Hillsdale Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon
Hillsdale is like the SE Sellwood of the West Hills. With its very own branch of Multnomah County Library with Leed™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, its parks, the constant shrills of children in the strollers and arms of mothers, a bakery that supports local farmers and a very community oriented persona. Hillsdale has got an almost suburban feel because it is set apart from downtown but still close enough to be considered accessible by bike, bus or car. It has got some quirk, like those southeast Portland neighborhoods, but in its own way. Driving into the neighborhood there are the noticeable restaurants, grocery stores and a few boutiques and coffee shops. Hillsdale residents have what they need in the comfort of their own neighborhood.
Hillsdale is located in the west hills of southwest Portland, just off of I-5 South about 3.5 miles past downtown. It’s a quick drive which gives the neighborhood close access to other areas of Portland through the freeway. Hillsdale is bordered by Bridlemile, South Portland, Healy-Heights, Multnomah and Hayhurst neighborhoods of the west hills. The boundaries of the neighborhood are Dosch Road and SW 30th Avenue to the west, Slavin Road and Barbur Boulevard to the east, Sunset Boulevard to the north and Vermont Street to Bertha Boulevard to Barbur Boulevard to the South.
There are lots of families in the neighborhood that fill the grocery stores, Baker and Spice the neighborhood bakery, and the neighborhood library. The neighborhood farmers market is very well established and has been running since 2002. The residents of Hillsdale and local businesses such as Baker and Spice are huge supporters of the market which happens on Sundays weekly in the Wilson High School parking lot which is centrally located within the neighborhood, near the Hillsdale Town Center. Other events that that happen in the neighborhood that capture the neighborhood vibe are an annual chalk art festival, a Hillsdale benefit book sale, blueberry pancake appreciation breakfasts and many clean-ups happening at the neighborhood’s schools and local businesses.
Hillsdale Fred Meyer and Food Front Cooperative Grocery are two of the grocery stores that locals flock to for their needs in the kitchen. They are both conveniently located, and there is a friendly vibe throughout each of the stores as if customers and employees see each other regularly. This small town vibe extends to the local bakery, Baker and Spice. While I was in the bakery there was always a line coming from the register, and it was evident that the bakery is a hot spot for locals who are meeting up with friends and family as there were plenty of children picking at fresh baked pastries as well as older couples drinking loose leaf tea. There is also a McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery and Public House in the neighborhood which serves families for a fun night out.
Neighborhood schools include Rieke Elementary, Capitol Hill Elementary, Gray Middle School and Wilson High School.
Photos of Hillsdale
Accessibility to other areas of Portland
For bikers, there is a bike path that leads bicyclists through Hillsdale to downtown. Just follow the white painted signs on the road to the route on SW Terwilliger or SW Barbur Boulevard. For those driving from Hillsdale to downtown it is about a 10 minute drive either on I-5 or SW Barbur Boulevard. Tri-Met has many bus routes running through Hillsdale that lead to other areas of Portland. And though the neighborhood doesn’t have access to a light rail system, these other modes of transportation can easily access the MAX in nearby neighborhoods.
Homes & Real Estate
In this semi-suburban neighborhood there are many ranch style homes built after WWII as well as many contemporary styles that extend to modern architecture. The homes are spread out into sections in wooded areas, sometimes feeling as if the home are in the middle of a forest. The setting for the homes is safe and comfortable for families, while also not so set apart that it’s difficult to access grocery stores, restaurants, schools and other public places.
The neighborhood has its own online newsletter that informs residents of important dates, recent news and upcoming events happening within the community. It’s an organized way of letting community members, whether homeowners or business owners, what is going on in Hillsdale.
Dewitt City Park is a small park near the Hillsdale branch of Multnomah County Library in the middle of Hillsdale. It provides a few different play structures for children.
Hillsdale Park is located along the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway at 27th Avenue. It provides a large off-leash area for dogs to run free.
Stephens Creek is one of three major Willamette watershed locations in Portland.
George Himes is a park with over 30 acres that provides runners and hikers with trails in the southeast section of the neighborhood.
Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard Park is a long, narrow 103 acre park that is a coveted destination for hikers and runners along the long and curvy Terwilliger curves.
The neighborhood has a suburban, small-town feel, but is not deprived from urban life which is just 10 minutes away. Hillsdale residents can have the best of both worlds while living in a suburban town without the crazy hectic life of downtown, but can take a night out on the town whenever they feel like it with its great accessibility.