The Oregon Coast
We may be biased, but the Oregon Coast is one of the most beautiful regions in the entire world. When visiting Oregon’s coastline, just about any of the small beach towns can satisfy those looking for a relaxing trip along the ocean. But where are best places to live in Oregon? With so many amazing places to choose from it can be hard to choose. Below, we break down the best towns to relocate to along the Oregon coast.
- Oh, Astoria. Quickly becoming a major tourist destination on the West Coast, the historic river town has boomed in recent years. Situated along the Columbia River, Astoria is a port city often accommodating large cruise ships and even larger cargo ships transporting goods from all over the world. Thanks to a recent influx in popularity and population, housing prices are on the rise and homes to rent or buy are scarce. If you can afford to snag a spot in this up and coming town we highly recommend it.
- About 20 minutes south of Astoria, Seaside is a classic beach town. While things are pretty slow in the off-season, this small town fills up during the spring and summer months. Situated right on the Pacific Ocean, you can easily access the beach within 5 minutes from just about anywhere in this town. Like Astoria, housing is scarce and prices are higher than in recent years, but the charm and small town feel make any risk worthwhile.
- Lincoln City
- Similar to Seaside, Lincoln City is a popular beach destination in Oregon. Known for being the home of Chinook Winds Casino, Lincoln City is situated along a 7-mile stretch of beach and surrounded by evergreen forests for those that want to escape the sand. A diverse food scene and slower pace make this a good spot for those that don’t want the extra hustle and bustle of busy Seaside.
- Dubbed the Oregon Coasts playground, Florence is one of the quieter spots along the Oregon Coast. While it is popular for their miles of stretching sand dunes, Florence doesn’t see *quite* as much tourism as the northern Oregon coast. Don’t be mistaken – this is a popular area for those that are into ATV riding, camping, and low-key beach scenery.
- Coos Bay
- The southern Oregon coast is undoubtedly the least popular region of the coastline despite being the warmest. With that being said, Coos Bay is the largest community along the coast with more than 16,000 residents and more diverse food & beverage, entertainment, and job industries than other towns we have mentioned. Like most of the coast, Coos Bay provides ample opportunity to hangout outside for the adventure and nature enthusiasts.
Unmatched “green” tendencies, a booming art, coffee, food and craft beverage scene, a port the distributes products internationally, and being home to some of the largest companies in the world are just some of the things making Portland one of the best places to live in Oregon. Oregon’s urban hub, the greater Portland metro area is home to more than 2.5 million people – over half of the states total population. Undoubtedly our largest city, Portland is also our most popular city. Home to the likes of Nike, Adidas, and Intel, Portland is best suited for those looking for some hustle and bustle in their daily lives. While there are some small, more rural areas encompassed in the Portland metro area, we mostly reference the city center when speaking of Portland and what they have to offer. The city has a booming fitness scene and is consistently ranked as one of the most “bike friendly” cities in the entire world. Portland is also home to over 2,500 coffee shops earning themselves the nickname “Stumptown” – an ode to the famous Stumptown Coffee Roasters and the ongoing joke that there is *literally* a coffee shop on every single corner. An abundant health and eco conscious spirit, and certified weird-ness (Ya know – “Keep Portland Weird”) you can do, be, eat, drink and see just about anything in Portland.
Popularly nicknamed Oregon’s playground, Bend is quickly catching up with Portland as one of the most sought after cities to relocate to within the state. The entire Central Oregon region is popular amongst adventurists thanks to the seemingly endless amount of outdoor activities and possibilities. Hit the slopes of Mt. Bachelor in the winter, or raft down the Deschutes in the summer. No matter the season there are endless things to do. Popular for their craft brewery scene, Bends economy and job market has seen a huge boost in recent years. The high-desert climate makes for dry, warm summers and snowy winters giving residents four distinct seasons – something that is not as common throughout the rest of the state.
Hood River Oregon
Hood River is located in The Columbia River Gorge – a region characterized by the canyon where the Columbia River cuts through the Cascade Mountains. Up to 4,000 ft. deep in some areas, the Gorge stretches about 80 miles forming the boundary between Washington State and Oregon. Hood River is located about 60 miles east of Portland and is situated right along the Columbia River. Known for being windy, the Hood River area is a popular spot to relocate to within the state thanks to their outdoor activity opportunities and craft beer scene. Aside from being named the adventure capital of the Gorge, Hood River is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the state. The Columbia River lines one side, while Mt. Hood looms over the other and rolling fields of fruit orchards and vineyards make for some pretty picturesque scenery.
The city of Ashland is located in the Southern region of Oregon. Known as the “Wild West” of the state, the entire southern Oregon region is full of awe-inspiring natural beauty. Ashland is one of a few larger cities scattered amongst a ton of smaller, more conservative towns. Home to one of the most prolific Shakespearian theatre festivals in the entire United States, Ashland has a booming arts scene offering visitors and locals ample opportunity to explore music, food, plays, and other displays of artistry. Much like the rest of the state, Ashland is centrally located near an abundant amount of nature and outdoor recreational opportunities. In Southern Oregon you’ll find popular landmarks like the mighty Crater Lake and Siskiyou and Rogue River National Forests.
While we don’t have one particular city we would recommend moving to in Eastern Oregon due to their small size and lack of notable features, the eastern region of the state should not be overlooked. Evidence of days gone by seem to be scattered all throughout the Eastern Oregon and is often referred to as the most conservative region of the typically liberal state. Rich with history including monuments and remnants of the Oregon Trail, Eastern Oregon is also home to prehistoric fossil beds and is sparsely populated, mostly made up of wheat fields, mountains, and forests. If you’re interested in secluded, rugged, backcountry style living Eastern Oregon just might be the place for you!
Final thoughts about the best cities to live in for families:
We hope you enjoyed our article on the best places to live in Oregon. If you are looking to relocate to Oregon for any reason, be sure to read our move to Oregon guide.