SW Portland maintains quite the combination of vibes. Downtown Portland lies in the Southwest section between the I-405 freeway loop and the Willamette River, centered around Pioneer Courthouse Square ("Portland's living room"). Downtown and many other parts of inner Portland have compact square blocks, a pedestrian-friendly combination. The convenient Street Car, connected to the larger MAX light rail system, caters to the commuter-centric nature of this part of town, and the environmentally conscious residents that Portland is known for. Downtown is also home to many of Portland’s cultural and educational resources, such as the renowned Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society Museum, and Portland State University, with Oregon’s largest student body. A short distance from the heart of downtown, the South Waterfront, which is one of the largest green developments in the country, combines its innovative ideas with a premiere riverfront location and high class living in residential towers.
Portland is known for its’ parks, and SW Portland is the proud home to many of them. Washington Park has many attractions for visitors and locals such as the International Rose Test Garden and the Oregon Zoo. Among others, the South Park Blocks, Lovejoy Parks, and Tom McCall Waterfront Park, which serves as the grounds for great seasonal events such as the Waterfront Blues Festival and Oregon Brew Festival, all offer a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown City life.
Beyond downtown, SW Portland also commands a steady flow of incoming residents due to the campuses of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Lewis & Clark College, and Portland Community College/Sylvania. The surrounding neighborhoods, like South Portland(known as John’s Landing) Hillsdale, and Multnomah, are filled with unique residential houses and well defined commercial and retail districts. With a great community feel, and an ever growing number of shops and restaurants, these neighborhoods offer no small competition to the draw of the Eastside.