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Living a Cultural Center Lifestyle in Portland OR, Oregon

Here in Portland, great skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities are all at your doorstep, as are many cultural programs. The climate is ideal for growing things, especially roses. The city has a well-deserved reputation for land use controls, which attempt to moderate the effects of rampant growth. The Oregon Ballet Theatre and Portland Opera are just samples of performance spaces in the area.

Known as “The City of Roses," Portland (population 558,000, over 2 million people in the metro area) Portland is a magnet for young people because it has a youthful flair.  The city has 227 parks, including an urban wilderness in Forest Park (5,000-plus acres). It is exceedingly bike-friendly with almost 270 miles of street lanes and paths, set-off with nonskid paint.

Picture of Portland street car courtesy of Wikipedia and Cacophony.

Where to Retire in Portland OR and Home Prices

There are many neighborhoods in the city for retirees - old and new, stand alone houses or apartments. If you are thinking of moving to Portland you would probably want to visit or rent here first to get a feel for the many different neighborhoods. The Pearl District in the Northwest, for example, is a former warehouse and industrial district that has many loft and condo conversions to go along with its shops, restaurants, and art galleries. In the suburbs there are many active adult communities to choose from (see link at left).
According to the National Association of Realtors, the median selling price of a home in the Portland/Vancouver/Hillsboro, OR-WA area was $468,400 in the 4th quarter of 2021.

What is Special about Portland OR

 A major but manageable city; Views of lakes and mountains; Exceptional parks - Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Mt. Tabor Park, and Forest Park; Charming Neighborhoods and downtowns; Microbreweries; The International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park; Trail Blazers NBA basketball team;Leach Botanical Gardens; Skiing and the outdoors on Mt. Hood; Portland State University (26,000) Our Dueling Retirement States article about the Pacific Northwest generated a ton of comments about Portland, pro and con.

What is Not Special about Portland OR

It rains in Portland 155 days a year

Climate and Physical Environment

Portland is a city at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Portland lies on top of an extinct Plio-Pleistocene volcanic field known as the Boring Lava Field. This is the Marine West Coast climate region, marked by warm summers and rainy but temperate winters, ideal for roses. Average summer high temperature is 79 and the January average low is 37. December is the wettest month.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

 American Style magazine named Portland as the 10th best Big City Arts Destination in the U.S. ; More than 75 arts organizations operate here, including: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland Art Museum, and Oregon Historical Society Museum, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Oregon Symphony, Portland Center Stage, and the Portland Opera; The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry


The crime rate is above average.

Medical Facilities

There is an array of major hospitals, including the OHSU Hospital and clinics.


Mass transit connects the city and suburbs with buses, the Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light rail system, the Portland Aerial Tram, and the Portland Streetcars. AMTRAK offers service here. Portland International Airport is 20 minutes away. Portland has won numerous distinctions as a bicycling-friendly community, and is considered above average in walkability when compared to other cities. 

Valuable Links

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