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Living in Portland

Portland might be the most walking, biking, and public transit friendly city on the West Coast. Most neighborhoods have walkable food cart pods, supermarkets, movie theaters and cafes.

Portland’s neighborhoods are a mix of classic craftsman homes, rental apartments, and new construction condos, some of them green built and LEED certified. Hollywood has three MAX lines and four bus lines. Northwest offers maximum density, while Healy Heights and Sylvan-Highlands have great schools. The Pearl District is home to a number of tech and design start-ups, and a thriving restaurant scene that foodies love.

Nearby Apartments

67 Walk Score of Portland, OR

Portland is Somewhat Walkable

Some errands can be accomplished on foot.

Walk Score Map

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Photo of Jamison Square in Portland

Jamison Square

Photo of Amnesia Brewing in Portland

Amnesia Brewing

Portland is the 13th most walkable large city in the US with 583,776 residents.

Portland has good public transportation and is very bikeable.

Find apartments in Portland's most walkable neighborhoods: Pearl, Old Town Chinatown and Downtown.

Portland Neighborhoods

Rank

#

Name

Walk Score

Transit Score

Bike Score

Population

1 Pearl 98 87 98 5,989
2 Old Town Chinatown 97 93 98 3,873
3 Downtown 96 91 90 12,803
4 Hollywood 94 68 95 1,274
5 Kerns 94 63 98 5,336
6 Goose Hollow 94 82 81 5,825
7 Northwest District 93 66 90 12,700
8 Sunnyside 93 51 99 7,350
9 Boise 93 54 99 3,309
10 Hosford-Abernethy 92 58 97 7,314
11 Buckman 92 59 95 8,472
12 Sullivan's Gulch 91 67 86 3,136
13 Lloyd District 91 81 98 1,141
14 Richmond 91 52 97 11,634
15 Vernon 90 50 99 2,630
16 Humboldt 89 54 100 5,110
17 Eliot 89 63 99 3,542
18 King 89 50 99 6,102
19 Foster-Powell 86 51 99 7,335
20 Grant Park 84 61 98 4,163
21 Irvington 84 62 99 6,752
22 Sabin 83 50 97 4,150
23 Laurelhurst 82 65 94 4,657
24 Brooklyn 82 58 95 3,488
25 Sellwood-Moreland 81 43 96 11,597
26 Creston-Kenilworth 81 52 96 8,220
27 Mt. Scott-Arleta 80 46 95 7,399
28 Cathedral Park 80 45 81 3,289
29 Arbor Lodge 79 53 97 6,131
30 Roseway 78 47 90 6,314
31 Beaumont-Wilshire 78 47 95 5,210
32 Rose City Park 78 56 95 8,951
33 North Tabor 77 66 85 5,252
34 Concordia 76 49 96 9,561
35 South Tabor 76 50 98 5,997
36 Montavilla 76 60 94 16,143
37 Overlook 74 53 94 6,109
38 Woodlawn 74 52 96 4,938
39 Woodstock 74 45 95 8,407
40 Kenton 73 50 95 7,264
41 Piedmont 73 57 97 7,047
42 South Portland 72 59 83 6,726
43 Mill Park 70 49 84 8,555
44 Multnomah 70 40 69 6,919
45 Mt. Tabor 69 52 86 10,189
46 Brentwood-Darlington 65 41 88 13,024
47 Sumner 65 59 71 2,133
48 Alameda 64 48 93 5,206
49 Hazelwood 64 54 83 23,446
50 St. Johns 63 43 86 12,263
51 South Burlingame 63 41 70 1,634
52 Portsmouth 62 44 94 9,799
53 Reed 61 47 86 4,365
54 Glenfair 61 54 79 3,483
55 Lents 61 51 80 20,384
56 Parkrose Heights 60 45 82 6,055
57 Cully 58 44 89 13,237
58 Centennial 58 44 77 22,553
59 West Portland Park 57 40 59 3,923
60 Hillsdale 57 43 66 7,687
61 Madison South 57 60 79 7,106
62 Parkrose 56 47 68 6,377
63 Powellhurst-Gilbert 54 46 71 27,441
64 University Park 54 41 76 5,996
65 Eastmoreland 53 45 86 4,031
66 Hayhurst 52 35 67 5,370
67 Homestead 47 57 58 1,837
68 Crestwood 47 41 54 1,092
69 Hillside 47 53 61 2,198
70 Argay 44 39 62 5,994
71 Markham 42 37 59 2,415
72 Bridlemile 41 33 59 4,809
73 Far Southwest 38 40 44 1,318
74 Russell 38 38 77 3,167
75 Ashcreek 35 32 50 5,705
76 Arlington Heights 35 53 58 784
77 Maplewood 34 24 55 2,529
78 Southwest Hills 32 51 49 7,538
79 Wilkes 30 39 65 8,768
80 Marshall Park 28 28 51 1,511
81 Collins View 25 27 50 2,920
82 Pleasant Valley 22 21 34 10,299
83 Bridgeton 22 39 53 627
84 Arnold Creek 20 22 46 2,850
85 Sylvan-Highlands 19 43 36 1,290
86 East Columbia 14 32 46 1,858
87 Sunderland 12 34 42 703
88 Northwest Heights 12 7 26 5,495
89 Linnton 4 20 21 935

Average Home Features

According to HomeAdvisor Data, these characteristics make up the average home in Portland

Average square footage 2800
Homeowners have 3.3 bedrooms
Homeowners have 2.2 bathrooms
Age of home 39 years
Average time living in home 11 years

Check out HomeAdvisor’s Portland Home Happiness Survey.

thumbnail for Powell's Books on HawthorneHas a large selection of new and used #books. Buy a book, go next door to Fresh Pot for a #coffee and enjoy.

wsuper
on Powell's Books on Hawthorne

50 Transit Score of Portland, OR

Portland has Good Transit

Many nearby public transportation options. Find Portland apartments for rent near public transit.

Public Transit Routes

Portland has good public transportation and about 71 bus and 8 light rail lines.

Transit Time

The map above shows how far you can travel in 30 minutes from Portland on public transit.

Neighborhood Guides

Thinking of renting an apartment or buying in Portland? Ask our neighborhood guides a question.

Photo of Philly Cheesesteaks And Burgers in Portland

Philly Cheesesteaks And Burgers

Photo of Multnomah County Central Library in Portland

Multnomah County Central Library

Photo of Spirit of 77 in Portland

Spirit of 77

Photo of Jeld-Wen Field in Portland

Jeld-Wen Field

Photo of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Photo of Savory Spice Shop in Portland

Savory Spice Shop

83 Bike Score of Portland, OR

Portland is Very Bikeable

Biking is convenient for most trips.

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What's It Like to Live in Portland?

Photo of Philly Cheesesteaks And Burgers in Portland

Philly Cheesesteaks And Burgers

Photo of Historic Hayden Island Rail Way in Portland

Historic Hayden Island Rail Way

Photo of Classic Pianos in Portland

Classic Pianos

Photo of Green Dragon in Portland

Green Dragon

Getting Around

The media makes fun of Portland for its hipster aesthetics, its alternative lifestyle friendliness, its fixie bike riding, vegan shoe wearing, artisanal product making residents. But alternative transportation in Portland is no joke -- Portland might be the most walking, biking, and public transit friendly city on the West Coast. Bus routes, electric car charging stations, Amtrak, and a gentle topography crisscrossed with miles of bike lines make Portland a city that almost dares you to find a reason to drive your car.

Sure, you might want to drive out to the coast or up to the Cascades for snow sports, but when you’re in the city, it’s rare you’ll have a reason to drive. Don’t own a bike? The bike share program will start in Spring 2014. There’s no shortage of car share stations – Portland claims to be home to the country’s first car share service.

You can hop a Bolt Bus to Seattle, Washington or Eugene, Oregon, from the heart of the city, or you can take the MAX light rail to the airport, to Hillsboro, where there’s an Intel campus, or to Beaverton, where shoe giant Nike has its headquarters. And Portland’s transportation network includes a gondola – it serves OHSU, the Oregon Health and Science University.

Portland is close to Mount Hood so it’s a great place for people who like to play in the mountains. Hood River, to the East, is famous for wind surfing. The rugged Oregon coast is an hour and a half away by car, though be aware, this is the Pacific Northwest and just because it’s summer, there’s no guarantee you’ll get beach weather. Seattle is a three hour drive up Interstate 5. Grocery giant Fred Meyer/Kroger, Columbia Sportswear, and the design and advertising agency Wieden Kennedy are Portland based.

Photo of Multnomah County Central Library in Portland

Multnomah County Central Library

Photo of Funky Puffs food cart in Portland

Funky Puffs food cart

Neighborhoods

It’s hard to pick the best neighborhood in this easy to live in town. You’ll never be far from the city’s famous food cart pods (designated parking areas for the food trucks). Most neighborhoods have good supermarkets, movie theaters, restaurants, and a café that’s got the vibe you’re looking for, be it kind of hippie or aggressively hip.

Even Downtown is super livable, it’s not just a business district that closes up after banking hours. The Portland Art Museum is downtown, as is the famous sculpture of the goddess Portlandia. There’s a beautiful park lining the waterfront of the Willamette River and of course, it’s got a bike trail through it. Portland State University is downtown. Parking can be a challenge here, but since there are supermarkets in this part of the city and you’re right on top of TriMet, you really don’t need a car to live here. Most of the housing downtown is in apartments, a mix of older brick buildings and brand new highrises with amenities.

The Pearl District is undergoing light speed gentrification, with warehouses that were once factories and later artist’s studios being converted in to high end LEED certified condos. There’s a lot of new construction here too, towers with larger two and three bedroom apartments, attractive public spaces, onsite gyms and meeting rooms, and some nice views across the river. At street level, you’ll find of cafes and bakeries, one of a kind boutique shopping. Whole Foods is in the Pearl, as is the world famous Powell’s City of Books flagship store, and a bunch of tech startups and design shops have their offices in this district.

Chinatown is just west of the Pearl – there’s a beautiful Chinese Garden and the Amtrak Station. Chinatown is also seeing gentrification -- there are brand new high end condos just west of the train station.

thumbnail for Tea Chai TéIf you think you don't like #tea, then you haven't been here. The ginger green chai latte is my favorite. The staff will offer suggestions if you're not sure. A great environment, peaceful, and relaxing.

wsuper
on Tea Chai Té

The neighborhoods closest to downtown offer maximum density, but if you’re looking for a single family home, in Portland, you don’t have to sacrifice walkability or transit service. You can find attractive Craftsman style bungalows with off street parking, back yards, hardwood floors and remodeled kitchens in neighborhoods with great schools – try Healy Heights or Sylvan Highlands. Sylvan Highlands borders Washington Park, home to the Arboretum, the Portland Zoo, the Japanese Garden, the Children’s Museum, and it’s on the MAX line.

Hollywood has great public transit – you’re never far from a bus or light rail line. Northwest is super hip, has some of the city’s best shopping, and offers the kind of density that creates a makes for vibrant street life. NW 23rd street is a popular hangout for window shoppers. There are one and two bedroom apartments in remodeled Victorian style buildings, but there are brand new green built complexes with indoor parking for your bike here, too.

Thank to the extensive coverage by the MAX light rail and TriMet bus service, you can live in the Portland suburbs and still have car-free access to the city. The neighborhoods in Tualatin or Beaverton are a bit more traditional and you may need to drive for groceries and other services, but you still won’t need a car to get into the city proper. Beaverton has lots of townhouses on the light rail line, as does Gresham, to the East. Sellwood isn’t on the light rail line, but it still makes a great home base -- there are beautiful historic homes, a cute shopping and restaurant district, and one of Portland’s famous food cart pods.

Further out, you’ll probably want a car, though there are some nice walking districts. Forest Grove and Hillsboro have a mix of apartments and larger single family homes. Milwaukie and Lake Oswego, offer more of the same – there are some denser central neighborhoods where you can find brand new one and two bedroom apartments, some with nice views of the water and large, three bedroom homes with two car garages.

Photo of St Johns Bridge in Portland

St Johns Bridge

Photo of Spirit of 77 in Portland

Spirit of 77

Photo of Teachers Fountain in Portland

Teachers Fountain

Photo of ArtHouse in Portland

ArtHouse

thumbnail for Salmon Street Springs FountainLocated in Waterfront Park, this large fountain uses recycled water to spout over 4,900 gallons of water per minute. Perfect for a quick plunge on a hot day. #publicart Photo: vj_pdx

Walk Score Team
on Salmon Street Springs Fountain

Portland is Talking About...

job coffee eating school voodoo doughnut food god jeld-wen field dinner oregon downtown lunch beer sleep walking car party drinking playing timbers

Portland is all about:

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Photo of Industrial Area of Port Richmond in Portland

Industrial Area of Port Richmond

Photo of Omsi in Portland

Omsi

Photo of Jeld-Wen Field in Portland

Jeld-Wen Field

thumbnail for Jamison SquareMulti-colored sculpture reminiscent of Native American totem poles. One of 4 that decorate the westside of Jamison Square. #streetart

James Young
on Jamison Square

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