With steady job growth, no sales tax and a progressive community filled with a diverse mix of people, there are plenty of reasons why Portland has quickly become one of the biggest cities in the Pacific Northwest. But what are the best neighborhoods in Portland for singles and young professionals? Here’s a closer look at some of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods that will provide the perfect match for your desired lifestyle.
If you want to be in the heart of it all, you can’t go wrong with Portland’s vibrant downtown area. This neighborhood is home to a large student population, which means there are plenty of exciting events throughout the year.
There’s something for everyone — the Oregon Brewer’s Festival and Portland Rose Festival are just two of downtown’s exciting annual events that provide great opportunities to get out and meet new people.
Portland’s downtown is also home to a wide variety of nature parks, perfect for biking, walking, or just enjoying the greenery. In addition to a great selection of restaurants and bars (including plenty of health-conscious locations), downtown is also home to the Portland Farmers Market, one of the best places to get fresh, local food.
Downtown is also an ideal location for Portland singles who don’t own their own vehicle. Portland’s TriMet system provides a great mix of bus, light rail and commuter train transportation, with the Hop Fastpass ensuring you’ll never have to spend more than $100 per month to get around.
You can’t ignore the eclectic nightlife available at the nearby Old Town Chinatown area, either. On weekends, the neighborhood’s entertainment district is shut down to vehicles, creating a pedestrian-only zone that is perfect for checking out the great variety of clubs, bars, and restaurants that the downtown has to offer.
If you’re not sure whether the Northwest District (also known as Nob Hill) is one of the best neighborhoods in Portland for millennials, just look at the statistics! With a median age of 36 and over half of the district’s population currently single, the Northwest District is a great place to socialize and meet new people.
The Northwest District’s socializing opportunities are further enhanced by the presence of NW 23rd — one of Portland’s top streets for shopping. Boutique stores offer unique products you won’t find anywhere else.
Popular restaurants like Paley’s Place and Meriwether’s Restaurant offer a great mix of dining experiences, while “cinephiles” can catch the latest releases alongside foreign and art-house films at Cinema 21.
In addition to its vibrant social life, the Northwest District is also known for its incredible walkability. The neighborhood features over 15 miles of bike trails, while Walkscore.com has dubbed the area a “Walker’s Paradise” — a place where you can take care of your errands without a car. Though the neighborhood’s rent is somewhat higher than the other neighborhoods included on this list, the unique, upscale feel makes it well worth the investment.
The classic mantra “Keep Portland Weird” is alive and well in Buckman. Considered by many to be a haven for hipsters and other creative-minded individuals, Buckman is still conveniently close to the downtown area, located on the opposite side of the Willamette River.
Buckman’s eclectic mix of shops help set it apart from other neighborhoods. Whether you’re looking for vinyl records and vintage clothing or handcrafted jewelry, the Hawthorne Shopping District really does offer something for everyone — but all with that unique Portland flair that you won’t find anywhere else. Nature lovers can also find Mt. Tabor in this neighborhood — an extinct volcano that offers great views of the city.
Best of all, Buckman is a decidedly young area. Over 62% of the population has never been married, and with a median age in the low 30s, it’s a great place to mix and mingle with other young professionals who have decided to call Portland home.
If you’re looking for a wide variety of activities, few Portland neighborhoods are better suited for your social experiences than Goose Hollow! In addition to the eclectic mix of shops and restaurants that you’ll find throughout Portland, Goose Hollow is home to city’s very own professional soccer team: the Portland Timbers.
The nearby Washington Park is another highlight of the district. Home to the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden and more, there are plenty of great things to do that will keep you coming back to this one-of-a-kind park throughout the year.
Goose Hollow is also home to several trendy living options, as many of the neighborhood’s classical mansions have been repurposed in recent years to create elegant condos. Combined with the area’s abundant public transportation options and proximity to the downtown area, it’s easy to see why so many young professionals are choosing to live in Goose Hollow.
Eliot may seem quieter than other trendy Portland neighborhoods, but it still has a lot to offer for young professionals. Connected to the downtown area by the I-405 bridge, bike lanes and public transportation access make it easy to manage your downtown commute — especially now that TriMet’s Streetcar service is also available in the area.
As one of Portland’s older suburbs, there are plenty of unique homes that give the neighborhood a lot of character — but this doesn’t mean that the residents are old, too. In fact, the average age of Eliot’s population sits right in the mid-30s, with over half of residents having never been married. According to Niche, the median rent is $929, placing it below the national average.
There’s also plenty to do within Eliot. With over 100 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, you’ll never run out of new places to try. Dawson Park and other outdoor recreation areas can also be found within Eliot’s boundaries, ensuring that there are fun activities for a wide range of interests.
If you’re looking for a place that delivers an urban, energetic atmosphere, then Richmond is without a doubt one of the best neighborhoods in Portland. Richmond is definitely a place where you can let your creative energy flow, thanks to its high concentration of bookstores and coffee shops.
Local favorites like Pok Pok and Roman Candle offer a great variety of delicious food, while the Black Dog Lounge is a great place to try out low-priced drinks and vegetarian dishes. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet new people here too, as Richmond is yet another Portland neighborhood with a median age in the mid-30s.
With such an eclectic mix of local businesses, convenient access to downtown and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder this artsy neighborhood has been listed as one of the “best places to live and work in the western United States!”
Portland’s Pearl District is another popular and fast-growing area. Several upscale businesses call this place home, while the presence of art galleries and the historic Portland Center Stage at the Armory bring a sophisticated touch to the neighborhood. On the first Thursday of each month, Pearl’s art galleries are open late for a popular gallery walk.
Even if the arts aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty to do in Pearl. Pearl is home to the Bridgeport Brewing Co. and celebrated eateries like the Andina Restaurant, where lively music accompanies delicious Peruvian dishes. Many other restaurants and bars are conveniently located in the area’s business district, making it easy to meet up with friends after a long day at work.
Though prices have been on the rise in Pearl, the neighborhood’s upscale vibe and millennial-friendly atmosphere make it a great pick for Portland young professionals.
Where Will You Go?
As the above neighborhoods illustrate, Portland is truly a dream destination for young, single professionals looking to get a great start to their career. Not only does Portland offer a growing business community with plenty of job opportunities; it also features a diverse range of activities, a commuter-friendly environment, and a young population.
When you move to one of these Portland neighborhoods, you’ll have access to the dating and social opportunities that you crave, even as you try to get a great start on your new career. You won’t have to break the bank to enjoy the lifestyle you want, either! Now, the only question is how soon you’ll be able to call one of these neighborhoods home.
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