Hillside Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon
Driving up W Burnside through the northwest neighborhood, there is an all around urban feel that you would think couldn't be tainted. This is true until you enter the hills of the northwest Portland neighborhood of Hillside. Immediately as the boundaries of the neighborhood are crossed and there is a steep hill into lush, overgrowth, tree covering, it is as if Portland has completely changed. But instead, the beauty of the northwest kicks in and so does northwest pride of being in urban and trendy northwest Portland one minute, and outdoorsy, granola-loving Portland the next. Hillside neighborhood is located in the west hills of Portland, bordered by the Northwest and Arlington Heights neighborhoods. It is perched up on a hillside, just like the name, overlooking Portland in all its glory.
A local’s perspective
The accessibility to downtown Portland is what locals love most about the Hillside neighborhood. I spoke with Kristen, who has lived in Hillside for 15 years, who was walking her dog which is a pretty frequent activity happening in the neighborhood. Kristen likes that she doesn’t have to drive far to get where she wants to go, because Hillside is directly above the northwest district and just a few blocks away from the boutiques, coffee shops and trendy life on NW 23rd Avenue. She likes that she can live perched up, separate from city life, while still being literally a walk away from Portland’s urban setting. “Another great aspect to the neighborhood,” Kristen says, “is the school system. We have very good schools in the area.” Kristen continued to talk about all of the great places she goes to walk her dog that are close by, all of the great staircases that are great for walking, and how much she loves living in the neighborhood. The only reason she would be looking to move is to downsize, but she said for now they’re not looking to. After all, the homes are quite large in this neighborhood.
One home in particular that vacates the neighborhood and is significantly large is the Pittock Mansion, a popular tourist attraction for people visiting Portland and even for good old Portlanders who enjoy the great view of downtown from the estate’s high placement. Henry and Georgiana Pittock began planning for their home in 1909, and the mansion was completed in 1914. It was their home from 1914 to 1919. The Pittocks were very influential in the growth and development of Portland, and their home remains as a memorial to their great legacy.
The locals of Hillside enjoy having the outdoors in their front yard and the city in their backyard. Residents of the neighborhood have the best of both worlds in a neighborhood that is in high demand. There was a view I came across in one local’s front yard that overlooked all of downtown. Locals enjoy being in the center of it all because they are very active. Dog walkers, runners, hikers in the paths surrounding the neighborhood are all constants in Hillside. The neighborhood is very community conscious and has a very active neighborhood association, that is constantly taking part in community events such as ice cream socials, park concerts and neighborhood clean-ups. There are a good share of families in the neighborhood that care about keeping their neighborhood safe, and they accomplish maintaining a safe vibe. Walking around the neighborhood, there are people working on the gardens in their front lawns, children playing in the grass, men doing house work, etc. There are always people around and it gives the neighborhood a friendly, safe atmosphere.
Homes and Real Estate
The neighborhood features a variety of beautiful architectural styles, priced in the million and over range. Front yards and gardens are very well kept, and most homes have great views overlooking downtown Portland and Mt. Hood. Home styles include Colonial, English Tudor, Queen Anne Victorian and Foursquare.
Hillside neighborhood is near Washington Park where locals and visitors will find many of Portland’s most popular attractions.
Portland International Rose Test Garden features over 6,800 rose bushes and 557 varieties. It is one of the largest gardens in the nation, is internationally renowned and holds Portland true to its name of being the “City of Roses.”
Portland Japanese Garden is one of the most authentic Japanese Gardens outside of Japan, offering five separate garden styles in its 5.5 acre landscape.
Hoyt Arboretum offers 12 miles of trails among 8,000 trees from around the world.
World Forestry Center Discovery Museum showcases interactive exhibits that explores forests and trees.
Portland Children’s Museum gives kids plenty of opportunities to explore how objects work, create their own works of art, shop for groceries in the Kid’s Cafe and Market, use tools in the Garage and more things that make kids feel like adults.
Oregon Zoo allows families to enjoy seeing animals from almost every continent, as well as enjoying concerts at the zoo’s amphitheater, experiencing the Christmas lights at the zoo during the winter holidays and taking part in other events that the Portland Zoo offers annually.
Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial allows visitors to walk the circular path along the black granite walls that list the names of Oregon residents who either died in Vietnam or are missing in action. The memorial provides a beautiful, serene setting that allows reflection and remembrance.
Forest Park is also very close to Hillside along the northern side of the neighborhood. Forest Park hosts an abundance of trails and hiking paths for runners, hikers, dog walkers, bikers and horseback riders. The park contains over 5,000 acres with over 70 miles of trails, being one of the largest urban parks in the country. Hillside locals get everything from the endless trails of Forest Park to the attractions of Washington Park that never get old.
Photos of Hillside
Hillside locals receive the benefits of all aspects of Portland that visitors travel to see. Yet the residents of Hillside have it all in their backyard. A truly stunning and charming neighborhood with a great community vibe as friendly passersby smile with their dogs and active lifestyles.