Moving from Oakland, CA to Portland, OR

Breaking Away from the Bay to the Pacific Northwest

Tucked away in the upper left corner of the U.S., Portland is easy to overlook. But one visit is all it takes to discover what you’ve been missing! Even a Google image search will leave you thinking, “Wow, why don’t I live here?”

So if you’ve decided to move to Portland from Oakland, you’re in for a treat. From fantastic weather to great food, Portland is a wonderful place to settle down. Keep reading for some of the things you’ll want to know before you head out – and discover an efficient, hassle-free way to complete your long-distance move.

Comparison Snapshot

How do Oakland and Portland compare? Let’s examine some common categories.


The two cities have similar weather patterns. Portland’s average July high is about eight degrees above Oakland’s, and the average January low is about eight degrees below Oakland’s. Not too hot, not too cold. But the biggest difference is rain. Portland has nearly three times as many precipitation days per year as Oakland (155 to 66). Portland also will get four to five snowy days each year while Oakland typically won’t see any.


Portland is larger, with a city population of about 632,000. Oakland has more than 432,000 residents.

Median Income

The average resident in both cities earns about $53,000 per year, but that will go a little further in Portland because of its lower cost of living compared to Oakland.

Housing Costs

As part of the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland is an expensive place to live (more on that in the next comparison). The average home price there is $743,800. Housing in Portland isn’t cheap, but it’s a bargain compared to Oakland, with an average home price of $423,300.

Cost of Living and Economy

The cost of living in Portland is above the national average. The good news – it’s quite a bit lower than the cost of living in Oakland. The most significant factor is that housing is a LOT less expensive in Portland than in Oakland (as noted above). Healthcare is also cheaper in your new city, as are groceries and utilities. 

The unemployment rate is about the same in Portland (3.5%) as it is in Oakland. Income tax is 9 percent (slightly lower than you’re used to). But here’s the real winner – in Oakland, your sales tax is more than 9%. In Portland, it’s ZERO!

Portland’s City Nicknames

Nicknames might sound like a strange thing to need to know about your new hometown. But think of how often you’ve heard Oakland referred to “Oaktown.” Well, Portland has several nicknames, so at least glancing over this list will help ease confusion when your new neighbors use one of these labels:

  • The City of Roses or Rose City – This is Portland’s most common (and the official) nickname.
  • Forbidden City of the West – This alludes to the Forbidden City in Beijing.
  • Rip City – Bill Schonely, announcer for the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, came up with the term while calling a game during the team’s first season in 1971.
  • City of Churches – Portland was once compared with Brooklyn, NY - whose official nickname was “City of Churches” - by The Sunday Oregonian in 1899. A reproduction of the page can be seen on the outside of The Oregonian’s building.
  • PDX – It’s the airport code for Portland International Airport.
  • Bridgetown – Portland has 12 bridges spanning the Willamette River, which bisects the city.
  • P-Town – Because, why not?

Cuisine in Portland

Food trucks are a BIG deal in The City of Roses. Such a big deal that there’s a website dedicated to helping you find them, know them, and love them – and it’s complete with a map!  There are more than 500 food trucks to choose from.

That’s not the only tasty thing to look forward to. The Washington Post named Portland one of the best food cities in the U.S. Whether you want seafood, Mediterranean, home cookin’, vegetarian, sushi, steak — you name it! — Portland not only has it but has perfected it.

If coffee is the only reason you’re moving to Portland, then it’s a worthy one. Portland is known to have delicious coffee. The most widely known is Stumptown Coffee Roasters (owned by Peet’s Coffee), which is renowned for grinding, brewing and serving a delectable cuppa joe. The coolest part is that its founder, Duane Sorenson, is serious about making sure that coffee isn’t just great for the drinker. He has reportedly paid growers significantly more money than even “fair trade” prices for their beans. So you can feel good about what you’re drinking!

U-Pack: The Path to Your New Home

Portland is going to be a beautiful new place to live. Great choice! Getting there should be just as stress-free as settling in, so let U-Pack® take care of it for you. Just pack up and load your items into our equipment in California, contact U-Pack®to pick up the truck or moving container(s), and then unpack into your new home in Oregon. With a service center near you, it’s super easy!

Get a free quote online or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to get started. Or learn more about how U-Pack works here.