Portland is an amazing city and it's been special to us for quite awhile now, though it wasn't until recently that it started popping up on the national radar. And how could it not? While we do get our fair share of beautiful rain, regardless of the season it's bound to beautiful and green here. There's lots of artists and makers contributing to a thriving scene. There's rad shops on every corner, a new hip restaurant seems to open every day and there's more coffee than you could ever even hope to drink.
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Forest Park- One of the most amazing things about Portland is that it has a 5,200 acre urban forest right in the middle of it! Walk a few feet in and you'll totally forget you're in a city, surrounded by towering Douglas firs and Western Red Cedars. The Lower Macclay Trail is an easy and beautiful trail to start with, located very close to the NW 23rd neighborhood.
Sauvie Island - A Portlander's perfect escape. Quiet and rural, but only about 20 minutes away from downtown. In the spring, go to see the amazing flocks of migrating birds. If it's berry season, make a run to one of the many U-Pick farms like Bella Organics. Take a stroll through the woods at Wapato State Greenway. Stop into Cistus Nursery to see some beautiful landscaping and visit the exotic plants in their gorgeous greenhouses. If it's sunny, head to the beach: Walton Beach is popular, and so is Collins Beach, but it's also clothing optional. We like going past them to the very end of the gravel road where it's a bit quieter and there's a trail that'll lead you out to an old lighthouse.
The Gardens at Elk Rock - Beautiful gardens with a wide variety of cultivated flowers, especially in the early spring. Bring a thermos of tea and stroll around.
Ride bikes along the Eastbank Esplanade from the Steel Bridge to Sellwood, pit stop at OMSI or stop and watch the rowers on the river.
Canoe on the Willamette put in at Catherdral Park, explore the coves south on the river.
Stop in at the Chinese Gardens on a rainy day, preferably in spring when the tree peonies are blooming, sit upstairs in the tea house and enjoy a pot of beautiful green tea and be transported in this tiny oasis in the city.
Wildcraft Studio School - Want to learn indigenous basket weaving? Seasonal herbal medicine? Indigo dying? Screen printing? Wildcraft offers amazing classes in crafts, studio arts, plant medicine and land-based skills, all taught out in the breathtaking Columbia Gorge. They've recently opened a Portland studio as well, if you can't get out to White Salmon for a class.
We hope some of these little tips help fill your visit with magic and adventure!