The Portland metro includes a variety of smaller cities and areas that offer great lifestyles for those who want more space with an option to easily travel to the city. These surrounding cities offer mostly suburban lifestyles with an exception to highly dense areas in downtown areas of those cities where high condo buildings are present. For many cities near Portland, MAX train is an option for an easy commute to Downtown Portland, including Beaverton, Hillsboro, Milwaukie, Clackamas, and Gresham. You will find dense condo developments offering urban lifestyle in Beaverton and Hillsboro near some MAX stations. Lake Oswego also offer dense urban lifestyle in the downtown area. Alternatively, there are lots of spacious suburban neighborhoods within the City of Portland too including most neighborhoods in NW and SW Portland outside of Portland Downtown. On the east side of the river, you will find more spacious suburban neighborhoods east of 205 including some homes on huge forested lots on the hills of Mt. Scott bordering Happy Valley.
There are many reasons to live outside of Portland and Multnomah County. One reason is more affordable housing and property tax rates. Affordable housing can still be found in Portland east of 82nd Ave, but many still choose to live in places like Beaverton, and Happy Valley for better and cleaner neighborhoods with better schools. So what are some Portland metro cities like?
Beaverton – Beaverton is located west of SW Portland along Highway 26 and is home to Nike Headquarter. Beaverton is a very nice area where lots of families and young people co-exist. It’s a quick commute to Downtown although Highway 26 has traffic during rush hours.
Hillsboro – Hillsboro is further west from Portland west of Beaverton and housing is more affordable than Beaverton. Hillsboro is home to Intel Headquarter and is a hotbed for new construction homes. Hillsboro offers dense urban lifestyle as well in Orenco Station but you can also find many rural areas.
Happy Valley – Happy Valley is located south of Pleasant Valley neighborhood in Portland. Happy Valley is a nice area that has both newer construction homes and rural homes. Happy Valley is mostly residential and its major commercial areas include Clackamas Town Center on Sunnyside and SE 82nd.
Lake Oswego – Lake Oswego is an affluent area with lots of luxury homes and golf courses. There is Lake Oswego in the middle of the city and one can find beautiful lakefront homes. Lake Oswego also has a nice downtown area with lots of shopping and restaurant options. Lake Oswego is also known for best public schools in Oregon.
West Linn – West Linn is next to Lake Oswego closer to I-205 and is a very nice area. It feels nice and spacious at the same time. There are also lots of beautiful rural properties in West Linn with acreage that can be very expensive.
Oregon City – Oregon City is a famous place as the end of the Oregon Trail. Oregon City is a very family-friendly town with lots of blue collar charms. The city is also located by Willamette River and by the Willamette Falls, which is the second largest waterfall by volume in the United States. Outside the Oregon City city limit, there are lots of rural homes on five acres plus.
Milwaukie – Milwaukie is located right south of Southeast Portland and has been a hotbed for home buyers in recent years. Home prices are more affordable here compared to Portland and one can still find spacious homes on country-like settings. Milwaukie is a very quick commute to Downtown Portland and to popular SE Portland neighborhoods including Sellwood, Woodstock, and more.
Tigard – Tigard is south of Beaverton west of Lake Oswego. Tigard is a very family-friendly area with lots of nice homes especially in the Bull Mountain neighborhood. Much of the city feels like South Beaverton where roads are spacious and houses are big and manicured.
Tualatin – Tualatin is south of Tigard and is similar to Tigard but is more rural. Tualatin homes can be expensive as the city offers great schools, and family-friendly environment. Tualatin is known for Bridgeport Village and offers a flexible freeway access of I-5 and I-205.
Gresham – Gresham is east of Portland and has been up-and-coming for many years. West of Gresham is more urban than the east of the city. The east and the south of Gresham offer rural areas with properties on multiple acres.