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Portland Suburbs

The Portland Metro area divides nicely along N-S and E-W quadrants. These lines would intersect in downtown Portland and along the Willamette river front in downtown. While Portland proper is a large area with over 580,000, the greater Portland Metro population is over 2,100,000. The Portland suburbs surrounding the core are the areas where growth has occurred and where most of Portland residents actually live. These suburbs also tend to separate themselves by East side and West side suburbs. The Western suburbs, dominated by Beaverton and Hillsboro, and home to Nike and Intel are a very different and unique area. Because Portland is bordered by the West Hills there is a more of a sense of seperation as you go west from downtown into the Tualatin Valley and Beaverton. Hillsboro is further west than Beaverton and a longer drive into downtown, but is the home of most of the Intel facilities in Oregon. Further west is Forest Grove, once a sleep college and farm town it is now seeing rapid growth around it's edges as more people in the high tech industry located in this area.

South and west are the major suburbs of Tigard and Tualatin. Wilsonville is south of Tualatin and both are along I-5 making for an easy 15-25 minute commute to downtown most times of the day. Lake Oswego are also South of downtown and border the Willamette river thereby making the officially part of the Westside.

The Eastside suburbs are Troutdale at the North end, Gresham a city of 100,000 people is the Eastern edge of the metro area and flows from East portland without noticeable breaks. South of Gresham is Happy Valley a relatively new enclave of homes from the 90's and 00's. Damascus is just south of Happy Valley and is the newest addition to the Portland Metro area and to cities in Oregon after incorporating in 2006. Clackamas is along I-205 and has several major employers in the warehouse and distribution sectors. Milwaukie, Gladstone, and surrounding closer in areas are across the river from Lake Oswego and West Linn but seem like different worlds entirely. They are working class areas with family homes and reasonable prices. Access to downtown is on surface streets for the most part.

Oregon City is further South and anchors the South East corner of the Metro area. With it's historic downtown and ties to the end of the Oregon Trail this is a unique area. There are turn of the (last) century homes and newer neighborhoods as well. Most of the housing in Oregon City is up the hill from what you see when traveling down I-205. Hwy 213 exits and goes through portions of Oregon City and eventually on to the town of Mollala.

More rural suburbs of the east side include Sandy, east of Damascus and Gresham and along Hwy 26 on the way to Mt. Hood. Estacada a bit further south is along the Clackamas river, and Mollala and Canby are south of Oregon City and West Linn respectively forming the north end of the Willamette Valley.


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