portland, OR skyline looking at downtown from the river

Best Neighborhoods in Portland for Families

Moving to Portland with your family? The second-largest city in the Pacific Northwest is a great place to settle down and raise kids, thanks to its friendly neighborhoods, outdoor recreation, and top-rated schools. Check out these five best neighborhoods in Portland for families!

  • Forest Park
  • Hillsdale
  • Irvington
  • Sellwood-Moreland
  • Southwest Hills

Forest Park

home in forest park, portland, OR with green and purple paint with nice landscaping photo by Instagram user @elvinem11
Photo via @elvinem11
  • Home Price: $664,927 median purchase price; $900 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Oregon cities

If you’re thinking of living in Portland with kids, give Forest Park a look! This neighborhood runs adjacent to Forest Park—one of the largest urban parks in Portland—meaning the great condos and larger single-family homes you’ll find throughout the area are never far from incredible outdoor activities! Good education isn’t tough to find in Forest Park either, as families have access to top schools like Forest Park Elementary, Stoller Middle School, and Cedar Mill Elementary.

Things to Do in Forest Park

Spend the day exploring more than 5,000 acres of woodlands, trails, and green spaces with your family at Forest Park. Take your kids birdwatching or learn more about how injured and orphaned animals are cared for at Portland Audubon, home to one of Oregon’s oldest wildlife hospitals. See everything from giraffes to red pandas at Oregon Zoo. Visit Pittock Mansion, Portland’s House on the Hill, where you can tour the historic home and enjoy views of the Cascade Mountains. Order a BBQ Bacon Burger and a Chocolate Shake at family-friendly diner Skyline Burger. Grab takeout favorites like Lemon Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken from local Chinese restaurant Joy Wok. Or head over to Skyline Tavern for some Currywurst, Panini Grilled Cheese, and beers on tap.

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Hillsdale

purple bungalow style home in hillsdale, portland, or photo by Instagram user @annawedekingrealestate
Photo via @annawedekingrealestate
  • Home Price: $458,562 median purchase price; $1,261 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Oregon cities

Want a family-friendly neighborhood within a few minutes of Downtown Portland? Hillsdale has everything families could want! Not only does this Southwest Portland neighborhood have access to large green spaces like Marquam Nature Park, but it also offers housing options like quaint cottages, spacious Craftsman-style houses, and plenty of new construction. In addition, Hillsdale is home to several highly-rated schools, such as Rieke Elementary, Robert Gray Middle School, and Wilson High School, so kids won’t have to go far for their K-12 education!

Things to Do in Hillsdale

Grab your swimsuit and get ready for a day of fun in the sun at Wilson Outdoor Pool. Hike the trails, have a picnic, and experience incredible views of the city at George Himes Park. Attend a creative writing class or check out one of your favorite books at Hillsdale Public Library. Pick up fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, baked goods, and more at Hillsdale Farmers Market. Stop into Baker and Spice for sweet treats like croissants, pies, cookies, and cakes. Try the La Cubana Sandwich or the Catfish Po’Boy at Salvador Molly’s, a beloved local restaurant known for having a “world of flavors.” Or settle in for breakfast at Gigi’s Cafe, where you can get waffles like the Maple Bacon, Monte Cristo, or Berries & Cream.

Irvington

green craftsman style home in Irvington, Portland, OR photo by Instagram user @windermerepearldistrict
Photo via @windermerepearldistrict
  • Home Price: $488,486 median purchase price; $1,086 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Oregon cities

Historic Irvington is one of the best places to live in Portland for families! This neighborhood offers a more suburban setting with its mix of older Victorian-style and Dutch-Colonial homes, great schools like Irvington Preschool and Irvington Elementary School, and family-friendly activities. Best of all, Irvington’s location on the east side of the Willamette River means residents have convenient 15-minute commutes into Downtown Portland or across state lines into Vancouver, WA!

Things to Do in Irvington

Let your little ones play around in the splash pad or kick around a soccer ball at Irving Park. Grab some popcorn and enjoy a new movie on the big screen at Regal Lloyd Center & IMAX. Join Irvington Tennis Club, where you can use the fitness center, play some tennis, or take the kids to the pool. Savor hearty dishes like Biscuits & Gravy or Chicken Fried Steak at breakfast joint Cadillac Cafe. Get an afternoon pick-me-up and read the paper at Saint Simon Coffee. Order Thai favorites like Pad Thai or Teriyaki Chicken the whole family will love at Thai Pod Restaurant. Or swing into Eb & Bean to sample one of the incredible rotating flavors of frozen yogurt like Vanilla Roasted Macadamia or Hazelnut Praline!

Sellwood-Moreland

modern home design in Sellwood-Moreland, Portland, OR photo by Instagram user @brightspacepdx
Photo via @brightspacepdx
  • Home Price: $413,850 median purchase price; $1,022 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 58% of Oregon cities

Located in Southeast Portland along the Willamette River is the quaint and affordable Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood. Surrounded by green spaces like Westmoreland Park Nature Playground and the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, this kid-friendly area is perfect for families that love the outdoors! Residents here can also find a good mix of apartments and houses that range from Victorians to small cottages, as well as top-notch schools like Llewellyn Elementary School and Sellwood Middle School.

Things to Do in Sellwood-Moreland

Have a family fun day at Sellwood Park, where you can play a game of basketball, hit the tennis courts, or let the kids loose on the playground. Attend events like Toddler Storytime, Read to Dogs, or take part in a Beat-Making Camp for Teens at Sellwood-Moreland Library. Play a round of Mini Golf or classic carnival games like Balloon Bust at Oaks Amusement Park, the oldest amusement park in the U.S. Have fun shopping at Stars Antique Mall for vintage artwork, textiles, furniture, and more. Grab a seat at the counter and enjoy a twist on classic diner dishes like the Chicken Fried Pork Chop or the Bertie Cristo at Bertie Lou’s Cafe. Or pick up fresh bread, delicious pastries, and sandwiches from Grand Central Bakery.

Southwest Hills

mid-century modern home with green paint and lots of landscaping in front photo by Instagram user @mahaffygroup
Photo via @mahaffygroup
  • Home Price: $622,364 median purchase; $1,069 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Oregon cities

Looking for one of the best Portland neighborhoods for families? Southwest Hills is an excellent choice! With large Colonial-style homes and tons of new construction, plenty of green space around the neighborhood, top schools like Ainsworth Elementary School and Lincoln High School nearby, and close proximity to all that Downtown Portland has to offer, Southwest Hills is a favorite among Portland families!

Things to Do in Southwest Hills

Have a family picnic while enjoying panoramic views of the city at Council Crest Park. Visit Portland Japanese Garden, where you can stroll through the Tea Garden, Flat Garden, or Natural Garden. Buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and more every Saturday at the Farmer’s Market at Portland State. Treat yourself and your family to sweet snacks from St. Barbra Pinoy Bakery, such as Chocolate Chip Cookies or Spanish Sweet Bread. Head over to Vista Springs Cafe to try the Oregon Bleu Burger, Ultimate Grilled Cheese, or special Mac and Cheese of the day. Or go out for dinner at Verde Cocina, a family-friendly Mexican restaurant specializing in traditional Mexican dishes like enchiladas or fajitas!

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Pinterest Graphic: Portland, OR: 5 Best Neighborhoods for Families

Moving to Portland? These five neighborhoods are filled with outdoor activities, family-friendly restaurants, and more, making them the best places for families in PDX! via @extraspace