Springtime in Portland: Gardens, Wildflower Hikes, and more

Finally, winter is over!  Does that mean we are done with the rain?  Of course not, this is still the Pacific Northwest after all.  However, expect more sunshine and warmer weather ahead.   Us Portlanders may complain about the rain a little bit, but one upside is that all this rain makes for some beautiful scenery come spring time.  The gardens in town are starting to bloom, the wildflowers are out in the gorge, the waterfalls are flowing, the saturday market and farmers markets are up and running.  It is a great time to visit and get outside…when the rain stops.  If you want to take in some of this gorgeous spring scenery here are a few suggestions. 

1. Portland Japanese Garden

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, so now is the time to get out the Portland Japanese Garden. The Cherry blossoms are also in full bloom on the waterfront but there is something about seeing them in the context of the Japanese Garden that adds to the beauty.

2. Lan Su Chinese Garden

The Lan Su Chinese Garden is a gem in the middle of old town just a stone’s throw away from downtown.  Very accessible by bus and Max.  Spring is also a great time to go to the Chinese Garden.

3. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

CS Path2

As of this writing, it is a little early to go out to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. By the end of April/early May the park should be in full bloom.  This garden is one of the best kept secrets in Portland.  It does not get mentioned a lot in the tourist literature but when the rhododendrons are blooming it is a great place to go for a walk and relax.

4. Wildflower Hikes in the Gorge

There are a lot of great places to hike in the Gorge year round.  Spring is great because the wildflowers are blooming and the waterfalls are roaring.  If you want a moderate hike where you can take in the wildflowers and end with some stunning views, I suggest the Tom McCall Point hike.

5. Tulip Festival

Spring means it is time  for the Tulip Festival at the Wooden Shoe Farms.  This is an event south of Portland near Woodburn, Oregon.  The festival starts March 28th and runs through May 4th.  It is basically the spring equivalent of a pumpkin patch.  There are 40 acres of Tulips to marvel at, u-pick tulips, a children’s play area, food court, and donkey rides for the kids.

6. Saturday Market and Food Carts

Any time of year is a good time for food carts, but spring means more sunshine.  Food carts are always best enjoyed in the sun people watching.  The Saturday market is up and kicking now too.  Word on the street is that some of Portland’s craft distillers are now at the Saturday farmers market and they may be offering free samples.

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