West Hills, Raleigh Hills, West Slope, and Garden Home lie between Portland’s Multnomah County and the city of Beaverton. These neighborhoods are popular with families looking for a suburban community with close access to Portland, outstanding parks, and great schools. Commuters can avoid traffic on Highway 217 and the Sunset Highway (Highway 26). A deal struck between Washington County and the city of Beaverton will enable Beaverton to annex Raleigh Hills, West Slope, and Garden Home in 2010. The tax advantages of remaining in unincorporated Washington County will disappear with the planned annexation. The West Hills (or Southwest Hills) is located in southwest Portland. This gracious neighborhood winds through tree-lined hills and contains larger houses with incredible views. Architecture varies as many of these properties were built to owner specifications, one at a time. The median home price in this exclusive neighborhood is about $750,000. The average price is nearly $900,000. Prices here have risen almost 50% in the past five years. As one can imagine, schools rank from exceptional to strong. Few transit options serve the West Hills, but it is only a 15 minute commute to downtown Portland by car. 43-acre Council Crest Park is one of the highlights of the West Hills. The park’s beauty entices many brides to choose this spot for their nuptials. It also contains what is thought to be the highest spot in Portland. The trails, off-leash dog park, vista point, and picnic area draw Portlanders from around the metro area. Nearby Washington Park includes the Hoyt Arboretum, Portland’s Japanese Garden, Portland’s International Rose Garden, and the World Forestry Center. And, Portland Heights Park includes multiple recreation fields and a lighted tennis court. The West Slope community sits above Sunset Highway and on either side of main thoroughfare Canyon Road. Canyon Road contains a mix of car dealerships as well as some restaurants and shops. Single-family homes are found off both sides of Canyon and comprise a variety of styles: ranches, split levels, contemporary. West Slope has its own community library on SW 78th Ave. Raleigh Hills lies to the south of these neighborhoods. The commercial stretch along SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and intersecting SW Scholls Ferry Road is the heart of this community. Several grocery stores including Zupans, New Seasons, and Safeway as well as countless restaurants draw customers here from around Beaverton and Aloha. Oregon-based Ernesto’s dishes up hearty Italian fare; it’s been a neighborhood favorite since the Ceccanti family opened this location in 1982. The Raccoon Lodge and Brewpub is a family-friendly restaurant with a cozy atmosphere and good food. The restaurant recently banned smoking and has now doubled the space available to diners with an aversion to smoke. Raleigh Hills tends to have older, classic homes on larger lots as compared to newer Beaverton developments and some sections of Portland. Streets are maintained with pride. Raleigh Hills Elementary and Raleigh Park Elementary have consistently been rated as strong by the Oregon Department of Education. Beaverton High School is rated as satisfactory. Several private schools are located in or near the neighborhood including Jesuit High School, Oregon Episcopal K-12, and Portland’s French American School. Nearby Portland Golf Club is an upscale, private club with a world-renowned course. Neighborhood parks are interspersed throughout. Garden Home, a sister neighborhood, to Raleigh Hills, contains homes built primarily between 1950 and 1970. Washington County maintains the Garden Home Community Library. The library began in the early 1980s in a shuttered elementary school with a small collection of books for preschool age children. Today, the library has expanded to include activities for children and adults of all ages. The extensive Garden Home Recreation Center has a baseball field, basketball courts, soccer fields, and a boxing ring. Lamb’s Thriftway market is known for their excellent meat, produce, and even catering. Nearby Old Market Pub & Brewery serves brewpub fare at reasonable prices.During summer, the pub puts picnic tables outside so friends and family can enjoy the weather while knocking back a pint. The elementary schools and middle schools that children in this neighborhood attend are rated as strong by the Oregon Department of Education. And, the high school (Beaverton High) is rated as satisfactory.