Looking for the best places to live in Oregon? You've come to the right place! This blog post is a comprehensive guide that ranks Oregon's top cities, taking into account key factors such as cost of living, local economy, education, crime rates, and overall quality of life. Whether you're considering a move or just curious about what makes these Oregon locations stand out, this curated list offers valuable insights. So, sit back as we navigate through the Beaver State, exploring its hidden gems and beloved cities alike.
13 Best Places To Live In Oregon
Corvallis, Oregon: A Gem in the Beaver State
Nestled in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Corvallis, Oregon, is an idyllic city that offers its residents a high quality of life. While the cost of living is slightly higher than the national average, with an index of 109.1, housing costs primarily drive this increase. The median home cost in Corvallis stands at $476,000, but it is balanced by a higher median family income of approximately $98,200.
Corvallis is renowned for its robust economy, which thrives in the education, research, and technology sectors, largely due to the presence of Oregon State University. With a stable job market, professionals from various fields are drawn to the city.
Residents enjoy a low crime rate, adding to the city's allure. Additionally, Corvallis boasts abundant access to nature, with numerous parks, hiking trails, and close proximity to the stunning Oregon Coast, making it a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
The city's charm is further accentuated by its vibrant cultural scene, offering a range of activities, from farmer's markets to music festivals. Moreover, Corvallis provides excellent educational opportunities, contributing to its reputation as an ideal place to raise a family.
In Corvallis, urban amenities and small-town charm harmoniously coexist, solidifying its position as one of Oregon's best places to live.
Portland, Oregon: The City of Roses
Portland, the largest city in Oregon, is a captivating destination for those seeking a vibrant urban lifestyle surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. While the cost of living in Portland is 24% higher than the national average, the city compensates with its thriving job market and diverse economy. Major industries, including technology, healthcare, and manufacturing, offer abundant employment prospects.
The median home cost in Portland stands at $537,200, while the median family income is approximately $91,000. Despite the higher cost of living, residents enjoy a superb quality of life distinguished by a rich cultural scene, numerous parks, and close proximity to both the mountains and the coast.
Furthermore, Portland boasts low crime rates, providing a safe and secure environment to call home. From the vibrant arts and music scene to the renowned food culture, there is always a wealth of activities to enjoy in the city. Additionally, Portland's unwavering commitment to sustainability and its accessibility to outdoor adventures make it an irresistible haven for nature enthusiasts.
With its unique blend of urban sophistication, economic stability, and awe-inspiring natural allure, Portland unquestionably earns its reputation as one of the finest places to reside in Oregon.
Bend/Redmond, Oregon: A Recreational Paradise
Bend/Redmond, nestled in the heart of Central Oregon, offers a captivating fusion of natural splendor and urban conveniences. Despite its cost of living index surpassing the national average at 132.5, Bend/Redmond remains irresistibly alluring. The median home cost clocks in at $666,200, while the average household income stands at $52,471.
The local economy exhibits diversity, with robust sectors in healthcare, tourism, and a burgeoning tech industry. Despite the higher cost of living, residents relish in a high quality of life, brimming with an abundance of recreational activities and a profound sense of community.
Noteworthy for its low crime rates, Bend/Redmond is hailed as a secure and tranquil haven. Encircled by breathtaking landscapes including the Cascade Mountains and the Deschutes River, outdoor enthusiasts find themselves immersed in endless possibilities for hiking, fishing, and skiing.
Moreover, the area boasts a myriad of breweries, restaurants, and shops, further enriching its allure. Additionally, the city's unwavering commitment to sustainability coupled with access to exceptional schools render it a desirable locale for raising a family.
Bend/Redmond's amalgamation of economic stability, natural magnificence, and recreational opportunities positions it as one of the premier places to reside in Oregon.
Salem, Oregon: A City of Natural Beauty and Cultural Richness
Salem, the capital city of Oregon, seamlessly blends urban living with natural beauty. With a cost of living slightly above the national average at 102.4, housing stands out as the most significant factor. The median home cost sits at $399,000, complemented by a median income of $65,231.
Salem boasts a diverse economy, anchored by sectors like government, education, healthcare, and agriculture, which drive the local job market. Though the city has experienced price hikes, particularly in transportation, food, and housing, it still manages to maintain comparatively low crime rates compared to cities of similar size. In addition, residents have the pleasure of indulging in Salem's rich cultural scene, which includes an array of museums, art galleries, and festivals. Moreover, the city is enveloped by lush vineyards and picturesque parks, offering an abundance of outdoor activities.
Salem's commitment to sustainability and exceptional educational opportunities contribute to its irresistible allure as a place to call home. In conclusion, Salem encompasses a harmonious blend of economic stability, cultural vibrancy, and access to nature, making it an exemplary location to reside in Oregon.
Eugene, Oregon: A Hub of Culture and Natural Beauty
Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Eugene, Oregon is an idyllic city that harmoniously blends the perks of urban living with the splendor of nature. Though the cost of living in Eugene hovers slightly above the national average, it is primarily driven by housing expenses, with a median house price of around $320,000. Yet, the moderate average household income of $35,551 helps level the playing field.
Eugene boasts a diversified economy propelled by sectors such as education, healthcare, and manufacturing, which create a thriving job market. While living costs have seen an upturn, particularly in transportation, food, and housing, residents revel in a remarkable quality of life. Safety is a priority for Eugene, maintaining impressively lower crime rates compared to cities of similar size. Indulge in the city's vibrant cultural scene, boasting museums, art galleries, and annual festivals that add a splash of vibrancy to everyday life.
And for nature enthusiasts, Eugene's geographical blessings are unparalleled. With its proximity to the mesmerizing Willamette River and the breathtaking Mount Pisgah, the city offers an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities for all.
Eugene's exceptional blend of economic stability, cultural richness, and natural allure impeccably positions it as one of Oregon's top-notch places to call home.
West Linn, Oregon: A Tranquil Gem in the Pacific Northwest
Between the Willamette and Tualatin rivers, West Linn offers a unique blend of suburban and rural living. Despite its close proximity to downtown Portland, a mere 15-20 minute drive away, West Linn boasts a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere.
While the cost of living in West Linn is higher than the national average, with housing being the most significant factor, the median home price stands at $514,000. However, this is balanced by a median household income of $89,806.
The local economy in West Linn is robust, with sectors such as healthcare, education, and manufacturing driving the job market. Residents enjoy a high quality of life, supported by low crime rates and a strong sense of community, despite the slightly higher cost of living.
Thanks to its location along two rivers, West Linn residents have ample opportunities for outdoor activities, while the historic main street of the city offers a charming array of dining options.
With its stable economy, natural beauty, and tranquil lifestyle, West Linn unquestionably ranks among the best places to live in Oregon.
Lake Oswego, Oregon: A City of Comfort and Affluence
Located on the edge of a breathtaking 405-acre lake, Lake Oswego stands out as a vibrant city renowned for its desirability in Oregon. While the cost of living is notably higher than the national average, with a rating of 158.4, this is primarily due to the impressive median home cost of $798,500.
Nevertheless, Lake Oswego offers a high quality of life, supported by a thriving local economy. Key industries like healthcare, professional services, and education drive the job market, ensuring a robust employment landscape. The city's crime rates are reassuringly low compared to the national average, further enhancing its appeal.
Residents cherish Lake Oswego for its scenic beauty and abundant outdoor activities, fostering a strong sense of community evident in lively local events and festivals. The city also boasts an exceptional school system and a wealth of amenities, including parks, shopping centers, and restaurants.
In conclusion, despite the higher cost of living, Lake Oswego's harmonious blend of natural splendor, economic stability, and close-knit community make it an irresistible choice for those seeking an exceptional place to call home in Oregon.
Tualatin, Oregon: A Blend of Urban Convenience and Natural Splendor
Tualatin, Oregon is an enchanting hidden gem that captivates residents with its harmonious blend of city life and natural beauty. Although the cost of living in Tualatin is about 21% higher than the national average, primarily due to housing expenses, its allure remains undeniable. With a median home price of $471,200, a single adult can expect to experience an estimated annual cost of living of $45,142.
This little city thrives economically, driven by robust industries like healthcare, professional services, and manufacturing, which fuel its job market. Despite the slightly elevated cost of living, Tualatin boasts an exceptional quality of life, characterized by low crime rates and a vibrant sense of community.
Situated near the meandering Tualatin River and an array of picturesque parks, residents revel in abundant opportunities for outdoor escapades. Moreover, Tualatin abounds with delightful amenities, encompassing an array of shopping centers, enticing restaurants, and top-notch educational institutions.
Imbued with economic stability, proximity to nature's wonders, and a tight-knit community spirit, Tualatin emerges as one of Oregon's premier places to call home.
Milwaukie, Oregon: Small-Town Charm Meets Urban Convenience
Located just south of Portland, Milwaukie, Oregon is a city that seamlessly blends small-town charm with urban convenience. Despite its proximity to the bustling city, Milwaukie offers a more relaxed pace of life, making it an appealing choice for those seeking balance.
The cost of living in Milwaukie is 22.7% higher than the national average, mainly due to housing expenses, although precise figures are not readily available. Nonetheless, many residents find that the city's amenities and lifestyle justify the higher costs.
With a diverse job market spanning various sectors, the local economy in Milwaukie thrives. Additionally, the city boasts relatively low crime rates, further adding to its allure for families and individuals alike.
What truly sets Milwaukie apart is its abundant access to nature and popular attractions. Home to the Portland Aquarium and North Clackamas Aquatic Park, the city offers a delightful array of natural wonders. Its vibrant downtown area is also flourishing, featuring new local restaurants and charming boutique shops. The Sunday Farmers Market, a local favorite, adds to the city's vibrant atmosphere.
All of these factors combine to make Milwaukie a top contender for one of the best places to live in Oregon.
Sherwood, Oregon: A Rapidly Growing Haven
Located in the picturesque Washington County of Oregon, Sherwood is a vibrant city that seamlessly blends the tranquility of a small town with the conveniences of urban living. Boasting rapid growth, this charming city has become a coveted destination for nearly 19,000 residents who relish its warm and welcoming community.
While specific details on the cost of living and median income are not readily available, Sherwood's allure lies in its robust job market and commendably low crime rates. The city's diverse industries fuel its thriving economy, creating abundant opportunities for its industrious residents.
Beyond its economic prowess, Sherwood captivates with its natural splendor. A plethora of nature trails and parks showcase the city's commitment to preserving its scenic beauty. Notably, Sherwood boasts a unique urban refuge, one of only ten in the entire United States. Furthermore, the quiet old town area exudes a timeless charm, housing an array of delightful shops, including quaint antique stores. The heart of the city truly comes alive during the summer months, where residents and visitors alike can revel in events such as the Farmer's Market, Wine Festival, Artisans Fair, and Classic Car Show.
With its harmonious blend of a close-knit community, economic stability, and breathtaking natural attractions, Sherwood shines as one of the most desirable locations in Oregon to call home.
Tigard, Oregon: A Suburban Oasis with Urban Perks
Tigard, in Washington County, thrives as a lively city where over 54,000 people call home. While the cost of living and housing market prices lean towards the higher end of the Oregon average, residents find that the advantages of the Tigard lifestyle far outweigh the associated expenses.
This vibrant city boasts a robust job market, encompassing a diverse range of industries. Moreover, Tigard shines with its commendably low crime rates, making it an appealing destination for families and individuals seeking a safe and serene environment.
But Tigard isn't just about work and safety; it's a haven for leisure and enjoyment as well. Those who revel in outdoor activities will delight in Tigard's proximity to nature, thanks to attractions like the picturesque Fanno Creek Trail. For those with a penchant for shopping, Tigard proudly presents the region's finest tax-free shopping destinations. An added touch of culture graces this bustling city in the form of the esteemed Broadway Rose Theatre Company.
With its alluring blend of a relaxed suburban lifestyle and the conveniences of urban living, Tigard unquestionably stands tall as one of the finest places to reside in Oregon.
Scappoose, Oregon: A Pacific Wonderland
Tucked away in Columbia County is Scappoose, a city that perfectly encapsulates the charm of small-town living with the convenience of being just 20 miles northwest of Portland. With a population hovering around 8,000, Scappoose offers an intimate community feel to its residents.
While specifics about median income, house prices, and cost of living aren't immediately accessible, it’s clear that Scappoose’s economic landscape is driven by diverse industries, providing ample job opportunities for its residents. The crime rates are relatively low, adding to the town's appeal for those seeking a safe and tranquil environment.
Scappoose's allure isn't limited to its robust job market and safety. Surrounded by lush green forests, nature lovers can easily access a range of outdoor activities. The city is also home to the popular Scappoose Farmers' Market, which showcases the best of local produce.
In summary, Scappoose, with its perfect blend of rural charm and urban convenience, stands out as one of the best places to live in Oregon.
Medford-Ashland, Oregon: A Gem in the Pacific Northwest
Situated in Southern Oregon, the Medford-Ashland region offers an enticing blend of affordability, economic opportunity, and natural beauty. Medford's cost of living is lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for those seeking affordability in the Pacific Northwest. On the other hand, Ashland, though slightly more expensive, offers a unique charm with its vibrant arts scene and historic downtown.
The region boasts a diverse job market, with industries ranging from healthcare to tourism driving the local economy. As an added bonus, the crime rates in both cities are relatively low, contributing to a safe and peaceful living environment.
The allure of Medford-Ashland extends beyond its economic advantages. The region is known for its easy access to nature, with numerous trails and parks offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Other attractions include the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and the Rogue Valley Mall in Medford.
In summary, with its mix of affordability, job opportunities, safety, and natural beauty, the Medford-Ashland region stands out as one of the best places to live in Oregon.
Ready To Make The Move To Oregon?
In closing, Oregon's diverse cities offer a unique blend of natural beauty, economic opportunity, and community spirit. Whether you're drawn to the small-town charm of Scappoose, the affordability of Medford, or the cultural richness of Ashland, this Pacific Northwest state has something for everyone. As we've explored, factors such as cost of living, local economy, crime rates, and overall quality of life make these locations truly stand out. We hope this guide has offered valuable insights to help you discover your own ideal spot in the beautiful Beaver State. Happy house hunting!