I've been living in Portland Tennessee for 8 years and have enjoyed the small-town atmosphere of this quaint little city that has friendly and helpful neighbors in the close-knit neighborhoods. Portland is known as the Strawberry Capital of Tennessee and is one of the cities on the outskirts of Nashville that you can call home and enjoy a laid-back culture and quiet safe environment. The schools in Portland are okay and my kids have enjoyed the relationships they have built over the years.
The best areas in Portland are around Meadowbrook Park area where there are nice neighborhoods with decent housing that is reasonably priced so you can purchase a home and enjoy a decent neighborhood without a terribly big mortgage. There are lots of shops and other amenities to choose from with the small businesses within the city that cater to most of your needs and wants. However, there is not a lot of the main big chain stores and restaurants that you would find in larger metropolitan cities. If you're looking to relocate to the Nashville area and are looking for a small town environment to call home Portland would be a great city to move to.