27 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Portland

September 27, 2019 by
Updated on September 27th, 2019
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

If you’re thinking about moving to Portland, you’re probably aware of the amount of biking done here, and the number of vegan restaurants available. But, there are many things only a true local Portlander would know, and if you’re moving to the area, you will soon find out. We asked our local Redfin Agents Michael Morris and Matthew Brennan to tell us the ins-and-outs of living in Portland, and what you should know before moving there. 

1. You may find yourself considering biking naked through the streets 

13740757384_8be0ae27e7_z (1)
Image via: Flickr

“The Naked Bike Parade is a huge event worldwide, but has a special place in Portlanders’ hearts. It usually takes place in June and starts around 8 p.m. Thousands of people bike naked well into the night,” said Michael Morris, a real estate agent in Portland.

2. Chickens are the newest member of the family

Chickens_in_tractor_organic_farm
Image via: Wikimedia Commons

Morris states, “backyard farms are really ramping up here. People have goats, beehives, chickens and other things all in their backyards. It’s becoming commonplace.” 

3. Your Tinder date will probably suggest Pok Pok for dinner; and it will probably be the best part of the whole night

640px-Pok_Pok_Restaurant_&_Whiskey_Soda_Lounge
Image Via: Wikimedia Commons

“Pok Pok is a delicious Thai restaurant on Division street. Andy Richter is the founder and chief chef, and really gave this place a name for itself. It is busy every night of the week, but the long line is very worth the wait,” said Redfin agent Matthew Brennan

4. Wearing a shirt that says “Show me your O face” is totally normal 

640px-Oregon_O_gestures
Image via: Wikimedia Commons

“The University of Oregon Ducks are a town favorite, and have the biggest army of followers,” Morris says. “They barely edge out the Portland Blazers and the Portland Timbers.” 

5. At least half of your friends will work for Intel 

Intel_Hawthorn_Farm_-_Hillsboro,_Oregon
Image via: Wikimedia Commons

“The Intel headquarters are located in Portland and that drives a lot of traffic for people moving to the area. Everyone knows someone who works at Intel, or they know someone at one of the many tech startups that are throughout the city,” said Morris. 

6. The Portlandia Episode called “Is the Chicken Local” is actually pretty accurate 

cock-1508585_640
Image via: Pixabay

Morris states, “people are really into organic, healthy, natural eating here. They really care about how their food is grown–maybe a little too much.”

7. Don’t give anyone the chance to bring up being vegan in a conversation 

giphy
Image via: GIPHY

“People love to talk about being vegan. Portland is a major city for vegan eating, and there are vegan restaurants, and people everywhere,” said Brennan. 

8. Don’t be concerned if you meet someone who has an emotional attachment to the carpet in the airport 

14988902050_f21f06ce1c_z
Image via: Flickr

“The Portland airport is known for it’s loved teal green carpet. People love to take pictures of it and post them to social media,” Brennan states. “The airport recently replaced a large portion of the famous carpet and people were very upset about it.” 

9. The hipsters might be taking over the city 

9448580647_720e383728_z
Image via: Flickr

“This town is full of what I like to call Yipsters. Yuppie-Hipsters. They’re everywhere and have really given Portland a name for itself on the map of hipsters,” said Morris. 

10. Having no sales tax is great! Until you have to pay the bills 

calculator-1156121_640 (1)
Image via: Pixabay

“My favorite part about having no sales tax is that when you pay for things, the numbers are all even. My least favorite part about having no sales tax is having to make up for the cost later when you pay your housing taxes,” said Brennan. 

11. Yes, the Voo Doo Doughnut line is always that long 

Voodoo_Doughnut_Portland_Oregon_Sign_(17710473988)
Image via: Wikimedia Commons

“Voo Doo doughnuts is a delicious and fun doughnut shop that people come to from all over, which makes it a major tourist trap,” said Brennan. “If you don’t want to wait in that line, a great alternative is Blue Star Doughnuts.” 

12. The “grunge look” actually takes a lot of work 

giphy 10.22.56 AM
Image via: GIPHY

“People here love the grunge look. They act like they don’t care and just threw their outfit together. But they actually do really care, and spent hours putting together their ‘carefree’ look,” said Morris. 

13. You should definitely know what RCTID means 

640px-TA2009
Image via: Wikpedia

“You’ll walk down the street and see RCTID on shirts, posters and used in conversation. RCTID stands for Rose City ‘Till I Die,” said Morris. “This is a term associated with the soccer team the Portland Timbers who we all love, and will love, ‘till we die.” 

14. You’ll quickly learn the difference between an ale and a lager 

14039718059_6e8a1c9852_z
Image via: Flickr

“Portland is also known as beer town and most everyone here loves beer.In fact, Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world, so there is always access to a good beer at a local brewery or at a friend’s or neighbor’s house who brews their own; because we all know someone who is a home brewer,” said Morris. 

15. A raincoat is your best friend for at least nine months of the year 

800px-AN_OREGON_PERSONALIZED_LICENSE_PLATE_WITH_THE_LETTERS_-WET-_HOWEVER,_LACK_OF_RAIN_CREATED_A_SERIOUS_ENERGY_CRISIS_IN..._-_
Image via: Wikimedia Commons

“Portland has a similar amount of rainfall to Seattle, but Seattle seems to get a worse rep for its weather. Somehow Portland escapes the stereotype and no one seems to know what Portland weather is really like in the winter,” said Morris. 

16. But the summers are the greatest kept secret 

13319042393_f893c8b66b_z (1)
Image via: Flickr

“People don’t realize how great the summer is in Portland. It’s sunny, dry and 80 degrees. People are always outside and often go hike one of the many nearby trails like Washington Park Loop. With the coast and mountains being so close to the city, everyone takes full advantage of it during the warmer months,” said Morris. 

17. Two wheels are better than four wheels 

Portland_Transit_Mall_with_cyclists_crossing (3)
Image via: Wikipedia

“A lot of people commute to work on their bike, and use it as a main form of transportation. Since there are so many environmentally conscious people here, biking is a really big deal and Portland is a very bike-friendly city.” 

18. Restaurant leftovers are your favorite home-cooked meal

15886364207_195be50a7b_z
Image via: Flickr

“No one really cooks that much here. Everyone goes out to eat and then eats leftovers at home. If someone were to cook, it would just be the basics, nothing too fancy,” said Brennan. 

19. You’ll come to love street meat 

6034455266_703ea0e2a4_z (1)
Image via: Flickr

“Portland is known for the food trucks that can take over an entire block of our city in areas described as Food Cart Pods, which are sprouting up all over the city. These pods have such a large variety of food, and a great atmosphere. Some of the best carts are the Bing mi, DesiPDX and Koi Fusion,” said Morris. 

20. Portland is a complainer’s paradise 

15145582122_7de5d3762f_z (1)
Image via: Flickr

“Some Portlanders love to complain, about the weather, about the traffic, about the Californians; really anything,” said Brennan. “Any time you want to let off some steam, you can find someone to listen and join in on the complaining too.”

21. Throw out your suit and buy a pair of skinny jeans 

man-918576_640 (1)
Image via: Pixabay

“Everyone here dresses very casual. You can pretty much wear the same thing to work that you wear around your house. Jeans are very common, and you rarely see a suit,” said Morris. 

22. If you’re not wearing jeans, you’re all decked out in Nike 

640px-Nike_Superfly_III
Image via: Wikipedia

Morris states, “since Nike is headquartered in Portland, and was founded by University of Oregon track athlete, Phil Knight, everyone feels a special connection to the company. Especially the fans of the Oregon Ducks football team. The team is given brand new Nike jerseys for every game they play.” 

23. If you want to fit in, get a Prius or a Subaru 

640px-2nd_Toyota_Prius
Image via: Wikipedia

“People are very eco-friendly here, and if they aren’t biking, then driving a Prius is the only alternative. Those who live for the outdoors, opt for the Subaru. Either way it’s a safe bet to look like a local with one of these,” said Morris. 

24. If you want to really fit in, your Prius should be covered in muddy dog prints; so you will likely need to get a dog

dog-1149964_640 (1)
Image via: Pixabay

“Portland has so many off-leash dog parks, it’s great! Everyone loves to take their dogs to any of the parks and get outdoors. A favorite for many is Fernhill Park, or the 1000 Acre Dog Park,” said Morris. 

25. You may want to invest in an emergency pack 

city-1152575_640
Image via: Pixabay

“Portland hasn’t had an earthquake in a long time, and we know it’s coming; and we know we’re not prepared,” said Brennan. “With last year’s release of the New Yorker article called, “The Really Big One,” about the anticipated earthquake hitting the west coast, the topic has been on the top of people’s minds.” 

26. I hope you’re not from California… 

640px-Flag-of-California
Image via: Wikipedia

“Portlanders love to hate on Californians. It’s a favorite topic of conversation. We even have bumper stickers about it!” Said Brennan. 

27. You start thinking about your Halloween costume in July

2921200668_f2b86dcaa2_z
Image via: Flickr

“Portland isn’t the most religious city, so as far as holidays go, Halloween is a top favorite. Everyone dresses up, trick or treats, goes through haunted houses, and it’s not just a one-day thing, it is celebrated for multiple days,” according Morris. 

For all the Portlanders out there, which “signs” did you like the best, and what did we miss? Tell us on Twitter, or in the comments below. And if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Portland, be sure to get in touch with our local Redfin real estate agents, or check out what’s on the market on Redfin.com.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Avatar

Alexandra is Redfin’s public relations and social media intern. She writes content for the Fun & Fabulous and Local News sections of Redfin Real-Time. Her dream home would be near the water, and have a big kitchen for entertaining and cooking. Redfin is a full-service real estate brokerage that uses modern technology to make clients smarter and faster. For more information about working with a Redfin real estate agent to buy or sell a home, visit our "Why Redfin?," page.

Email Alexandra
Search for homes by state
Scroll to Top