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What Makes North Portland Great

Thinking about moving to North Portland? If you do, you’ll quickly learn what we already know—that North Portland is a great place to live and work. Are you thinking about moving to North Portland? Well, you’re in luck—here’s what makes North Portland great.  Here’s what makes North Portland great.

North Portland sometimes gets forgotten (or called the “fifth quadrant”), since it’s outside the traditional four quadrants—Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, and Southeast. But North Portland isn’t just an aside. It’s full of great places to live, eat, work, and relax. It also has some of the hottest home-buying and –selling neighborhoods in the city. From its rich history and diversity, to its great dining and outdoor activities, everything you could ever want to do is right here.

History and Diversity

North Portland has a rich industrial and commercial history, and remnants of this fascinating past are all over the area.

St. Johns was the site of many manufacturing mills and plants. Portland Wollen Mills, one large textile operation, was moved to St. Johns in 1904 and employed many people. Kenton’s railway yards and cattle industry made it an important spot. Swift Packing Company set up shop opposite Hayden Island, bringing many jobs and people to the area. Some of these neighborhoods were small towns that were incorporated into Portland as it grew.

Pieces of the past are evident all over the area. Businesses like North Portland Yoga repurpose old industrial buildings, giving them new life. Historic buildings like St. Johns Cinema have been restored and are being enjoyed by new generations of people.

What Makes North Portland Great

North Portland is also home to the Portland International Raceway and the University of Portland. These institutions and others like them bring many different kinds of people and events to our area. There’s always something fun going on!

What Makes North Portland Great

Food and Drink

Portland is filled with so many types of different types of good food and drink. There is, quite literally, something for just about everybody over here.

In fact, get started with our list of some of the best happy hours in Portland (of course, it’s got plenty of North Portland offerings). We tell you where to go, when to go, and what food you can get to go with your happy hour drinks.

What Makes North Portland Great

From the unexpected, like truly delicious vegan food at Proper Eats, to the more routine, like the King Burrito food truck, it’ll take you a long time to get through all the different types of food North Portland has to offer. Check out Oregon Live’s 2015 roundup of North Portland’s best places to eat.

Outdoor Activities

One of the best things about Portland is its moderate climate. It might be rainy, but you can be outside and enjoying nature during most of the year. North Portland has some beautiful spots.

What Makes North Portland Great

Sauvie Island: This is an agricultural island on the Willamette River. It’s full of u-pick farms, pumpkin patches, beaches, and plenty of wildlife. It’s actually technically in Northwest Portland, but it’s just a few minutes away.

Smith and Bybee Wetlands: This is the perfect place to view animals in their natural habitats, animals like beavers, bald eagles, and turtles. If you want, you can do that while taking a canoe trip through 2,000 acres of wetlands.

Columbia Slough: This large park is the perfect place to enjoy a moonlit canoe ride, along with boating, hiking a trail, or strolling through its gardens.


North Portland has some gorgeous architecture. Spend some time just walking around and enjoying all there is to see. You won’t be disappointed! Beauty is definitely one of the things that makes North Portland great.

The St. Johns bridge is a must-see. It connects St. Johns with downtown Portland, and it’s one of North Portland’s most iconic landmarks and most beautiful bridges. Its gothic style and unusual green color are picturesque.

What Makes North Portland Great

Kenton is home to a gigantic Paul Bunyan statue, which attracts a lot of interest. It’s 31 feet tall, made of metal and concrete. And it’s so loved that local Kenton residents are working on a fundraising campaign to restore it.

North Portland is also full of many different kinds of homes—walk around and enjoy the Cape Cod, Victorian, ranch, bungalow, craftsman, and foursquare architecture. And if you’re looking for a home to buy, you can find just about any style you want.

What Makes North Portland Great

A Strong Community

One of our brokers, Nikki del Giudice, has lived in North Portland nearly her entire life. As she says, “It’s a small-town atmosphere in a big city.” To her, this means you can ask for help and actually get it, but you also have access to the amenities that a big city has.

North Portland has undergone some dramatic changes in recent years. And most people we talk to are thrilled with how our neighborhoods are changing. New shops and cafes are popping up, making the neighborhood a more interesting and better place to be. Tim Fowler, another one of our agents, is raising four young daughters in North Portland. He says it’s a great place to raise a family.

What Makes North Portland Great

If we had to sum up what makes North Portland great, we’d have to say that it’s the people who want to make communities where we help and support each other. We love helping the people of North Portland buy and sell their homes. We are so grateful be to be part of this wonderful place.

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