Moving to Portland

Tantalizing food trucks, breathtaking natural beauty, and an eclectic cultural scene; Portland, Oregon is a destination that captivates and intrigues. Whether you're being drawn in by the allure of a bustling tech industry, a desire for sustainable living, or the siren call of free-spirited creativity, moving to Portland could be just the exciting new chapter you've been craving. Allow us to introduce 'Stumptown', your potential new home, in our comprehensive Portland relocation guide. We promise you, it's not just about the rain and the hipsters here.

Moving to Portland, OR landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Portland

1. The Great Outdoors

Portland is an adventurer's paradise. The city is nestled among mountains, rivers, hiking trails, and public parks that make it easy for nature-lovers to get their outdoor fix without venturing too far from the comforts of urban living. You'll be just a short drive from Mount Hood for skiing, the Columbia River Gorge for hiking, and the Oregon coast for beachcombing. Just remember to stock up on sustainable gear, Portland locals wouldn't have it any other way.

2. Seasonal Delight: Rain and Roses

When moving to Portland, it's important to remember that the city has a reputation for rain for good reason. You should be prepared for many rainy days, especially during the winter months. But not to worry, Portlanders embrace the rain and experience their fair share of sunny days in the summer. Plus, all that rain really makes the city's gardens pop! It isn't called the "City of Roses" for nothing. The International Rose Test Garden boasts over 10,000 roses!

3. Food and Drink Haven

From creative food trucks to top-notch wineries and breweries, Portland boasts a food and drink scene that can compete with any foodie city in the world. Every imaginable cuisine is available here, often with a focus on seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. Not to forget, Portland is also the home of Stumptown Coffee Roasters and known for its unique craft beer culture. Bottom line, in this city, you'll never go hungry - or thirsty!

4. Keep Portland Weird

'Keep Portland Weird' is more than just a catchy slogan on a bumper sticker, it's a lifestyle. Portland has a reputation for being quirky, and locals pride themselves on their unique and creative culture. You never really know what you might encounter - a unicycle-riding, bagpipe-playing Darth Vader, perhaps? Or the smallest park in the world? Yes, Mill Ends Park is in Portland and holds the Guinness World Record as the smallest park, measuring a mere 2 feet across!

5. The City Is Divided into Quadrants

For some reason, Portland decided to defy mathematical principles and divided the city into five sections or 'quadrants': North, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest. Each neighborhood has its own unique identity and vibe, making exploring the city an endless adventure. Remembering 'East of the river, West of the mountains' is a local mantra to help navigate.

6. Get Ready to Ditch your Car

Even if you love the open road, considering alternative modes of transportation could be beneficial when moving to Portland. The city offers excellent biking paths and an extensive public transit system - the streets are filled with cyclists, buses, light rails, and even a gondola! Besides, it's also a great way to lessen your carbon footprint and soak in the Portland scenery. Plus, who needs to wrestle for downtown parking when you're cruising the city on two wheels or navigating with ease by a tram?

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Pros and Cons of Living in Portland

Pros of Living in Portland

A Vibrant Food and Drink Scene

Portland is well-known for its diverse food and drink offerings. From its food trucks to award-winning restaurants, the city offers something for food enthusiasts of all kinds. Whether you want to try out local craft beers, coffee, donuts or international cuisines, you're sure to find it in Portland.

Outdoor Activities

Portland is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Mount Hood, numerous parks, and hiking and biking trails, there's something for everyone who enjoys spending time outdoors. The city's mild weather also helps to facilitate an active, outdoor lifestyle.

Strong Eco-friendly Mindset

The city of Portland takes sustainability very seriously. Portland consistently ranks as one of the most eco-friendly cities in the U.S. through pioneering initiatives in recycling, green building, and public transportation.

Rich Arts and Culture Scene

Residents of Portland enjoy access to a thriving arts and culture scene. The city is home to various music festivals, art galleries, theaters, museums, and literary events, as well as a vibrant independent film scene.

Friendly and Relaxed Atmosphere

Portland is often cited as one of the friendliest cities in the U.S. The city is known for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere, making new residents feel welcomed and at ease.

Cons of Living in Portland

Cost of Living

Portland has a higher-than-average cost of living. Although cheaper than cities like San Francisco or New York, costs for housing, transportation, food, and healthcare are higher compared to other cities in the Pacific Northwest.


The weather is a downside for some, as Portland tends to see high levels of rainfall and overcast skies, especially during the winter months. The lack of sunlight can be challenging, and vitamin D deficiencies are common among residents.


Despite its robust public transit system and bike-friendly infrastructure, traffic congestion in Portland can be quite heavy, particularly during rush hour. Commuting times can be long, which can decrease the quality of life for some residents.


Portland has a visible homelessness issue, which is affecting both the urban and suburban areas. This is a complex issue that not only reflects on the housing affordability problem, but also on the availability of services for mental health and addiction.

Moderate Earthquake Risk

Portland is located in an area with a moderate risk of earthquakes. While the city has plans in place and continuously works on improving its resilience to such events, the potential risk is still a factor to consider when moving here.

Modern day picture of Portland, OR highlighting pros and cons of living in Portland, OR

Is Portland a Good Place to Live?

Portland, OR is a great place to live because of its vibrant art scene, outdoor recreational activities, and exquisite food culture. From hiking in the picturesque Columbia River Gorge to exploring local breweries and coffee shops, there's never a dull moment. Plus, with its enduring commitment to sustainability and green living, it's a city that really cares about our planet.

What Is Portland Famous For?

Portland's Food Cart Scene

You haven't truly experienced Portland until you've dived into its vibrant food truck scene. The city boasts over 500 food trucks or "food carts," serving a wide range of cuisines from around the world, and has been named by many critics as the best city in the U.S. for street food.

The International Rose Test Garden

Home to more than 650 varieties of roses and 10,000 individual plants, the International Rose Test Garden is a stunning feature of the city that every visitor must see. You will marvel at the breathtaking panoramic view of Downtown Portland and the historic Mount Hood.

Powell's City of Books

Powell's City of Books is more than a simple bookstore--it's a paradise for bibliophiles. With over one million new and used books, it lays claim to the title of the largest independent bookstore in the world, occupying an entire city block.

Portland's Craft Beer Culture

With over 70 breweries, Portland has been dubbed "Beervana", and for good reason. Beer aficionados from around the world visit the city to sample unique brews, enjoy innovative microbreweries, and partake in their annual Oregon Brewers Festival.

Capital building of Portland, OR in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in Portland, OR is roughly 1.08%. This is somewhat higher than the national average property tax rate of around 1.07%.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, there is no sales tax in Portland, OR, which is significantly different from most parts of the United States where the average sales tax rate is around 5.46%.

Income Tax

As of 2023, the state income tax rate in Portland, OR ranges from 4.75% to 9.9% depending on income bracket. This is higher than many other parts of the US, where the average state income tax rate is around 4.6%.

Housing Market

The housing market in Portland, OR, is dynamic, trend-setting, and often outpaces the rest of the US. As of February 2021, the median home price is $495,000, considerably higher than the national median price of $346,800. Renting is also more expensive with average monthly rent being $1,582 compared to the national average of $1,098. As a well-regarded urban hub with diverse lifestyle options, this higher-than-average cost of living reflects Portland's desirability. However, housing inventory remains low, leading to a competitive market for prospective buyers and renters.

Cost of Living

Portland, OR presents a moderately high cost of living compared to other U.S cities. Housing expenses, significantly above the national average, are the main factor pushing Portland's cost of living upwards. Yet, compared to other West Coast cities, like Seattle or San Francisco, Portland is notably less expensive, offering a more affordable choice for those looking to embrace the Pacific Northwest lifestyle. While costs for transportation and healthcare hover near national averages, grocery expenses are slightly higher. Overall, Portland offers a balance between economic viability and high-quality living.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Boasting a Pacific Northwestern climate, Portland, OR, exhibits mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The city experiences heavy rainfall from November to February, coupled with an average high temperature of 47degF in December and January. Summer brings sunny weather with average highs in the low 80s, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities. Spring and fall act as transitional periods with moderate temperatures and rainfall. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods are plausible but not frequent. The city lies within the Cascadia Subduction Zone, making it vulnerable to significant earthquakes. Moreover, its proximity to the Columbia and Willamette rivers raise possibilities of flooding. However, the city has employed strong natural disaster management strategies to mitigate these risks.

Typical weather in Portland, OR

Economy & Job Market

* Manufacturing

* Technology

* Healthcare and Social Service

* Retail

* Education and Research

Portland, Oregon, also affectionately known as Stumptown, Rip City, or the City of Roses, has an economy as diverse and eclectic as its nicknames suggest. Its economic bedrock historically is deeply rooted in the manufacturing sector, with stalwarts such as Nike calling it home. However, the city has seen a remarkable pivot to embracing technology, earning it another moniker - the "Silicon Forest". Indeed, many tech titans such as Intel and Google have established a significant presence due to the number of highly educated workers and the enticing quality of life in the region. But that's not all - the healthcare, retail, and research education sectors have continued to blossom and provide solid stability in the local economy.

If you're eyeing Stumptown as your new home and job-hunting playground, keep your spirits high! Portland has typically maintained a somewhat higher unemployment rate than the national average, but don't let this deter you. The city offers an expansive and vibrant tapestry of job opportunities. For the techies, Silicon Forest is your playground with a plethora of jobs spanning hardware, software, green tech, and health tech. If retail is your forte, Nike, Columbia Sportswear, and others offer a myriad of roles. Newcomers seeking employment should also consider the rapidly evolving healthcare scene and burgeoning startup landscape. In a nutshell, no matter what type of work you're looking for, Portland really does have something for everyone. Just remember to bring your creativity, your passion for sustainably-sourced coffee, and maybe an umbrella!

Traffic and Transportation

Portland, the charming City of Roses, boasts a bit of a knack for making even the humdrum of the daily commute feel like a breeze! With an average commute time of only 27 minutes, Portlandia ranks quite friendly for all you road warriors. But wait! If you're not the driving type, don't fret! The city's public transportation system is top-notch, sporting a variety of options including buses, light rail, and even a whimsical streetcar! Known as TriMet, this public transport system is your reliable chariot around town. But, what about air travel? Fear not, globe trotters! With Portland International Airport (PDX), you're covered! Consistently awarded top honors for its stellar customer service and amenities, PDX is your gateway from Portland to the rest of the world! So, whether by land or by air, Portland ensures journeying is as enjoyable as reaching your destination. Quite a place, eh?

What is the traffic like in Portland, OR?

Best Neighborhoods in Portland

1. Pearl District

Often touted as the crown jewel of Portland, the Pearl District is a vibrant urban neighborhood that offers a distinctive mix of old and new. Former warehouses now house trendy boutiques, innovative restaurants, and art galleries. Best-known for its First Thursday event where local artists showcase their work, the Pearl District has a lively cultural scene. If you enjoy jogging or bike rides, the area's proximity to the waterfront and its Willamette River Trail is another bonus!

2. Alberta Arts District

If you crave an artsy, bohemian atmosphere, look no further than the Alberta Arts District. This colorful neighborhood is packed with galleries, murals, and quirky shops selling everything from recycled fashion to locally made jewelry. Its monthly Last Thursday Art Walk is a local institution, and in the warmer months, you can enjoy lively street fairs and festivals. Plus, Alberta is a foodie's paradise, with countless food carts, artisanal coffee shops, and inventive restaurants to explore.

3. Hawthorne District

Quintessentially Portland, the Hawthorne District has a relaxed, eco-conscious vibe. This walkable neighborhood is famous for its tree-lined streets, vintage stores, and the landmark Bagdad Theater. Hawthorne also offers a diverse food scene, with many vegan and gluten-free options. Enjoy a leisurely Saturday morning at the Hawthorne Farmers Market, or explore Mount Tabor, an extinct volcano turned city park, which offers hiking trails and panoramic views of the city.

4. Sellwood-Moreland

Those searching for a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood will fall in love with Sellwood-Moreland. Known for its charming Victorian houses, this area feels like a small town within the city. Here, you can enjoy antique shops, a vintage amusement park called Oaks Amusement Park, and expansive parks perfect for picnic or a jog. Don't forget to visit the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden for a peaceful afternoon amidst stunning florals.

5. Nob Hill

Nob Hill, also known as the Alphabet District due to its alphabetical street names, is full of charm. This shopper's paradise offers a mix of locally owned boutiques and major retailers, intermingled with an array of dining options. Close to both Forest Park and the Japanese Garden, residents can enjoy the benefits of urban living and the outdoors. With its historic homes and tree-lined streets, Nob Hill has an undeniable old-world allure.

In conclusion, Portland has a neighborhood for everyone, whether you seek the bustling energy of an urban district, or the tranquil charm of a residential enclave. Each neighborhood offers a unique lifestyle and vibe, allowing newcomers to choose a locale that best aligns with their interests and lifestyle. Welcome to Portland, and happy exploring!

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Things to Do

Welcome to Portland, Oregon! In this city where coffee is artisan, beer is a craft, food trucks are gourmet restaurants, and you can hike without leaving city (or bike, or kayak, or paddleboard...). Your new neighborhood is buzzing with creativity, so we've put together a list of 7 must-do things to embrace Portland's unique vibe. Fasten your bike helmet and get ready to dive deep into PDX culture.

1. Exploring Powell's City of Books

No Portland experience is complete without a visit to Powell's City of Books - a bookstore that spans an entire city block. Lose yourself among the millions of used, new, and out-of-print books filling up nine color-coded rooms across three floors. Make sure to check out the rare book room for an extra dose of awe-inspiring literacy wonder.

2. Refreshing Strolls in Forest Park

Say hello to nature right in the city center. With over 5,200 acres of woodland, Forest Park is one of the largest urban forests in the U.S. Its 80 miles of trails, fire lanes, and forest roads are perfect for running, hiking, or a peaceful walk. Don't forget to take in the beautiful views of downtown and the Willamette River.

3. Embrace the "Keep Portland Weird" Mindset

A quirky side of this city nestles in the form of peculiarities like the magic-aired Museum of Peculiarities and Oddities, the 31-foot-tall Paul Bunyan Statue or the refreshing soaking pool at the McMenamins Kennedy School (a hotel that used to be an elementary school!). Embrace all that is weird and wonderful in Portland to truly understand its playful charm.

4. Smell the Roses at International Rose Test Garden

Did you know that Portland is often referred to as the 'City of Roses'? Check out the International Rose Test Garden, the oldest official continuously operating public rose test garden in the United States. With over 10,000 rose bushes of approximately 650 varieties, the colors and fragrances will make your senses go wild.

5. Savor Portland's Food Cart Scene

Forget fancy restaurants, embrace dining a la Portland style - food carts. With over 600 carts citywide, you can find nearly every cuisine imaginable. Follow your cravings, from the doughnuts of Voodoo Doughnut to the hybrid Vietnamese-Mexican dishes of Saigon Bowl.

6. Paddle on the Willamette River

Immerse yourself in Portland's waterworld by grabbing a paddle and heading to the Willamette River. Whether you opt for a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard, rowing along the river provides stunning views of the city skyline and a chance to see local wildlife. If you're lucky, you might even spot a river otter or two.

7. Visit the 'Witch's Castle'

No, not in the movie sense. Hidden in Forest Park is a stone house originally built in the 1930s as a ranger station and restroom, which, due to local folklore, became known as the 'Witch's Castle'. Little known amongst the city's newcomers, exploring the ruins of the Witch's Castle is sure to satisfy the curiosity of the urban adventurers amongst you.

Portland is odd, outdoorsy, and brimming with quirks. We warmly welcome you to join the fun. From literary wonders to culinary treats, cavernous parks to a 'witch's castle', embracing these experiences will ensure you feel right at home in the City of Roses. Remember, 'Keep Portland Weird' isn't just a slogan here - it's a way of life.

Things to do in Portland, OR?

Find Movers for Your Portland Relocation


As you embark on the exciting journey of relocating to the vibrant city of Portland, let Great Guys Moving take the burden off your shoulders. By leveraging their established network of moving companies, renowned for offering quality service at affordable prices, they can connect you to the right team for your needs. Ensure a seamless transition with movers who are not just professional but also licensed and insured. Kickstart this hassle-free process now by requesting your complimentary moving quote. Let Great Guys Moving make your move to Portland as stress-free as the city is lively and inviting.


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