Moving to Portland, Oregon:
A Definitive Guide

totem pole in oregon with greenery

Did you know that Portland, OR has the perfect blend of city life and rural escapes? Not only does it boast the world’s smallest park, it also has the biggest urban forest. But do you know everything else the city has to offer?

If you are thinking of relocating, we can help. Read on for our essential advice for moving to Portland, OR. 

Looking for an apartment in Portland? Find your next home at one of our apartment communities.

Weather in Portland, Oregon

The weather in Portland, Oregon is actually extremely pleasant all year round. You can think of it as having a less extreme Mediterranean climate. You will experience all the seasons, though not all of them will become unbearable.

Winter months can get cold, with temperatures dropping to around 18 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Snow falls on occasion, though it is very rare to get heavy snowfalls. Most mornings, you will find a fine frost on the ground. 

When the summer months arrive, Oregon really comes to life. A few days of heatwave occur, sometimes climbing as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What Clothing Should I Take?

This depends entirely on whether you are moving to Portland, Oregon, or just paying a visit. When moving, you need year-round clothing that will see you through the winter, along with your standard summer fashions. 

If you are paying a visit, then it depends on the time of the year. In the winter months, you are better going for warmth over fashion, as it can get bitterly cold. In summer, make sure you stay protected from the blaring sun.

Transportation in Portland

If you are considering driving in Portland, Oregon, then you may want to think again. Like most cities in the US, traffic congestion is increasing exponentially. As more people move to the area, this is getting worse and only looks set to increase. 

Add this to the lack of parking facilities in the center of the city, and you can see why many residents in Portland, OR choose to use other methods of transport. Anyone driving should also realize that it is illegal in Portland to pump your own gas. Self-service stations were outlawed a long time ago, so you can just relax and let someone do the job for you. 

Luckily, the city has a fantastic public transportation system. The bus system has a useful interactive website and app that can plan your routes and journeys for you. Bikes and cycle lanes are also in abundance.

Biggest Employers in Portland, Oregon

Portland’s job market is extremely healthy, and it is growing. There are many major corporations that have head offices based in the city. 

Intel is the biggest employer and has its computer and electronics firm in the Hillsboro area. Opened in 1974, they now have 21,000 employees across four different campuses. They play a huge part in the local economy and community, putting money into schools and universities in the area. 

In the city itself, a number of national financial institutions employ a large number of people. The US Bank has offices there, as does Wells Fargo.

A little further out in Beaverton, you can find the world headquarters of athletics company Nike. At one time, the plant and office even offered tours to those interested in sports and leisure

As well as major companies, the food services industry in Portland is booming. As more companies come to the area, this will only increase the desire for additional services. This means that whatever your profession, you are liable to be able to find something to suit when moving to Portland, OR. 

Things to Do in Portland, OR 

Portland has a wide range of outdoor and indoor activities, as well as cultural, arts, and historical sites. We have listed the most popular of these below. 

Powell’s City of Books

A lot can be said about a city whose biggest tourist attraction is a bookstore. Covering a whole city block, this store goes far beyond selling new and used books. A former car dealership, then derelict building as the city has grown around it, Powell’s has now found itself in a prime location between the Pearl District, Downtown, and West End. 

There are nine rooms, three floors, and over 2500 sections for you to explore. Getting lost as you browse the 1 million books on offer is part of the fun. 

International Rose Test Garden

When living in Portland, OR, you may hear it named affectionately as the City of Roses. The area has a very unique climate that is ideal for growing these iconic flowers. It is no surprise that it is the home of the oldest continuously used rose test garden in the United States. 

Originally thought up in 1918, its garden and amphitheater opened in 1926. Occupying an elevated spot, the garden can give you exceptional views of downtown and Mt. Hood. Over 10,000 different species of rose can be found on the grounds. 

Portland Japanese Garden

Close to the Rose Test Garden sits Portland’s own Japanese Garden. Many believe it to be one of the most tranquil spots in the city. Within it is a tea house, winding streams, and paths along with an exceptional view of Mt. Hood. 

The original purpose of the garden was to foster healing between the two nations after WWII. It was opened in 1963 and then had major renovation works and updates completed in 2017. This expanded the garden hugely, with seven new areas that make up this perfect, peaceful space today. 

Portland Saturday Market

The Portland Saturday Market delivers so much more than just a shopping experience. As well as being the largest arts and craft fair in the US, it provides a home for street theatre, music, and culture. Running from April to December, every visit you make will yield a totally different experience. 

Among its treasures are handcrafted silverware, craft jewelry, and unique artworks. You will also find a wide range of eateries and street food, delivering everything from falafel to German sausage and salads. 

Forest Park

To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, in Portland, you don’t even need to leave the city limits. Forest Park is a haven for nature and wildlife built into the city’s northwest corner. It has several trails worked out in advance that you can walk, and you can even take pets, provided they are on a leash. 

What to Expect from the School System in Portland

If you are moving to Portland, OR, with others in tow, you may be concerned about schools. Luckily, there are a number of quality high schools in Portland, depending on the area you decide to settle in. 

Should you be considering private education, a number of establishments are on offer. Catlin Gabel School has an A+ grading, with a ratio of nine pupils to every teacher. The Oregon Episcopal School and Jesuit High School are also well regarded by those who want a religious upbringing. 

Public high schools are also very highly regarded in Portland. The School of Science and Technology in Beaverton is great for anyone wanting their child to have a selection of science-based elective options. Lake Oswego Senior and Northwest Academy are also renowned in the city.

Popular Neighborhoods in Portland

When moving to the city, the number of areas and neighborhoods can seem overwhelming. Once you have looked at your access to work, public transport, and amenities, you will see that there are still many places in which you can find accommodation, rented or bought. 

St Johns

St Johns is one of the most historic neighborhoods. It dates back to the early 1900s, and despite the huge expansion of the city, it still feels like its own small village. It has a wealth of local shops and businesses, as well as all the modern conveniences you would need. 

Nob Hill

Nob Hill boasts easy access to busy, cosmopolitan streets and leafy parks alike. Situated in the northwest of the city, it has beautiful period homes, some fantastic eateries, and a plethora of arts and craft locations close by. 

Hawthorne District

The Hawthorne district is great for those wanting a regular dose of arts and culture. At its center is the Hawthorne Boulevard, which is lined with all the late-night bars and fantastic food places. Mt. Tabor Park is also close by if you decide that you want to get out of the hustle and bustle for some greenery. 


Eliot is a hub for urbanites in the city. It has a high proportion of people who rent their homes, meaning the area can feel full of movement and very cosmopolitan. It is a vibrant, liberal area with many young professionals, filled with cool, hip bars and restaurants.  

Advice for Moving to Portland, Oregon

Now that you know the essential tips for moving to Portland, OR, pay a visit! You can see the sights and decide if it is for you. With so many advantages on offer, we can’t see why you wouldn’t love it. 

When searching for accommodation, Trion Living should be your first stop. We can help find apartments all over Oregon and the wider US. Contact us here to discuss your needs and see what we can do for you.

Looking for an Apartment in Portland?

sculpture in portland oregon