Best Suburbs for Family-Friendly Neighborhoods in the Portland Metro Area

Best Suburbs for Family-Friendly Neighborhoods in the Portland Metro Area

  • Emily Corning
  • 05/21/24

Portland, Oregon, is known for its vibrant culture and beautiful scenery, but for families looking for a bit more space and a quieter environment, the suburbs around Portland offer ideal living conditions. These suburban areas provide excellent schools, ample recreational opportunities, and safe, welcoming communities. Here are some of the best family-friendly suburbs in the Portland metro area.


1. Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Oregon, and for good reason. This picturesque suburb, located just south of Portland, is renowned for its top-rated schools, such as Lake Oswego High School and River Grove Elementary School. The community places a strong emphasis on family activities, with numerous parks, playgrounds, and the beautiful Oswego Lake. Lake Oswego’s charming downtown area offers a variety of family-friendly restaurants, shops, and cultural activities, making it an ideal place for families to settle.


2. Beaverton

Beaverton is one of Portland’s largest suburbs, offering a perfect blend of suburban comfort and urban amenities. Known for its highly-rated schools, including the International School of Beaverton and several top public schools, this suburb is a great choice for families prioritizing education. Beaverton boasts over 100 parks, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The Tualatin Hills Nature Park and the Beaverton Farmers Market are popular family destinations, fostering a strong sense of community.


3. Tigard

Tigard offers a small-town feel with the conveniences of city living, making it a fantastic choice for families. The suburb is home to excellent schools and numerous parks, including Cook Park and Dirksen Nature Park, which feature trails, sports fields, and playgrounds. Tigard's family-friendly community events, such as the annual Balloon Festival, provide plenty of entertainment options. The Tigard Public Library is another great resource, offering programs and activities for children of all ages.


4. West Linn

West Linn, located just south of Lake Oswego, is known for its beautiful scenery, safe neighborhoods, and strong sense of community. Families are drawn to West Linn for its excellent schools, including West Linn High School, which ranks among the best in the state. The suburb offers numerous parks and recreational areas, such as Mary S. Young Park and the Willamette Falls Scenic Area, providing ample opportunities for outdoor family activities. West Linn’s community events, like the Old Time Fair, enhance its appeal as a family-friendly suburb.


5. Sherwood

Sherwood is a charming, growing suburb located southwest of Portland. This family-oriented community is known for its excellent schools and safe neighborhoods. Sherwood offers a variety of parks and recreational facilities, including Snyder Park and Stella Olsen Park, which feature playgrounds, sports fields, and nature trails. The Sherwood Center for the Arts hosts numerous family-friendly events and activities throughout the year, fostering a vibrant community atmosphere.


6. Wilsonville

Wilsonville is another great suburb for families, located south of Portland along the Willamette River. This suburb offers top-rated schools, such as Wilsonville High School and Boeckman Creek Primary School. Wilsonville is known for its well-planned neighborhoods, abundant parks, and family-friendly amenities. Memorial Park, with its playgrounds, sports facilities, and picnic areas, is a favorite among local families. Additionally, Wilsonville’s proximity to various shopping and dining options enhances its appeal for family living.


7. Hillsboro

Hillsboro, situated to the west of Portland, is a rapidly growing suburb that offers a mix of urban and suburban living. Known for its excellent schools and family-oriented community, Hillsboro provides plenty of recreational opportunities, including the popular Rood Bridge Park and Orenco Woods Nature Park. The Hillsboro Hops minor league baseball team and the annual Hillsboro Farmers Market offer family-friendly entertainment options, fostering a lively community spirit.


8. Happy Valley

Happy Valley, located southeast of Portland, is one of the fastest-growing suburbs in the area. This suburb is highly regarded for its new, spacious homes, safe neighborhoods, and top-rated schools like Happy Valley Elementary. Families can enjoy numerous parks, such as Happy Valley Park, which features playgrounds, sports fields, and walking trails. The suburb also hosts various community events and activities, making it a vibrant and welcoming place for families.


9. Forest Grove

Forest Grove, a suburb located west of Portland, offers a small-town charm with modern amenities. Known for its excellent schools and close-knit community, Forest Grove is an ideal place for families seeking a peaceful environment. The area is rich in parks and outdoor spaces, including the scenic Fernhill Wetlands and Rogers Park. The town’s historic Main Street features family-friendly shops and restaurants, contributing to its appeal as a family-friendly suburb.


10. Tualatin

Tualatin, situated southwest of Portland, is a vibrant suburb that combines natural beauty with suburban convenience. The suburb is home to top-rated schools and numerous parks, such as Tualatin Community Park and Cook Park, offering ample recreational opportunities for families. Tualatin’s annual events, including the Tualatin Crawfish Festival, provide fun and engaging activities for all ages. The suburb’s strong community focus and family-friendly amenities make it an excellent choice for families.


The suburbs around Portland offer a variety of family-friendly neighborhoods that cater to different lifestyles and preferences. Whether you prefer the picturesque charm of Lake Oswego, the suburban-urban mix of Beaverton, or the small-town feel of Sherwood, there’s a suburb that will meet your family’s needs. These communities provide excellent educational opportunities, abundant recreational activities, and a safe, welcoming environment, making them ideal places for families to thrive.

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