Pearl District Portland Neighborhood Guide

Pearl District Neighborhood Guide

The Pearl District in Portland is a vibrant neighborhood that combines the liveliness of a city with the picturesque beauty of Oregon’s natural scenery. With a population of about 6,000, it is the perfect size — not too big, yet plenty of year-round activities and events for all ages. True to its name, the Pearl District really is a pearl nestled in a large city.

The Pearl’s Story

One of the first things you will notice about the Pearl District, thanks to its rich history, is its unique architecture. Beginning in the late 1800s, the area became a hub for industries and railroads, and in the early 1900s it was dubbed the “Northwest Industrial Triangle.” As time went on, however, the warehouses grew increasingly deserted and the neighborhood eventually transformed into an abandoned reminder of the past. 

It remained empty until the 1980s, when investors and developers noticed something special about the  and began to breathe new life into it. Today, the Pearl District is thriving and still continues to evolve. 

Shops Galore

There is no shortage of shopping in the Pearl District. The streets are lined with chic boutiques, nationally known retailers and everything in-between. Perhaps the most famous shop in the Pearl District is Powell’s City of Books, the world’s biggest bookstore. The Pearl District in Portland shopping is an adventure, and you never know what treasures you’ll uncover. Plus, there’s no sales tax in Oregon, so you’ll save on every purchase. 

Powell's Bookstore in the Pearl District

Plentiful Green Space

Living in the Pearl District in Portland means you have four beautiful parks right in your neighborhood.

– North Park Blocks is home to Art in the Pearl, Northwest Beer Fest and many other festivals each year. This park offers continuous entertainment and relaxation with play equipment, a basketball court, sculptures and a tree canopy. 

The Fields Park is 3.2 acres large and is in the Pearl District’s northern part. This park is a hit with dogs because of the off-leash section that has 8,000 square feet of room for furry friends to romp and play. Two-legged family members will also enjoy the winding trail, picnic areas, playground and a one-acre lawn that is great for yard games. There are restrooms on-site, and for your safety, the park is equipped with a basic earthquake emergency communication node. 

– Jamison Square Park is family-friendly and always bustling with activity. Kids and adults alike will love the fountain and sculptures. Don’t forget to pack a picnic to enjoy on the benches in the heart of nature. 

– Tanner Springs Park is a lush wetland that’s accented with public art displays and contains an assortment of plant species; paths for walking, jogging or biking; and a pond with crisp, clear water flowing from a spring. 

People walking by Lovejoy Bakers in the Pearl

Food and Drink for Every Taste

Restaurants, cafes, and breweries abound in the Pearl District. Their fresh ingredients excite the taste buds and will have you coming back for more. The wide array of places to grab a bite or a beverage means that there are also several food and drink-related events each year. Come indulge and have a night out on the town at the Portland International Beer Fest, Cider Summit PDX or Portland Dining Month. 

A Center for the Arts

Fine arts are at the core of the Pearl District. Every corner is full of artistic and cultural experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. Take a stroll through one of the many galleries and view pieces by Portland’s finest artists, then watch an outstanding production at Portland Center Stage at the Armory. Additionally, you won’t want to miss the monthly First Thursday in the Pearl, a Pearl District tradition since 1986. Join thousands of other people in a celebration of art that includes live music, exhibitors in the Street Gallery, happy hour specials and free receptions at each gallery with opportunities to meet the artists. 

Convenient Transportation

Street view of the Pearl District near HoytWhen it comes to traveling in the Pearl District and surrounding areas, there are multiple affordable and efficient options. 

– Bus: If you live in Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas counties, the TriMet bus service is available to you, and several of the routes link to the MAX Light Rail. 

– Streetcar: The Portland Streetcar serves 15,000 riders daily and has three different lines that connect to the rest of Portland. You can travel from the Pearl District to the South Waterfront District, Northwest Portland, the Lloyd District, Portland State University, Central Eastside, and Portland City Center. 

– Light Rail: With five different routes, the MAX Light Rail transports passengers to the Portland Airport, Gresham, Clackamas, Hillsboro, Beaverton and Portland (the Expo Center, City Center, and Portland State University). 

– Bicycle: Ride smoothly through the Pearl District on its five miles of bike lanes, and continue into other parts of Portland. 

Priority Moving: Service You Can Count On

Moving is a lot of work, but you can lighten your load with Priority Moving. We’ll do the packing and heavy lifting so you can focus on getting settled into your new home. 

To get a free estimate and learn more about our moving services in the Pearl District, contact us today. 


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