Tigard is the first west suburb to the south. It's where I live- and I love it. I can get to downtown Portland in 10 minutes on I-5, (if the freeways are clear), or if there is traffic, I can go in on Barber Blvd and be there in 15 minutes. Tigard has I-5 running to it, and 217 running through it- so access to everywhere by freeway is really good. And the new Max train will be coming into downtown Tigard next year! This will connect Wilsonville, Tualatin, Tigard and the Beaverton Max Station. Go to this site to see more about it
As far as what surrounds Tigard- Beaverton is to the north, Portland to the NE, Tualatin to the south, Sherwood to the SW and farmland is to the west. You can take SW Scholls Ferry Rd to the west- all the way to Hillsboro , through some of the most beautiful farmland I've ever seen... Rolling hills and fields with a patchwork of reds, blues, yellows, tans and greens- depending on what season of the year it is- that go up into bigger and bigger hills until they run into forests. Then as you get closer to Hillsboro , there are flat fields and wetlands that go on and on. Tigard seems to have the beset of both worlds- because it is close to the city and close to the farmland!
What I love the best about Tigard is the Fanno Creek Trail System. (The trail grows constantly- and I can't find an updated map for trails). You can ride for miles and miles on it- all the way from the Tualatin River at Cook's Park in SW Tigard- through the city of Tigard-by the transit station, and soon to be Max Station, under Scholls Ferry Rd, across Hall Blvd, across Denny Rd - all the way to Allen Blvd. The trail follows Fanno Creek most of the way-through open fields, wetlands and treed areas, and there are cutoffs and additions all through the trail system that take you into neighborhoods. They say that it will soon go all the way to the Willamette River ! When it does, you will be able to connect to the Springwater Trail (it has been connected to Sellwood- which isn't on the site yet) and go all the way around East Portland- through Sellwood, Eastmoreland to the east, or along the River through Portland Downtown area, over the Steel Bridge, across to the floating Esplanade and on to the Springwater Trail. One of my absolute "Must have's" was to be close to this trail.
There are several absolutely awesome Parks in Tigard
Cook Park It is huge- right along the Tualatin River- with trails all through it, and trails connecting it to parts of Tualatin and the Fanno Creek Trail System. We had my daughter's wedding reception there- right on the river. You can kyack up the river-or innertube down the river- which snakes through farmland for miles and miles and miles. There are baseball fields, picnic areas, a big playground area and a wetland area- plus woods and trails along the river. Also, there is a really fun Festival of Balloons here every June- for several days hot air balloons float out from Cook Park up towards the farmland. I used to watch them float towards us and over us when we lived high up on Bull Mt. There are rides, food and other things to do! Here is some info on the Tualatin River
There is also Summer Lake Park- another huge park built around a big lake formed by damming up Fanno Creek. There are miles of walking trails that go around it and through the woods around it. There is also a big picnic area, and fields for baseball etc. It isn't too far from Fanno Creek Trail- but you have to take some side streets to go between them. There's all kinds of wild life along Fanno Creek and at Summer Lake- and it's so peaceful and beautiful!
They are also building a new park off of Scholls Ferry just past Murray near Barrows Rd. It has a big man-made lake that will have paddle boats, restaurants and walking trails. It will probably hook up with the miles and miles of trails that go under the power lines across Scholls Ferry and Murray. There are playgrounds, fitness areas, and picnic areas along this trail- which starts on Bull Mountain, goes down across Scholls and out towards Beaverton. It may be technically under Beaverton - Scholls Ferry is the border-
Tigard is also the home of Washington Square Mall- which has just been redone and is now twice the size that it was- with a Cheese Cake Factory and other cool restaurants. The new Bridgeport outdoor mall is also in Tigard- it is the coolest shopping center I've ever seen- it's gorgeous and huge- with every kind of store you could want- it looks like a resort town. There is a Wild Oats, a Whole Foods, a Borders, all kinds of fancy and casual restaurants, a big movie theater, coffee shops, clothing stores, furniture stores etc etc. Click here to see more about it.
As far as residential areas. Bull Mountain is the highlight. From the top of Bull Mountain, which is 800 feet high, you can see Mt Hood, Mt Adams, Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier! There is a lot of view property up there- the newer houses have views..but over other houses. Some of the older homes have awesome sweeping views of either the West Coast Range , the valleys, the city lights or the mountains. We used to live on Bull Mt and had a sweeping view of the whole SW valley- it was like you were on top of the world- up with the hawks and eagles! Bull Mt is cool because you can go down off the mountain in several directions. You can go down to 99W and go south to the beach or north to Portland . You can go down the back side and be out in Hillsboro in 20 minutes. And many other ways in between. The downside of Bull Mountain is that it is being ruined by millions of houses all squished together- with no yard- and views over other people's houses. Some people don't mind this- in fact they are happy to not have a yard to take care of- and if you don't mind being right on top of your neighbor, you may like these newer than 2000 neighborhoods. I, for one, like the older neighborhoods with big yards and 70's houses that can be remodeled and made beautiful- many of them with awesome views! Another thing about Bull Mountain- it is one solid rock- so all the way down! So the soil isn't too good for growing. But it is b and steady as far as earthquake-proof! And one last little note. When we lived on Bull Mountain, we had snow every year...and the kids loved it. Down in the valley there was next to none! Click here to read what Wikipedia has to say about Bull Mountain
The downtown area of Tigard has a huge plan to remodel- which will begin this year. It is probably precipitated by the Max coming into downtown. Right now there are so many really good restaurants right on Main St- There is a Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Italian- all of them have awesome food! I'm sure that as the Max goes into town, there will be a lot more popping up. I can walk into Tigard -or ride my bike- so I am really excited about it! See also this site
Here are some cool links to Tigard
It is named Tree City USA by the National Arbor Association