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nieghborhoods portland best for families

Best Portland Neighborhoods for 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Families | 9 Family Friendly Places to Live in Portland

Last Updated on: 16th February 2024, 11:54 am

If you’re considering moving to Portland with kids, you’ve probably wondered what the best neighborhood will be for you and your family. First off, Portland is home to lovely green spaces, enchanting forests, picturesque mountain views, great schools, and top-rated parks in every direction. The incredibly vibrant and diverse city of Portland even ranks #22 in Best Places to Live out of the 150 most populous metro areas! It’s no secret that Portland Oregon is a great place to raise a family and does not disappoint when it comes to the high quality of life in many individual neighborhoods.

To help you narrow down your choice of what neighborhood to choose, we came up with the top 9 best neighborhoods in Portland for families with the amenities you’re looking for.

Tips for Choosing the Best Neighborhoods in Portland for Families

How do you know which Portland neighborhood is best for you? Well, there are several qualities to look out for such as walkability, good schools, low crime rate, family-friendly amenities, and affordability. Once you’ve decided which characteristics are most important to you, keep them in mind when reading about the individual neighborhoods. The more the neighborhood matches up with your preferences, the better.

Here are some resources that may help you narrow down your options:

If you care most about the neighborhood maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere, you’re at the right place.

Sellwood-Moreland | Portland’s Most Desired Family Neighborhood with Nature Playground & Amusement Park

Sellwood-Moreland is a creative, relaxed, and family-friendly neighborhood that boasts plenty of green space, high walkability, and stunning views of the city along the river. From the quaint boutiques to the exceedingly safe and friendly environment, this lovely neighborhood allows for a small-town feel that is especially attractive for families.

Families residing here can enjoy the old-school rides at Oaks Amusement Park. The Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is great for taking the little ones on a bird-watching adventure. The Westmoreland Park Nature Playground is a great option for letting the kids run around. It features a nature-based playground, multiple sports fields and courts, a pond, and a picnic area.

The neighborhood houses several highly rated preschools, a few elementary schools, and the Sellwood Middle School. Sellwood-Moreland is also just across the river from Riverdale High School.

Nob Hill | One of the Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Portland for Families

Population: 3,821
Median Home Price: $485,000
School District: Portland Public Schools

Nestled in The Northwest District of Portland, Nob Hill is the 7th most walkable neighborhood in Portland. This safe and fashionable community is swarming with Victorian homes and tree-lined streets in every direction which makes it perfect for young families to stroll down the peaceful sidewalk.

Nob Hill is best known for its laid-back eateries, cozy cafes, and some of the oldest architecture in Portland. When you’re not busy shopping along 23rd Avenue or taking advantage of the thriving dining scene, you can take your kids to Cinema 21, one of the several nearby parks, or to the strange The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium and Museum– perhaps only for those 13+. The closest public school to Nob Hill is Chapman Elementary School.

Alameda | Portland Neighborhood for Families with Close-Knit Community & Top-Rated Public School

This close-knit and thriving community is one of the safest and most secure neighborhoods in Portland with a low violent crime rate of around 45% below the national median. The neighborhood is often called “the warm heart of Northeast Portland” thanks to the exceedingly friendly and welcoming residents.

Alameda is further home to historic houses and great schools. In fact, the neighborhood’s Alameda Elementary School is noted for being one of the top-rated public schools in Portland due to its highly dedicated teachers. When you want to take the kids to the ball fields or playground, you can stop by Wilshire Park to the northeast. Likewise, Grant Park is to the southeast of Alameda and houses the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children. To the west of the neighborhood is Irving Park with all of its additional playgrounds and splash pads for kids to run around in.

Forest Park | Affluent Portland Neighborhood Encompassed by Nature & Wildlife

The Forest Park neighborhood in Portland is ideal for families seeking an upper-class lifestyle that’s tucked away into the serenity of urban nature. The area surrounding this defined and affluent neighborhood consists of over 5,200 acres of forest, plants, and native wildlife.

While you’re away at work, your children can attend the nearby Sato Elementary School– just three miles west of Forest Park. While it isn’t the most walkable neighborhood in the city, the breathtaking views and soothing surroundings certainly make up for it.

Hillsdale | One of the Safest Portland Neighborhoods with Top-Notch Dining

If safety is a priority for you and your household, the Hillsdale neighborhood should be at the top of your list. This popular old-school Portland neighborhood for families is very safe with an estimated crime rate of 2,684 crimes per 100k people and 267 violent crimes per 100k. This is around 31% less violent crime than the U.S. average and a 49% lower crime rate than the city average.

Hillsdale is very walkable and has a strong sense of community that makes for a family-friendly suburban feel. In addition to the spacious Craftsman-style houses and top-notch dining, you’ll have close access to Marquam Nature Park, Hillsdale City Park, and George Himes City Park for when you’d like to take the family on a nice picnic or walk around the forest. While living in Hillsdale, you’ll also be served by three public schools: Rieke Elementary School, Robert Gray Middle School, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School.

Southwest Hills | Upper-Class Family-Friendly Neighborhood in Portland with One of the Best Parks in the City

Population: 5,477
Median Home Price: $1,052,500
School District: Portland Public Schools, and Beaverton School District

Southwest Hills does not disappoint when it comes to safety, cleanliness, and green space all around. This affluent neighborhood has everything from Colonial-style homes of all shapes and sizes to numerous fun parks within its boundaries. As a matter of fact, Southwest Hills is home to one of the area’s most decorated and historic parks– Council Crest. This scenic park offers incredible views, an off-leash dog park, and picnic areas for peaceful lunches with the family.

You can take comfort in that your children will be attending schools with quality education in and near Southwest Hills– two of which are a private catholic school and Ainsworth Elementary School.

Pearl District | Neighborhood in Portland with Tons of Kid-Friendly Amenities

Pearl District is a lively upcoming Portland neighborhood that boasts galleries and cultural institutions, upscale shopping, and fabulous restaurants. The cost of living and homes here is nothing out of the ordinary whereas the kid-friendly amenities are thriving. A few of the most popular attractions here are Powell’s City of Books, Tanner Springs Park, Fields Park with a playground, and the acclaimed Jamison Square. This park is popular among parents and kids looking for fun at the park’s funky totem poles and wading-friendly fountain.

This is a great neighborhood in Portland for families who want close proximity to the downtown without being disturbed by all the hustle and bustle. The Pearl District is also one of the most walkable Portland neighborhoods which make commuting to work or school via vehicle isn’t always necessary. Less than north of Pearl District is the Metro Montessori Middle School.

Goose Hollow | Affordable Neighborhood in Portland for Young Families

Goose Hollow, Portland is one of the city’s most affordable residential neighborhoods with median house prices of $178,500 below the city average. This exceptionally walkable community has a satisfying mix of old and new homes surrounded by tree-lined sidewalks and safe environments.


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If your family is a fan of sports, this goose-loving neighborhood is right up your alley. The community offers community spaces, study lounges, an outdoor courtyard, and the wonderful Providence Park– a sports and events venue hosting college football, Major League Soccer, and more. The Goose Hollow Neighborhood is also just east of the Washington Park Playground. For those with high school-age kids, your family will be served by Lincoln High School.

South Waterfront | Features High-Rise Apartment Complexes and Natural Beauty

More interested in renting or owning an apartment or condo for you and your family? The South Waterfront is a sophisticated and family-friendly Portland neighborhood that features a vibrant high-rise district just south of downtown along the delightful Willamette River. This remarkable location allows for natural beauty to shine throughout the community– and that’s not to mention the fine dining and boutique shopping.

South Waterfront is ideal for families who prefer to live in an apartment as opposed to a single-family home. One of the most popular apartment complexes in this urban neighborhood is the luxury Osprey Apartments. When you and your family need to get some fresh air, you can visit Elizabeth Caruthers Park which is equipped with a bocce court, landscaped green space, public art, and a fun splash pad for the little ones! Your six-year-olds can attend the Montessori Children’s House which is nestled in the heart of the neighborhood.

Map of Neighborhoods in Portland for Families

Now that you know about the most family-friendly neighborhoods in Portland, it’s time to take a step closer to calling it home. When you’re ready, PDX Movers is here to ensure you and your family have a smooth and stress-free move to or from Portland!


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