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Living in Oregon - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Sparks Lake in Central Oregon

Is Oregon a Good Place to Live?

If you're wondering, "is Oregon a good place to live?" Well, you're in luck! Oregon is a unique state with a lot to offer its residents. From the stunning mountain ranges, evergreen forests, and breathtaking beaches to its lively cities and charming towns, Oregon living has something for everyone.


So read on to explore what living in Oregon looks like. Or, if you're interested in a particular city, click the "Cities" tab on the menu bar, and you'll see the almost 70 cities we have available. With all the great information available, we will paint a good picture of what living in Oregon looks like and help you figure out where the best place in Oregon to live is for you! And we'll hopefully answer the question, "is Oregon a good place to live?"

What is Living in Oregon Like?

Situated in the Northwest corner of the United States sits the amazing state of Oregon. With a population of around 4.25 million, as of this writing, Oregon is the 27th most populous state in the US and the ninth largest state in total land mass. Oregon is known for its natural beauty and having a tremendous amount of outdoor recreation. For those living in Oregon, some of the driving factors of the economy and jobs are manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. 

Oregon has a diverse landscape with a mild climate, including six state forests, 50 named mountain ranges, and five national parks, including the famous Crater Lake National Park. The state stretches along the Pacific coast, providing some of the most beautiful views on the west coast.


Moving to and living in Oregon would be an excellent choice if you're into the outdoors. Wherever you're located throughout the state, outdoor activities are abundant and at your fingertips. Camping, skiing, hiking, and fishing are not far from you at any time living in Oregon. If you love the outdoors, then living in Oregon is for you!

Many people move to Oregon to further their education. Many colleges and universities call Oregon home. Portland Community College, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Mt Hood Community College, and the University of Oregon are among the biggest.

Whether you move to Oregon to retire, raise a family, or want a change of scenery, living in Oregon has something to offer anybody. The hard part is figuring out the best place in Oregon to live!

Are You Considering Buying a Home in Oregon?

Would you like to buy a home in Oregon? Let our team of trusted professionals help you buy or/and sell a home in this wonderful state. To connect with a local expert/real estate professional in Oregon, to help you navigate your home buying journey, CLICK HERE. To start receiving emails with homes that match your criteria anywhere in Oregon, CLICK HERE and sign up for Listing Alert. With a little info on what, where, and how much, you'll get newly listed homes matching your criteria sent to your inbox as they hit the market. This can give you a big leg up in your home search.

The first step in the home-buying process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Todd Davidson is an experienced mortgage broker and can help you get the best financing option for your home purchase. Not quite ready yet? Todd can help you put together a plan to get you there. Whether you're thinking a few months or a year or more if you want to buy a home, reach out to Todd and he can help. CLICK HERE to email Todd and set up a call to get the process started or just call him at 971-275-2465. 

Todd Davidson Headshot.JPG

Todd Davidson

Mortgage Broker

A Brief History of Oregon

Oregon is a state with a rich history that stretches back centuries. Some of the first inhabitants of Oregon were Native American tribes, who lived off the land and survived by hunting and gathering. In the early 1800s, settlers began to move westward in search of new opportunities, and many passed through Oregon on the famous Oregon Trail.

Over time, more and more people made Oregon their home, and it eventually became a state in 1859. Since then, Oregon has continued to grow and evolve, making it one of the most unique and exciting states in the country.

  1. Portland Metro Area

  2. Oregon Coast

  3. Mt Hood & The Columbia River Gorge

  4. Willamette Valley

  5. Southern Oregon

  6. Central Oregon

  7. Eastern Oregon 

Regions in Oregon

Mt Hood in Oregon

Living in the Portland Metro Area

The Portland Metro Area comprises several suburban cities and is known for its diverse population. The average temperature ranges from 80 degrees and little rain in the summer to 40 degrees, pretty wet but with little snow in the winter. There are numerous art galleries and museums in the Portland Metro area, as well as various restaurants and bars. Sports teams in the area include the Portland Trailblazers, Portland Timbers, Portland Thorns, and Hillsboro Hops. The Portland Metro area is close to Mt Hood and the Oregon Coast. If you're living in Oregon and want action, the Portland Metro area is the place to be and is probably the best place in Oregon to live for you.

The suburbs of Portland Metro are also home to several large corporations, employing many residents throughout the area. In addition, the Portland Metro area is home to several colleges and universities, as well as highly rated public schools, making it a great place to live for students and young professionals. 

The Portland Metro Area is a great place to live if you are considering moving to Oregon.

Portland Oregon with Mt Hood

Popular cities in the Portland Metro include:

Beaverton     Gresham     Hillsboro     Milwaukie     Lake Oswego    Oregon City     Portland     Tualatin   

Tigard     West Linn

Living at the Oregon Coast

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach Oregon

The Oregon Coast is one of the most beautiful places in the world. With its soaring cliffs, crashing waves, and sandy beaches, it's easy to see why. The coastline stretches for over 300 miles, from the state's border with California all the way to its northern most point.

Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to explore, whether you're looking for a place to relax or an adventure. There are also many towns and villages dotting the coast, each with its own unique character.

Whether you’re interested in living at or moving to the Northern Oregon Coast, the Central Oregon Coast, or the Southern Oregon Coast, tourism is a big driver of the Oregon Coast economy.  Beautiful views and an excess of recreational activities are all around.


Moving to Oregon and living at the Oregon coast is a very popular idea among people looking to move to Oregon. Though beautiful the cloudy skies and rain are often an issue for those moving to the area. If you can deal with the weather, you might find the Oregon Coast the best place to live in Oregon.

Popular cities on the Northern Oregon Coast region include:

Astoria     Gearhart     Seaside     Cannon Beach     Tillamook

Popular cities on the Central Oregon Coast include:

Lincoln City     Newport     Florence


Popular cities on the Southern Oregon Coast include:

Coos Bay     Bandon     Brookings

For information on the cost of living on the Oregon Coast and fourteen of the largest towns on the Oregon Coast, check out my blog post "The REAL Cost of Living on the Oregon Coast."

Living at Mt Hood and the Columbia River Gorge

Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge are two of Oregon's most popular tourist destinations among outdoor enthusiasts. Mt. Hood is home to the nation's longest ski season, and the Columbia River Gorge is renowned for its abundance of agriculture. The mild climate and abundant rainfall make Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge perfect for a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking and camping to skiing and fishing. If the idea of living in Oregon, and moving to the Columbia River Gorge or Mt. Hood has struck you, the biggest issue might be employment. A lot of the employment in these areas is seasonal and in tourism. 

If you're moving to Oregon for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities, Mt Hood and the Columbia River Gorge are tough to beat and you might find it to be the best place in Oregon to live.

Popular cities in Mt. Hood & The Columbia River Gorge include:

Hood River     Sandy     The Dalles     Troutdale

Living in the Willamette Valley

Wilamette Valley Winery

The Willamette Valley is the heart of Oregon, and it's an exciting place to explore. This beautiful region is home to many world-class wineries, as well as rushing waterfalls and stunning mountain views.

The climate in the area is Mediterranean-type, which means that it enjoys mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. This mild climate makes it a great place to grow grapes, and the wines produced in this region are truly exceptional. If you're looking at moving to Oregon and finding a place to relax and enjoy some of the best that living in Oregon has to offer, the Willamette Valley is definitely worth a visit and you might find it to be the best area in Oregon to live.

Living in Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon is a beautiful region located south of Lane County. Among Oregon residents, the area is known for its independent spirit, and there are many great festivals and events held throughout the year. The region is also home to some of the most beautiful and wild rivers in the country, as well as stunningly colorful landscapes.

Throughout the year, temperatures here typically range from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. But what makes Southern Oregon so special is the local character and the people who make up this wonderful region.

If you want to live in Oregon, Southern Oregon deserves a look. It's certainly a great area of Oregon to live.

Vineyard locatedi in Southern Oregon

Living in Central Oregon

Smith Rock State Park

If you have been searching for a place to call home that offers expansive forests and plenty of small- to mid-sized towns to explore, living in Central Oregon should be at the top of your list. The region's steady economy and abundance of job opportunities make living in Central Oregon and attractive option, while its expansive natural beauty is sure to please everyone in the family. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys taking in the beauty of nature, Central Oregon is sure to have something for you if you're thinking of moving to Oregon. A lot of people moving to Oregon or within Oregon are choosing Central Oregon. It is a very popular place in Oregon to live.

Popular cities in Central Oregon include:

Bend     Prineville     Redmond     Sisters

Living in Eastern Oregon

When people think of living in Oregon, they often picture the stunning coastal views or the bustling city of Portland. However, there is much more to this state than meets the eye. In fact, Eastern Oregon is a very different place altogether. This region is known for the gorgeous Blue Mountains, Hells Canyon, developed agriculture, and friendly family-oriented communities. 

If what you are on the lookout for is a place to get away from it all and enjoy some stunning natural beauty, you might find that Eastern Oregon is one of the best places in Oregon to live. And if you're interested in learning more about Oregon's history and culture, there are plenty of museums and historical sites to explore in this region as well. If you're thinking of moving to Oregon, Eastern Oregon deserves a long look.

Top Businesses & Employers in Oregon

Oregon is a thriving and diverse state with a strong economy and plenty of opportunities for businesses and employees. Oregon is home to various industries, from high-tech and manufacturing to agriculture and forestry. If you are living in Oregon or planning to move to Oregon, below are ten companies headquartered in Oregon that employ a large amount of Oregon residents : 

  1. Nike Inc.: Located in the city of Beaverton and employs about 73,000 people.

  2. KinderCare Learning Centers: Located in the city of Portland and employs about 36,000 people.

  3. Precision Castparts Corp.: Located in the city of Portland and employs about 30,000 people.

  4. Fred Meyer: Located in the city of Portland and employs about 30,000 people.

  5. The Greenbrier Companies: Located in the city of Lake Oswego and employs about 12,000 people.

  6. Columbia Sportswear: Located in the city of Beaverton and employs about 9,000 people.

  7. Les Schwab Tire Centers: Located in the city of Bend and employs about 8,000 people.

  8. FLIR Systems: Located in the city of Wilsonville and employs about 4,000 people.

  9. Schnitzer Steel Industries: Located in the city of Portland and employs about 3,500 people.

  10. Portland General Electric: Located in the city of Portland and employs about 3,000 people.

Living and Working in Oregon

All of these businesses and industries contribute to Oregon's economy and employ Oregonians. In addition, many of these businesses are located in Oregon's major cities, making them convenient for Oregon residents to access. If you are looking to move to Oregon and find work, these companies would be an excellent place to look.

Top Destinations, Attractions and Events in Oregon

There is no shortage of incredible destinations and attractions in the beautiful state of Oregon. From the stunning natural beauty of the Willamette Valley to the bustling city life of Portland, there is something for everyone who is visiting or living in Oregon. Listed below are 7 of the most popular destinations and attractions in Oregon. They are all must-see if visiting or living in Oregon:

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is one of the most unique landscapes in the United States. The park is located in the Cascade Mountains of southwestern Oregon and is home to Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the country. The lake was formed over 7,000 years ago when Mount Mazama erupted and collapsed.

Today, Crater Lake is a popular destination for hikers, campers, and nature lovers. The park offers many trails for all levels of hikers and opportunities for fishing, boating, and other activities. It's the states most visited attraction. If you move to Oregon you'll surely want to visit.

Crater Lake, Near Klamath Falls Oregon

Mt Hood

Mt Hood and Trillium Lake in Oregon

Mt. Hood is the highest mountain in Oregon and one of the state's most prominent landmarks. The mountain is located just 50 miles from Portland, and its snow-capped peak provides a stunning backdrop for the city. Mount Hood is a popular destination for hikers, as many trails lead to the summit.

In addition, the mountain is also home to many ski resorts, which attract visitors from all over the country. Mount Hood is a unique and beautiful mountain and an essential part of the Oregon landscape.

Hood River

Hood River is a scenic city located on the banks of the Columbia River in Oregon. The city is known for its scenic beauty and its many outdoor recreational opportunities, including windsurfing and kiteboarding.
Visitors to Hood River can also enjoy sightseeing, hiking, biking, and kayaking. The city is also home to many culinary establishments, making it a fantastic place to enjoy a meal or learn about a new cuisine.

Hood RIver Oregon - Mt. Hood

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is world-renowned for its productions of William Shakespeare's plays as well as other classics on the stage. The festival, which is a non-profit organization, was founded in 1935 and is based in Ashland, Oregon.

Each year, the festival presents more than 700 performances of plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival attracts visitors from all over the world and is one of the largest cultural organizations in Oregon. It's certainly well known by anyone who lives in Oregon.

Pacific Coast Trail

The Oregon Coast Trail is a 360-mile hiking trail that runs along the western edge of Oregon. The trail offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, as well as a chance to experience the sights and sounds of the Oregon coast.

The trail is divided into segments, so hikers can choose to hike the entire trail or just a section. There are also plenty of opportunities to camp along the way. Whether you're looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, the Oregon Coast Trail with leave you with memories you won't soon forget.

Ecola State Park at Cannon Beach Oregon

The Willamette Valley (Wine Country)

View of Willamette Valley Oregon Vineyard

Nestled in the Willamette Valley, Oregon Wine Country is a magical place. The region is home to more than 600 wineries and produces some of the finest Pinot Noir in the world. The Mediterranean climate, with its cool winters and warm summers, is perfect for growing this delicate grape. And the beautiful landscape, with its rolling hills and picturesque vineyards, is like something out of a postcard. If visiting or living in Oregon, you must take a trip through Oregon Wine Country!

Hood to Coast Relay

This 199 mile relay race is well known by anyone who lives in or outside of Oregon. It annually draws participants from all 50 states and more than 40 countries. Known as the mother of all relays, the race is run overnight by 8-12 member teams starting at Timberline Lodge at Mt Hood and ending in the city of Seaside, Oregon, on the Oregon Coast. The Hood to Coast has filled its team limit for 30 consecutive years, the past 23 on the first day of the lottery. To say it's popular is an understatement. It is the largest running and walking relay in the world. If you are moving to Oregon and are a runner it's a must do!  

Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon

Pros and Cons of Moving to and Living in Oregon

The Pros of Moving to and Living in Oregon

  1. The summers are excellent in most parts of Oregon.  Whether you’re moving to or living on the Oregon Coast, Central Oregon, Willamette Valley, Columbia River Gorge, or the Portland Metro area, you can expect fantastic weather, not too hot (most of the time), and little to no rain.  The views on a clear day are off the chart wherever you're living in Oregon.

  2. In the Portland metropolitan area, you are an hour and a half from the coast, an hour and a half to Mt. Hood, an hour and a half from the best windsurfing in the world, and a half an hour from some of the best wine in the country.  The proximity of the Portland Metro area to an abundance of recreational opportunities is tough to beat.

  3. If you visit or live in Oregon there is no sales tax.  Oregon is one of only five states in the US that does not have one. 

  4. If you’re moving to Oregon and love to ride your bike, you’re in luck!  Oregon is one of the most bike-friendly states.  Those living in Oregon ride a total of 44 million miles a year.  Portland by itself has a total of 385 miles of bikeways. Oregon residents love to ride their bikes!

MAX Lightrail Train in Portland Oregon

5.    The light rail system, MAX,

in and around Portland is fantastic.  Approximately 39 Million riders a year use it to get to and from various cities around Portland.  It can even drop you off at the airport.

The Cons of Moving to and Living in Oregon

  1. The weather can be tough in the western half of the state for those looking at moving to Oregon.  For those of us who have lived in Oregon for the better part of our lives, we’re used to it.  The rain and grey skies for a big chunk of the year will be tough for those moving to Oregon from a warmer and drier climate. It can definitely be an adjustment for anyone who is moving to Oregon.

  2. Fire season has gotten much worse over the past several years.  Air quality can be rough during certain parts of the summer for anyone living in Oregon.  The Portland metropolitan area can have days or weeks of smokey skies and poor air quality some summers.  It can be much worse for those in Central Oregon and drier parts of the state. There are years where you'll live in Oregon and see no smoke at all. Just depends on the year.

  3. Homelessness and rioting have worsened over the past several years in Portland, particularly in the Downtown area.  Businesses have been hit hard by vandalism and the resulting decreased traffic.  Companies have left downtown, and people are moving to other areas. 

  4. Housing is getting less affordable for those living in Oregon.  Rent and housing prices have soared in Oregon over the past several years.  Half of all renters in the state pay more than 30% of their income in rent each month, which is considered unaffordable.  To buy a home isn’t much better.  Prices year over year in March 2022 were up an average of 19.8%. The cost of moving to and living in Oregon has certainly gone up in recent years.

  5. The state tax rate is higher than most states.  The range is between 4.75% and 9.9%, depending on how much you make. There is no sales tax for those living in Oregon, so that makes up for it some. 

FAQ's About Moving to and Living in Oregon

What is the weather like in Oregon?

Oregon's weather varies widely from east to west. Eastern Oregon is much drier than the western part of the state, and the Cascade Range acts as a barrier, preventing moisture from the Pacific Ocean from reaching the east. As a result, summers in eastern Oregon are long, warm, and dry, while winters are cold and snowy.  While in the western part of the state, you can expect wetter winters with beautiful dry summers.  Living in Oregon you'll find temperatures are pretty mild year-round.

Are there lots of job opportunities for those living in Oregon?

Yes, there are plenty of job opportunities available for anyone looking to move to Oregon. The state's economy is strong and growing, and several industries are booming, including technology, agriculture, and tourism.

What are the biggest cities in Oregon?

The three biggest cities in Oregon are Portland, Salem, and Eugene. At the time of writing, Portland is the largest city, with a population of over 650,380. Salem is the second-largest city, with a population of about 171,806. Eugene is the third-largest city, with a population of about 170,457. 

What is Oregon known for?

Oregon is known for its natural beauty, progressive values, and vibrant culture. The state is home to many iconic landmarks, including the Oregon Trail, Mount Hood, and Crater Lake. Oregon is also known for its delicious food and wine, as well as its thriving craft beer scene. 

What is Unique About Oregon?

If you plan to move to Oregon you'll find it unique in several ways. One of the most notable is that it has no sales tax. This means that when you make a purchase, you don't have to pay extra for the state sales tax. Oregon is also one of the few states where you don't have to pump your own gas. There are attendants at all gas stations who will gladly do it for you.  Are you Moving to Oregon or Living in Oregon and want to rent a video? Oregon is home to the last Blockbuster in the United States.  Located in Bend, Oregon

Where is the best place in Oregon to live?

That is a very tough question. Between the Portland Metro Area, Oregon Coast, Willamette Valley, Columbia River Gorge/Mt. Hood, Central Oregon, Southern Oregon, and Eastern Oregon have so many great places and climates in Oregon. Choosing the best place in Oregon to live is really about personal preference. The best you can do is research and visit, and hopefully, you'll figure out where the best place in Oregon to live is for you.


I want to live in Oregon.  How do I go about moving there?

If living in Oregon seems like it might be right for you and you're thinking you might want to move to Oregon, research and preparation are essential. Between the information and contacts on this website and the question and ask forum in our Facebook Group > Moving to Oregon, you should have access to a lot of information and be able to get a lot of questions answered to help with your decision and planning. Once you've made your decision, lining up a job, if you aren't retired, and finding a place to live would be important next steps.

Is Oregon a good place to live?

The answer to this is different for everyone and depends on your circumstance and what you want. For many living in Oregon is amazing. Hopefully the information in this article has answered the question "is Oregon a good place to live?" for you.


For more FAQs about moving to Oregon or living in Oregon, check out my blog, 31 FAQs About Living in Oregon

If you're looking to move to Oregon and buy a home, getting pre-approved for a mortgage would be the first step. For Mortgage Info, reach out, and I'll be happy to help as well as make a connection to a top realtor in the area you are considering. I would love to help you move to Oregon.


So, what do you think? Are you ready to pack your bags and move to Oregon? Living in Oregon has something for everyone, from the pristine coastline and towering mountains to bustling cities and charming small towns. Living in Oregon is truly special! And don’t forget the incredible employment opportunities, world-class outdoor recreation, and amazing attractions. Oregon residents are truly blessed. There are certainly lots of reasons to love living in Oregon.


Hopefully, this information has helped you better understand what living in Oregon is like and what moving to Oregon has to offer and answered the question "is Oregon a good place to live?" If you have any questions at all about moving to Oregon or living in Oregon, reach out. We are here to help you in any way we can and answer any questions you have about moving to and living in Oregon.

Moving to and Living in Oregon, Other Resources

Living in Oregon is here to provide the information and contacts you would need if considering a move to Oregon. There's a great deal of information on living in Oregon and the various cities in our great state that can help you move to Oregon but also help you get settled once you're here.

Are you thinking of moving to Oregon and buying a home? Look at the Mortgage Info page. There's a lot of great information on obtaining a mortgage in Oregon, and we can help you get started with the process. Know what city or cities you might want to move to? To get added to home tracker and get alerted when a home matching your criteria comes live on the market CLICK HERE. Need to sell a home before moving? CLICK HERE to sign up and receive a free market analysis to see what your home is worth. 

Need more information on moving to and living in Oregon? Our Facebook Group > Moving to Oregon has a collection of experts throughout the state who are eager to help and answer any question you have about living in Oregon or moving to Oregon. A lot of our experts are people who have recently moved to Oregon themselves. Nobody is better to provide a good perspective on living in Oregon than someone who has recently moved to the state. The better than anyone might be able to answer the question "is Oregon a good place to live?"

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