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Portland Neighborhoods: An Introduction To North And Northeast Portland

Portland Neighborhoods: An Introduction to North and Northeast Portland

Portland’s vibrant and eclectic North and Northeast districts both offer vibrant, densely populated heritage neighborhoods with easy access to the downtown core. These are some of the best neighborhoods in Portland.

Bordered on two sides by the Columbia and Willamette rivers, North Portland stretches from the Williams-Vancouver district on the east side, to charming St. John’s on the west. The neighborhood is located adjacent to Forest Park, one of the largest urban forests in the United States.

Northeast Portland features a mix of neighborhoods to suit every taste, fantastic nightlife, and some of the oldest and most exclusive properties in the city — the best of living in Portland.

Residents enjoy easy commutes thanks to the major transportation arteries and light rail service that stretches to every corner of the city.

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Neighborhoods of North and Northeast Portland

The Willamette River divides Portland into east and west. Lying on the east side of the river are Northeast Portland’s most prominent landmarks and destinations, such as Portland International Airport, Lloyd Center, and the Oregon Convention Center.


A nationally designated historic district, Irvington dates back to at least 1887, and is home to leafy streets that are lined with Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts, and Colonial Revival-style residences. Major freeway ramps located near Irvington include I-84 and I-5. The neighborhood is served by Portland’s Tri Met bus service, and a MAX light rail line.

Grant Park

Grant Park is a family-friendly community, with quiet residential streets and beautiful homes that are perfect for families. This Northeast Portland neighborhood features classic style homes, including Craftsman, Cottage and Cape Cod style, and bungalows.


This neighborhood of shops and cafes has a tight community feel. It dates back to 1909 when the neighborhood was planned by the Alameda Land Company. A ridge runs through this neighborhood, and some homes along the top of the ridge enjoy views of West Hills, the Willamette River and Portland’s downtown.


Sabin, located just north of the Irvington neighborhood and Irving Park, is just south of the popular Alberta Arts District. Residents can shop along either NE Fremont or NE Prescott streets, as well as at Lloyd Center Mall.


Most of the Alberta Street Arts District is in Concordia, and this neighborhood prides itself as being a hub for the arts. The neighborhood is named for Concordia University, a private liberal arts school, located in the center of the community.


This popular neighborhood in Northeast Portland is located on Alameda Ridge, and enjoys views of downtown, the Willamette River, and the Cascades.

Parks and Family Activities in North and Northeast Portland

North and Northeast Portland offer both family-friendly and nightlife activities, including:

Alberta Arts District

The Alberta Arts District in Concordia has transformed itself into indie arts spaces and sophisticated bistros and galleries. With no national chains, the Alberta Arts District features unique dining and shopping experiences.

Alameda Ridge and Stairs

This 5-mile trail system offers spectacular views of Portland, and is a great place to catch some sun in the winter. Eleven staircases—ranging from 30 to 127 steps—make this leafy oasis a perfect place to sneak in some exercise during a busy day.

Irving Park

Located at NE 7th Avenue and Fremont Street, Irving Park is built on a former racetrack. The park features baseball diamonds, a dog park, and picnic areas for families.

Schools in North and Northeast Portland

Portland Public Schools (PPS)

Portland Public Schools is the largest school district in the state of Oregon. More than 49,000 students (80% of Portland’s school-age children) attend PPS schools. Portland schools are ranked here.

Archdiocese of Portland Schools

The Department of Catholic Schools (DCS) is home to 15,000 students and 1,300 teachers, and provides the community with many options for education. De La Salle North Catholic High School serves North and Northeast Portland, and the DCS school finder can help find schools in this part of Portland.

Portland Private Schools

It’s estimated there are 69 private or independent schools in Portland, offering specialized curriculum and academic programs. Portland Monthly’s annual private schools guide provides a detailed analysis of these schools.


North and Northeast Portland offer plenty of shopping for families. Supermarkets in Northeast Portland include Albertsons, Safeway and Whole Foods.

Commuting from North and Northeast Portland

The MAX light rail system provides easy access to many parts of the city for people living in North and Northeast Portland.


Map of the MAX system. From Wikimedia. Image license: CC BY-SA 4.0

The MAX Yellow Line (Expo Center-PSU) travels on a north-south route providing access to the downtown business district. Traveling east-west, the MAX Blue, Red and Green lines all provide access to transit hubs Pioneer Square in downtown, as well as to Gateway Transit Center, with its access to Portland International Airport, in the northeast.

The Portland Streetcar loop service serves the southern edge of North Portland.

Driving in North and Northeast Portland

Major arteries, including the I-5 and I-205, provide good north-south transportation options, while I-84 (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway) connects Portland with eastern Oregon and Idaho.

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By focusing exclusively on Portland, rather than spreading our team out into other areas, we bring an understanding of local needs and aesthetics to our work that supports positive growth and authenticity.

Contact or call us today at 503-616-4996 with any questions, or to schedule a consultation with our experts.