While there’s never a bad time to visit Portland, springtime here is truly a magical time of year. The city comes alive with blooming cherry blossoms, warmer temperatures, and plenty of outdoor activities everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s no shortage of fantastic things to do in Portland in the spring. With that in mind, here are some of the best ways to enjoy the city this season.
Check Out the Cherry Blossoms
Portland is well known for its stunning cherry blossoms, which typically bloom from late March through mid-April. Large numbers of lush, pink-flowered trees can be found throughout the city, but some of the best spots to see them are at the Portland Japanese Garden and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The former is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city, and its cherry blossoms are truly a sight to behold. The latter is another popular spot for drinking in the beauty of the blossoms, with views of the Willamette River and the Portland skyline that are just as awe-inspiring as the beautiful botanical display.
Explore Washington Park
Washington Park is a must-visit destination in Portland any time of year, but it’s particularly beautiful in the springtime. The park is home to several gardens, including the International Rose Test Garden, which includes over 10,000 individual rose bushes across countless varieties. It’s officially the oldest continuously operated public rose garden in the United States, and helped contribute to Portland’s nickname of “Rose City.” The park is also home to Hoyt Arboretum, many pieces of public art, and the Oregon Zoo, one of the most celebrated animal habitats in the country.
Take a Hike
Portland is truly a city that reveres its abundant green space, making spring the perfect time to get out and explore the city’s many hiking trails. One of the most popular is the Wildwood Trail, which winds through beautiful Forest Park and offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding wilderness. Other popular hiking destinations include Powell Butte Nature Park, Tryon Creek State Natural Area, and the Columbia River Gorge, all of which offer trails ranging from beginner to expert level.
Visit a Farmers Market
Thanks to our temperate climate and rich soil, Portland is an agricultural hub; one especially known for its artisanal farm-to-table dining scene. The city’s many excellent farmers markets are a great place to experience it first hand. The Portland Farmers Market operates at several locations throughout the city, including the PSU Farmers Market — which can lay claim to being the largest in town. The markets offer a wide variety of locally grown produce, artisanal products and prepared foods, as well as floral arrangements, arts and crafts, clothing, and accessories.
Drink in the Culture at Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest, and is home to a diverse collection of over 42,000 individual pieces. The museum hosts several rotating exhibitions throughout the year (including current features Masterworks Portland: Botticelli, Nature Vive: Paul Missal, and Hito Steyerl: This is the Future) making spring a great time to check out what’s on display. The museum’s outdoor sculpture garden is also an inspiring place to take in some enriching handiwork while enjoying the beautiful seasonal weather.
Visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (a.k.a. OMSI) is another great exhibit hall for families and science enthusiasts. OMSI offers a wide range of interactive exhibits, including a planetarium, a submarine display and a fascinating exhibit about the science of food. Like the Portland Art Museum, OMSI also hosts several rotating exhibits throughout the year, so there’s always something new and interesting to learn about.
Take a Bike Ride
Portland is known as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States, and for good reason. There’s simply no better time than spring to take advantage of that! The city has over 350 miles of bike lanes, several bike rental companies and even public bike share stations, making it an easy prospect even for visitors to get out and explore on two wheels. Some popular bike routes include the Eastbank Esplanade, the Springwater Corridor, and the Trolley Trail. All are jam-packed with beautiful scenery you’ll want to experience while getting in a little pedal-pushing.
Enjoy the Food and Drink Scene
Portland’s “foodie” scene is one of the best in the country, and spring is a great time to get out and enjoy it. The city has over 700 food carts, offering a wide variety of cuisines to please every palate. Additionally, the city is home to several Michelin-starred restaurants. As mentioned above, Portland is also known for its farm-to-table dining destinations, where some of the best chefs in the world craft seasonal dishes from only the freshest available local ingredients. If you’re hungry, it’s impossible to go wrong around here.
Experience a Wine Country Tour
Portland may not be the first place you envision when you picture “wine country”, but rest assured — our mountainous regions enjoy just the right combination of sun, shade and precipitation to produce some truly excellent vintages. Want to sample a few? We’ve got you! Hotel Zags has partnered with Willamette Valley’s Triangle Wine Country Tours to put together a stellar sampler’s sojourn. Their shuttle will pick you up right from our front door, and take you and your group of 2–6 to a trio of excellent area wineries. Their all-inclusive packages include tasting fees, transportation, bottled water, a light charcuterie lunch and a narrative tour of Oregon wine history. The best part? Hotel Zags guests are eligible for a 5% discount when they book with promo code PDXhotel.
Plan Your Springtime Stay at The Hotel Zags
Headed into PDX to celebrate this spring? The Hotel Zags is centrally located, making us the ideal home away from home for all of your exploration. We also offer excellent accommodations, competitive rates, and fantastic amenities. Take a look at our Special Offers page to check out money-saving Portland travel deals, and hit us up when you’re ready to reserve.