6 Coolest Walkable Portland Neighborhoods

Whether you’re new to Portland or you’ve lived here your whole life, there is always something new to explore on foot. Maybe you’re even planning a move and want to make your new home in one of the coolest,  most walkable Portland neighborhoods.

walking portland or

Sources: ercwttmn, Daniel Oines, Zuerichs Strassen

Definitions of walkability vary. Walk Score rewards neighborhoods with access to things like grocery stores, restaurants, libraries, parks, and schools. Another definition of walkability factors in the number of trees, homes, crosswalks, mass transit stops, etc. You can learn more about walkability and how it is calculated here.

It might surprise you, but according to Walk ScorePortland isn’t one of the top 10 walkable cities in America (we’re #12). Still, as true Portland locals, we know this city is full of neighborhoods that are great for walking.

The problem is that not every neighborhood has everything. If you’re looking for a place to settle down with the family, what good is the world’s most pedestrian-friendly neighborhood if there are no parks or backyards in sight?

In this post we’ll help you find the most walkable Portland neighborhoods for your specific needs.

Delicious Food: Pearl District

lovejoy bakers pearl district portland

Source: LikeWhere

According to Walk Score, the Pearl District is the number one most walkable neighborhood in the city. Most residents don’t need a car for day-to-day errands, and the densely populated area is full of crosswalks and stoplights.

It is small enough that you can easily enjoy coffee with lunch at Lovejoy Bakers, stroll through a few art galleries, buy a book at Powell’s, and still have time to spare before heading to dinner at one of Portland’s finest restaurants.

Just ask Yelp, or go on a food tour of the area.

Quirky Portland Culture: Alberta Arts District or Sunnyside-Hawthorne

stop sign alberta portland

Source: Lisa Norwood

Many of Portland’s most famous oddities are in these two locales. Both neighborhoods are slightly more residential than the Pearl District, and that makes zig-zagging across the street easier and safer.

People flock from all over Portland and beyond to walk up and down NE Alberta Street, home to both Last Thursday and the Alberta Street Fair. Walking at these events is even easier in summer, when the city closes the street to cars.

Sunnyside-Hawthorne is the place to go for vegan food and people watching. The Bagdad Theater on Hawthorne Street is only a few walkable blocks away from the local New Seasons.

For Families with Kids or Pets: Sellwood/Moreland

sellwood moreland portland

Source: dulcenea

Sellwood/Moreland, though still close to the city center, is a more relaxed, residential neighborhood. It’s ideal for anyone looking for a mix of walkable and family-friendly. With a post office, grocery store, and several banks in the area, residents can take care of most errands on foot.

You’ll find no shortage of restaurants and coffee shops either. Sellwood even has a small food cart hub on 13th Avenue. Families with kids make good use of the neighborhood’s large parkpool, and public library.

Old Portland History and Nightlife: Old Town Chinatown

portland or old town

Source: Paul Nelson

Old Town is the second most walkable neighborhood in Portland according to Walk Score. You can even go on an underground walking tour where you’ll learn several terrifying facts about Portland’s rough history.

The neighborhood also has active nightlife. It is peppered with small concert halls and nightclubs. If that’s not your cup of tea, you’ll also find a retro supper club with nightly live jazz music.

Boutique Shopping: Alphabet District

colorful houses portland

Source: Adam Herstein

The Alphabet District (also known as Northwest Portland) has a densely populated shopping hub. 23rd Avenue is lined with small boutiques in old Victorian houses, though you’ll also find plenty of bigger establishments as well.

When you need a rest between stores, respite is not far off. The neighborhood also has more than 300 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

For People With No Plan: Downtown

portland distance sign pioneer square

Source: Glen Mazza

The city’s highly walkable downtown area has it all. Everything is so tightly packed, it’s easy to see a lot just by exploring. If you run out of ideas, the Portland Art Museum is less than a ten-minute walk from Pioneer Square.

If it’s food you crave, you’ll find more than 500 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Downtown. And the streets around Portland State University offer plenty of sweet and savory food cart options.

These walkable Portland neighborhoods make it easy to run your daily errands or spend a weekend exploring. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a Portland newcomer, the sidewalks await.

If you have a property you’re thinking about selling in any of these great areas, contact us and we can help you.

 

By | 2017-01-25T22:42:04+00:00 February 20th, 2015|Portland, Portland Community|5 Comments

About the Author:

My husband Greg and I are the owners of Columbia Redevelopment, a real estate investment company located in Portland, OR. At Columbia Redevelopment we pay cash for houses helping homeowners sell houses faster than ever before.
  • HollyR

    Alberta is definitely quirky and has tons of restaurants! And love that pic of the colorful houses in NW Portland.

  • GwendolynEP

    Agreed! I can vouch for Sellwood. Sunnyside is also very walkable.

  • Jake Braught

    I love Alberta. All of the cute shops and wonderful eateries are there.

  • Hawthorne is a great area to walk through – they have a great mix of boutiques, coffee shops and hole in the wall eateries. Plus the people watching is out of this world.

  • Uhh, did you forget the Mississippi district – food, bars and children’s boutique clothing shops.