Courtesy of Adam McKibben

Originally called Boone’s Landing after a descendant of Daniel Boone, Wilsonville got a name change in 1880. The name hasn’t been the only change in its history; Wilsonville has transformed from ferry site to port to train depot, and finally to the southernmost suburb in the Portland-metro area with a major freeway artery running right through its center.

Wilsonville families can easily access so many of the state’s rural highlights: Willamette Valley wine country; farms that run the gamut of tulips to Christmas trees; the bikeable Ice Age Tonquin Trail; and more. And Niche.com ranks West Linn-Wilsonville as the No. 2 school district in the state. While residents are predominantly white (80% per the 2020 census), the city is growing more diverse with each passing year — and neighbors say that diversity is embraced.

What Neighbors Say

Courtesy of Lauren Foltz

Lauren Foltz and her family moved to Wilsonville from Northern California in 2017. “Wilsonville feels like home to us,” she says. “The people here are friendly and it is a family-friendly town, which is one of the reasons why we were drawn to this town.”

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As a stay-at-home mom, she appreciates that there is always something for her to do with her 4-year-old and ways for her to connect with other parents. “We enjoy the concerts in the park, the summer farmers market, and the holiday events,” Foltz says. “I love that Parks and Rec does an annual toy drive and senior stockings donation as a way to give back to the community each year.” She also values the library’s storytimes and visiting Yesteryear Farm and Frog Pond Farm.

Additionally, Foltz notes that living in Wilsonville allows her family to easily venture to other parts of the state. “Geographically, we love that we are close to the coast and the mountains, making it an excellent day trip or quick family weekend getaway,” she says.

Eat Here

Courtesy of Lux Sucre

Wilsonville resident Lauren Foltz says her 4-year-old daughter’s favorite bakery is Lux Sucre (pictured above). “It’s a family-owned business that has made just about every birthday cake for her, so this place and the owners are special to us,” says Foltz. “It’s a great breakfast and lunch place. I love their apple galette and tartines.” The Foltz family also likes the kebabs at Dar Essalam, a Moroccan restaurant, Perfect Pizza and Oswego Grill.

Play Here

Courtesy of Explore Wilsonville

Plenty of suburban family fun awaits in Wilsonville. The city boasts one of our area’s most spectacular splash pads at Murase Plaza at Memorial Park. Memorial Park also features a skatepark, soccer and baseball fields, a boat dock, picnic areas, sand volleyball, disc golf and pickleball areas, playgrounds, and more. Plus there’s 50 acres of native forest to explore in the park — a perfect way to view wildlife. Graham Oaks Nature Park is another great spot for wildlife viewing — and much of the park is wheelchair-accessible. If your crew is looking for indoor excitement, there’s also a Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center (pictured above) that features bowling, an arcade, mini golf, bumper boats and much more.

Live Here

Courtesy of Walk Score

$679,900: Median home price

$2,096: Median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment

To read about more fun neighborhoods like this one, check out the rest of our Neighborhood Guide.

Denise Castañon
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