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NW Portland Neighborhoods

NW Portland Neighborhoods – The North West part of Portland

The NW Portland Neighborhoods are on the west side of the Willamette River and encompasses the downtown area north of Burnside, and stretches west out over Forest Park, Sylvan and the Zoo- and north west over to Skyline Blvd – billowing mostly north of highway 26 until it runs into Beaverton or Hillsboro. The NW Portland Neighborhoods downtown area includes the Alphabet District- which is one of the oldest NW Portland Neighborhoods – with some gorgeous Victorian and Old PDX style homes, some of them 4 stories high!. The reason it is called the Alphabet District, is that the early fathers of Portland decided to name the streets in order starting with the letter A through Z, although I don’t think they ever got to Z! Today, this downtown of NW Portland neighborhoods area includes original Old Portland-style houses- squeezed in together with grand old apartment buildings, lofts and brand new condominiums- all within walking distance of restaurants, bars, and shops. The Portland Streetcar ends here, connecting the district to the Pearl District and Downtown SW Portland.
This downtown NW district stretches west to east from the base of the South West Hills- also called the Tualatin Mountains) to I-405 (between NW 15th and 16th Streets), and north to south from NW Nicolai St. and the Willamette River to W Burnside St. It borders the Neighborhoods of Forest Park and Hillside on the west, Northwest Industrial on the north, the Pearl District on the east, and Goose Hollow on the south. The downtown area includes the trendy shopping center of NW 23rd, NW 21st and The Pearl.
You can learn about the different Neighborhoods encompassed in this NW Portland area by reading the different selections below. Each neighborhood is very different, and each offers a unique personality and lifestyle, so browse the different neighborhoods included in this section.  If you would like to see some houses in any of the neighborhoods, we would love to show you! We specialize in giving Portland Neighborhood Tours, helping people get to know the different diverse neighborhoods of Portland, and have been giving tours since 2005!  Just call or email us and we can set it up!

Arlington Heights Neighborhood

is the closest real residential area to downtown NW Portland-just 5 minutes or less. You can actually walk or easily ride your bike to the downtown area, Washington Park, and NW 23rd- and alot of people. You can then take a bus back- the hills are pretty steep! The roads are windy and hilly- many of the houses have awesome views of either the city and mountains, the forest the Cascade mountains-Mt St Helens or Mt Hood, or the west valleys and hills. It is also right next to Washington Park, which is amazing!

Forest Park Neighborhood

The Forest Park neighborhood is right on the edge of Forest Park. It goes along Skyline Blvd- which is a road that hikers and bikers love to run and bike on- the houses on the east look out over Forest Park and the Willamette- the ones to the west look out over the huge valley below. Some of the views are breathtaking! The area feels like a suburban neighborhood, but is really close to downtown. They have all kinds of homes – from condos and town homes up to huge mansions. Most of the houses have been built in the past 10-15 years- it is growing like crazy.

Goosehollow Neighborhood

Goose Hollow is mostly in SW Portland, but just a little part of it goes over the border so I am including it in both neighborhood areas. It is bordered by 405 to the east, Burnside to the north, Washington Park to the west and just past 26 in kind of an windy pattern to the south (Going from east to west go along SW Cardinell Drive to SW Jackson Street to SW Vista Avenue. It borders on the NW -Alphabet District to the north, the downtown area to the east, the southwest hills to the south and the west hills or Hillside neighborhood to the west.

Hillside and Kings Heights Neighborhood

Kings Heights is between Burnside to the south, Cornell to the north, NW Westover Road to the east and Macleay Park to the west. It sits right above the city of Portland on a steep hill of the Tualatin Mountains- with Forest Park to the west, Arlington Heights to the south and the NW Shopping district to the east. It is literally steps from NW 23rd and Nob Hill. It is just a steep walk. You take Westover up and it winds through historic, turn of the century, stately homes. As you go farther up the hill you run into more modern styles all with breathtaking views of the city and mountains.

Linnton Neighborhood

Linnton is right along the Columbia River as you head out towards Scappoose and the coast, just past the St John’s Bridge that leads to St Johns neighborhood in N Portland.   It’s just a little town- only 10 minutes from Portland- just past the St. John’s Bridge. Sauvie’s Island is right by it. If you like the farmland and the river- you will probably like it here

Northwest District Neighborhood

Most Portlanders refer to the Nob Hill as the NW District. This neighborhood has been the prime spot for wealthy residents, restaurants and shopping since the late 1800s. It is sophisticated, trendy and so charming. It is nestled between Washington Park, Forest Park, narrow streets with turn of the century Victorians and Craftsman Bungalows and yet right downtown. One of my favorite things to do is hike in the Hoyt Arboretum in Washington Park and then walk down the hill and get some lunch at one of the many outstanding restaurants. Maybe stop and go shopping at one of the local boutiques on the way backMost Portlanders refer to the Nob Hill as the NW District. This neighborhood has been the prime spot for wealthy residents, restaurants and shopping since the late 1800s. It is sophisticated, trendy and so charming. It is nestled between Washington Park, Forest Park, narrow streets with turn of the century Victorians and Craftsman Bungalows and yet right downtown. One of my favorite things to do is hike in the Hoyt Arboretum in Washington Park and then walk down the hill and get some lunch at one of the many outstanding restaurants. Maybe stop and go shopping at one of the local boutiques on the way back.

Northwest Heights Neighborhood

This neighborhood has some of the most beautiful views in all of Portland, because there is a wide open, 180 degree view of valley, lights, and coastal range…meaning sunsets!   The neighborhood stretches from Nob Hill  area, where you can literally glance down at the city skyline, complete with world-class dining, outstanding music venues, farmers markets, and the Willamette river,  to the forested seclusion of Forest Park with it’s 30 miles of forest trails, to the west slope where the valley spreads out below you.

Old Town Chinatown Neighborhood

Old Town is down in the middle of NW Portland neighborhoods, roughly bounded by Naito Parkway, Everett, 3rd, and Oak streets. It includes some of the Pearl, and all of the NW River area along the Willamette River. It is mostly condos, some of the are built right along the river with breath taking veiws of the Willamette and the city beyond. There are walkways that go along the river that you can access from these condos, and even though you are right in the middle of the city, there are birds and wildlife that frequent the greenspaces.

Pearl District Neighborhood

The Pearl is famous the world over! It used to just be a bunch of big industrial and commercial buildings that sprawled all over NW Portland neighborhoods. Someone had the brilliant idea to turn these buildings into lofts- and thus was born the Pearl District. It took off- and it just keeps going and going. All the old buildings have been remodeled and turned into lofts- plus lots and lots of new ones have been built

Portland Downtown Neighborhood

Technically this neighborhood is just on the SW side of the city, but the city of Portland has it catagorized under the NW Portland Neighborhood Associations, so to avoid confusion, we are including it in both the NW Portland Neighborhoods, and also have made a category for it by itself, since it is The Downtown! Downtown Portland has so much to offer from its world class restaurants to its farmers markets and festivals. Downtown is found in the SW Part of the inner west side of the city, including everything from from the Willamette to Interstate 405, and south from Burnside Street to just south of the Portland State University campus. North of Burnside is the Pearl closer to the Willamette, and the Alphabet District west of about 14th. This part of downtown is more the cultural district, with the University, museums, art etc.

Sylvan-Highlands Neighborhood

This neighborhood is up at the top of the hill coming up from downtown Portland, it is one of the highest spots in Portland, topping out at 1100 feet, and gets more ice and snow than most of the other areas! It is bordered by the Forest Park, Hillside to the north, Arlington Heights to the east, the Southwest Hills neighborhoods to the west, and it also contains some of unincorporated Washington County to the far west. There is a somewhat rural feel up here, with large lots, narrow winding streets weaving their way through the forest, and not very many sidewalks! It is not walkable as far as getting to shops, restaurants etc, but there are lots of trails that go through the forest. It definitely feels more like a suburb than city, because most houses and lots are pretty secluded, park like and private- some with views, mostly of valley and coastal range.