SW Portland Neighborhoods: Diverse neighborhoods offering something different
The SW Portland Neighborhoods are on the west side of the Willamette River and encompasses the downtown area south of Burnside. It stretches from North to South along an imaginary 65th Ave- as the crow flies. It borders Beaverton, Tigard and Lake Oswego. The city of Portland has listed some of the neighborhoods that logically should be SW Portland Neighborhoods, in the NW Neighborhood Coalition, so we included those in both SW and NW. SW neighborhoods run along the Willamette River from Burnside south, past the Ross Island Bridge and almost to the Sellwood Bridge. Then they go up from the river to meet the NW neighborhoods. The SW Portland Neighborhoods are very diverse, each neighborhood offering something a little different. Some have little downtown areas that you can walk to, like Multnomah Village, Hillsdale and Burlingame. Others have huge parks like Washington Park, and Tryon Creek State Park. Most have good schools and pretty good access as a commute to Portland. But it is a different lifestyle than what you would find on the east side of Portland. It feels more like a suburb. There are winding hilly streets with no sidewalks, lots of trees and big yards! You can learn about each individual neighborhood by reading the descriptions below. If one interests you, just click on it to get more in depth info on it. And if you would like to see some houses in the area, or get a tour of any or all of the neighborhoods, just ask! We have specialized in giving Portland Neighborhood Tours since 2005!
Arlington Heights of SW Portland Neighborhoods is up in the hills just west out of Portland tucked into the lush greenery of Forest Park and close to Washington Park, some parts of it walkable to downtown through Washington Park or down stairs and trails that connect the hills with the city! The houses up here are mostly very expensive, some over a million dollars, some with breathtaking sweeping views of the city, some on stilts, some historic and some are new!
Arnold Creek of SW Portland Neighborhoods is just north of the city of Lake Oswego and borders West Portland Park to the west, Markham and Marshall Park to the north, Collins View and Tryon Creek State Natural Area to the east, and Lake Oswego and the unincorporated Multnomah County enclave of Englewood to the south. Tryon Creek is an awesome forest with miles and miles of trails that go all over- even down to Lake Oswego city center! So you could technically walk from way up at the top of the hill, down to Lake Oswego, grab some coffee and a cookie, and walk back up home! Part of Maricara Natural Area is in Arnold Creek. Read More
Ash Creek borders Maplewood to the north, Multnomah and Crestwood to the east, Far Southwest to the south, and the Washington County communities of Garden Home-Whitford and Tigard to the west. Though like the city itself it lies mostly in Multnomah County, it extends a short distance into Washington County in several places on its western side. It is close to Tryon Creek State Park- which is a huge forest area that goes all the way down to Lake Oswego. The neighborhood also includes Ash Creek Natural Area. Read More
As you look from downtown, Bridlemile is just up and over the “West Hills”. It is just a short drive (5 min) up Hwy 26 to the Sylvan exit, and when you get off, you wind through the thickly forested south west hills. As you drive along, there are areas that are open where you can get a peek of the absolutely gorgeous views of the valley and coastal range. It is quiet and peaceful out here- I love just driving through there. The houses are beautiful and for the most part, spread out.
These neighborhoods all used to be separate before the South Waterfront was built, in our neighborhood guide, we still refer to Corbett, Lair Hill and Terwilliger separately because they do each have their own personality. We have them combined in this neighborhood section, but have added a John’s Landing neighborhood because it is so unique, and totally separate from this area, and have included Fulton Park in it. And we have also done a separate South Waterfront neighborhood, because that area is completely separate from the rest of the city, divided by freeway and busy roads, served by the Streetcar and the Aerial Tram. So if you want more details about these areas, go on and read the sections that elaborate on them!
These neighborhoods are now all included in what is officially called- South Portland Neighborhood.
Collins View, located in the SW Portland Neighborhoods, the home to Lewis and Clark College, a private liberal arts college that is also known for it’s law school. It is actually right between Tryon Creek State Park directly to the South and River View Cemetery to the Northeast. The neighborhood is very quiet, surrounded by forest, no businesses near by, not even many busy streets. If you love nature, this might be a good place to live! You can always go down the hill to John’s Landing or across the Sellwood Bridge for restaurants, groceries and other things. They are both really close, 5 minutes from some parts, as long as it isn’t rush hour! This neighborhood almost feels rural, with it’s grassy wooded hills- and it borders on Tyron Creek State Park, which has miles and miles of trails that go all the way down to Lake Oswego and the Willamette River!
The Council crest neighborhood of SW Portland Neighborhoods is a gorgeous area of winding roads and hills with forest and views throughout. Council Crest is the highest point in Portland- 1071 feet above sea level! From the top on a clear day you can see from Mt Hood to Mt Rainier! Many homes have views of the Cascade mountain range- including Mt Hood, Mt St Helens, Mt Adams and even Mt Rainier- also the Willamette River, and the city lights of downtown! A lot of the homes are built on the side of the hill and are cantilevered over the forest floor or valley below.
Crestwood is a neighborhood in the Southwest section of Portland, Oregon located between SW 45th Ave. and Barbur Blvd., adjacent to Multnomah and Ashcreek. Woods Memorial Natural Area is located here, a swath of urban wilderness visited on occasion by elk.
This neighborhood really is far West, in fact it is almost in Tigard, and bumps up against Lake Oswego, so it really feels like you are in the suburbs….because you kind of are! It does have a lot to offer, though. It is really close to downtown Portland, just jump on Barbur Blvd or take I 5 in, and you will be there in less than 10 minutes (unless it is Friday night Traffic or something). There are a lot of trees and greenery around the neighborhoods, mostly fir and evergreen. There is also a park, Lesser Park, which has acres and acres of wildlife habitat, along with beautiful hiking trails traversing streams, woods, and open green spaces. Lots to explore and get away from the city!
It’s funny to think about what Portland used to be like a long time ago! Goose Hollow got it’s name because in the early times of Portland, wild geese used run free throughout the wooded hollow in the Tualatin Mountains. In fact, there was something called the Goose Hollow Wars- people fighting over the geese! Now it has become one of the most densely populated areas in Portland.
Hayhurs in SW Portland Neighborhoods is a is bordered by the Maplewood, Bridlemile, and Multnomah Neighborhoods and its street boundaries are Beaverton Hillsdale Highway to the north, South: Vermont Street, East: S.W. 30th Avenue, and West: Oleson Road. It is also sometimes known as Vermont Hills. It is a good close-in south west Portland neighborhood that originally was part of Hillsdale. There are a lot of older homes here- some from the early 1900’s, but most from the 1950’s and 1960’s, and they have lot of charm and character….like hardwood floors, coved ceilings, open fireplaces, big yards, winding streets and lots of big old trees! It’s a great place to raise a family- and close to Multnomah Village and Gabriel Park.
Healy Heights in SW Portland Neighborhoods is probably one of the absolute most prestigious neighborhoods in Portland, huge beautiful homes with million dollar views, It is on the SW side of Council Crest, bordered, by the neighborhoods of Hayhurst, Bridlemile, Southwest Hills, Homestead and Hillsdale. Most are closer to 2 million. Many of the homes have breathtaking views of Mt Hood, the River and the City. Some have panoramic views. Sometimes you can see 4 white capped mountains, including Mt Hood, St Helens, Mt Adams and even Mt Rainier! The neighborhood sits right above downtown Portland, with easy access for the commute to downtown, to OHSU compex, but also pretty easy access to Intel and the Technical Corridor in Hillsboro.
Hillsdale is just minutes up I-5, from downtown. You will see it on your right as you drive up the hill and through the Terwilliger curves. Healy Heights is sometimes considered part of Hillsdale, connected right at the top of the Hill. The higher up the hill, the better the views of Mt. Hood and Downtown Portland. Also see Council Crest for more information on Healy Heights.
Homestead is bordered by the Southwest Hills, Corbett-Terwilliger, Hillsdale, and Healy Heights Neighborhoods- The boundaries are crazy so you can click here to see a neighborhood boundary map. It is almost touching downtown and 405, as Broadway comes up out of the city – and it’s south end touches the Corbett SW Waterfront neighborhood. OHSU is just about in it’s boundary.
I have a lot to say about this neighborhood. It is my very favorite! It is actually made up of several different neighborhoods, so I have combined some of them, and then added a little to each different section. This is technically John’s Landing, which doesn’t exist anymore in Portland’s new names for neighborhood, but on the ground, in the trenches, the old timers call this area John’s Landing! The South Waterfront is a new addition, just in the past 10 years. I watched it in planning and as it grew! It still has a ways to go, but it is definitely a neighborhood in it’s own right, with it’s own restaurants, streetcar, river walkway and even an aerial tram! The reason I love John’s landing so much is three fold. First, it goes right along the Willamette River, and has a trail that I can ride my bike on all the way into downtown, and stop at little beaches and shallow areas along the way to wade in when it is hot. I can ride my bike all the way into downtown, and ride right through the big fountain on Naito Parkway at McCalls, and on to go across the bridge and over to the esplanade! It is such a free feeling to be able to do something like that, with the wind flying through your hair, and the beauty of the river following you the whole way!
Maplewood is a very special place in SW Portland Neighborhoods. It is hard to describe it, you have to just experience it. People who live here are very down to earth, friendly and community oriented. They truly care about others and just know how to enjoy life in simple ways. You will see quaint cottages with picket fences and chickens running around the front yard, people out walking or biking, pretty gardens and flowers, and lots of kids.
Markham stretches along I 5 just south of it and Barbur Blvd, with east boundary being Taylor’s Ferry, to Lancaster, to Maricara to 35th and back up to I 5, bordering the neighborhoods of Multnomah and South Burlingame on the north, Marshall Park on the east, Arnold Creek on the south, and West Portland Park on the west. Because it stretches along I 5, some of the upper neighborhood has noise from the freeway. The neighborhood itself doesn’t have much in the way of shops or restaurants, especially nothing with character or charm. You can find things right on Barbur, but you have to cross I 5 to get to it. 26th goes under the freeway and Barbur, so if you take SW 26th, you can get to Barbur, but also you can walk to Multnomah Village!
Marshall Park is like the other west Portland neighborhoods that are just south of Barbur and I 5. They are quiet, residential, woodsy, with winding streets that mostly go down the hill, big yards, lots of trees and oriented to the forest and trails! It is bordered by the West Portland Park, Markham, South Burlingame, Collins View and Arnold Creek Neighborhoods. It is close to the city, you have a number of ways to get downtown even if there is traffic on I 5, yet it feels secluded, private and peaceful. Marshall Park is a 25 acre park with several hiking trails, and it is part of the neighborhood. Lewis and Clark College is right on the edge of this neighborhood, so there are a few little coffeeshops, yoga studios etc, but not much!
Multnomah Neighborhood includes Multnomah Village, which is a place all in itself that I have written about in detail in the next neighborhood. This section is about the wider neighborhood of Multnomah which goes all the way to Vermont, includes Gabriel Park and 45th, and runs up against Hillsdale, then goes all the way along Bertha to I 5. It is a big neighborhood in SW Portland Neighborhoods! And it has a lot to offer, depending on what part of the neighborhood you are in. If you are in the NW part, you have Gabriel Park, a 90 acre park that is absolutely gorgeous with trails, a skateboard area, picnic and playground facilities and just plain beautiful rolling hills, grass, bushes and trees. If you are over on Vermont and 45th, you can walk or ride your bike through it to Multnomah Village, which is on the other side of it. It is a wonderful place for kids, a peaceful place to relax and regain sanity after the stress of life, and it is one of the things that makes this neighborhood so special!
Multnomah Village is called the Village in the heart of Portland. It makes you feel like you are in a quaint little old fashioned town in the west hills. Winding cozy streets, lined with cute little bungalows and cottages, are perfect for long walks, and strolling into the cute little town of Multnomah Village to get a cup of coffee at one of the cafes, or a sandwich or salad at one of the bakeries or delis, do some wine tasting, looking at beautiful art at one of the galleries. Some people want to be near the Village just so they can get their daily fix of homemade bread at the Grand Central Bakery! Multnomah Village lies between SW 45th Ave. to the west, SW Capitol Hill Rd. to the east, SW Vermont St. to the north, and I-5 to the south. The neighborhood is bordered by Maplewood, Crestview and Ash Creek on the west, Hayhurst and Hillsdale to the north, and South Burlingame , Marquam and West Portland Park to the south. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to get to downtown Portland- depending on traffic. The Village came into being in 1907 when the Oregon Electric Rail Way stopped here on it’s way between Portland and Salem.
South Burlingame, SW Portland Neighborhoods is almost in downtown Portland at it’s most eastern point. It follows I 5 down from about 12th all the way down to where I 5 makes a sharp curve to the left, right above John’s Landing, then the border goes over to Taylor’s Ferry and follows that back up. It is bordered by the Hillsdale, Corbett-Terwilliger, Collins View, Marshall Park, Marquam, and Multnomah Neighborhoods. Basically it is between the cemetery and I 5. There are lots of curvy roads in the neighborhood, and some of it is really close to I 5, so kind of noisy. Other parts of it, higher up, are above Terwilliger, which is also noisy. But if you aren’t near the main drags like that, it has some really pretty, quiet streets, with older homes from the early 20s and 30s up through the 60s. There are also some newer homes that have been built through the years, as older homes subdivide their lots, or really old dilapidated homes were torn down.
I have a lot to say about this neighborhood. It is my very favorite! And I have partially combined the three neighborhoods, because that is what the city of Portland does with them, but I have also separated each one so I could write more about the unique features that each of these neighborhoods has. I love them each for different things, and they are too different to be combined! This section will be more about the South Waterfront, what it is, how it was built, what makes it special, and where it is going. It includes the whole new section that is just south of the Ross Island Bridge, the high rises that are connected by the aerial tram to OHSU up on the hill. They are their own little neighborhoods, with a personality and lifestyle all it’s own!
The Southwest Hills in SW Portland Neighborhoods sit high up on the hill above downtown Portland, in what used to be called the Tualatin Mountains! Some of the neighborhood is outside the city of Portland in the unincorporated area of Multnomah County, surrounded by some of the top inner city neighborhoods of Portland, Sylvan Highlands, Goose Hollow, Downtown, Homestead, Healy Heights, and West Slope, which is technically Beaverton. Part of the northern border is actually Washington Park and 26. This is truly a beautiful residential neighborhood with homes having incredible views of downtown Portland. On clear sunny days, you can see Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens, and even sometimes, Mt Rainier! Plus the valley and city lights below, which can be spectacular!
West Portland Park in SW Portland Neighborhoods is a location surrounded by trees and forest, streams and nature. It begins pretty close to Portland, at 35th, so most of the houses were built in the early years, the 1940s through the mid century to the 1980s. Since then new little areas have been built, or a new house tucked in wherever someone can find room! This neighborhood is very close to Portland Community College Sylvania complex.
As soon as you enter the neighborhood in SW Portland Neighborhoods, you feel like you have stepped into the European Countryside-that a kerchief headed milkmaid or boy shepherd could step out into the winding street – or a horse and buggy could saunter by! It is a hidden neighborhood that not many people visit- yet so close to downtown, you could walk! There are light filled forests all around with trails that lead into forest park or Washington Park! It is a magical place where it seems like life must be more simple, old fashioned, slower paced! Not part of a thriving diverse, growing city like Portland!
Garden Home in SW Portland Neighborhoods is a cute little area snuggled in between Portland, Tigard and Beaverton, but actually in unincorporated Washington County. It is close to everything, with Fanno Creek Trail running through it, but many of the streets feel really rural, because they are on big lots, the roads dead end at Fanno Creek, and it is very woodsy.