Our beautiful home town of Portland, Oregon shows its true colors in the various neighborhoods around the city. They are one of the biggest draws for transplants and visitors alike who are flocking to Portland.

Exploring at least one or two Portland neighborhoods is a must-do activity for any visitor. Walk the streets, window shop, and grab some tasty treats. Each neighborhood has its own local vibe, so you'll find that big box and chain stores are almost non-existent.

Here is a quick overview of the top neighborhoods to help you plan your visit:


Photo credit: Christian Reed

North Missisippi Avenue and North Williams Street have seen serious transformation in the past decade. Just half mile from each other, these areas are a microcosm of the city's trendy, unorthodox, and ever-expanding nature. Mississippi and Williams streets are now overflowing with restaurants, quirky shops, food carts, and bars. You'll find everything from gourmet salts at The Meadow to reclaimed housing materials at The Rebuilding Center. 

NW 23rd

PC: Wikimedia

The Northwest 23rd/Nob Hill neighborhood can be found in downtown's "Alphabet District" - where the streets are conveniently in alphabetical order. This area has long been one of Portland's hippest neighborhoods. Thankfully, the classy boutiques and variety of restaurants here are accessible along the street car route because good parking in this popular neighborhood can be difficult to find. After browsing the shops, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a fancy dessert at Papa Haydn's, Blue Star donuts, or Salt & Straw ice cream. 


Southeast Hawthorne Avenue is an eclectic, walkable shopping street in the heart of Portland's East Side. The neighborhood is home to several artsy theaters, vintage clothing shops, and tasty restaurants. You'll also find an annex of Portland's famous Powell's Book Store on this street.

Alberta Arts

Like Mississippi, NE Alberta Street is another pocket of Northeast Portland that has grown up quickly in recent years. Home to another Salt & Straw location, live music venues, and unique attractions like the Caravan Tiny House Hotel, this area is perhaps most famous for its street fairs. The monthly "Last Thursday" events, plus the Alberta Street Fair in August, are lively community happenings highlighting local artists, musicians, and food vendors.


Heading South along the Willamette River, you'll find the cozy Sellwood/Moreland neighborhoods. With a giant park, wildlife refuge, and riverfront bikeway to the West, this area has a quieter feel than some of the more central Portland neighborhoods. You'll find plenty of tree-lined streets, boutiques and antique shops, cute cafes, and family-friendly restaurants.

We have by no means exhausted the list of Portland neighborhoods worthy of exploration, but these are some of the best to get a feel for all our city has to offer. If you're looking for more detail or are considering a move to Portland, check out this full neighborhood guide.

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  • Michelle Chang