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Courtesy of West Linn
Population 25,250
Median Income $88,456
Job Growth 10.1%
Median Home Price $381,875
Property Tax $5,362

Perched along the Willamette River just 13 miles south of Portland, West Linn is the quintessential small town. Its Historic Willamette district (a.k.a. downtown) is a charming cluster of independent restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques. The town plays host to all kinds of quirky annual traditions, from the Old Time Fair to the Ugly Sweater Dash. Meanwhile, locals can catch up and get to know each other at the farmer’s market, movie nights and concerts in Tanner Creek Park, one of many parks in this leafy little town.

While the town has plenty of personality, it also delivers on all of the practical traits we look for in a Best Place to Live. Top-notch schools? Check. Moderately-priced homes? Check. Healthy job market? Check. To be sure, Portland has gotten national attention for its foodie scene and bike-happy hipsters, but the city and its surrounding communities also offer a wealth of job opportunities, from healthcare to high tech.—Sarah Max

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