Portland Parks: Never Out of the Woods
Collected by Jay Rymeski, AFAR Local Expert
Portland parks make fabulous escapes and are world-class award winners to boot. Forest Park is the longest contiguous park in a major U.S. city and stretches across the horizon. Get out your walking shoes and start trekking the town.
700 N Rosa Parks Way, Portland, OR 97217, USA
Portland's International Rose Test Garden may get all the rosy reviews, but Peninsula Park is this town's pretty little secret. Tucked away in North Portland, the park is the perfect place to take an aromatic stroll, read a book, or get your...
8840 NE Skidmore St, Portland, OR 97220, USA
Religious or not, the Grotto in Portland is a favorite place of mine to go when I need some quiet. The grounds are beautiful, with statues and miniature grottoes all over. Walk the trail to the top (or pay to take the elevator) and spend some time...
239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
The Lan Su Chinese Gardens is a lovely place to regain some inner peace and admire the gorgeous gardens. The name of the garden comes from the relationship between sister cities Portland and Suzhou. Sounds from both Portland and Suzhou are...
56 SW Taylor St, Portland, OR 97204, USA
Mill Ends Park was created on St. Patrick's Day, 1948, to be "the only leprechaun colony west of Ireland," according to its creator, Dick Fagan. It is the smallest park in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records, which first granted...
Eastbank Esplanade, Portland, OR, USA
Visitors to Portland know all about Tom McCall Waterfront Park. In the summer, you can't miss the crowds swirling around festivals and street markets as you cross the iconic bridges. Locals, however, know to soak in a superior cityscape view...
400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
This is where everyone stops to smell the roses in the Rose City. Celebrating its centennial in 2017, the International Rose Test Garden is the nation’s oldest continually operating rose test garden (where varieties are evaluated for...
235 NW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97209, USA
I came across Portland pachyderms Da Tung & Xi’an Bao Bao while wandering around the city on a rainy, chilly December day. Elephants are one of my favorite animals, so I had to stop and take a photo. The statue is a gift to Portland from Chinese...
NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
As a runner, my favorite way to see a new city is by running it. Downtown Portland offered many places to run, but my favorite was a loop we took around the waterfront. Starting at McCall Waterfront Park, go north to cross the Burnside Bridge,...
611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
Portland is not lacking for parks and gardens—I've heard the Chinese garden in the Pearl district is a stunner—but I highly recommend the Japanese Gardens in Washington Park. Portland's a relaxed place anyway, but the Japanese gardens, said to be...
1000 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204, USA
I wasn't exactly traveling when I took this photo. I was only a few miles from my house, but I'm a bit of a late sleeper, so I rarely see downtown Portland, OR, bathed in the soft light and long shadows of early morning. I felt a bit like I was...
3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210, USA
The mansion and grounds around this Portland icon are impeccably kept and constantly visited. It was even featured recently on CBS's Amazing Race. The views are stunning and if you're into hiking, there is access to the Wildwood Trail which...
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