Oregon is a state filled with strange history… a strangeness that has seeped its way into the modern day in the best kind of ways. We will throw a few strange historical facts at you to get today’s conversation going…
Believe it or not, Oregon was actually attacked by the Japanese in World War II. Beginning in 1944, the Japanese military launched balloons carrying bombs towards the West Coast of the United States.
While the United States military was able to capture most of them before they reached US soil, a small portion of them made their way into Gearhart Mountain, Oregon and took the lives of six people –– these deaths are quite possibly the only deaths on United States soil.
But, Oregon’s history spans much further back than this. It is widely believed that humans have been existing in Oregon for 14,300 years. Oregon’s Paisley Caves have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places after human DNA was found on artifacts in the caves.
You will quickly discover the strange cool history that Oregon is known for has stuck with it. If you are considering moving to Oregon, you have picked a gem that can’t easily be defined. By the end of this article, you will pretty quickly know whether or not Oregon is the right place for you to call home (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhops—movers in Oregon and throughout the country).
Our guess is that it will be.
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Everything about Oregon is peculiar and fascinating and alluring. It is a huge state in size but quite small when you take into consideration the number of folks that live there… a whopping 4 million.
It is even smaller when you realize that half of these 4 million people live in Portland, Oregon… the state’s gem.
While we will be talking a lot about Oregon as a whole in this article, we will also be discussing Portland quite a bit too… because such a large portion of the state resides there and because so many who are making a jump to the state are calling the city home. But, first, let’s talk briefly about Oregon and its stunning landscape.
Oregon’s geography is a difficult subject to approach. It, in many ways, feels nearly impossible to define. Its landscape is vast. It ranges drastically. It is home to beautifully rugged coastlines and deserts. It sports volcanoes and glaciers. And, in between all of this, it is filled in by dense evergreen forests.
In this vast landscape, residents can find distinct features that feel like they should belong on another planet. Take Crater Lake, for example, formed thousands of years ago after a massive volcanic eruption, it stands today as one of the deepest lakes in the world. The lake is so vast it is home to two islands… Wizard Island and Phantom Ship.
And, if you thought that was crazy, wait until you hear this. Oregon is home to the largest mushroom on Earth –– it spans over 2.4 miles and is thousands and thousands of years old. It sits in the state’s Blue Mountains. Kind of creepy. Kind of awesome.
The bottom line is this… if you are looking for a home with wonderful access to the great outdoors, you couldn’t choose a better one than Oregon. It, along with Pacific Northwest as a whole, offers some of the best landscapes in the world.
Oregon is awesome… but awesome doesn’t always mean perfect. Like every other state in the United States, Oregon has its pros and cons.
We’re about to lay them all on the line for you, that way you can be supremely confident in your decision to move there. Or, not move there. Thankfully, there are much more pros to Oregon than cons. Let’s take a quick glance at both.
As we mentioned in the previous section, Oregon has some of the loveliest (most diverse) landscape in the United States. If you are fond of the outdoors, Oregon is the state for you.
But, in addition to this Oregon is one of the few states that doesn’t have state tax. Some other pros of Oregon are that it is one of the top biking cities in the United States (we are looking at you, cyclists).
In addition, if you’re a seafood lover, you’re in for a treat. During the holiday’s folks will enjoy seafood like the delectable Dungeness Crab versus just strictly ham and turkey.
Oregon is also one of the greenest places in the United States. So, if you’re an environmentalist or at the very least environmentally conscious, you’ll fit right in with Oregon. And, lastly, due to the fact that most of Oregon is so unpopulated, it will be easy for you to find a nice quiet place to call home. City life isn’t for everyone, and if you’re the type of person that prefers more quiet time, Oregon is filled with lovely little small towns with plenty of space to build a home on.
Now, all that was lovely, but what are some not so great things about Oregon? Well, first and foremost, traffic in Oregon is kind of awful (especially if you live in or near the state’s largest city, Portland). This won’t be a big deal if you’re moving from another large city, but if you’re used to zipping anywhere you want in under 10 minutes, Portland will take some getting used to.
In addition to this, while the weather is nice in Oregon, it does rain a lot. This, unfortunately, just comes with the territory of living in the Pacific Northwest. With that said, if wet rainy dreary weather kills your mood, you might want to consider moving to someplace 72 and sunny.
And, lastly, this one is more just kind of strange versus a con… but it is illegal in Oregon to pump your own gas. Yes, you read that correctly… illegal. We can’t imagine too many people reading this feel that strongly about pumping their own gas but if you’re a die-hard gas pumper then… don’t move to Oregon? In all seriousness, we might even argue this is a pro… who wants to pump their own gas in the winter time anyway? Must be nice.
The physical beauty of a state should certainly be taken into consideration before making the jump there. But, if you can’t find a job once you get there (or ideally before you get there)… you might have a bit of a problem. In this section, we will be taking a closer look at Oregon’s economy, job market and cost of living.
Oregon’s cost of living is high, especially in larger city’s like Portland where rent can average right around $1,500 a month. That’s expensive. But, when compared to the state as a whole, only slightly more expensive than other city’s. Rent in Oregon averages just under $1,100 a month. That’s not cheap, but you need to ask yourself if the quality of life you’ll be experiencing in Oregon is worth it? Only you can answer that.
As of 2017, Oregon had a 3.4% unemployment rate and the average salary there was right around $45,000. While the average salary is doable when rent sits around that $1,100 mark, things might get a little tight if you move to the state’s largest city, Portland, where rent is $1,500. Fortunately, Portland’s average salary sits around $55,000 which gives you a little more breathing room.
Choosing a place to call home in Oregon is tough because unlike other states, there aren’t countless options in regards to large cities. In fact, there is really only one… Portland.
Unless you’re looking for a quiet town with plenty of land, we highly recommend Portland… especially if you’re a young professional moving to Oregon.
Portland is home to a vast array of people. Everyone from quirky hippies to outdoor enthusiasts, sport’s fanatics, business elites, startup superstars and more creatives than you could shake a stick at. The wonderful thing about Portland, Oregon’s culture is that it is sort of a melting pot of cultures. That’s a beautiful thing if you’re looking to move somewhere diverse.
With this, Portland offers one the largest job markets in the state of Oregon, naturally because it is the biggest city in the state. And, if you like coffee or beer or both, let’s just say you could drink at a different coffee shop or brewery every day of the year… almost.
Oregon is truly a great state with a very rich interesting history. It’s incredible weather and landscape offers a high quality of life, and if you choose the right city, you’ll have plenty of jobs to choose from.
With that said, Portland may not be for everyone and if it isn’t we highly recommend you check out… Washington (Oregon’s next door neighbor). And, once you decide on a place to call home don’t hesitate to give us a call… we’d be happy to help you get there. We coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Oregon and we would love to help!
Oregon has so much to offer. The Beaver State's beautiful forests, towering mountains, and picturesque beaches make it one of the most unique states in the country. We're here to help you find your perfect spot with our 2019 guide to the best places to live in Oregon.
We've done the research and made our selections for the best neighborhoods in Portland for 2019.