Exploring Cedar Mill, Oregon: A Complete Guide to Living in One of Portland’s Best Suburbs

Shannon Janssen September 20, 2023

I have lived in the greater Portland Metro area for most of my adult life, yet somehow had not even heard of Cedar Mill until 2016. Like many, I assumed Cedar Mill and Cedar Hills were one and the same, my primary knowledge of the area is a nostalgic memory of visiting Tower Records on Cedar Hills Blvd during the summer while I was in college. Fast forward to today, I am a proud resident of Cedar Mill, the President of the Cedar Mill Business Association, and excited to share what makes Cedar Mill one of Portland’s best suburbs.
To start, what is Cedar Mill and where is it located? Cedar Mill is a suburb of Portland, Oregon located 7 miles west of Downtown and north of Highway 26 and Beaverton. Cedar Mill is the first neighborhood west of Portland’s City Center that is located in Washington County vs Multnomah County and somewhat ironically sits in the Hills directly north of the Cedar Hills Neighborhood, which isn’t in the Hills at all. (Cedar Hills is also an outstanding neighborhood I will cover in the near future.) Cedar Mill is a quiet and safe community that is home to about 18,000 residents. It’s family-friendly with tons of parks, highly-rated public schools, and a nice selection of grocery stores, restaurants, and coffee shops.
Fun Fact: If you live in Cedar Mill, your address is actually a Portland address. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about life in Cedar Mill, providing you with insights into the cost of living, job market, education, recreational activities, transportation, community events, climate, proximity to major attractions, dining options, healthcare services, safety, community atmosphere, and even travel accessibility.

Cost of Living in Cedar Mill, Oregon

Cedar Mill’s allure comes at a price. It is not the most expensive Neighborhood in Portland, but it is higher than average. According to the cost of living index for 2022, Cedar Mill indexes at 144 out of 100, a whopping 44% higher than the national average. The primary driver behind this higher index is housing costs. The area’s desirability, with top-rated schools, low crime rates, and easy access to major employers like Nike and Intel, contributes to the higher housing expenses.

Job Market and Major Employers

Cedar Mill is conveniently located near Portland’s largest West Side employers, Nike and Intel. Just a short 3-mile drive to Nike World Headquarters and 9 miles to Intel, this neighborhood is an excellent option for anyone relocating to the Portland area for these companies. Additionally, Cedar Mill is near several prominent hospitals and medical centers, Providence St Vincent’s and Legacy Good Samaritan.

Education Opportunities

Schools are highly rated in Cedar Mill and one of the draws of living here. Public schools feed into the Beaverton School District, including the newly opened middle school, Tumwater. Cedar Mill is also conveniently located near some of Oregon’s best private schools, including Catlin Gable, OES, and Jesuit all less than a 15-minute drive away.

Recreation and Amenities

The access to parks and trails may be one of my favorite parts of life in Cedar Mill. From Small parks connecting neighborhoods with trees and trails like The Bluffs Park, to larger parks with soccer fields, tennis courts and playgrounds like Cedar Mill Park, Cedar Mill has it all. Every day I start my morning with a run or walk, and weave my way through various neighborhoods and parks, greeting neighbors, petting dogs, and enjoying the lush vegetation and greenery that makes living in Portland so special. Cedar Mill is also located right next to Forest Park, one of the largest Urban Parks in the world. At over 5,200 acres and more than 80 miles of trails, this is the ultimate park for hiking and exploring.

Public Transportation

Public transportation is easily accessible in Cedar Mill. The Sunset Transit Center is a 5-minute drive or less from any neighborhood in Cedar Mill and serves as the light rail station for the MAX Blue and Red lines. Take the MAX one stop east to the Portland Zoo, downtown to a Timbers Soccer Match, or all the way to the Portland Airport.

Climate and Seasons

Cedar Mill experiences all four seasons, with some higher elevation areas receiving winter snow while the rest of the region gets rain. Many areas of Cedar Mill are also known to be quite windy, especially the neighborhoods located at the top of 119th or 113th. If you live up on one of these ridges, I advise you to tie down your outdoor furniture during storms, remove your wreath from your front door, and get your garbage cans in before they blow away.

Proximity to Major Cities and Attractions

Since Cedar Mill is so close to the heart of Portland, it is also very close to almost every major attraction in the City. The Portland Zoo is less than a 10-minute drive, or just one MAX stop away from the Sunset Transit Center. The Pittock Mansion, Washington Park, Japanese Rose Garden, Forest Park, OMSI, and Sauvie Island, are all other major attractions that every Portlander, and Cedar Mill resident, should experience.

Shopping, Dining, and Entertainment

While Cedar Mill retains its quiet charm, it’s not short on dining and shopping options. New boutiques and restaurants have popped up in places like the Milltown Shopping Center and Timberland Falls offering residents the array of choices we have longed for! I love White Birch for its well-curated assortment of everything from home goods to women’s clothes (they have the best candle assortment too). The Portland Wine Cellar has long been our go-to for Wines from around the world, with an incredible staff and fun happy hour events. We have Safeway, Target, and the Market of Choice for grocery options. China Rim is the best Chinese food in town. If you’re looking for more choices, both Downtown Beaverton and Portland’s Alphabet District is a 15-minute drive away for expanded Restaurant and shopping options.

Healthcare Services

Cedar Mill is located near several large Hospitals and Medical Centers, with Providence St Vincent being the closest. Cedar Mill has numerous options for Urgent Care as well as a range of healthcare specialists serving the community.


Cedar Mill ranks high on safety and low on crime compared to both state and national averages. niche.com gives Cedar Mill an overall grade of ‘A’ for crime and safety, based on violent and property crime rates.

Community Atmosphere

Cedar Mill exudes a strong sense of community. It is a place where small businesses are not only appreciated but celebrated. We have our own newspaper, The Cedar Mill News, a Community Library, a Business Association, and a Community Club. All of these groups foster connections and give back to the community. Cedar Mill also has a vibrant Farmers Market, open Saturdays from May through October in the Safeway parking lot and an Annual Cider Festival that takes
place every year in September.

What’s the Traffic Situation and are there any major congestion points?

As more people have discovered Cedar Mill, the population has grown, as has traffic. Cornell Rd, one of Cedar Mill’s main thoroughfares, can be quite busy in the afternoons, especially during the hours kids are released from school. The good thing though about Cedar Mill, is there is always another route and always a back way to get anywhere without taking the freeway. My husband is very proud of his knowledge of shortcuts around Cedar Mill and I’m sure other long-time residents have the same sentiment.

Nearest Airports

Portland only has one major airport for travel, and it’s located on the North Eastern edge of the city, and about 20 miles from Cedar Mill. Portland International Airport, or PDX, is a consistently top-rated airport best known for its patterned teal carpets #pdx. The trip to the airport is about a 30-minute drive from Cedar Mill without traffic, and up to an hour during rush hour. The MAX light rail system is a great option to avoid traffic altogether and takes about 45
Whether you’re moving to Portland or already living in Portland, Cedar Mill is a community you should consider. While it comes with a slightly higher cost of living, the benefits of living in this charming enclave more than compensate for it. With excellent schools, endless parks and trails, fun local shops and restaurants, easy access to Downtown, and a short commute to Portland’s largest employers, Cedar Mill has it all.
Visit my Website to start your Cedar Mill home search now, and check out my YouTube and Instagram accounts to learn more!

Work With Shannon

I work tirelessly for my clients and can be relied on to be responsive, thorough and persistent. Real Estate transactions can be stressful in any year, and that is especially true during a rapidly shifting market. By providing expert guidance, innovative marketing and results driven plans, I'm able to ease the process for every client.