Almost exclusively a residential neighborhood, Maplewood in Southwest Portland is unknown to many, but beloved by its residents. Sandwiched between Multnomah Village and Garden Home, this neighborhood has easy access to family-friendly resources and recreation, other Portland enclaves and tons of suburban amenities.
Although a car is a near-necessity to leave the area, this less-than-1-square-mile neighborhood is regularly walked by its residents — rain or shine — often with strollers and four-legged friends in tow. Maplewood residents love its green spaces. The well-hidden April Hill Park is a neighborhood gem, with soccer fields, a play structure for young children and boardwalk access to Fanno Creek. There are no sidewalks, but a few “secret” paths called “snickets” wind through the neighborhood knolls, and the streets are dotted with Little Free Libraries. Just beyond the formal boundaries but still within walking distance is the 91-acre Gabriel Park and the Southwest Community Center (SWCC) to the west, and the Garden Home Recreation Center and Fanno Creek Trails to the east.
Built in 1911 as a post office and general store, Maplewood Coffee & Tea attracts local residents and visitors alike. In addition to breakfast and lunch, it offers seasonal dinners as well as beer and cider on tap. On Southwest Vermont Street just across from SWCC, Driftwood Coffee is owned by local Maplewood mom Kara Powell and offers a cozy atmosphere to enjoy a honey lavender or cardamom latte and shop for artisanal gifts. Although technically outside of Maplewood proper, across Southwest 45th Avenue is family-favorite Laughing Planet, just a few doors down from the locally owned Sunny’s Legendary Frozen Yogurt — the first and only Oregon Kosher-certified fro-yo shop.
The Jones family has lived in Maplewood for nearly six years. They came mostly for the proximity to OHSU, and plan to stay for the close-knit community feel. They particularly like the nearby parks and schools, that their neighbors are friendly, and that (pre-pandemic) there are lots of opportunities for kids to meet and play together.
“It’s so walkable — not in the getting-anywhere sense — but there’s such little traffic, it’s basically insular from cars. I feel comfortable with my daughter walking to her friends’ houses or school.”David Jones
$650,000 Median home value
$2,273 Median rent
To read about more fun neighborhoods like this one, check out the rest of our Neighborhood Guide.
- Dive into the World of Neighborhood Buy Nothing Groups - January 18, 2021
- Neighborhood We Love: Maplewood - December 26, 2020
- Neighborhood We Love: Lents - August 17, 2020