Cosmopolitan Portland attracts residents who want to live in a progressive, well-evolved area. Located near the junction of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, this city of over 630,000 started out as a trading center, changed into a food and forest shipping point, and evolved into its current role as a hub for the information economy. Portland has respectable public transportation options, and its light-rail system is hailed one of the best in the country.
The downtown area functions as an ideal model for today’s larger cities. It's modern and clean core is situated near the banks of the Willamette River and houses a financial quarter, several parks and a shopping district. Just north, you’ll find the historic Pearl District. The surrounding streets are dotted with small businesses and eclectic restaurants in well-maintained, older brick structures.
Even the communities that radiate out from the city’s core maintain a nice balance of new and old. Early 20th-century bungalows and well-kept Victorians coexist harmoniously on tree-lined boulevards and streets. Many of these communities are pedestrian-friendly and make good use of public transportation options.
Since Portland implements urban growth boundaries, you’ll see less suburban sprawl than in other cities of its size. Still, you’ll find pleasant middle-class suburbs that center around large employers, such as Tigard and Beaverton where Nike and Intel function as leading job providers.
Because of its pleasant mix of new and established housing, the median age of real estate in this city is 55 years. Almost 33 percent of residential properties were built before 1939. The home value for all housing averages around $380,000.
Portland has a total of 143 public educational facilities. Almost 12 percent of these have a perfect rating of 10. The city is also served by 92 private and 14 charter schools, which have a median rating of 7. Almost 45 percent of adults have a four-year college degree.
Portland has excellent cultural amenities, destination museums and entertainment venues that create an exciting blend of historic and contemporary facilities. The Columbia River is popular for water sports, especially windsurfing. The Cascade Mountains, about an hour away, offer lots of skiing and outdoor recreation.