Home to over 200 captivating parks, Portland offers all sorts of options and activities. You will run out of time if you decide to explore these beauty spots. We’ve chosen natural places that will hopefully match everyone’s taste. From a volcanic site to naturalistic greenery gardens, here are our best parks in Portland, Oregon…
1. Tabor Park – an attractive park for hiker lovers that covers an extinct volcano
Mount Tabor Park is named after an Israeli peak that has the same name, and it became an official park in Portland in 1909. It has four different reservoirs, so you can have a beautiful background while you’re enjoying your activities.
The mountain offers a remarkable summit where you can see the beautiful views of the southeast of Portland. Lastly, it’s a great hiking spot because it’s easy to start a stroll or a hike regardless of where you begin, and you can choose between three different trails.
- Address: SE 60th Ave &, SE Salmon St, Portland, OR 97215, United States
- Tabor Park Website
2. Tom McCall Waterfront Park – once a hectic highway is now home to lively festivals
Also known as the Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, is a beautiful park you can find in downtown Portland. It opened to everyone in 1978, and since then, it has been one of many people’s favorite spots to spend some time with nature and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Most visitors go to this park to jog, walk, bike, do fountain play, play basketball, watch boats and fireworks.
At the same time, it’s a common spot for bikers and pedestrians during rush hours because you can avoid vehicular traffic and enjoy a beautiful view if you take the park instead.
- Address: 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204, United States
- Tom McCall Waterfront Park Website
3. Peninsula Park and Rose Garden – a must-visit for the city’s most stunning public rose garden
The Peninsula Park and Rose Garden is one of the most beautiful places you and your loved ones could visit. It has green lawns, a splash-pad that’s perfect for the hottest days of the year, several different playgrounds, and it’s wheelchair-accessible, so everyone can enjoy it.
If you visit this park, the first thing you might notice is that it’s below the street level, which makes it unique. Additionally, it’s historically important since it was the first community center of the city.
Nowadays, hundreds of people visit it each year, especially when the weather gets hot and you might want to enjoy some time in the pool or connect with nature.
- Address: 700 N Rosa Parks Way, Portland, OR 97217, United States
- Peninsula Park and Rose Garden Website
4. Mill Ends Park – smallest urban park in the world with an interesting legend to tell
Even though it’s an extremely small park compared to the other ones in Portland, Mill Ends is very popular due to the legend behind its history.
When Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal, looked out a window, he saw a leprechaun digging a hole. He grabbed him, and the creature granted him a wish – Fagan wanted a park.
However, he didn’t specify the size of the park, which is why the leprechaun chose to give him the hole.
Mill Ends is a small urban park, and you can find it in SW Naito Parkway. It consists of only one tree, but many people still love it.
- Address: 56 SW Taylor St, Portland, OR 97204, United States
- Mill Ends Park Website
5. Washington Park – said to be Portland’s most diverse park with tons of activities
Washington Park is another fantastic urban park in the state of Oregon. It’s immense and covers more than 458 acres of land.
Some things you might enjoy at Washington Park are its tennis courts, archery range, areas for picnic, rose and Japanese gardens, archery range, playgrounds, and trails.
The Park offers many different things to do, so you can go to simply enjoy the beautiful scenery or have fun in the tennis courts and archery range. If you love hiking, it also offers trails you can explore.
- Address: 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States
- Washington Park Website
6. Cathedral Park – an astonishing park perfect for a stroll
If you go to the peninsula of North Portland (specifically to the east shore of Willamette River), you can find a cathedral-like arch-supporting St. Johns Bridge, which is what gives the park its beautiful name.
Cathedral Park has several picnic benches and walking trails you can explore. Furthermore, it has a floating dock as well, which extends all the way to Willamette River.
Since the park is so beautiful, it’s a common location for weddings. Moreover, it hosts the Cathedral Park Jazz Fest, which is the oldest Jazz Festival on the west of the Mississippi River.
- Address: N Edison Street and Pittsburg Avenue, Portland OR 97203, United States
- Cathedral Park Website
7. Director Park – a parking lot turned into a European-style city park
Its official name is Simon and Helen Director Park, and it opened in 2009. It’s an underground parking garage and includes a fountain, several artworks, and a café.
Even though this park lacks vegetation and has few natural areas, it’s still a fantastic place to visit when you want to have a cup of coffee in a different setting.
- Address: 815 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States
- Director Park Website
8. Laurelhurst Park – pioneer park to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The neighborhood of Laurelhurst has a beautiful city park with the same name, which opened to the public in 1911. Nowadays, it has a soccer field, basketball and tennis courts, an area to walk your dogs without a leash, picnic sites, paved and unpaved paths, public art, stages, and restrooms.
Laurelhurst Park has been named the most beautiful park on the West Coast, and it’s also the home of many ducks, catfish, algae, black crappie fish, and carp.
- Address: SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd & Stark St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
- Laurelhurst Park Website
9. Forest Park – premier urban park within a city, an ideal spot for runners and hikers
With more than 5.200 acres of native forest, Forest Park offers unmatched recreation to visitors who want to spend some time with nature. It’s a fantastic hiking spot since all trails are available to people on foot and dogs on a leash.
Additionally, if you want to go on a bicycle, you have more than 25 miles of road to choose from. Overall, Forest Park is one of the best places to visit if you’re going northeast of the West Hills of Portland.
- Address: 833 SW 11th Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97205, United States
- Forest Park Website
10. Council Crest Park – a perfect site to register the best view in Portland
Among all parks in Portland, Council Crest is one of many people’s favorites since it’s different from the rest: it’s 1.071 feet above sea level, which makes it the ideal place to enjoy the view of the city and its surroundings.
You can visit Council Crest Park any day of the year, from five AM to midnight. Going allows you to enjoy a viewpoint, public art, various picnic tables, and even a wedding spot if you want to reserve it.
- Address: 1120 SW Council Crest Dr, Portland, OR 97239, United States
- Council Crest Parl Website
11. Arbor Lodge Park – an excellent place for kids and adults
Another fantastic park to visit in Portland is Arbor Lodge Park, which is on Bryant Street and Delaware Avenue.
Arbor Lodge offers different activities, such as a playground, public art, dog off-leash area, paved paths, baseball, soccer, softball, and tennis fields, picnic tables, and a horseshoe pit.
- Address: N Delaware Ave &, N Bryant St, Portland, OR 97217, United States
- Arbor Lodge Park Website
12. Ira Keller Fountain Park – stunning waterfall park perfect for relaxation
Its original name was Forecourt Fountain or Auditorium Forecourt, but now, it’s the Ira Keller Fountain Park. It’s immensely popular because it’s one of the most memorable places in downtown Portland.
This beautiful park is famous due to its many waterfalls and fountains, and it’s designed for you to be able to stand on top of the waterfall. Even though it sounds dangerous, its construction keeps everyone safe, so you never need to worry.
- Address: SW 3rd Ave &, SW Clay St, Portland, OR 97201, United States
- Ira Keller Fountain Park Website
13. Kelley Point Park – best park to reconnect with nature
North Portland also offers Kelley Point Park, which opened in 1986. Originally, the place was part of the Island of Pearcy, but now it belongs to the city and it’s a fantastic place to watch boats, relax near the water, or even enjoy the sights of beautiful animals.
The name of the park has its origins in Hall Jackson Kelley, who was a resident of New England and promoted interest in the Pacific Northwest and Oregon during the first half of the 19th century.
Kelley Point Park has public art, restrooms, picnic tables, unpaved and paved paths. Additionally, it’s the home of osprey, gulls, Bewick’s wrens, and Caspian terns.
- Address: N Kelly Point Park Rd, Portland, OR 97203, United States
- Kelley Point Park Website
14. Sellwood Riverfront Park – very popular waterside recreation for dog lovers
The incredible Sellwood Riverfront Park is at Southeast Spokane Street and Oaks Parkway and offers relaxing scenery and a beautiful view of the water, which makes it an ideal spot to walk and unwind or spend some time with your loved ones.
Initially, this park was a mill site full of Himalayan blackberries, so people would have never believed it would be such a fantastic place to visit. However, nowadays, both the north and south areas of Sellwood Riverfront offer different options to all visitors.
If you go to the north, you can enjoy the sight of willows, marsh plants, and different kinds of native greenery. The south, on the other hand, is the home of many dragonflies, frogs, and other small animals.
Lastly, going during the summer is a great idea since you can enjoy free concerts. Performances vary, but sometimes you might listen to gospel, soul, blues, rock, alternative pop, and much more.
- Address: 1221 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR 97202, United States
- Sellwood Riverfront Park Website
15. Tyron Creek State Natural Area – one of the best and most beautiful parks near Portland
The only state park in an Oregon metropolitan area is the Tyron Creek State Natural Area, which includes different options if you want to unwind and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
If you go to the Tyron Creek State Natural Area, you may enjoy a bicycle path, hiking, and horse trails. Additionally, you can visit the Nature Center near the park entrance, which has a gift shop, a play area specifically for toddlers, and educational areas.
- Address: 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd, Portland, OR 97219, United States
- Tyron Creek State Natural Area Website
16. Tanner Springs Park – wetland turned into a naturalistic park
The last park on this list is in Oregon’s Pearl District: Tanner Springs Park. It was supposed to be named North Park Square when it was part of Pearl’s District plan in 1999, but things changed in 2005, and the site adopted the name you know now.
It’s a unique site to visit since it’s naturalistic, relaxing, and quiet. One time, the New York Times described it as a mix between an Italian piazza and an urban wetland with many benches.
Even though you can’t bring pets to Tanner Springs Park, it’s still a great place to visit, especially if you want to get away from the hassle of the city. Many people practice yoga there, or simply enjoy their quiet surroundings.
- Address: NW 10th Ave & Marshall Street, Portland, OR 97209, United States
- Tanner Springs Park Website