Johns Landing neighborhood is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Portland and I have a lot to say about this neighborhood. It is my very favorite! It is actually made up of several different neighborhoods, so I have combined some of them, and then added a little to each different section. This is technically John’s Landing, which doesn’t exist anymore in Portland’s new names for neighborhood, but on the ground, in the trenches, the old timers call this area John’s Landing! The South Waterfront is a new addition, just in the past 10 years. I watched it in planning and as it grew! It still has a ways to go, but it is definitely a neighborhood in it’s own right, with it’s own restaurants, streetcar, river walkway and even an aerial tram!
Johns Landing Neighborhood is the area between the Sellwood Bridge and the south waterfront area- going up the hill a little away from the river. The streets go straight up from Macadam till they can’t go up the hill any farther. There are lots of restaurants and businesses here- also Willamette Park. This section of the neighborhood guide will go into detail about John’s Landing, which is one of my absolute favorite areas!
The reason I love Johns Landing neighborhood so much is three fold. First, it goes right along the Willamette River, and has a trail that I can ride my bike on all the way into downtown, and stop at little beaches and shallow areas along the way to wade in when it is hot. I can ride my bike all the way into downtown, and ride right through the big fountain on Naito Parkway at McCalls, and on to go across the bridge and over to the esplanade! It is such a free feeling to be able to do something like that, with the wind flying through your hair, and the beauty of the river following you the whole way!
The second reason I love Johns Landing neighborhood is again, because of the river. Willamette Park is a beautiful park right on the river, so you can put your boat in, put your kayaks or canoes in, or just lay in the grass or on the little beach and enjoy the sun and water. There are picnic grounds and ball fields. You feel like you are on vacation somewhere! And Sellwood is just across the Sellwood Bridge, my other favorite neighborhood, so if you get hungry you can just zip across and eat at one of the amazing eateries or cafes or pubs over there. And then go to Oaks Park or Oaks Bottom after that!
The last reason I love the Johns Landing neighborhood is the history, the old cool historic homes, the spectacular views some of the have of the river, and the shops and restaurants that are located right here in theJohn’s Landing neighborhood. Also, there are condos, and townhouses that are somewhat affordable right on the river front, with the trail right in front of you! It is amazing!
The Johns Landing Neighborhood goes along the Willamette River- a long, narrow strip of land that is four-miles long- beginning directly south of downtown Portland and ending at the Sellwood Bridge- going up the hill towards Barber Blvd and down to the Willamette River. The north waterfront used to be a vacant, industrial area right on the river. It spread out going south along the bank of the Willamette, until it ran into John’s Landing. A beautiful trail ran along the river, beginning at Willamette Park in John’s Landing- but when it reached this industrial land, it ended, sending it’s travelers out into the street until they could reconnect with the trail closer to downtown. But in the past few years, part of this neighborhood has undergone a huge change! OHSU, or Oregon Health and Science University, has expanded down the hill and spilled out along the Willamette River – connecting it’s two parts by an aerial tram. It includes a 16-story tower housing doctor’s offices, research labs, a gymnasium, a four-lane lap pool, cardio and weight-training areas, and a day spa. Those who need more care will be whisked by tram to a new hospital wing on Pill Hill for cutting-edge treatments developed by scientists housed in a new research building. They say that the profits these patients generate will be an engine of OHSU’s growth and will subsidize the care of the uninsured, routine maintenance and equipment investments, and eventually construction of a medical school campus on the Willamette.
There are also new high density housing, huge condo buildings, many with breathtaking views of the river and the mountains beyond. They have improved the Willamette Greenway with a continuous trail from John’s Landing all the way along the Willamette River and through the city of Portland- which you can also take across the Steel Bridge and head back south across the East Side Esplanade-and come back to West Portland on the Hawthorne Bridge or the Tilikum Crossing– Car free bridge! What an awesome trail! In the past I’ve ridden it many times- but always had to get off and take to the streets when I came to the industrial area. Now the trail will continue unbroken all the way through the city! Not only that, you can take a detour up the hill on the aerial tram! You can read more details on this area in my neighborhood South Waterfront.
Johns Landing Neighborhood has always been one of my favorite places in Portland. We used to have a boat, and would take excursions up and down the Willamette. If you go to Willamette Park, which is right in the middle of John’s Landing, you can launch your boat, go up the river, pull up to the floating restaurant or River Place Marina and have something to eat..or go on into downtown and pull up into the grassy area to attend one of the many festivals. Or just cruise on down the river and go out into the Columbia River, find a secluded little beach or island, have a picnic- go for a swim- and come back! Or another excursion- take your bike to Willamette Park– and ride it all the way into Portland! Or just lay out on the grass and
relax- have a family picnic. It’s a beautiful Park right on the water in the city of Portland. The little neighborhood that stretches up the hill above it is called John’s Landing. If you can find a house here- it would be the best of both worlds. There are coffee shops, restaurants, shops all along Macadam. Or you can go across the Sellwood Bridge and be in Sellwood- browse, shop, eat- and come back.
Lair Hill is it’s own little neighborhood too, and it consists of the northwestern part of this area, bordered by I-405 on the north, SW Barbur Blvd. on the south and west, and SW Naito Parkway on the east. Historically this was a very distinct neighborhood, a district of Italian, Irish, and Jewish immigrants much of which was demolished by an “urban renewal” project in 1958. South Portland Historic District. Part of the Lair Hill and Corbett areas are regulated to protect their historic significance.
Corbett – The Corbett area (and SW Corbett St. running north-south through the entire neighborhood) lies east of Lair Hill, bounded by I-405 on the north, SW Naito Parkway on the west, SW Macadam Ave. on the east. Its southern boundary is marked by the SW Corbett St. bridge over I-5.
Terwilliger goes up the hill and is south of Corbett, between SW Barbur Blvd. and SW Macadam Ave. I will go into more detail in my Corbett neighborhood.
Parks in Johns Landing Neighborhood
This is a beautiful city park right on the Willamette River, of about 26 acres in John’s Landing neighborhood in Portland, it includes a boat dock and ramp, paved and unpaved paths, picnic areas, restrooms, a dog off-leash area, playground, soccer field, and tennis courts. You can put your boat in here, and take it into downtown Portland to go to a festival or out to dinner, or go on to the Columbia River. We used to do it all the time when our kids were young. There is also a trail that starts here and goes all the way into downtown Portland. It is part of the 40 mile loop, and will connect with the Sellwood Bridge, Oaks Bottom and the Springwater Trail!
Perhaps the premier short bike ride in Portland. This 11-mile loop offers one great view after another. Mostly paved pathway with a few sections of city streets, this is an easy and relaxing ride.
This 100 step stairway is right outside the front door. The route starts on SW Lanai Street and ascends to upper SW Kelly Avenue. Not a terribly long walk, but you’ll feel it in your legs later.
Eats and Sips
Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grille
This family-owned grille features unique Hawaiian foods topped with delicious macaroni salad. Live Hawaiian music every Thursday, Friday, and Sunday night.
515 Southwest Carolina Street
The Buffalo Gap
A local watering hold famous for its weekend biscuits & gravy and great selection of beer. Live music is held regularly. Outdoor beer garden. 6835 Southwest Macadam Avenue
Cafe du Berry Well known as a quiet breakfast spot serving fresh, healthy eats at affordable prices. Outdoor seating is available. 6439 Southwest Macadam Avenue.
Corbett Fish House
This neighborhood institution features a gluten free menu, fish and chips, burgers and kids food, soup and salads, and a tasty happy hour. Outdoor seating is available
5901 Southwest Corbett Avenue
Koji Osakaya has been in business more than twenty years and offers the best sushi on Macadam Avenue.
7007 Southwest Macadam Avenue
A family-owned cafe known for its fine coffees and baked goods with gluten free. 5915 SW Corbett Avenue.
History of Johns Landing Neighborhood
Johns Landing neighborhood was one of the first areas to be established in Portland. Homes in the neighborhood cover the full variety of regional architectural styles and provide an amazing glimpse of Portland’s past. The oldest homes, including Victorian mansions, can be traced back to the founders of Portland. With its eclectic variety of shops and restaurants, contemporary buildings, historic residences and upscale condominiums, Johns Landing offers a unique blend of neighborhood charm and urban culture found nowhere else in the city.
Other Important Links
The MAX and buses make public transportation really good!
Schools In Portland- people are permitted to send their children to whatever school they want within the Portland School District, as long as there is room. If the school is important to you, it is probably a good idea to check and see which school your neighborhood is assigned to- because it seems logical that the best schools will have a waiting list- and if you live there, you will be at the top! Find your school attendance area or a school site and view the boundary area using School Locator Page for: Portland Public Schools..
Read how to use the interactive map by clicking on the (Information) icon (circle with an i in the center).
School Report Cards for schools and districts in Oregon. Select (Portland SD 1J) In the District Selection Heading to view individual schools within the Portland Public School District.
You can find all kinds of All kinds of information about crime, maps, etc, Portlandmaps.com even exactly what happened where, if you just put in an address in Portland. There are lots of other things you can learn there- like census information, maps, school info, parks, environmental issues, permits on houses, nuisance complaints and taxes.