Visiting Portland? Whether you’re heading out for a weekend or planning a big move, the city known as the hipster capital of the United States has a little something for everyone. From residential almost-suburbs to the bustling downtown, to the young trendy corners, Portland’s neighborhoods are as diverse as anywhere. Plan ahead for your trip by checking out the best neighborhoods in Portland.
1. Nob Hill
Located in the northwest of the city, Nob Hill is a classic of Portland. The neighborhood, also called the Alphabet District, is full of old, charming Victorian homes, narrow streets, and tons of activity. A mostly residential neighborhood, Nob Hill is largely home to older couples and families, but don’t think being residential makes it boring. Nob Hill is known as the trendy neighborhood, full of hip shops and fun eateries, as well as Portland’s Forest Park. The neighborhood is also home to popular Portland food staples, like Paley’s Place, Wildwood, Typhoon, and more. If you’re not into restaurants, Nob Hill is home to dozens of Portland’s famous food carts.
2. Pearl District
Another northwestern Portland classic, Pearl District is a popular stop among creatives. The neighborhood, once an industrial area, is now home to young, urban individuals and families alike, as well as local Portland businesses, including Powell City Books, Art Institute of Portland, and the North Face and West Elm. Pearl District is known as being one of the city’s up-and-coming spots, full of street festivals, live music events, and local breweries, as well as for being so close to Downtown Portland, without actually being downtown.
3. Downtown Portland
Always busy, full of life, and activity, and centrally located? Welcome to Downtown Portland. This neighborhood is home to an array of things to do, including the Portland State University campus and Portland Center for the Performing Arts. Hungry? Head to the Portland Saturday Market. Late for work? Downtown Portland is home to dozens of towering skyscrapers, meaning you likely won’t be far from the office, or at least not far from public transportation to get you to the office. Downtown Portland’s walkability, a plethora of trendy apartments, and easy access to some of the best of Portland’s public parks are just part of what makes it so sought-after amongst young professionals.
Trendy, young, and somewhere between urban and suburban, its easy to see why people are flocking to Sellwood-Moreland. The neighborhood, located in southern Portland along the Willamette River is extremely diverse. Kids will love a visit to Oaks Amusement Park or Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, and little ones and adults alike will enjoy the multiple movie theaters, restaurants, and bars in the neighborhood. The easy access to Downtown Portland, the lively atmosphere, and the great schools are what make Sellwood-Moreland particularly popular among families who don’t want to leave the city but want something quieter than Downtown. If you’re a family looking for an even quieter day out, check out the Seven most Beautiful Hikes in Oregon and get outside the city.
5. Old Town Chinatown
Located just above Downtown Portland along the Willamette River, Old Town-Chinatown is as classic as Portland gets. The neighborhood is a mix of traditional and historic Portland with modern Portland’s cultural melting pot. The neighborhood is great for young professionals who’d love to live in the center of Portland, but without the center prices. Old Town-Chinatown offers the balance with great accessibility and the prices anyone can afford. Looking to relax in the neighborhood? Head to the Lan Su Chinese Gardens. Hungry? No one can pass up a trip to Portland without stopping at Voodoo Donuts, located in Old Town-Chinatown.
6. Ladd’s Addition
If you’re looking for the suburbs without actually traveling deep into the suburbs, you’ve found it at Ladd’s Addition. The neighborhood was the first planned neighborhood of Portland, and today offers locals and tourists tons of sleepy tree-lined sidewalks and multiple rose gardens for a picnic in the park. The neighborhood is on the pricier side, with many old, historic homes, but it’s a great spot for a young family looking to get the best of Portland.
7. Goose Hollow
More inland from the riverside Downtown and Old Town-Chinatown sits Goose Hollow, another historic, centrally located neighborhood of Portland. The neighborhood features a mix of residential living and modern apartments great for a young professional or a family alike, and its location provides easy access to just about everything Portland has to offer. Of course, you can’t miss out on neighborhood favorites like a stop in Providence Park, donuts from Coco Donuts, 22 different taps of beer at The Civic Taproom & Bottle Shop, and a show at the Artists Repertory Theater.
8. Alberta Arts District
If you’re into trendy, artsy locations, it doesn’t get much better than Alberta Arts District, on Portland’s east side. The neighborhood is centered around Alberta Street and is home to many colorful buildings and streets. Check out the monthly street fairs or any of the quirky cafes and shops that line the main street. Popular spots where you’ll be sure to find locals include Case Study Coffee, The Shed Garden Cafe, and The Bye and Bye. Stop by Green Bean Books, an independent book shop especially great for kids’ reads, or the Guardino Gallery, for paintings and sculptures by local Oregon artists. When it comes time to rest, the neighborhood is home to one of the very first tiny house hotels — Caravan.
Located in Southeast Portland, Richmond is a diverse neighborhood that’s home to the eclectic Hawthorne District, where you can find trendy cafes, quirky shops, loud bars, and more. It’s a place where locals of all ages hang out, and you can find a little bit of everything. Popular spots in Richmond’s Hawthorne District include the upscale Thai fusion restaurant, Pok Pok, pizzeria and music venue Eugenio’s, and more. The neighborhood is also home to tons of budget-friendly places to stay — read up on the Five Best Cheap Hostels in Portland.
10. Mississippi Avenue
This North Portland neighborhood has it all, from rich history to local shops and restaurants, as well as a thriving nightlife. Plus, the neighborhood is known as one of the hipster centers of Portland. While in Mississippi Avenue, which runs down the avenue of the same name, you can find popular spots like Victoria Bar, Ruby Jewel, 1905 Pizza, and JORY Coffee Co.