10 Best Neighborhoods in Portland to Visit (and Stay) in 2018

Picturesque Portland, Oregon, is a lesser-known West Coast city with its own unique vibe. Offering a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, Portland is a desirable domicile for those seeking an escape from the rat race. The tranquil setting on the Willamette River allows Portland all the benefits of city life, combined with the wonder of the great outdoors. 

But if you’re looking for apartments or rooms for rent in Portland, it can be difficult to choose the best neighborhoods in Portland. Portland offers a variety of promising neighborhoods. Diversity makes each neighborhood a unique hub that is totally different from the next one. Depending on the residents’ needs, each neighborhood offers attractive aspects.

These are the best aspects of each area for newcomers to research before moving to Portland:


1. Arlington Heights

In Southwest Arlington lies the neighborhood of Arlington Heights, a haven for nature lovers. Several parks are featured there, such as the International Rose Test Garden and the Japanese Garden. Situated on a hill that offers panoramic views of the city, Arlington Heights is also close to the city center.

A few homes in Arlington Heights are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The architectural style is dominated by cottage, English, and Tudor influences. There are several ranch-style homes in the neighborhood, and newly-built stilt homes hug the steep hills.

The upscale property prices are offset by the peace and quiet of Mother Nature here, and the ease of access to the city center.

Are you looking for a room for rent in Arlington Heights? Check out Roomdock to find all available rooms in this area.


2. The Pearl District

Previously a bustling warehouse and transportation center, Pearl District has undergone notable gentrification. Many historic buildings have been converted into apartments. New buildings offer residents the convenience of modern living. (According to Wikipedia, the average household size is about 1.13 persons. And that means more than enough space for new roommates. Find the latest rooms for rent in the Pearl District on Roomdock.)

Residents looking for quiet streets should not consider the Pearl District as a potential area. It is busy and features a stellar nightlife scene. There are also a variety of restaurants offering interesting cuisines; and some of Portland’s most famous breweries.

room in pearl district

(Image Source: Flickr, Ian Sane)

The area is often the center of street festivals and other events. Pearl District is the place to be, a bustling and fascinating part of the city.

Pearl District residences are expensive as most are situated in new developments. The majority of sales in the district are condos.


3. Sellwood-Moreland

Overlooking the Willamette River, Sellwood-Moreland is in close proximity to the city center. Many young families choose to settle in the area. There are several parks, and retailers, a library, and coffee shops. Movie theaters and an amusement park are ideal for family outings.

The neighborhood is dominated by single-family homes. classic and modern styles co-exist side-by-side. It is an eclectic mix of quiet and bustle.

The neighborhood can be classed as neither urban nor suburban. The city-like features and quiet streets lined with comfortable homes make Sellwood-Moreland unique. It is the perfect place for people who want the best of both worlds.

room in Sellwood-Moreland

There is also excellent access to public transportation. Most residents make use of public transport which prevents excess traffic on the roads.


4. The Northwest District

The area is also called Nob Hill. It is close to Forest Park, a lush green space juxtaposed with big city streets. The predominant styles of the older homes in Nob Hill are Victorian and Craftsman. Many of the homes are old mansions set within spacious grounds. People seeking modern living may consider recent housing developments for some stunning options.

Nob Hill features unique and interesting shops for those who favor quaint establishments. The busiest area of this neighborhood has several restaurants and boutiques. It is a heaven for Baby Boomers and Millennials alike.

Check this video to learn more about this neighborhood:

Critics of the neighborhood will tell potential buyers that the one pitfall is the single bridge across the river. It’s a time-consuming trip into downtown Portland during peak hours as many residents travel over the bridge to get to work.


5. Lloyd District

The Lloyd District is a historical part of Portland which has undergone major changes in recent years. Redevelopment projects have turned the area into a trendy neighborhood now featuring several high-rise apartment buildings.

It also features Portland’s largest shopping mall, the city’s stadium, and the convention center. This ensures easy access to public transportation facilities and downtown Portland. The Lloyd District is just across the river from the downtown area.

The prices of homes in the Lloyd District are reasonable. Ease of access to the city center makes the area attractive to many potential buyers. Single-family homes are not common as it offers mainly apartments.


If you’re urgently searching for a room in Lloyd District, our Roomdock Pick will help you out:

Single-family home in Portland Northeast (by Shelli)


room in llyod district


6. The South Waterfront

Combining city life with access to several green spaces allows South Waterfront residents to have their cake and eat it. Previously an industrial site, it has since transformed into a desirable neighborhood. The redevelopment of the area was one of the largest projects undertaken in the whole of the U.S. and housing prices are higher than most.

rooms for rent in south waterfront portland

(Royalty-free image from Pexels)

Despite the modern edifices of high-rise apartment and office buildings, South Waterfront boasts an impressive green belt. The parks offer residents a chance to escape busy city life and immerse themselves in natural beauty.

The breathtaking waterfront faces the Willamette River. Its construction was done with the intention of preserving the salmon population of the river when dwindling numbers required intervention.


If you want to give this neighborhood a try, check out our Roomdock Pick:

Apartment in Portland Southeast (by Sarah)


room in south waterfront portland


7. Ladd’s Addition

It is Portland’s first planned neighborhood, making it one of the oldest areas in the city. A predominantly residential neighborhood, it features stately homes that are recognized historic sites. There are also beautiful rose gardens – a testament to its established nature.

As an older neighborhood, the street layout may confuse newcomers. The area is not set up in a conventional grid system. Residents say becoming familiar with the layout does not take too much time. All the twists and turns to traverse the neighborhood allow residents and visitors alike the opportunity to see some of its most gorgeous homes.

Do you want to learn more abotu Ladd’s Addition? Watch this short video:

The quiet, tranquil streets make Ladd’s Addition an ideal neighborhood for families. Sought-after homes in the neighborhood are quite expensive as these properties are large. If you’re only looking for a room, feel free to have a look at Roomdock’s rooms for rent in Ladd’s Addition.


8. The Old Town-Chinatown

The neighborhood is a classic mix of new and old. Portland’s oldest developments are situated here, and some of its newest, too. Home of the world-famous Lan Su Chinese Gardens, it offers a blend of urban and natural living. The impressive gardens cover an entire city block, for example.

The Saturday Market is a popular tourist destination. The neighborhood includes the Portland Skidmore or Old Town Historic District, and the Portland New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District. Here, the diversity of Portland is more evident than ever.

rooms for rent in chinatown portland

(Image Source: Flickr, Sean Davis)

The city’s largest train station is in Old Town-Chinatown, so the ease of travel around attracts commuters to the neighborhood. Residents should be prepared to share their streets with a plethora of tourists all year round.

Although it’s not always easy to find housing in Old-Town-Chinatown, you can rely on Roomdock. On our platform, you can rent a room in Old-Town-Chinatown like this studio for less than $1,000/month.

housing in old-town portland

(Royalty free image from Unsplash)


9. Goose Hollow

A less expensive option, Goose Hollow, has attracted a great number of middle-class dwellers. It caters to every and all needs of the residents. There is a decent offering of single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses, leaving buyers spoiled for choice.

goose hollow housing

The centrality of Goose Hollow and its proximity to the downtown area of Portland makes it a desirable residential area. The neighborhood does not border on the Willamette River, which means no bridge crossing is necessary. Other bridges force traffic congestion, but Goose Hollow boasts a free-flowing traffic system.

If you prefer to go by bike, you’ll love Goose Hollow:

The homes in Goose Hollow are reasonably priced and allow access to the convenience of city life. First-time buyers find Goose Hollow suits a tight budget and still offers value for money.


10. University Park

As the name suggests, University Park is home to the private Catholic college, the University of Portland. Many newcomers to Portland assume the area is a college neighborhood. It isn’t.

There are some classic Queen Anne Victorian and Colonial homes in University Park. The area features single-family homes, most of which were constructed after World War Two.

It offers some of the most competitive housing prices in Portland. First-time buyers are acquiring ‘fixer-uppers’ at low prices and using remaining funds to remodel the homes.

One of the reasons these homes cost less is the smaller property sizes, but prices are more attractive. University Park is an area where home improvements are adding value to the houses and the neighborhood.


If you’re rather looking for an affordable room for rent close to University Park, check out our Roomdock Pick:

Single-family home in Portland North (by Rachel)


university park room


A Great Choice

Lifelong residents of Portland know the city is special. Newcomers are entranced by its atmosphere and amenities. There are more than 50 neighborhoods in Portland for buyers and renters to explore, each with its own pros and cons. Choosing the best neighborhoods in Portland seems to be difficult. However one looks at it, Portland offers something for everyone in a bustling city with a small-town feel. If you feel that renting or buying a house might be too expensive, consider renting a single room to finance your new dream house. ( The average renter on Roomdock earns $12,000 a year per rented room.)




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