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Beverly Joesten

San Luis Obispo, California

Nature-y spots in Portland

I've got coffee shops and shopping covered (thanks Trippy!) and one last thing that I'm looking for before I leave for Portland are any nature-y spots to see.  I don't want to go hiking or anything, but I'd love to see lakes, parks, or any place with a great view, so if you know any... :)

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  • Tiffany Weber

    top answer by

    If the weather is clear, go to the International Rose Test Garden . Not only is it beautiful, but it's up on the hill and has a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood. It's part of a huge park area that includes the Oregon Zoo and the Japanese Gardens which are gorgeous. But really, the rose gardens are worth a stop if for nothing else but the view.

    For nice walks, head to Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park . It follows the Willamette River , starts at that great coffee shop I told you about before and goes past fountains, and the Portland Saturday Market which is always cool to see. I also like the North Park Blocks near Portland State University . It's a chill few blocks to hang, read, walk, and just take in Portland. There's a nice farmers market there weekly, I think on Wednesdays, and it ends near some nice shopping areas close to Pioneer Courthouse Square .

    If you have a car and time, go to the Columbia Gorge. It's really not that far, but lines the Columbia River on the Oregon side and you don't have to hike to see some truly phenomenal waterfalls. Basically, drive to the Crown Point Vista House , then take the scenic route (Historic Columbia River Hwy) to Latourell Falls . From there, just drive slow and stop frequently. You'll see Shepperd's Dell , Bridal Veil Creek , Lake, and Falls, Wahkeena Falls , Multnomah Falls , the Oneonta Gorge , and Horsetail Falls . All along this area there are views of the Columbia River and many small lakes. It's just gorgeous. There's a historic Columbia Gorge Hotel that serves an amazing Sunday brunch.

    If you don't have a lot of time, stay in Portland, but see the Columbia River by driving along Marine Drive near the Portland International Airport . There are some very pretty areas along this route and some good restaurants like Salty's on the Columbia which is upscale and classic. It was our special occasion place growing up. For local casual, go to The Deck . It's literally a floating restaurant at the end of a pier in a marina where you'll see boats and a neighborhood of floating houses. Very cool place, nice bar and decent food.

    If you're determined, you can see the Rose Gardens, Waterfront Park, and the Marine Drive areas in one day. The Columbia Gorge needs at least a half day, but is totally worth it and you don't have to hike to see the waterfalls, but you can. :)



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    • Beverly J.

      Beverly J.

      OMG, Portland must be amazingly beautiful!!! So many places! We weren't planning on renting a car up there but it looks like we'll have to for at least a day because that drive along the 84 on the map looks way too convenient that it would be a shame not to take it! Thank you so much Tiffany!!! :) · (0 likelikes)

    • Tiffany W.

      Tiffany W.

      It is beautiful and quirky and fun. You'll love it. And you're right, 84 is totally worth renting a car. Don't forget your camera. :) · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. International Rose Test Garden (attraction)
    2. Oregon Zoo (attraction)
    3. Japanese Gardens (attraction)
    4. Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park (attraction)
    5. Willamette River (attraction)
    6. Portland Saturday Market (attraction)
    7. North Park Blocks (attraction)
    8. Portland State University (restaurant)
    9. Pioneer Courthouse Square (attraction)
    10. Crown Point Vista House (attraction)
    11. Latourell Falls (attraction)
    12. Shepperd's Dell (attraction)
    13. Bridal Veil Creek (unknown)
    14. Wahkeena Falls (attraction)
    15. Multnomah Falls (attraction)
    16. Oneonta Gorge (attraction)
    17. Horsetail Falls (attraction)
    18. Columbia Gorge Hotel (hotel)
    19. Portland International Airport (attraction)
    20. Salty's on the Columbia (restaurant)
    21. The Deck (restaurant)

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  • Melanie Hawks

    answered by

    Washington Park ; Pittock Mansion (Great View); also try taking the Tram cars up the hill.

    If you are going outside the city then of course Multnomah Falls is a must.


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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Great suggestions, Melanie! I'm going to have to visit these myself the next time I'm in town. By the way, I'm a community manager here and I've helped you highlight the places in your answer on a map! In the future, you can do this yourself as you answer a question by simply typing the @-symbol followed by the name of the place. Take a look at your map next to your answer! :) · (0 likelikes)

    • Beverly J.

      Beverly J.

      Thank you Melanie!! Washington Park and Pittock Mansion definitely sound doable. We'll see about Multnomah Falls! :) · (0 likelikes)

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    2. Pittock Mansion (attraction)
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  • Debbie Lee

    answered first by

    The Skidmore Bluffs look over Portland and is great both during the day time and at night. It gets extra cold at night, but it's worth it to see all the city lights from there!

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    • Beverly J.

      Beverly J.

      Thanks Debbie!!! This sounds great!! :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • J Saunders

    answered by

    for locations close to Downtown Portland you could check out

    Washington Park which includes International Rose Test Garden (nice view on a clear day), Japanese Gardens and the Oregon Zoo .

    Council Crest Park also has a wonderful view of the city and surrounding mountians.

    Council Crest Park

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    • Beverly J.

      Beverly J.

      Thank you J! · (0 likelikes)

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    1. Downtown Portland (attraction)
    2. Washington Park (attraction)
    3. International Rose Test Garden (attraction)
    4. Japanese Gardens (attraction)
    5. Oregon Zoo (attraction)
    6. Council Crest Park (attraction)

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  • Nancy Miller

    answered by

    International Rose Test Garden which segues into Hoyt Arboretum . Beware! No more free parking at Rose garden. You can get there by Max Train though. Take train from the Portland Zoo! It goes through the woods.

    East side has Mt. Tabor Park . It has a great view from the top, but that is only accessible by hiking now. You can still get good views of downtown from part-way up on west side.

    Laurelhurst Park is also a pretty place in a funky neighborhood. Sometimes they have live theatre or music there in the summer.

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    • Beverly J.

      Beverly J.

      Thank you so much for all of these suggestions Nancy!!! · (0 likelikes)

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    2. Hoyt Arboretum (attraction)
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  • Giuliana Kennard

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    The International Rose Test Garden has a hill-top view of the city. Close by are the Japanese Gardens as well. Enjoy!

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    • Beverly J.

      Beverly J.

      Thank you Giuliana!! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Steve Barker

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    Hit the tram ( OHSU ) in the morning or evening. Great views!

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