Portland’s Best Neighborhoods: Pearl District

An iconic landmark of revitalization, the artsy Pearl District was once an industrial neighborhood made up of warehouses, breweries, and rail yards. Now this small but thriving beacon of New Urbanism, nestled between the Willamette River, Downtown, and the Northwest District, is one of Portland’s trendiest, defining neighborhoods, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Constantly evolving, “The Pearl”, as locals affectionately call it, began transitioning to its current state in the early 90s. A self-contained paradise, residents living in one of the Pearl’s many upscale high-rise condominiums or warehouse-to-loft conversions, benefit from a meticulously designed neighborhood that exemplifies sustainability, conservation (many of the buildings are LEED certified), mixed-use, walkability, and diversity.

Both the Portland Streetcar and the Tri-Met MAX lines run through the very heart of the district, allowing easy access to the many amenities the Pearl has to offer such as Powell’s City of Books, Deschutes and Bridgeport Brewpubs, posh boutiques such as Mabel & Zora (voted Portland’s Best NW Clothing Boutique for 2015 by the Portland Style and Fashion Awards), and much of city’s best-known restaurants like Andina, Bluehour, ¡Oba!, Irving Street Kitchen, and Park Kitchen.

Should you feel the need to venture beyond Portland, Union Station is conveniently located on the edge of the neighborhood between the Broadway and Steel Bridges—making that weekend getaway train to Seattle that much easier to catch.

A magnet for all things art, the Pearl features many public sculptures that add a colorful flair to its tree-lined streets and is home to the city’s leading theater company, Portland Center Stage at The Armory. But the neighborhood really comes alive on First Thursdays in the Pearl, a district-wide, monthly celebration of art, food, and drink. An event that’s been growing since its inception in 1986 and currently attracting some 10,000 people, First Thursday is when local galleries open their doors to show their latest works and local eateries and bars feature their best happy hour menus—it’s truly a night of culture and festive indulgence.

Several intentional parks, including Jamison Square and Tanner Springs Park, complete the neighborhood with their inviting green spaces, water feature, wetlands, walking trail, and creek—the perfect spots to read a book while soaking in some sunshine, or have a bite to eat on a lunch break.

If living in the Pearl sounds like your dream-come-true, call me today.