A Closer Look at Portland’s Neighborhoods
A former industrial warehousing district and home to railroad employees, loggers, and furniture artisans in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Pearl District was gentrified in the 1990s. The sophisticated neighborhood is now home to modern condos, lofts, townhouses, and apartments whose character gives them unique appeal. The flat roads and small, 100-square-foot city blocks make it very easy to walk or bike around the Pearl District. Plus, Portland’s Union Station, a beautiful historic building with modern trains running through it, is just a 5-minute walk from the Pearl. From Union Station, trains run out to Hillsboro, Gresham, Beaverton, and Clackamas. More on Beaverton.
In the Pearl District, you’ll find an array of upscale bars, acclaimed restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries among its converted warehouses and historic cobblestone streets. A vast arts community thrives in the Pearl District, the site of some of the best galleries in the city. The Pearl hosts popular monthly after-hours First Thursday events, when restaurants open their doors, bands play in the streets, and you can meet local artists showcasing their work outdoors and in the neighborhood’s galleries. In the Pearl District, classic and contemporary theater lovers can enjoy some of the best plays from around the country as well as commissioned works written by leading national playwrights. Portland Center Stage performs these works at The Armory, a beautifully converted former military building. Those who love to shop will enjoy strolling along 11th avenue, which runs north for 14 blocks. The shops are lined up along the bustling street, beginning with the iconic Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world, and continuing up to Fields Park. From the trendy brewpubs along the Brewery Blocks to cafés, tea bars, pastry shops, and restaurants serving every type of cuisine, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s tastes in the sophisticated Pearl District. Enjoy walking among the rustic buildings as you decide among the fabulous, stylish restaurants, from hamburger joints and tapas bars to upscale restaurants located on 13th Avenue. Featuring some of the best nightlife, entertainment, and restaurants in Portland, The Pearl is a great place to live, work, and visit!
Northwest District / Nob Hill
Beautiful 19th-century Victorian and Edwardian mansions and 1920s apartment buildings give Northwest Portland’s trendy Nob Hill area the charm of a walkable European neighborhood. Featuring a large number of early 20th-century multi-family buildings that Portland’s renowned architects and developers designed, most of Nob Hill is recognized by the National Landmarks Commission. Residents of Nob Hill love this artsy, sophisticated neighborhood and the strong sense of community among their neighbors. Check this out.
Also known as the Alphabet District in a nod to the naming convention of some of its streets, Nob Hill offers a quick commute to nearby downtown Portland and is also easily accessible to mass transit and Highway 30. The Portland Streetcar makes it easy to commute downtown, to the South Waterfront, and all the major MAX light rail lines. Bikers appreciate the abundance of bike parking and BikeTown stations in Portland and enjoy bike-friendly streets like Northwest Johnson and Northwest 17th.
Featuring an abundance of trendy boutiques, one-of-a-kind gift shops, established retail chains, and restaurants along tree-lined streets in reimagined historic Victorian homes, Nob Hill is best known for its trendy shopping area, which extends 17 blocks along NW 23rd Avenue and NW 21st Avenue. The neighborhood is bound by Northwest 17th Avenue, Northwest 24th Avenue, West Burnside, and Northwest Lovejoy Street. Restaurants serving all types of international cuisines, from casual eateries and cozy cafes to fine dining establishments, thrive in Nob Hill. When Portland residents and visitors want to take a break from the shopping and nightlife, they get their exercise by walking up the sidewalk staircases to Pittock Mansion or just relaxing and unwinding in beautiful Couch Park.
Located in Northwest Portland’s 400-acre Washington Park just minutes from downtown, the upscale residential neighborhood of Arlington Heights is characterized by iconic mountain and city views. Steep, winding streets are bordered by stunning gardens, landscaped yards, old-growth trees, and grand houses in an array of 20th-century architectural styles.
Arlington Heights is bordered by the Goose Hollow, Northwest, Hillside, Sylvan Highlands, and Northwest Heights neighborhoods and is just a short hike from some of Portland’s most renowned parks, including 5,100-acre Forest Park, 12-acre Portland Japanese Garden (home of the neighborhood’s only restaurant), Hoyt Arboretum, and International Rose Test Garden, as well as historic Pittock Mansion. Other area attractions include the Oregon Zoo, the Children’s Museum, the Holocaust and Vietnam Memorials, and the Forestry Center.
Secluded in the wooded hills overlooking downtown Portland, Kings Heights offers magnificent city and mountain views, large, stately homes in a range of architectural styles, and a short commute to companies located in the industrial corridor between Beaver and Hillsboro. Families and successful professionals who settle in posh Kings Heights can choose from among the many well-kept English Tudors, Craftsmen, Queen Ann Victorians, Foursquare, and Colonials nestled along its charming streets.
Some of Portland’s most popular restaurants, cafés, and shops are located just minutes away on NW 23rd Avenue and in the Pearl District, providing Kings Heights residents with plenty of upscale amenities. Those who prefer to relax and unwind in the great outdoors head to nearby 5,000-acre Forest Park for a hike or take their families to Washington Park, the Portland Children’s Museum, the Oregon Zoo, and other nearby attractions.