Helpful Things to Know When Moving to Portland Oregon

Portland oregon sign

Moving to any metropolis can be a huge culture shift so learning about your destination ahead of time is essential. Portland is known for it’s quirkiness and beautiful backdrop of landscape along two rivers, not to mention Mount Hood towering over the background almost everywhere you go. Whether you are moving to Oregon for work, retirement, or the culture we welcome you! I hope these facts find you with a smooth relocation if you’re moving to Portland.

Living in and Moving to Portland

Portland has a population around 640,000 and is the 3rd largest city in the Pacific Northwest. Portland was founded in 1843 to provide accessible transportation for the Oregon Trail. In the 1940s Portland went through an industrial boom because of World War II. Modern Portland is nicknamed “Silicon Forest” for it’s tech companies, and is also a headquarter for sneaker enthusiasts and home to both Nike and Adidas. Portland is divided into quadrants and the Williamette River which runs north south and intersects the Columbia River. The quadrants are named North Portland, Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast aptly.

On top of it’s booming tech industry and culture, Portland is also known as “Stumtown”. This refers to a time when the city was growing and they needed to cut down a ton of trees for the growth! One common phrase you’ll see and hear in Portland a lot is “Keep Portland Weird.” You’ll see this on merch, tourist gifts, online pages, and more. Either way the City of Roses offers history, art, entertainment, world class festivals, and as much nature as you can handle.

Portland oregon and mt hood

What Portland Neighborhood works best for your move?

What exactly is it that you’re after, for example it’s important to consider your commute as getting around the city in rush hour can add quite a lot of time especially if you’re traveling across town by car. However, the city has fair share of main streets that connect the quadrants and you will get know them and their traffic varies by time of day. During normal hours the commute to any part of the city is usually fast and most neighborhoods are accessible by train and bus.

Meanwhile, bike people will love the east side of the city and downtown with it’s ample bike lanes. This is also a good note for any drivers who are not used to sharing the road with bikes. Bikes in Portland are treated like cars. Although most streets have bike lanes it’s important to know a biker’s space on the road. There are even bike lanes all the way to the airport!

When choosing a neighborhood in Portland it’s important to ask yourself what you are looking for and what you need. Prefer to walk for food and entertainment? Next, is being able to use public transportation important? Also, what about space and a garage? Lastly, is privacy something desired?

No More Sales Tax

Oregon isn’t the cheapest of places to live and has rather high income taxes but one benefit is no sales tax! Even when shopping online there is no sales tax. It takes a while to remember when first arriving here and can be confusing (in a good way), some items are taxed (like cans and bottles), but there are easy recycle systems that pay us back such as BottleDrop. In addition, be prepared to bring bags to shopping stores. Some stores do not even have bags to provide anymore, but most will sell you a bag for a small fee. Portland is very green oriented but makes it easy!

Forget Pumping Your Own Gas

Yes, seriously we cannot pump our own gas (at least we’re not supposed to). However, Oregon fuel stops have attendants who are there to pump your gas. Legally we’re not supposed to do it yourself so take a break and relax or get some quick shopping done while the attendant finishes up, but make sure to pay first. When in a hurry it is usually no issue to pump gas by yourself.

Yes, It Rains.

Our winters can typically be pretty mild the rainy and cold season starts around the middle of fall. The rain will be on and off during the day and night, and sometimes can be consistent for days. Surprisingly there is not a lot of thunder storms in Portland. During winter the temperature really varies from year to year but typically stays warmer than 30 degrees, some winters it doesn’t snow at all even when it snows in other parts of Oregon.

Portland’s summertime is dry and mild, but lately the summer temperature has been going into the 100s and most places don’t have A/C. However spring and fall are typically perfect weather and you’ll want to live outside at those times.

What Neighborhood do I Want to Live In?

Neighborhoods to check out when moving to portland

The Rose City is growing and it’s neighborhoods are becoming well defined by their characteristics. The main neighborhoods of Portland have some of the most noticeable changes. Portland’s Southeast neighborhoods are all a short bike or walk away from each other. They all have slightly different culture from each other, Hawthorne for the vintage stores, small businesses, and shopping district. Meanwhile in Division you’ll find a more modern version of Portland. With so much to experience it takes time to learn Portland.

Areas to Check Out if Moving to Portland


21st Shopping District
23rd Avenue
Alphabet District (streets alphabetized starting at Burnside)
The Pearl District
Old Town


Dekum Triangle
University Park
St. Johns


Alberta Arts
Roseway/Rose City Park
North Tabor
Cully/NE 42nd Avenue


Ladd Hill
Goose Hollow
Multnomah Village
Downtown Beaverton
Orenco Station


Foster Powell
West Moreland
Central Eastside

Moving to Portland is an experience quite like no other place in the country. There is a lot to experience and learn here that makes this city unique. Famous for a book store, world class festivals, insane scenery, and more we’re sure you’ll love living here. If you find yourself needing help moving to Portland, be sure to hit up Caseys Movers and we’ll make sure you have a warm welcome to your new home!