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Beverly
San Luis Obispo

Portland

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... :)


7 Answers

top answer by
Tiffany from Corvallis

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.  :)




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. Portland Saturday Market (attraction)
  6. Portland State University (restaurant)
  7. Bridal Veil Creek (attraction)
  8. Multnomah Falls (attraction)
  9. Oneonta Gorge (attraction)
  10. Portland International Airport (attraction)
  11. North Park Blocks (attraction)
  12. Pioneer Courthouse Square (attraction)
  13. Crown Point Vista House (attraction)
  14. Latourell Falls (attraction)
  15. Shepperd's Dell (attraction)
  16. Wahkeena Falls (attraction)
  17. Salty's on the Columbia (restaurant)
  18. The Deck (restaurant)
  19. Columbia Gorge Hotel (hotel)
  20. Horsetail Falls (attraction)
  21. Willamette River (attraction)
13 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Melanie from Oregon

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. 



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pittock Mansion (attraction)
  2. Multnomah Falls (attraction)
  3. Washington Park (attraction)
6 thankscomments (2)


answered first by
Debbie from San Francisco

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!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Skidmore Bluffs (attraction)
6 thankscomments (1)


answered by
J from Portland

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.  



Mentioned in this answer:

  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)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Nancy from Oregon

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.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. International Rose Test Garden (attraction)
  2. Hoyt Arboretum (attraction)
  3. Portland Zoo (attraction)
  4. Mt. Tabor Park (attraction)
  5. Laurelhurst Park (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Giuliana from Katy

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


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. International Rose Test Garden (attraction)
  2. Japanese Gardens (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Steve from Portland

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


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. OHSU (attraction)
1 thanks




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