Looking at the city of Portland, Oregon as a giant neighborhood, you can visualize five distinct neighborhoods: Southwest (Pioneer Courthouse Square & downtown), North (University of Portland & Portland International Raceway), Northwest (Pearl District & Chinatown), Southeast (Hawthorne District & Mt. Tabor) and Northeast (Lloyd District & Alberta Arts District).
Out of all of these, the Northeast is the coolest area in Portland with eclectic things to do, even for Portland. Head to Lower Burnside (LoBU) to party, the Rose Quarter to watch a ballgame, Lloyd Center Mall to shop or Alberta street to people watch and enjoy a beer plus lite meal (tacos, barbecue, Thai, sushi, food carts). If you’re hungry, how about a bowl of organic açaí with mango and pineapple?
Neighborhoods in Northeast Portland & Things To Do
Out of 95 neighborhoods in the city, eight of them are located in Northeast Portland. Each has its own flavor, appeal and diverse set of activities. Many of the best things to do in Portland and events in Portland are located here.
Alameda – Tree-lined streets with three fabulous local parks that have sports fields, dog walking areas, picnic tables and acres more: Fernhill Park, Wilshire Park and Grant Park. Exclusive, upscale homes are a main feature of this area. The ones found along the 4.4 mile long Alameda Ridge loop have incredible views of the city and Willamette River.
Beaumont-Wilshire – Two neighborhoods rolled into one. NE Fremont Street is the dividing line between the two with Beaumont on the south side and Wilshire to the north. Quaint central shopping area that includes the Grand Central Baking Company and Beaumont Village.
The Alameda Brewhouse is a local favorite; a small, five-barrel brewery with restaurant onsite and award-winning beers on tap. The Hollywood district is within walking distance.
Concordia – One of the hippest and happening Northeast neighborhoods largely due to Alberta Street and its art attractions (galleries, theater, street fair). To read all about it and see what event is up next plus local drinking and eating establishments click here: Alberta Main Street.
Early weekend mornings while the majority of city residents are home snug in their beds locals line-up to have brunch and bloody marys at the raved-about Tin Shed (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Pine State Biscuits is another breakfast hotspot on Alberta Street that has been featured on the Food Network.
Kennedy School in the neighborhood is not a school anymore but now famed for its unusual transition into a conglomerate of restaurants, bars, hotel and community spaces for local events and parties. Visit and take a soak in the beautifully-designed outdoor ceramic pool surrounded by lush gardens.
Grant Park – Twentieth Century Craftsman-style homes and 19.9-acre Grant Park with swimming pool, tennis courts, walking trails and sport fields. Neighborhood-feel though it is in the middle of just about everything. The Beaumont-Wilshire area is to the north, Rose City Park to the east and Hollywood District on its southside.
Hollywood District – Less of a residential neighborhood and more a large commercial and retail hub. Sandy Boulevard runs through its center and connects this district to all the major freeways. There are many restaurants and bars plus Safeway, Starbucks, Walgreens, WholeFoods, The Dollar Store, Baxter Auto Parts and a couple of Subway sandwich shops lining its sides.
The district’s namesake – the historic Hollywood Theater – is on this main drag. This 90-year-old art and film venue is a non-profit organization that shows classic and contemporary films, has live performances and educational programs plus supports local filmmakers. To see what is currently listed on the marquee and what film series are coming up click here: Hollywood Theater.
In 2014 Oregon legalized the cultivation (grow in your home) and use of non-medical marijuana. In October, 2015 the sale of recreational marijuana from dispensaries was made legal. While driving Sandy Boulevard and other neighborhood main streets you will see more than a few newish-looking, green, leafy business signs displaying names such as “Pure Green Marijuana Shop”, “Nectar” and “Happy Leaf.”
Irvington – Victorian-era mansions, kitschy boutiques, health-food stores, independent bookseller Broadway Books and Irish pub the “Cadillac Cafe”. What’s not to love? Located next to Lloyd Center and bumps up against the Alameda neighborhood. Try Spielman Bagels for a bagel with flavor-filled schmear or Taste Tickler for Asian Fusion. Buy a bento box and head to Irvington Park for a game of tennis or to play basketball.
The Rose Quarter (home of the NBA Portland Trailblazers) is nearby. Walk or hop on the Max light rail system and get off where you choose. In 2010 a 583-acre section of this neighborhood was designated a National Historic Place.
Laurelhurst – An approximate 428 acres of prime housing, safe streets with surveillance cameras and kid-friendly residents. Neighborhood association gives recommendations for vetted babysitters and training for a local foot patrol. There is an annual Greek festival (cooking lessons, raffle, costumes), winter bazaar and lacrosse club.
It would not be a Portland neighborhood without a park. You’ll find Laurelhurst Park here with a shallow lake home to a flock of ducks, horseshoe pit, soccer field, picnic areas, dog off-leash area, volleyball court and tennis courts.
Rose City Park – One of Portland’s nicknames is “The City of Roses”. You will find plenty of them in the park of the same name in this high-end, exclusive residential area. In addition to Rose City Park the area is home to Normandale Park (off-leash area & kids playground), Frazer Park (off-leash area & community garden) and the western section of the Rose City Golf Course.
Restaurants in the area include Cha’Ba Thai, Amalfi’s Italian Restaurant, Ohana Hawaiian Cafe, The Rheinlander and the Laurelwood Public House and Brewery. Grab a seat and order a cold one.
What the Weather Is Like in Portland & Outdoor Activities
Outdoorsy types flock to the Portland area and are often seen shopping at the REI store downtown. Why? Because year-round the weather is mild to moderate and Oregon plays host to an abundance of outdoor activities. Fishing, hiking, mountain biking trails, off-road ATV areas, snowboarding in winter, swimming in a refreshing river during summer… it’s all here.
Fluctuating temperatures during the day with unexpected spurts of rainfall are common. It is not unusual to dress for the cloudy chill present in the morning and then be sweating in the sunshine by late afternoon. Wear layers of clothing to shed or put on and keep a rain jacket handy.
When living in Northeast Portland you have some of the loveliest residential, natural and commercial areas this slice of Portland has a lot to offer. Don’t limit yourself. Explore and enjoy the city!