Best Places

Best Unconventional Cities in Oregon

view of oregon mountains and a sunset
Written by Nadia Hopkins
state of oregon flag in 1859

Oregon, called the Beaver state, has a population of 4218000 residents and is known for its wild west past and magnificent nature. It has more ghost towns than any other state in the US. Crater Lake, located in Oregon, is formed in the remains of an ancient volcano, and The Columbia Riber gorge is one of the best places for windsurfing. Although many think that Portland is the capital of Oregon, it’s actually Salem.
The most popular foods in Beaver State include pinot noir, donuts, craft beer, salt and straw ice cream, chicken wings, and Tillamook cheese, meaning that if you are planning on visiting Oregon, make sure you check out these dishes. The natural scenery is very diverse because Oregon has many parks, lakes, forests, mountains, and even deserts. The residents of Beaver State are very kind and friendly, especially when it comes to newcomers. If you are thinking about moving here, you’ll be happy to know that there is no sales tax, the crime rate is below average, and the state itself is very affordable.
So, those considering moving to Beaver State should check out our list of

Best Unconventional Cities in Oregon

  • Corvallis
  • City of Gresham
  • City of Bend
  • Hillsboro
  • Ashland

1. Corvallis

corvalis garden

Corvallis, located in the central-western part of the state, has a population of around 60000 residents. The public schools here are highly rated, and Corvallis is the home to Oregon State University. Its described as one of the most beautiful and safest cities in Oregon. Livability ranked Corvallis as the third-best city to live in the US.
Furthermore, Corvallis has magnificent natural scenery. Nature enthusiasts will be happy to know it has a lot of parks, lakes, and forests, meaning you can explore numerous recreational activities, including hiking, biking, hunting, birdwatching, and fishing.

2. City of Gresham

Gresham has a population of about 111000 residents and is known for Mt.Hood Jazz Festival. Since it’s a city of culture, Gresham has a very warm atmosphere, and the residents are more than friendly. Gresham has great public schools and numerous business opportunities, making it an excellent choice for young families. While being fun, fast, and growing city, it also has a small-town vibe combining the best of both worlds.

3. City of Bend

Bend was incorporated in 1905, and today, it has a population of 94000 residents. It’s a great place for sports enthusiasts and recently became a getaway for numerous outdoor activities like biking, skiing, fishing, camping, hiking, rafting, golf, and paragliding. In addition, Bend is marked as one of the best places to raise a family in Oregon.

4. Hillsboro

Hillsboro is the fifth-largest city in Oregon, with a population of 107000 residents. It’s known for many tech companies, a more than charming downtown area, and historic homes. The public schools are above average, and the city is very fun, offering diverse recreational activities. Hillsboro is one of the best places to move to in Oregon because of its numerous parks, pubs, and restaurants, while the residents have moderate political views.

5. Ashland


Ashland is a unique city on this list because of its mild winters, hot and sunny summers, and moderate springs and autumns. With a population of 21000 residents, the city is very laid back. Ashland is a great choice for those who enjoy a more peaceful small-town environment when it comes to moving to Oregon.

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About the author

Nadia Hopkins