The suburbs of Portland tend to be divided into the "Westside" and the "Eastside" depending on which side of the Willamette River they are located. The oldest cities are found along the Willamette River directly south of Portland, while most of the new suburban development is happening in Washington County to the west of Portland.
- 1 Portland - The largest city in the State of Oregon and also the county seat of Multnomah County. Portland is the primary interest for most travelers to the region.
- 2 Vancouver - Although it is located in Southwest Washington just across the Columbia River, Vancouver is the second largest city in the official "Portland-Vancouver Metropolitan Area". It is home to the historic Fort Vancouver which was a key location in the colonial fur trade of the 1800s.
- 3 Boring - A rural unincorporated community known for its humorous name above all else.
- 4 Gladstone
- 5 Gresham - Eastern suburb of Portland and the fourth largest city in Oregon.
- 6 Milwaukie - A small city just south of Portland. Originally established to compete with its neighbors along the river, it has become a "mature suburb" in recent decades.
- 7 Oregon City The county seat for Clackamas County. Originally established by the Hudson Bay Co in 1829 as a company town, it was the first city west of the Rockies to be incorporated in 1844.
- 8 Troutdale - The last stop before the Columbia River Gorge on Interstate 84.
- 9 Aloha - A census designated place wedged between Beaverton and Hillsboro.
- 10 Beaverton - Suburb west of Portland which has become an economic powerhouse as the home to large corporations including Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Electro Scientific Industries, & Tektronix.
- 11 Forest Grove
- 12 Hillsboro - County seat for Washington County and the heart of the "Silicon Forest". One of Intel's largest fabrication plants is located here, and has driven the growth of Oregon's high tech industry in Hillsboro and adjacent Beaverton.
- 13 Lake Oswego - An affluent city located around a lake.
- 14 Tigard
- 15 Tualatin
- 16 West Linn
- 17 Wilsonville
As well as Portland, the city proper, the area includes:
- East Multnomah County - the eastern suburbs of the city, including the cities of Gresham and Troutdale; the gateway to Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. Together with Portland they are all part of Multnomah County.
- Washington County (Oregon) - the western suburbs of Portland, a growing high-tech area near Hillsboro and Beaverton, and home to Nike and other well-known Oregon companies. The rural areas also have wineries.
- Clackamas County - the southern and southeastern suburbs, including affluent Lake Oswego and historic Oregon City, leading to the foothills of Mount Hood.
- Clark County - the northern suburbs of Vancouver, Camas, Ridgewood and Washugal north of the Columbia River in Washington state. Given their close proximity to Portland it's all part of the Portland Metropolitan Area but in another state.
1 Portland International Airport (PDX IATA) (9 mi (14 km) northeast of downtown, near the Columbia River), ☏ . Major airport to Oregon and Southwest Washington for commercial flights from all over the U.S. and international connections from Canada, Japan, Germany, South Korea, The Netherlands, Iceland, Great Britain and Mexico.
There are additional airports serving the Portland Metropolitan area, operated by the Port of Portland, for general aviation and private VIP planes in:
- 2 Portland-Hillsboro Airport (HIO IATA). The second busiest airport in Oregon, located within the Hillsboro city limits and is capable of handling larger jet aircraft for VIP flights. The airport is managed and operated by the Port of Portland and is located 2.5 mi (4.0 km) northeast of downtown Hillsboro along NE Cornell Rd. This airport only handles general aviation and private VIP flights. The offices (location of marker) and maintenance hangars are located along NE Cornell Rd, at the south side of the airport grounds, across the street from the Washington County fairgrounds. Different flight schools, aircraft repair companies and aircraft storage hangers may be located in different sides of the airport grounds, check with them.
- 3 Portland–Troutdale Airport (TTD IATA). General aviation for smaller aircraft and scenic aerial tours of the Columbia River Gorge.
- I-5 is the primary north-south connection from other parts of Oregon and Washington to the region. I-5 crosses the Willamette River on the Marquam Bridge.
- & I-84 end/begins at its junction with I-5 in Portland and it goes across Central and Eastern Oregon towards Boise, Idaho. Travelers will likely use US-26 for eastside destinations or I-5 via US-20 and OR-22 for westside destinations. WA-14 begins/ends in Vancouver (north of Portland) and runs parallel alongside I-84 from the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge to its eastern terminus at I-82 north of Hermiston.
- begins at its intersection with US Hwy 101 south of Seaside at the Coast, goes through the Portland Metropolitan Ara as Sunset Hwy and SE Powell Blvd; and continues east towards Bend, Oregon via Sandy and Mount Hood. US Hwy 26 crosses the Willamette River on the Ross Island Bridge.
- NW Yeon, NW St Helens Rd, Fremont Bridge goes north and than west towards its western terminus in Astoria via Scappoose and St Helens through the northwest industrial/warehouse areas. Going east, US Hwy 30 runs concurrently on I-5 (via Fremont Bridge and I-5 south) and along I-84 to Bliss, Idaho. It eventually goes across the country and ends in Atlantic City, New Jersey 3,073 mi (4,946 km) later. There's a business bypass of US 30 across St Johns Bridge, through North and Northeast Portland along various streets to I-84 at NE 238th.
See the Portland page for information about how to get around within the city. To get to the eastside suburbs, use I-84 and I-205, while I-5 and US-26 will be the main routes to the westside. OR-217 is a diagonal highway between east/west US-26 and north/south I-5 that is used to reach Tigard and Beaverton. Expect slow traffic along this route, unless it's late at night.
By public transit
TriMet serves most of the region with the MAX light rail and "Frequent Service" bus routes providing the most flexible routes. Between 1 and 4 AM there are a select couple of routes on hourly service (including one to the airport), but generally everything is shutdown. Routes and service are great to excellent near the urban core of Portland, and generally acceptable to good in the eastside suburbs. On the westside, however, you may have a significant walk from the MAX station or bus stop to a residential destination.
Ride Connections operates the 'Community Connector' buses/shuttles from the nearest Tri-Met bus stop or transit center to more places in rural Washington County, Forest Grove, Tualatin, King City, and North Hillsboro (all in westside) not served by Tri-Met buses and trains.
Sandy, Wilsonville and Vancouver are not in the TriMet district and are served by SAM, SMART and C-Tran respectively. See By public transit in the Portland, Oregon article for a list of additional transit providers in the area and from adjacent counties.
Many of the suburban areas are not hospitable to cyctlists, but there are a few comfortable routes that cross the metro area:
- The Springwater Corridor runs from downtown Portland, along its southern border with Milwaukie, through Gresham, and out to Boring in the countryside.
- The I-205 Multi-use Path directly parallels I-205 from Clackamas all the way across the Columbia River into Vancouver.
- The Gresham-Fairview Trail runs from the Springwater Corridor, across Gresham to Fairview.
TriMet bus and light rail trains can accommodate bikes.
- Vancouver (WA), is sometimes included in the region even though it is across the Columbia River in Washington.
- Salem is the state capital, about an hour away.