The Best Places to Live in Oregon, USA

Oregon—the middlemost of the states on the continental Pacific Coast—is known for its impressive scenery and temperate weather. From tiny towns to the big city of Portland, and from deserts to temperate rainforests, Oregon has plenty to offer its residents.

If you’re considering a move to (or within) the Beaver State, make sure you check out these contenders for the Best Places to Live in Oregon.

1. If you like big cities…Portland

Urban life in the state of Oregon is centered on Portland. With a population around 650,000, it’s got plenty of action and culture, but without many of the problems inherent to the country’s biggest metro areas.

What isn’t there to like about a city with the motto “Keep Portland Weird?” Anything goes in this community that prizes individuality and expression.

It’s green in more than one way. Known for its eco-friendly ethos, it is also home to the country’s largest forested park within city limits: Forest Park, which has over 68 miles of trails and offers beautiful views of the Willamette River.

If you heart beats for the city, Portland tops the best places to live in Oregon.

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2. If you like the waterfront…Astoria

Astoria is an up-and-coming town on the West Coast, situated on the Columbia River, that sees frequent traffic from both cruise ships and cargo ships. 

It’s an increasingly popular tourist destination: its sense of history, the charm of Victorian homes on the hillside, and the surrounding forests make a perfect backdrop for newer highlights like breweries and museums.

The town is small (the population sits near 10,000) but growing.

If you love to be near the water, Astoria is one of the best places to live in Oregon.

3. If you like the desert…Baker City

Oregon may have a green reputation, but around a quarter of the state is made up of the high desert. Baker City is a jewel in eastern Oregon, a great jumping-off spot for horseback riding, mountain biking, bird watching, and climbing.

Baker City still echoes its Wild West beginnings, and the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center shows what life was like in the town’s earliest days.

For a feeling of the west, Baker City is one of the cheapest places to live in Oregon.

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4. If you like the mountains…Ashland

Ashland’s location in southwestern Oregon puts it right amid the breathtaking mountain scenery that draws visitors and residents to this small city of about 21,000.

In addition to the outdoors, you’ll find plenty of arts and culture in Ashland; it’s home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among other annual and year-round attractions.

The trail system in the area offers unmatched views of the Cascade and Siskiyou mountain ranges, and it’s a hotspot for wildlife

For lovers of the outdoors, Ashland is one of the best cities to live in Oregon.

5. If you like a just-right town…Eugene

Goldilocks would have been at home in Eugene. It’s big enough to offer economic opportunities but small enough to feel friendly. There are plenty of events and festivals to enjoy.

The town has sports (the University of Oregon Ducks), scenery (such as Spencer Butte), a thriving arts scene, and plenty of music venues.

It’s an easy day trip to the coast, the mountains, the city, or the desert.

If you like a bit of everything, Eugene is one of the best cities to live in Oregon.


Oregon is a diverse and beautiful state with something to please every resident. These are just a few of the best cities in Oregon to buy real estate; you’re sure to find even more.

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