Located south of the greater Portland metro, West Linn is a prosperous suburb, home to a vibrant and welcoming community. The area is known for its spectacular views of The Cascades mountain range, rolling hills, and being home to some of the best schools in the state. This makes it the perfect destination for young families. In fact, West Linn was included in the top 100 places to live in 2011 and continues to be an ideal location for families from all over the world.
West Linn provides a unique blend of suburban charm but is still in close proximity to all the amenities and bustle of downtown Portland. It also has its own collection of shops, cafés, and parks. Keep reading to learn more about West Linn’s intriguing history and the ins and outs of its community, neighborhoods, location, as well as the pros and cons of living there!
About West Linn, Oregon
West Linn is known by locals as an affluent suburb about 20 minutes south of the Rose City’s downtown area on the banks of the Willamette River. This Clackamas County city has earned a reputation over the years as a very safe, family-oriented, and fairly upscale community.
Throughout its early Pioneer history, West Linn was a center of development and innovation. The city was founded in the early 1840s, when settler Robert Moore purchased 1,000 acres of land from the Native “Wallamut” people. The earliest West Linn residents were primarily employed in the harvesting of energy from the Willamette Falls. The city became a thriving center of manufacturing and transportation of goods and was officially incorporated in 1913.
Since the early years, West Linn has grown into a quaint and quiet suburban community, with ample recreation opportunities, beautiful family neighborhoods, and abundant small businesses.
Here’s a brief look at modern-day West Linn by the numbers:
- Population — There are just under 30,000 residents within West Linn’s city limits.
- Demographics — There are about 9,000 total households in the suburb; about 75% of these are family-occupied, and the median age in West Linn is 43.
- Proximity to Portland — The city is located about 9-12 miles from downtown Portland. (approximately 20 minutes by car).
- Weather — Like the rest of the greater Portland area, West Linn is warm and temperate; the city has an average summer high of 82° and an average winter low of 36°, with 146 rainy days each year.
- Schools — The West Linn-Wilsonville School District is the second-highest rated district in Oregon; West Linn has 9 public schools serving 5,485 students.
- Cost of living — West Linn is an affluent area, with a median annual income of $104,061 and a median property value of $465,000; the cost of living index for West Linn is 147.4.
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Top Neighborhoods in West Linn, Oregon
West Linn is home to several safe and flourishing neighborhoods, all of which offer their own unique communities and amenities. For example, if you’re a family with young children looking for an engaging neighborhood with lots of fun activities, Robinwood boasts a peaceful residential area with a number of high-quality schools, community centers, and the lush greenery the Pacific Northwest is famous for. Robinwood Park also offers 15 acres of gorgeous landscapes as well as play structures, skateparks and walking trails.
Hidden Springs is among the most affluent neighborhoods in West Linn. Cradled beautifully by the hills and offering several lush parks and walking trails, this area is ideal for those who love nature and are looking for a peaceful and beautiful neighborhood to call home.
If you’re in search of a more lively neighborhood in the West Linn area, the Willamette neighborhood may be perfect for you. With easy access to the Willamette River and a trendy, downtown area, it offers a wide range of activities, whether you’re looking for an exciting night out or a serene walk by the riverside.
Things To Do in West Linn
It’s tough to run out of things to do in and around West Linn, especially for families. In the summer months, you can enjoy a variety of local outdoor recreational opportunities and community activities, including movies in the park, music and craft camps for kids and teens, plant sales, kids sports leagues, and lots more.
There’s also no shortage of parks and trails to explore and, if you want to help make the community an even better place, you could consider volunteering or getting involved at West Linn’s Adult Community Center.
The Pros & Cons Of Living In West Linn, Oregon
West Linn is a wonderful place to live, work, grow a family, or settle into retirement. Just like any place, though, it has its advantages and disadvantages. While people value different things in a place to live, here are a few of the commonly cited pros and cons of settling in and growing your roots in West Linn, Oregon.
- It has amazing natural landscapes. One of the most prominent highlights of the West Linn area is all of the breathtaking nature that surrounds it. From its views of the Cascades, to the many lush and thriving parks, to the greenery that extends throughout the neighborhoods, West Linn and stunning landscapes are one in the same. Not to mention that all of the trees and plant life do wonders for the area’s air quality!
- It’s perfect for families of all sizes. The area offers all of the benefits of a quiet suburban residential area while also boasting a number of libraries, community centers, parks, and more. The community of West Linn is also active and exuberant; with lots of events and volunteering opportunities, the city is ideal for families who want the best of both worlds.
- It’s super safe. Both its violent crime rate and its property crime rate are significantly below the national average, making West Linn one of the safest locations to live in the surrounding Portland area. It’s even been awarded the title of the 36th safest city in America.
- It can be pricey. Because of the many opportunities and amenities afforded to West Linn residents, it can definitely be on the higher-end in terms of overall living costs. With its relatively small population, West Linn’s average cost of living is above the national average and greater than most other suburban areas in Oregon.
- Be prepared for rain. It’s no secret that abundant rainfall is a staple of life in the PNW, and West Linn is no exception. While the summer months usually bring with them plenty of sunshine and warm weather, the majority of the year is likely to be wet and cloudy. While this is great for the air quality and greenery, it could be an ongoing problem for sun worshippers.
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