Population (metro area)
: 514,098 Unemployment rate
: 6.4% Cost-of-living index
: 113.1 Median household income
: $54,431 Restaurants per 100,000 people
Portland's lively arts scene, highly skilled workforce and inventive cuisine, along with a low crime rate and high-quality medical facilities, are drawing professionals who are making their home base here and telecommuting or flying to their jobs. The cost of living is slightly higher than the national average, but compared with big-city prices, housing is affordable. Newly built two-bedroom condos on the eastern side of downtown sell for $360,000.
Downtown Portland offers boutiques, art galleries and restaurants along cobblestone streets. The arts district includes a symphony, ballet, an opera company, a theater and the Portland Museum of Art. Portland's renowned food scene offers everything from hardwood-cooked game to its famed steamed lobster.
Portland has its challenges. Homelessness is up (a task force is addressing the problem), and winters are long and cold. Locals either wait them out in warmer climates, head north to ski, or pop in to one of the many restaurants for a hot bowl of chowder.
(CREDIT: iStockphoto) More From Kiplinger
: The 5 Best Cities for Young Adults The 5 Best Cities for Families The 5 Best Cities for Retirees The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.