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5 Great Cities to Move to in Oregon

Jon Fesmire | June 26, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

Thanks to its greenery and moderate weather, Oregon is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. If you’re considering moving there, we think that’s a great choice.

There are a few things you should know before planning your move, however. When you arrive and need to fill up your tank, don’t pump your own gas. It’s illegal. No kidding. There will be a gas station attendant who will pump your gas for you. Also, when you go into any store to make a purchase, it will be easy to calculate how much you’ll spend. Why? Because Oregon has no state sales tax.

Finally, it’s easy to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature around you. Many cities have parks where you can walk around, check out a lake, or ride your bicycle.

We’ve chosen five excellent cities to spotlight. We encourage you to consider these if you’re thinking of moving to Oregon.


Beaverton is a great choice if you enjoy the outdoors. One feature of this city of 97,000 people is the park system. This small city has about 1,400 acres of them, which adds up to about 100 parks total. You’ll find walking trails, lakes, and much more.

It’s not a bad place to work, either. Nike and Tektronix both have locations here and employ a lot of people. The household income is about $59,000, the median house price about $355,000, and the median rent about $1,350. As for the weather, it’s comparable to Portland, with 142 sunny days per year. Speaking of Portland, the city a 16 minute drive east, so if you want to check out the museums and everything else Portland has to offer, you won’t have far to go.


If you love nature and outdoor sports, consider moving to Bend, Oregon. The small city of about 92,000 is a big ski town. You’ll find numerous ski resorts, like the Mt. Bachelor Ski and Summer Resort and the nearby Hoodoo Ski Area.

For most, it shouldn’t be tough to find work here, either. Bend’s unemployment rate is just 4%. It’s also an affordable place to live. The median house price is about $325,000, and the average rent, about $1,170.

While most of the fun activities in Bend are outdoors, including paragliding, there are some fun activities unique to Bend if you want to spend time indoors. Check out the High Desert Museum, which includes a 1914 Model T Ford, or, for a taste of local art, the Lubbesmeyer Art Gallery.


Milwaukie is a nearby suburb of Portland with a population of about 21,000. Still, it’s a city unto itself with plenty to do. These include the Milwaukie Museum with exhibits related to local history, the Milwaukie Sunday Farmer’s Market, where you can not only get farm fresh produce from local farmers, but purchase craft items, and enjoy life music, and the North Clackamas Aquatic Park, with recreational swimming including water slides.

The unemployment rate in this small city is slightly higher than other cities on this list at 5%, but with the proximity to Portland, there’s plenty of work for the dedicated job seeker. The median household income is $56,000, while rental prices average about $1,360, and the median housing price is about $360,000.

When we say that Milwaukie is close to Portland, we’re not kidding. During normal traffic, it’s a 10 minute drive. So, you’ll have all the fun and resources available in Portland nearby as well.


Some may consider the weather in Portland drab. However, if you like weather on the cooler side, this may be the ideal place for you. The city sees only 144 sunny days per year; the rest are rainy or snowy. Summers are short and warm, but not generally hot, while winters are cool to cold.

Plus, there’s plenty to do, no matter what the weather’s like. On a sunny or mildly rainy day, you can visit the relaxing Portland Japanese Gardens. Interested in learning about Portland’s pioneer past? On a really rainy day, head over to Pittock Mansion, a beautiful early 20th century home in the woods.

Portland is also a great home for creative types. For example, the city has a large and supportive community of writers with groups like PDX Writers and Attic Institute, and publishers like Future Tense Books and Eraserhead Press.

Unemployment is at an acceptable 3.7%, and the cost of most items are reasonable, though housing costs are a bit higher than the state average. The median housing price is around $430,00, while median monthly rent is around $1,600.


If you’re looking for well-paying work, an educated population, and a solid high school graduation rate, look no farther than Sherwood. The median income here is about $83,000, the average rent is about $1,340, and the median housing price is about $315,000. The high school graduation rate is 15% higher than the state average.

Sherwood is just 17 miles—or about 27 minutes—southwest of Portland, so day trips to the largest nearby city are easy, yet you’ll live in a smaller community of about 20,000.

Sherwood has a charming old town area with antique shops and other local businesses, including coffeehouses, bakeries, a performing arts center, and more. Enjoy wine tasting? Check out 503 Uncorked or Hawks View Winery. Want fresh produce once a week? Check out Sherwood Saturday Market, the town’s local farmers market.

So, whether you’re an artistic person, you love the outdoors, or you’re just looking for a comfortable place for you and your family to call home, Oregon has something for you. We hope this helped in your search.

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