If you’re considering a move you’ve probably come across this blog because you’re interested in the state of Oregon. While Oregonians are typically considered too nice for some people’s taste, the huge influx of transplants has generated some backlash from natives to the state – but don’t fret, we’re getting used to it. Who wouldn’t want to live in Oregon? After lying low for what seems like decades, the rest of the U.S. is quickly catching on to the fact that Oregon just might be one of the best places in the country and are quickly moving to Oregon. More trees than people, no sales tax, a booming job market, diverse regions, an abundance of nature and 363-miles of picturesque coastline – what’s not to love?! We may be biased, but we’ve got it goin’ on in over here in the Beaver State. Read on to learn more about why we love Oregon and why you should consider moving to our great state.
There’s More To Us Than Portland (Even Though We Love The City of Roses)
We like to say that you can do, be, eat, or drink just about anything in Portland. Oregon’s urban hub, the Greater Portland Metro Area is home to about 2.5 million people – over half of Oregon’s entire population. One of the most popular cities in Oregon, the “Rose City” is home to some of the worlds largest companies like Nike, Adidas, and Intel, but is centrally located near a few of the states best natural attractions for those that want to escape the city life from time to time. When non-natives picture Oregon, Portland is usually what comes to mind. But don’t be confused – the Portland area is not reminiscent of other regions in the state. It is a busy, bustling city that is full of opportunity, craft beer, coffee, and business. Check out our comparison of Oregon’s regions below:
The Oregon Coast
363-miles of picturesque coastal views and public beaches line the mighty Pacific Ocean on the Oregon Coast. One of the most beautiful coastlines in the entire U.S., Oregon’s Coast is one of a kind. Small, sparsely populated beach towns offer up rich maritime history, a booming arts scene, and some of the best food and craft beverages in the world. The Pacific Coast Highway (or HWY 101) stretches along the entire coastline giving visitors and locals alike easy access along the way. Our personal favorite region is the North Oregon Coast (a popular hub of the Pacific Northwest) From the northern coast to the central coast to the southern coast, there’s plenty to explore and experience. Check out our blog on the best places to live on the Oregon Coast to learn more about its 3 regions.
Nestled at the base of the Cascade Mountains, Central Oregon has seen a huge surge in tourism and has developed into one of the most popular regions in the state just behind Portland. The entire region is amazing, but the most notable and populated city in this region is Bend. Bend has rapidly become one of the most sought after cities to move to in the state thanks to the abundance of recreational opportunity and mild climate. We love Bend because it has the amenities of a big city without feeling like you are constantly hustling and bustling. Bends central location offers a little bit of something for everyone whether you want to bike/hike, raft, ski, enjoy craft beer, enjoy local art, and so much more. Aside from Bend, Central Oregon as a whole is becoming popular for a multitude of reasons. The typically dry, warm summers and mild, snowy winters are complementary to the endless amounts of outdoor activities in the area. Mount Bachelor is close by for great skiing, snowboarding, and other snow activities. The Deschutes River cuts through the region and is perfect for cooling off in the summer and the “bike and dog-friendly” is complementary to the easy access to some of the best hiking, biking, skiing, golfing, fishing, and boating in the state.
Eastern Oregon has been dubbed the “Wild, Wild, West” of Oregon. The area features wide-open skies, painted hills, sprawling desert landscapes and evidence of years past. Very sparsely populated, this is the more conservative region of the state where rugged, backcountry style living is the status quo. In terms of weather this region is characterized by a dry, continental climate resulting in diverse seasons and temperatures. They only receive about 10-inches of rain per year and the region is classified as a high desert despite the thick blanketing of snow residents experience every winter. A popular area for those interested in ghost towns, Oregon Trail history, or hunting, the lack of businesses and institutions results in much less tourism than the coast and central Oregon regions.
When traveling through the small towns in Southern Oregon you get the sense that they are independent. While this region is not as geographically or politically removed as the Eastern region of the state, Southern Oregon towns are known to beat to their own drum. In the 1940s the region tried to claim independence from both Oregon and California, but their hope of becoming the 51st state never prevailed. Similar to the rest of the state, the area is extremely outdoor activity-friendly. Dubbed as a walker and biker friendly area there are tons of recreational opportunities scattered throughout. Also similar to other regions in the state, Southern Oregon has a booming arts, food, and craft beverage scene that anyone can enjoy. Small, historic towns are surrounded by larger cities like Ashland (home of the most prolific Shakespeare festivals in the world – the Oregon Shakespeare Festival) Medford, Klamath Falls, and Grants Pass (the home of Dutch Bros. Coffee!)
Columbia River Gorge and Mt.Hood Area
While these could be classified as two regions, we’re grouping them together for conciseness sake. In the Gorge, the Columbia River slices through the cascade mountains making for some jaw-dropping natural beauty. Surrounded by popular cities like Portland and Hood River, this region is the perfect balance of rural/country and city life. The unmatched beauty of the Columbia River Gorge and surrounding areas stand out amongst the rest of the already stunning state. Mt.Hood towers mightily behind Hood River offering even more recreational opportunities to those that visit or live in this area. Located about 50 miles East/Southeast of Portland, Mt.Hood is not only Oregon’s highest peak but also happens to be one of the nation’s tallest, and most prominent summits and hosts one of America’s longest skiing seasons. Aside from their long skiing season, Mt.Hood Adventure Park is a popular summer attraction in the area and showcases a surplus of terrain parks, trails, lodges, and scenic lifts.
The Willamette Valley is home to over two-thirds of Oregon’s famous wineries earning the region the nickname of “Wine Country.” Taste your way through the 500+ wineries or other establishment scattered throughout the valley. The scenery is characterized by painted, rolling hills of grapevines, mountain views and wide-open skies making for serene, secluded living.
While this is a popular region for those visiting the state, most of the area is characterized by rural, farm-like conditions. With that being said, the Willamette Valley stretches across the state and is centrally located near major hubs like Eugene (home to the University of Oregon,) Salem, Portland, and other larger cities in the Portland Metro Area. Flanked by the Cascade Mountain Range to the east, the Oregon Coast Range to the west and the Calapooya Mountains to the south, Oregon’s Wine Country is much like the rest of the state in the sense that there is no shortage of picturesque views, and outdoor opportunities.
Have we convinced you Oregon is the best state yet? If not, check out our website where you can find an abundance of Oregon information. Whether you’re looking to travel through or want to start packing and call our great state home, we’ve got everything you need. If you are interested in learning more about Oregon, its regions, want tips for moving here or simply want to know more about what our state has to offer you, check out our Relocate To Oregon Guide here.