Top 16 Best Things to Do in Spring in Portland

Portland is home to luscious flower gardens such as cherry blossoms, tulips, and roses that start blooming throughout the spring.

From parades to festivals to farmers’ markets, Portland natives and tourists alike will find something fun to do for their spring adventures. Here are our best 15 best things to do in spring in or nearby Portland, Oregon…

1. See the Cherry Blossoms in Tom McCall Waterfront Park – one of the best places to visit in spring

Tom McCall Waterfront Park Spring

Cherry blossom trees stand near the stretch of Steel Bridge, which is also known as the Japanese American Historical Plaza. It’s one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring displays of cherry blossoms in the Portland area. 

Situated in the Old Town Community District, you can go view the cherry blossoms throughout your time at Tom McCall Waterfront Park for beautiful scenery while having some water-based fun. 

The Japanese Grain Importers Association planted these 100 cherry blossom trees as a gift to Portland in 1990. 

The best time to visit to see these cherry blossoms in full bloom is mid-to-late March but arrive earlier in the day for great pictures because it is very crowded at this venue usually. 

Address: 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204

2. Visit Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival  – a popular farm which hosts an annual tulip festival

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival 

The annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival offers 200 acres of open space and over 40 acres of different beautiful species of tulips. 

This festival has occurred for almost 40 years with its 38th annual instalment taking place in mid-march through May.

You can purchase season passes that are valid for the entire duration of the festival or you can buy a one-day pass if you plan to attend only one day out of the entire season. 

Locals and tourists agree that the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is one of the top spring attractions to visit in Oregon. 

Address: 33814 S Meridian Rd, Woodburn, OR 97071

Distance from Portland — 41 minutes

3. Visit the Japanese Garden – for beautiful spring blooms and a zen-like oasis 

Portland Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden is located inside Washington Park in the Arlington District of Portland. It’s home to 5 historic gardens and an entryway garden.

Each garden has a different style of plants, flowers, and scenery for a multitude of experiences. They are the Strolling Pond Garden, Tea Garden, Flat Garden, Natural Garde, and Sand and Stone Garden respectively. 

Besides the garden, you will have access to Umami Cafe for a delicious bite of Japanese staples. Learn something new about Japanese art and culture at the Japanese Arts Learning Center.

Round out the end of your trip to the Japanese Garden by visiting the Garden Gift Shop at the venue to pick up a souvenir. 

Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205

4. See the Roses dotted all over Portland – a famous spring activity in the City of Roses

Portland Roses Oregon

If you love flowers, you will love Portland’s many locations where you can see roses. Aside from the famous International Rose Test Garden (which we’ll mention a bit later on), Peninsula Park is home to the first public rose garden located in Portland.

From the middle of June to October, you will get the best sights of the four separate sections of roses throughout the park. 

The Pittock Mansion has a beautiful rose garden that stays in its best bloom from June to October. You can see multi-colored rose varieties with stunning mixes of orange and hot pink.

5. Bike Ride in Laurelhurst Park – a springtime activity for all the family

Laurelhurst Park - Portland

While Laurelhurst Park is 31-acres in total with many walking trails, you can also go biking throughout the bike for a great cardio workout. 

On your bike ride, you will see a plant called duckweed, which is a key plant that grows throughout Laurelhurst Park for the local wildlife and fish to eat and thrive. 

In between biking, if you have a dog, there is an off-the-leash area for your dog to run around and play safely. View the ducks at the duck pond nearby to enjoy the wildlife.

Be sure to pack a lunch to enjoy after your bike ride at one of the many picnic areas stationed throughout the park. 

Address: SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd & Stark St, Portland, OR 97214

6. Visit Hood River Lavender Farms – a beautiful seasonal activity

Hood River Lavender Farm Near Portland

Hood River Lavender Farms originated in 2003 from an esthetician and cosmetologist in her practice that has practiced her career for the last 30 years and wanted to create products for consumers that embrace the power of lavender. 

Hood River Lavender Farms opens for the season every April and is home to the annual Lavender Daze Festival that takes place every July with its 18th installment taking place in 2022. 

Besides viewing the beautiful and fragrant lavender fields, you can also enjoy seeing the farm animals that live there as well as a nearby winery. 

Address: 3823 Fletcher Drive, Hood River, OR 97031

Distance from Portland — 1 hour, 15 minutes

7. Visit the PSU Farmers Market – a great family friendly spring activity

Best markets in Portland, Oregon

The PSU Farmers Market is open every Saturday throughout the entire year and is located in the heart of Downtown Portland. 

If you have Oregon Trail SNAP benefits, you can get up to $20 in free Double Up Food Bucks per day.

Spend $20 or more at one of the booths throughout the market and you will receive a $20 voucher from the market to shop for more qualifying fruits, vegetables, veggie starts, nuts beans, mushrooms, and herbs. 

Besides purchasing fresh local Portland produce, you enjoy events such as cooking classes, book signings, and an array of kids’ events and activities. 

Address: 1803 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97201

8. Go wine Tasting in the Willamette Valley – for incredible wine and sunsets

Willamette Valley near Portland

If you love wine tasting, look no further than visiting Portland’s wineries throughout the Willamette Valley. 

The Willamette Valley is home to 66% of the vineyards in Oregon and is best known for its famous Pinot Noir varieties. 

Just in the Portland area alone are 9 wineries including Fullerton Wines, Erath, Division Winemaking Company, Tumwater Vineyard, Willful Wine, Cooper Mountain Vineyards, Hamacher Wines, Boedecker Cellars, and Amaterra Wines.

Listed on the Willamette Valley wines website in the Portland section is the My Chauffeur Wine Tours where you can be taken on a tour of the local wineries in Portland and throughout the Willamette Valley. 

Address: Depends on the vineyard you visit in the Willamette Valley.

9. International Rose Test Garden – more than 10,000 individual rose bushes bloom here

The International Rose Test Garden

Speaking of roses, one of the best locations to see roses in Portland is at the International Rose Test Garden inside Washington Park, which is in the Arlington Heights District. 

This expansive rose garden is home to 650 species of roses and more than 10,000 rose bushes for an awe-inspiring display of illustrious beauty from the red, pink, white, and more roses stationed throughout. 

This test garden is open to the public for viewing pleasure even though the main reason is to test new rose varieties. 

Address: 400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205

10. St Patrick’s Day Parade – one of the most fun and lively spring events in Portland 

St Patrick’s Day Parade in Portland 

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place annually in Portland every March. It has been a Portland tradition for over 30 years with the 2022 parade making it the 33rd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

This year’s parade starts at Beverly Cleary School located on the corner of Fernwood and 33rd Street (address noted below). 

Whether you were born Irish or of any other origin, you will love this parade because of how much work the locals do to put it together. 

Address: 1915 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, OR 97212

11. Join in the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta – a great celebration on the 5th May

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Portland

The Cinco de Mayo Fiesta is a quintessential Portland spring celebration that takes place every May at the Tom McCall Water Park. 

Enjoy delicious traditional Mexican food fare, live music, carnival rides, and even amateur boxing. 

The Plaza de Ninos area is for kids’ face painting and other kid-centered arts and crafts activities that get the children involved in learning about Mexican culture and the history of Cinco de Mayo. Each child can get a personal pinata filled with candy when they are done. 

Address: 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204

12. Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast – the whale spring migration north starts in late March and ends in June 

Whale Watching Oregon

Go for a day trip and view whales on the Oregon Coast. There are up to 20,000 whales throughout the Oregon Coast during their spring migration which is late February through May. 

The best place to go whale watching is at the Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center which is a couple of hours away from Portland utilizing the OR-18 W route.

However, you can go whale watching at other key venues nearby Portland including the Neahkahnie Mountain Viewpoint, the Cape Meares Lighthouse, and Cape Kiwanda. 

Address: 119 US-101, Depoe Bay, OR 97341

Distance from Portland — 2 hours and 10 minutes

13. Enjoy Portland Beer Week – one of the best spring events in Portland

Portland Beer Week -things to do in the Spring

Portland Beer Week usually takes place every June or July on a Friday through Sunday weekend. The 2022 Portland Beer Week event will take place at Fields Park, which is located in the Pearl District. 

Your ticket consists of a mug and 10 beer tickets. 1 beer ticket is equivalent to 4 oz of beer at your vendor of choice. You can use 4 beer tickets to get a full pour. 

Besides adults being able to enjoy the beer-related festivities, they usually have at least one Family Day on the last day of the festival, which is usually a Sunday. 

Address: NW 11th Avenue and Overton, Portland, OR 97209

14. Explore Lan Su Chinese Garden – an especially inspiring place during this time of year

Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland, Oregon

View rare plants native to China and awesome stone structures at the Lan Su Chinese Garden located in the Old Town District. 

Take a Season Plant Walk with horticulturists to see a variety of flowers such as 19 different species of camellias. 

Get Chinese calligraphy demonstrations from a master scholar and camellia painting demonstrations from a local Portland artist.

Round out your visit to the Lan Su Chinese Garden with a visit to their on-site tea shop. 

Address: 239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209

15. Visit Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden – the Rhododendrons typically bloom peak in late April to early May

Crystal Springs Garden Portland

The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is situated between the Eastmoreland Golf Course and Reed College in the Buckman District. 

Go on a guided tour or you can do a self-guided tour to view all the rhododendron bushes throughout the attraction. Enjoy a peaceful fountain in between walking around to view the flowers. 

Visit during their Early Show every April to view the many rhododendron bushes with an even larger display during Mother’s Day weekend every May. 

It’s only a $5 entry fee for adults and it’s free entry for children 10 and under. If you visit on a Monday, you do not have to pay an admission fee at all. 

Address: 801 SE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97202

16. See Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge – the most visited natural recreation site in the Pacific Northwest 

Portland to Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls measures 611 feet with very icy water. Walk the paved trail that leads to Benson Bridge where you can get the best view of the falls. 

The weather is optimal to visit Multnomah Falls during the spring, but you can visit during any season of the year because they will not dry during summer and they stay abundant even in the winter, too. 

Your trip to Multnomah Falls would not be complete without visiting the on-site Multnomah Falls Lodge where you can pick up a souvenir before you go. 

Address: Mt. Hood/Columbia Gorge area

Distance from Portland — 30 minutes

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