The Best Suburbs in Portland

Updated April. 2023

Moving to a new city is always challenging, and a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. In this article, you’ll find a guide with the top suburbs in which to live in Portland as of 2023.


This list has in-depth neighborhood guides meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas, with links to popular destinations (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—local movers in Portland  and throughout the country).

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A Little About Portland

This once-misfit city of self-proclaimed weirdos is the current hot spot in the mainstream spotlight. And honestly, we don’t know why it took so long for Portland to transform from ugly duckling to swan in the general public’s eyes. With amazing restaurants, breweries, distilleries, coffee shops, events, music venues, art, and outdoor destinations, Portland is one of the best cities to live in, and each year it’s drawing thousands of new residents.

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When analyzing the neighborhoods of Portland, it’s easiest to split the city into four quadrants. These four quadrants of Portland’s Metro Area are divided by Interstate 5, Highway 26, and Interstate 84. And many locals refer to the Westside and Eastside of the city.

Westside holds most of the suburban or residential neighborhoods in the city with more new construction homes and condos. This area of the city has some of the best schools, the residents are diverse and more affluent, and transportation to downtown is relatively easy.

The Eastside of Portland has become more densely populated, and development has started to overtake some of Eastside’s long-standing buildings and character-rich neighborhood hubs to make more room for new construction and apartments.

This side of Portland holds some of the city’s older neighborhoods. Many houses on the Eastside were built between 1910 and 1950, and the area is rich in character and charm. Eastside emits that quirky and delightful Portland local feel with small neighborhood shops, eclectic restaurants, and walkable streets.

So, whether you’re looking for a newly developed residential space or quirky and quintessential Portland neighborhood, we’ve found the pockets outside of the city. Look below for our list of the five best suburbs of Portland.

Other Portland Guides

Lake Oswego

If you ask a local which is the nicest Portland suburb, you’ll probably get one answer: Lake Oswego. This affluent residential community just eight miles from downtown was once a vacation region for Portland’s wealthy families. Now it’s built with beautiful, large homes set on lush green lawns and amidst quiet streets. Some of these impressive multi-million dollar homes line the private lake, and members can take boats out or enjoy the surrounding parks and docks.

Though many of Lake Oswego’s streets don’t have sidewalks, there serene and quiet enough that many locals can walk or bike along them. Tall fir trees and cedars add to the picturesque atmosphere of this neighborhood and grow from many lots and street corners. Residents of Lake Oswego are very involved in community issues and events. They’re friendly and look for ways to volunteer their time or attend local gatherings.

What’s Happening in Lake Oswego

Downtown Lake Oswego has a number of shops, boutiques, and great restaurants. In the warmer months, locals gather for farmers’ markets on Saturdays and peruse the 80 vendors set up. Or they come together for local community events like their Festival of the Arts. Located just 8 miles south of Portland, Lake Oswego is also around the corner to many of the immense entertainment options in the city.

Schools in Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego has some of the best schools in the state of Oregon. These schools include private school Park Academy, Oak Creek, and Hallinan Elementary, which ranks in the top five nest public elementary schools in Oregon.

Homes in Lake Oswego

Besides lake-side million-dollar homes, Lake Oswego offers modern subdivision, condos, and single-family homes. The median home price for this area is $1.3 million. The average cost to rent an apartment is $2,123 a month.

West Linn

For homes with some of the best views of Mt. Hood and the Willamette River, check out West Linn, just 13 miles from downtown Portland. This suburb is home to many upper-middle-class families and is filled with beautiful, large suburban homes. The community is very friendly, with stroller-pushers, joggers, and walkers enjoying the beautiful streets at most hours of the day. West Linn also offers hiking, biking, and boating in its 600 acres of well-maintained parks.

What’s Happening in West Linn

West Linn is teaming with natural beauty. Visit Willamette Park, Maddax Woods Park or the Camassia Nature Preserve. For food and drinks, grab a coffee at Willamette Coffee House, Longbottom Coffee, or Lark Café. Or sample a thoughtful dish from Five-0-Three, which sources its ingredients from agriculture communities in Oregon.

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For more high-end dining, check out Bugatti’s Ristorante. They serve delicious Italian food and some casual dishes like pizza and burgers. For post-dinner drinks, visit Nineteen33 and sample their small bites and hand-crafted cocktails.

Schools in West Linn

West Linn is home to top-ranking schools including one of the top ten public elementary schools in Oregon, Cedoroak Park Primary School, and West Linn High School, which is highly rated in academics, teachers and college prep.

Homes in West Linn

This suburb has a variety of housing options, from historic homes in Elizabethan and craftsman styles to new construction condos and townhomes. Home prices for West Linn average $759,000. Apartments rent for $2,195 per month.



Sherwood offers everything locals need, from department stores like Home Depot to Target to an intricate collection of local shops, beautiful parks, and great schools. This city is a bit about 17 miles  from downtown Portland.. But the area is quickly growing and has beautiful new construction and planned communities which host regular community events like the popular Robin Hood Festival.

What’s Happening in Sherwood

This city’s parks and trails offer locals plenty of avenues to explore the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful scenery. Check out Snyder Park and Stella Olsen Memorial Park for some fresh air in the midst of the city. For tasty local food, sample Crazy Sushi or Fat Milo’s Family Kitchen. Or sip a brew bought at the local Growler House.

Schools in Sherwood

Public schools in the area are in the Sherwood School District, which is ranked as the top school district in Washington County. Schools include Middleton Elementary School, Sherwood Middle School, and Sherwood High School, which has a graduation rate of 98 percent.   

Homes in Sherwood

Sherwood offers a variety of housing options, including affordable condos and single-family homes on large lots. Home values have increased recently, with the median sales price coming in at $615,000. However, apartments rent for $1,887.

Happy Valley

Happy Valley was made up mostly of farmland only ten years ago. But now the area is booming. And new roads and highways are soon to be completed to make room for the influx of new residents. This suburb has a place for first-time homebuyers as well as more established, long-term buyers. Happy Valley draws a large number of young families due to the area’s lower crime rates, and some of the best schools in the state are right around the corner from this suburb’s residential streets.

What’s Happening in Happy Valley

While this suburb is a 16-mile commute into downtown Portland, it is close to some great shopping centers as well as the airport. Check out Clackamas Town Center and explore one of Oregon’s largest indoor malls. Happy Valley also offers some great outdoorsy destinations like Mount Talbert Nature Park and the Clackamas River. Locals of all ages gather at scenic city parks, go for long hikes or bike along the trails.

Schools in Happy Valley

Schools in this neighborhood include Happy Valley Middle School and Happy Valley Elementary School, which both rank high in academics, teachers, and student diversity.

Homes in Happy Valley

Homes in Happy Valley include older fixer-uppers and some very high-end developments that show off gorgeous views of Mt. Hood. Home sales average $650,000, with newer homes selling in the millions. The cost to rent an apartment in Happy Valley is $1,763.



Located just south of Portland’s well-to-do neighborhood, Eastmoreland, Milwaukie has been overlooked until recently. This suburban region, just over six miles from downtown, is one of the most affordable cities in the Metro area. And it has recently become a popular spot for first-time home buyers who can’t afford the inflated prices in Portland or its wealthier suburbs.

What’s Happening in Milwaukie

For a time, Milwaukie had an eclectic, somewhat disheveled look due to a variety of planned neighborhoods built over the past 70 years. But in 2015, the MAX Orange Line opened and provided light rail from downtown Portland into downtown Milwaukie.

With easy public transportation and inexpensive housing to offer, Milwaukie saw a population increase, especially among young professionals and families. But Milwaukie offers more than just practical perks. The city has its own boutiques, restaurants, farmers’ markets, bars, and cafes. Plus, its surrounded by the gorgeous lush Oregon greenery.

Schools in Milwaukie

Schools in the area include Milwaukie High School and Ardenwald Elementary. They are in the North Clackamas School District, which was rated the third-best district in Clackamas County.

Homes in Milwaukie

Many Milwaukie houses sit on large treed lots, and several streets curve along the Willamette River. The housing styles vary and include restored farmhouses, Tudors, Queen Annes, and even a few mansions. With the recent growth in this area, investors are beginning new construction. The cost to purchase a house in the neighborhood averages $525,000. Rentals cost around $1,615 per month.

There you have it: the five best suburbs of Portland!

We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge soon, don’t forget we offer last minute moving services in Portland! So don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. As we said, we’re local movers in Portland, offering long-distance portland moves, and other nearby cities like Seattle, and we would love to help.

Harrison Stevens