A symbol of delicate beauty, renewal and the fleeting nature of life, blossoms attract many people from great distances as they bloom, signifying the start of spring. Portland is known for its beautiful flowers, and you do not want to miss your chance as this wonderful period only lasts for a couple of weeks, usually between mid-March and early -April. Here are the best places to see and enjoy blossoms in Portland, Oregon…
1. Tom McCall Waterfront Park – a lovely park which is known for being one of the best places to see spring blossom
Built around Battleship Oregon Memorial, the cherry blossoms send out a message of peace and tranquillity. The Memorial has a time capsule of Bulldog of the United States Navy to be opened in 2076 and the cherry blossoms that bloom every year are a reminder of the great causes the ship fought for. The artwork is a commemoration of the contribution of the Japanese-American community in US military services and is wonderfully exalted by pink blossoms in spring.
You can also stop by the Salmon Street Springs, the Founders Stone, Sculpture Stage and the Japanese American Historical Plaza, each with their own stories to tell.
Address: Naito Parkway between SW Harrison Street and NW Glisan Street Portland, OR 97204, United States
2. Pittock Mansion – a wonderful historic attraction where you see the beautiful blossoms
Built in 1914, at Pittock Mansion you will find some of the oldest sakura trees in Portland. An emblem of the ‘Great American Dream’, Pittock Mansion signifies a time in American history marked by exploration and adventure as young men tried to change destiny.
Here you can visit The Gate Lodge, The Grounds and The Mansion. The mansion was transformed into a public museum in 1965. Cherry blossoms add perfectly to the magnificent mansion and are a must to see this time of the year.
Address: 3229 NW Pittock Drive Portland, OR 97210, United States
3. Hoyt Arboretum – a place known for its beautiful spring blossoms
Encompassing over two thousand species of trees and shrubs over an area of 190 acres, HoytArboteum was founded in 1928 and it would not be wrong to call this place a ‘living museum’. Their collection of cherry blossoms are only one of the many colorful spring flowers during budburst.
Their guided tours are informative as well as enchanting as you walk among beautiful trees. In addition, you can choose from a 30-minute trail, 1-hour loop and 2-hour loop, if you are looking for a refreshing and healthy hike.
Address: 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Portland, OR 97221, United States
4. Portland Japanese Garden – the place to see the cherry blossoms or sakura (the national flower of Japan)
Spring is a colorfest at the Flat Garden here at Portland Japanese Garden, an embodiment of Japanese culture and affiliation with trees and flowers. If you want to catch an early sight of the cherry blossoms, this is the place to be at. A little later in the spring you can also look for pieris, dogwoods, azaleas and rhododendrons.
The Pavilion also has breath-taking views of the cherry blossoms you do not want to miss. The Japanese Garden is a year-round place: Tea Garden, Sand and Stone Garden and Strolling Pond Garden offer a close connection with nature in any season of the year.
Address: 319 SW Pine Street, Portland, Oregon, 97204-2726, United States
5. Washington Park – one of the most underrated cities to witness gorgeous cherry blossoms
Signature park of Portland, Washington Park is home to Archery Range, World Forestry Center and Vietnam Memorial and provides a great and photogenic backdrop of fresh cherry blossoms. Spread over 400 acres, there are over two thousand more species of trees in this park and about 10,000 roses.
Spending your day looking for parking spots is the last thing one wants to be doing on their trip; There is a free shuttle available to facilitate your commute within the park and transit to save you the hassle of looking for parking spaces on your trip.
Address: 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States
6. Laurelhurst Park – a great destination for gazing and photographing cherry blossoms
Reminiscent of the City Beautiful Movement, the park was designed in 1912 and was named the most beautiful one in 1919 by the Pacific Coast Parks Association. Besides the cherry trees, you can also admire the spring-fed pond inhabited by ducks, turtles and fish as you pass through the walkways.
Laurelhurst Park is perfectly suited for a picnic place for all generations whether you are looking for outdoor activities like basketball and soccer or a quiet stroll around the pink flowers.
Address: SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd and Stark Street Portland, OR 97214, United States
7. Duniway Park Lilac Garden – an under-the-radar place to see blossoms
While known for its exquisite collection of lilacs, Duniway Park also carries equally commendable sakura trees. In late April or early May the cherry blossoms usually bloom and fill the air with aroma you would not want to miss.
Portland Garden Club has vowed to make this garden one of the “premier gardens in the Northwest” and strive hard to maintain the place in collaboration with horticulture groups. So, it goes without saying that you are in for some lovely sightseeing here.
Address: 1500 Southwest 1st Avenue, Suite 760, Portland, OR, 97201, United States
8. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden – one of Portland’s beauty spots
A relatively smaller park stretched over nine acres of land, Crystal Springs Rhododendron offers you scenery with dazzling waterfalls and bridges as you gaze at your spring guests, cherry blossoms. Photographers are attracted from all over the country to capture these compelling views.
Wood Duck, Ruddy Duck, Chestnut-backed Chickadee and American coot are only few of the rare bird species that have found home here. The sweet chirps and the colorful flowers will make you forget your hectic routine and help you develop a new appreciation for natural life.
Address: 5801 SE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97202, United States
9. Lan Su Chinese Garden – one of Portland’s greatest treasures
A collaborative project between Portland and Suzhou, a city in China famous for Ming Dynasty gardens, Lan Su Chinese Garden has a mission to promote and conserve Chinese culture. With cherry blossoms you will come to adore the 2000-year old legacy of art, architecture and design that went into making this park one of the 12 greatest cherry blossom treasures of Portland.
To add, you have the option of many fun activities such as Explore with the Dragonfish, Lost Treasure Hunt and Plant Spotlight. Amenities here include a tea shop and a garden shop.
Address: 239 Northwest Everett Street, Portland, OR 97209, United States
10. University of Portland – during a few weeks in spring vibrant canopy display of flowering cherry trees decorates the campus
After a gray, cold winter, the sakura trees at University of Portland are adorned with cherry blossoms around the giant bell tower.
Between mid-March to early-April, at the Academic Quad, there is no better place to start your spring break at – sit under the trees with a picnic basket and unwind from a tough academic year.
Address: 5000 N Willamette Blvd, Portland, OR 97203, United States
11. Mt. Tabor Park – a much larger area to explore than the downtown blossoms
Around Mt. Tabor, this park was designed by Olmsted Brothers’ landscape designers in the early 1900s. At the heart of the park is a statue sculpted by Gutzon Borglum while he was working on the sculptures of American presidents at Mt. Rushmore, something to admire while you meander your way around the cherry blossoms in numerous walking trails here.
You can also get a feel of native plants showcased at their nursery yard and Mt. Tabor Community Garden while you are there.
Address: SE 60th Ave &, SE Salmon St, Portland, OR 97215, United States
12. Portland Neighborhood – take a camera on your wander for great blossom photo opportunities
While all the other parks above are spectacular, nothing compares to finding these gems in your own neighborhood as you take your daily walks.
Spotting cherry blossoms on a mundane day will surely brighten your mood like accidentally finding candy in your pocket! That’s what they are, a relief for the preoccupied mind.