Multnomah Village is one of the few southwest Portland neighborhoods that offers the quaint sidewalk cafe life. It has a fun feel to it that most nearby neighborhoods lack and at the same time its residents are actively involved in the community. This is the kind of town where parents feel safe letting their kids outside to ride their bikes because they know that the members of their small community keep an eye out for each other and are ready to lend a hand if needed.
In the early 1900’s Multnomah was only a local stop along the Oregon Electric Railway as it traveled from Portland to Salem. In developing the village since, locals chose to keep most of the historic buildings. As a result, Multnomah retains a community charm that’s a little bit more old-fashioned than the surrounding suburban areas.
The heart of the neighborhood lies in Multnomah Village, a delightful stretch of shops and restaurants, where you will find everything from unique gift and antique shops, to wine shops and art galleries. Although the town may make you feel as though you have been transported back to a simpler time, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.
Getting to Multnomah Village you’ll have to wind down the curvy Southwest Capitol Highway, a slow-speed, two-lane road that meanders through southwest Portland.
Just a two minute drive from I-5, and six miles south of Portland City Center, Multnomah Village locals enjoy a short commute to downtown. Currently no rail services Multnomah but there is, however, a decent bus service into Portland on TriMet. There is also an express bus to OHSU that offers trips during rush hours.
The nice thing about living close to the village, is that you can leave your car at home. Most Multnomah Village businesses are within a short walk of one another. Bike lanes make passage safe for cyclists too, but the hilly terrain deters some people from riding.
Boutiques & Bites:
For decades, Multnomah Village has maintained an atmosphere of exemplary service and fanciful establishments. Over 100 businesses and community services occupy the village, including the must see Village Coffee. Stop in here for a cup of joe before you begin your day. This tiny shop transforms organic beans into strong elixirs that will keep you going all day long. Afterwards, stroll down the street to Pagenwood Restoring and Antiques, where shelves are filled with collections of kitschy salt and pepper shakers, porcelain canisters and spice jars, antique coffee and spice tins, and oddball culinary tools such as fireplace popcorn poppers and a 1950s butcher’s scale.
Best Known For:
According to Metro and the Portland Department of Parks and Recreation, Multnomah boasts 101 acres of parkland. One of these famous spaces is Gabriel Park, a 90 acre park that includes a Community Center, running trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, an off-leash dog area, and large soccer and baseball fields. Other notable parks in the area include Custer Park, Stephens Creek Natural Area, Marshall Park, and Burlingame Park.
If you’re into community events, Multnomah Days is an annual summer street fair. It starts In the morning with an endearing parade of marching bands, classic cars, clowns, and the very popular Tail’s End Pooch Parade.
The variety of homes available in Multnomah Village make the district very interesting. Because most of the homes were built post WWI, the dominant style is contemporary. There are several condominiums built within the last decade as well as townhomes in the village area. However, you will also find some Victorian and Arts and Crafts cottages as well.
While there aren’t too many apartment buildings located right in the village, there are several not too far way on Bertha Boulevard in Hillsdale. Watch out if you purchase a home directly on Multnomah Blvd and Capitol Highway, as they tend to be very busy roads and can be noisy.
Who lives here?
Multnomah is in a great location for people who work in southwest Portland and want to be closer to the downtown area. It is also a great choice for college students who attend Lewis and Clark College or Portland Community College. Both campuses are just a few miles away. However, anyone who enjoys a strong sense of community and a old-town, laid back feel can enjoy Multnomah Village.