Home > Moving > City Guides > Best Suburbs of Portland
Exterior photo of Portland, Oregon.

Best Suburbs of Portland

Thinking about living in Portland? This Oregon city is one of the best places to live on the West Coast, as well as one of the best big cities to live in. Rose City has exceptional suburbs that attract new residents each year because of their unique character, natural beauty, and affordable housing. Check out these five best suburbs of Portland!

Happy Valley

  • Home Price: $425,300 median purchase price; $1,282 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 86% of Oregon cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Located on the southeast side of Portland, Happy Valley is a great place to call home with its safe streets, scenic views of Mount Hood, and access to a variety of things to do. Residents can settle down in Craftsman and Tudor-style homes, modern new construction, ranches, and bungalows. Families and retirees alike will appreciate Happy Valley’s abundant green space, trails, and parks—like Happy Valley Nature Park, which hosts free summer concerts. Plus, active residents can connect with fellow community members by going on hikes with the Happy Valley Hikers. Families in this suburb can send their children to top-rated public schools within the North Clackamas School District like Happy Valley Elementary School and Happy Valley Middle School. And when you want to find something to do beyond this Portland suburb, you’ll be just minutes away from Clackamas Town Center, which has many shops, restaurants, and entertainment activities.

Things to Do in Happy Valley

Embark on a 1.2-mile trail hike or check out the scenic view of the waterfall at Hidden Falls Nature Park. Have a picnic at the shelter and then stroll through the forest to spot wildlife at Mount Talbert Park. Browse the shelves or sign up to be in a book group with fellow readers at Happy Valley Library. Schedule a tee time for the 27-hole golf course, play mini-golf with the family, or try soccer golf at The Aerie at Eagle Landing. Attend a bingo night with the family and sample a variety of options from the food trucks at Happy Valley Station. Start your day off at Elka Bee’s Coffee & Bakery with a Veggie Burrito or Cheese Bagel and a Strawberry Smoothie for breakfast. Grab a table at La Costita and dig into Mexican favorites like Caldo de Pollo, Tacos Tijuana, or a Tostada. Or watch a sports game on the big screen while dining on Prime Rib or Fried Chicken at Gloria’z Pub and Grill.


  • Home Price: $255,700 median purchase price; $1,176 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 57% of Oregon cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Hillsboro is highlighted by its rolling hills, prime location, and cylist-friendly streets. In addition to being one of the best Portland suburbs to call home, Hillsboro is a major part of Portland’s Silicon Forest. This booming area employs thousands of people in leading tech companies like Intel and Radisys, as well as Anitian, Nike World Headquarters, and Tektronix in nearby Beaverton. Residents can find the perfect balance between urban and suburban living in Hillsboro, with housing options ranging from affordable Craftsman and ranch-style homes to new construction. Visit the weekly Hillsboro Tuesday Night Market from June to September to check out local crafts, vendors, and musicians. And for quick access to Downtown Portland, hop on the MAX Light Rail to find exceptional shopping districts and fine dining options.

Things to Do in Hillsboro

Learn about local plants and natural history by signing yourself or your kids up for classes at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve. Practice your swing at McKay Creek Golf Course & Driving Range, located on the site of a former dairy farm, with the 1929 Naught farmhouse now serving as the clubhouse. Catch a show from Hillsboro’s professional theatre company, Bag & Baggage Productions, at The Vault Theater. Explore the jungle maze or take a swing in the batting cages at Park Lanes Family Entertainment Center. Root for the Hillsboro Hops (MiLB) at Gordon Faber Recreation Complex or cheer on the Vikings at a Portland State University football game. Order a Bacon Biscuit Sando and a Matcha Latte for breakfast from Decadent Creations Bakery. Chow down on pies like the Garden State, White Rose, and BBQ Chicken Pizza at Jersey Girl Pizza. Or grab dinner and a drink at Mazama Brewing at Orenco Station, which serves up fare like Fish & Chips and Mazama Mac ‘N Cheese, and brews like the Tilikum Pale Ale, Dubbel, and Juicy IPA.

Lake Oswego

Exterior View of American Four Square Home, Painted Blue, with Light Trim Finishings.

Photo via @realtormom_pdx

  • Home Price: $508,500 median purchase price; $1,371 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 81% of Oregon cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Once an iron town filled with wild swans, Lake Oswego is now a charming commuter town with the picturesque Oswego Lake attracting families and retirees alike. Often referred to as the City of Lake Oswego, this Portland suburb is one of the best places to raise a family in Oregon. The cozy community boasts exceptional schools like Lakeridge High School and Lake Oswego High School, two of the best high schools in Oregon, along with Lake Grove Elementary School. Lake Oswego hosts community events for residents like the annual 60-year Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, which celebrates the work of local artists with music, food, and art. And while housing is a bit more expensive here, you just can’t beat Lake Oswego’s housing options, which range from Mid-Century Modern to Neocolonial-style houses and quaint townhomes.

Things to Do in Lake Oswego

Join the Oswego Lake Country Club and enjoy perks like professional golf lessons, a pool facility, and holiday parties. Step into Oregon’s only metropolitan state park and experience 658 acres of lush forests, flora, and fauna at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Stop by the expansive Oswego Towne Square to visit shops and businesses like Elements Massage, Artistic Nails, and New Seasons Market. Shop local meats, nuts, cheeses, baked goods, produce, and seafood at the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market. Start your morning with bites like Almond Berry Cream Waffles, a Caramel Apple Sticky Bun, or a Tinga Chicken Tostada at Babica Hen Cafe. Savor farm-to-table dishes like The Tavern Burger, a Roasted Beet & Pears Salad, or Butternut Squash Ravioli at the Tavern on Kruse. Eat your fill of Thai food like the Pepper Corn Crunchy Chicken, Dancing String Bean, or Coconut Prawn from Malee’s Thai Kitchen. Or relax with a remarkable glass of wine from Monte Ferro Winery, which produces less than 500 cases each year!


Exterior View of Tan Tudor Styled Home with a Red Door.

Photo via @pdxhousegeeks

  • Home Price: $245,000 median purchase price; $972 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 78% of Oregon cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Located near Downtown Portland, Milwaukie is the perfect place for you to settle down if you’re an outdoorsy person looking for a suburb with a blend of old and new architecture! Offering quick mountain and park access without compromising on big-city amenities, Milwaukie residents are able to enjoy Pacific Northwest weather by hiking, camping, fishing, or participating in other outdoor activities at places like the Willamette River. Those settling down in this area can choose from contemporary condos, custom homes, quaint cottages, and Craftsman-style houses with picturesque views of Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens. And families can take advantage of highly-rated schools within this Portland suburb, including Milwaukie El Puente Elementary School and Milwaukie Academy of the Arts, a public charter school embedded in Milwaukie High School.

Things to Do in Milwaukie

Pick up a gift, bouquet, or local produce at the Milwaukie Farmers Market. Cross a 40-million-year-old land bridge to explore seven different habitats and 50 rare plant species on Elk Rock Island. Sign up for swim lessons, get your blood pumping with an aquatic exercise class, climb the 29-foot rock wall, or wade into the wave pool during the Big Surf Recreation Swim at North Clackamas Aquatic Park. Get into the spooky spirit at the Davis Graveyard, a free Halloween light show where ghosts, fog, and other special effects haunt viewers. Choose from breakfast and brunch fare like Homemade Biscuits and Polenta Bowls at Milwaukie Cafe and Bottle Shop. Order comfort foods like a Gyro, Patty Melt, or Chicken Fried Steak at Libbie’s Restaurant. Grab a table on the patio and chow down on dishes like Green Curry, Fried Rice, or Pad Thai for lunch at King Curry Thai Cuisine. Or end the night with one of Breakside Brewery & Tasting Room‘s 24 rotating taps of beer—like True Gold, Stay West, or Wanderlust IPA.

West Linn

  • Home Price: $397,500 median purchase price; $1,315 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 95% of Oregon cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

For those wanting to plant roots in one of the best places to live in Oregon, West Linn is a great option! Small to mid-sized Craftsman and Colonial townhomes make up a majority of the West Linn real estate inventory and are great for families. The clean, tree-lined streets are some of the safest in Oregon—perfect for exercising with your dog or letting your kids walk home from school. Highly-rated schools like West Linn High School and Bolton Primary School offer excellent public education options in the West Linn area. And active families and retirees can find plenty of outdoor recreation in the nature trails and wildlife parks that surround the suburb, as well as the nearby Willamette and Tualatin Rivers, which provide access to fishing and kayaking.

Things to Do in West Linn

Visit the Camassia Natural Area and hike along trails sculpted by prehistoric floods to find unique wildlife. Head to Tanner Creek Park to let the kids play on the playground, enjoy a game of pickleball, or practice your boarding skills at the world-class West Linn Skate Park. Get in some retail therapy at West Linn Central Village, an open-air shopping center with businesses like the Backyard Bird Shop, Wishing Well Flowers & Gifts, and Fit For Life. Stop by the farm stand, pumpkin patch, or flower gardens from July through October at Fiala Farms. Order lunch and sample the Tuna Sashimi, Green Dragon Roll, or Teriyaki Chicken at Sushi Hurray. Chow down on dishes like Lemongrass Beef, Coconut Curry, and Chicken Pho at La Sen Vietnamese Grill. Treat yourself and your partner to a wine tasting at Oswego Hills Vineyard and Winery. Or sip on Queen Orchard Original ciders like the Lime Drop, Spicy Pineapple, and Red Plum at the Ale & Cider House!


Moving to the Portland area? With storage facilities located in and around Rose City—including several in Happy Valley and Hillsboro—Extra Space Storage can help with your transition. Find self storage near you!

Suburb statistics from AreaVibes

Skyline of Portland, Oregon with Mount Hood in the background.

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.