gain knowledge from.

The Best Schools Serving Happy Valley

Elementary

Happy Valley Elementary School, Southeast King Road, Happy Valley

Spring Mountain Elementary School, Southeast Masa Lane, Happy Valley

Scouters Mountain Elementary, Southeast 172nd Avenue, Happy Valley

Middle

Happy Valley Middle School, Southeast King Road, Happy Valley

Rock Creek Middle School, SE Parklane Dr, Happy Valley

High

Clackamas Middle College, Southeast 82nd Avenue, Happy Valley

3. Sherwood

Quick Overview

Population: 19,746

Median Home Value: $561,600

Median Rent: $1,669/month

Median Household Income: $84,360

Commute Time To Work: 28.4 minutes

Violent Crimes Per Year (US Average is 22.7): 7.5

Property Crimes Per Year (US Average is 35.4): 22.2

Unemployment Rate (US Average is 6.0%): 5.4%

A Little Bit About Sherwood

A new city with an old town charm, Sherwood has beautiful parks, great schools, and an intricate collection of local and departmental stores. It is one of the fastest-growing areas in Portland with new construction and planned communities. One of the city’s most celebrated events is the Robin Hood Festival that organizes plenty of activities, amazing performances, and fun-filled stalls.

There are also plenty of eateries and wineries in Sherwood, so it isn’t surprising that the suburb is also one of the region’s leading wine destinations. Sherwood offers an efficient cost of living and has a significantly lower crime rate in the region as well. The city experiences warm summers and wet winters with a lot of rain but very little snow. Overall, Sherwood offers family-friendly amenities and a good quality of life at affordable prices.

Key Attractions

Stella Olsen Memorial Park: No matter your location in Portland or its surrounding suburbs, you’re bound to have a park situated close to you. One of the major attractions in Sherwood is the Stella Olsen Memorial Park. It features a picnic shelter, a big playground with a multitude of activities for children, amphitheater, trails, and much more. It’s located close to the city center and can easily be your go-to for fun-filled days of light adventures.

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge: If you love learning about and exploring the wildlife, you should pay a visit to this center. It’s home to around 200 species of birds, over 50 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles and amphibians, and a variety of insects and plants. It’s open all year-round and also has special seasonal trails.

The Best Schools Serving Sherwood

Elementary

Middleton Elementary School, Southwest Old Highway 99W, Sherwood District

Edy Ridge Elementary School, Southwest Copper Terrace, Sherwood District

J Clyde Hopkins Elementary School, Southwest Sherwood Boulevard, Sherwood District

Middle

Laurel Ridge Middle School, Southwest Copper Terrace, Sherwood District

Sherwood Middle School, Southwest Sherwood Boulevard, Sherwood District

Sherwood Charter School, Southwest Main Street, Sherwood District

High

Sherwood High School, Southwest Meinecke Road, Sherwood District

4. West Linn

Quick Overview

Population: 26,747

Median Home Value: $669,400

Median Rent: $1,748/month

Median Household Income: $83,933

Commute Time To Work: 27.7 minutes

Violent Crimes Per Year (US Average is 22.7): 6.8

Property Crimes Per Year (US Average is 35.4): 20.0

Unemployment Rate (US Average is 6.0%): 4.8%

A Little Bit About West Linn

An affluent southern suburb of Portland, West Linn has a history of early development that was prompted by harvesting energy from the nearby Willamette Falls. Also known as the ‘City Of Hills, Trees, And Rivers’, West Linn is a charming community blessed with natural beauty. The suburb experiences a climate similar to that of Portland with hot and dry summers and cold and wet winters. You can expect a lot of rain in West Linn as well.

If you love being around nature, you’ll surely like living in West Linn. It offers beautiful homes of all kinds with unmatched views of Mt. Hood and the Willamette River. The locals living here are friendly and enjoy a laid back lifestyle with a strong sense of community. The housing costs in West Linn are a bit on the higher side but so is the median household income. West Linn is also comparatively a safe place to live with a crime rate lower than the national average.

Key Attractions

Mary S Young Park: Hiking, picnicking, bird watching, fishing, and much more can be enjoyed at this famous forested park in West Linn. It also has a number of bicycle trails, sports fields, and a very popular dog off-leash area. This park is a favourite among bird watchers and everyone who loves spending time around nature.

Willamette Falls: Located between Oregon City and West Linn, this is one of the largest waterfalls in the Northwestern United States. Around 1,500 feet wide and 40 feet deep, the Willamette Falls appear horseshoe in shape. The Falls have contributed largely to the city’s development and are among the key attractions in West Linn.

The Best Schools Serving West Linn

Elementary

Stafford Primary School, Southwest Stafford Road, West Linn-Wilsonville District

Trillium Creek Primary School, Rosemont Road, West Linn-Wilsonville District

Cedaroak Park Primary School, Cedaroak Drive, West Linn-Wilsonville District

Middle

Three Rivers Charter School, Southwest Ek Road, West Linn-Wilsonville District

Rosemont Ridge Middle School, Salamo Road, West Linn-Wilsonville District

High

West Linn High School, West A Street, West Linn-Wilsonville District

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See also: Moving to Portland Oregon

Some Notable Mentions

Milwaukie

Population: 21,046

Median Home Value: $460,500

Median Rent: $1,185/month

Median Household Income: $55,827

Commute Time To Work: 25.8 minutes

Violent Crimes Per Year (US Average is 22.7): 12.7

Property Crimes Per Year (US Average is 35.4): 35.3

Unemployment Rate (US Average is 6.0%): 6.1%

Oregon City

Population: 38,026

Median Home Value: $541,900

Median Rent: $1,279/month

Median Household Income: $59,429

Commute Time To Work: 29.1 minutes

Violent Crimes Per Year (US Average is 22.7): 11.9

Property Crimes Per Year (US Average is 35.4): 36.7

Unemployment Rate (US Average is 6.0%): 6.1%

Tualatin

Population: 27,481

Median Home Value: $574,400

Median Rent: $1,459/month

Median Household Income: $65,903

Commute Time To Work: 22.7

Violent Crimes Per Year (US Average is 22.7): 9.8

Property Crimes Per Year (US Average is 35.4): 41.7

Unemployment Rate (US Average is 6.0%): 5.2%

Conclusion

Getting to enjoy the benefits of city life but away from the hustle and bustle of a major city is one true advantage of living in the suburbs. If you’re looking for an efficient cost of living while still staying close to the main city of Portland, all of these surrounding suburbs are a great choice to consider. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, you can choose to live in the suburb that best suits you.

FAQs

What Is The Nicest Suburb Of Portland?

While every suburb has its own set of positives and negatives, the one that sounds out and can be considered the nicest suburb of Portland is Lake Oswego. It has large and spacious homes, open spaces, and comparatively lower crime rates. Happy Valley, Sherwood, and West Linn are some other good suburbs to consider around Portland.

What Is The Most Expensive Neighborhood In Portland Oregon?

Forest Park is considered to be among the most expensive neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon. The housing costs are significantly higher in Forest Park with the median home value of around $977,450. According to Areavibes, the overall cost of living in Forest Park is around 30% higher than in Portland.

Where Can I Move Outside Of Portland?

All the above surrounding suburbs – Lake Oswego, Happy Valley, Sherwood, West Linn, Milwaukie, Oregon City, and Tualatin – are some of the best places to move to outside of Portland. They offer great opportunities to make the most of living in the suburbs.

Is Portland A Good Place To Live In 2021?

Portland and its surrounding suburbs are a good place to live in 2021 as they offer different opportunities for all kinds of people. Whether you want to settle with family or expand your career professionally, you’ll be able to find a place that calls out to you in Portland.

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See also: Cheap Moving Companies in America