We love Portland's quirkiness, and we hope you do too. One of our favorite Portland-weird things are the awesome parks located around the city. From sprawling urban forests with epic hiking trails to inner city splashes of relaxing greenery and artistic wonders, we've got a list of our five favorite parks around town. Before you head out on your big parks & rec adventure, make sure you...
Located right downtown in Portland's Pearl District, Tanner Springs is the perfect spot for a moment away in the middle of an urban setting. With a koi pond offering a relaxing meditative vibe, Tanner Springs is a park that is all about recyclable materials and urban park alternatives. The art installation within the park was created using 368 railroad tracks and also incorporates 99 pieces of fused glass that were specially-made for this unique artistic experience. With coffee shops and bakeries nearby, you'll have plenty to do while enjoying this city-block-size urban greenspace.
A perfect spot for a picnic, Overlook Park, located in North Portland, offers unparalleled views of the Fremont Bridge (the big white one with rounded steel that soars high over the Willamette River). You'll be close to Mississippi Ave, as well, which hosts boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and so many Portland hot spots like Por Que No tacos, Blue Star Donuts, and so much more. Grab a picnic basket, rent a Nike bike from Biketown, and head over there!
Did you remember to pack your hiking boots but don't want to head too far out of town to get a good trail walk in? Time this trip right, and you'll not only get to enjoy some of the best trails in Portland (rivaled only by Forest Park itself), you could catch the most stunningly colorful display of a sunset over Mt Hood. We recommend weekdays to really get the best out of the unfortunate lack of parking in the area.
We have to mention this infamous downtown Portland park, as it still stands as the country's smallest. Yes. The smallest park in the continental US... and perhaps the world! It's smaller than a city block (smaller than the crosswalk, even!) and barely bigger than a large man's footprint. This tiny park gets revamped every now and then, and it hosts native mosses and usually a small tree or two. When we say small... we mean it!
Now, of course we have to include the best of the best of Portland's urban natural wonders -- Forest Park! Central Park ain't got nothin' on the pristine beauty and endless trails of this largest urban park in the US, just 10 minutes from downtown Portland. Notable awesome spots? Check out The Witch House (filled with Satanic graffiti, naturally), the insanely gorgeous views across the Willamette River, or head on up to Pittock Mansion by foot.
Adventure to your heart's content, then unwind in the center of it all! Need a place to cozy up and decompress before heading up to your room for the evening? Stop in at Hey Love for a night cap. Summer at Jupiter Hotel is unparalleled. All we need is YOU.