“My favorite holiday is spring,” my daughter declared when she was five. I looked at daffodils poking up through the mud, robins flying from tree to tree, and the sun breaks peeking through the clouds and had to agree with her. Spring in Portland feels like a holiday for months!
Here are EIGHT of my favorite ways to celebrate spring in Portland:
1. Magic in Waterfront Park
Am I the only one who has literally shrieked with joy at seeing the row of blooming cherry blossoms at Tom McCall Waterfront Park? Nothing says spring in Portland like watching our beautiful city turn into a living bouquet, and the waterfront is one of the best places to see those pink and white blooms! The trees just beg to be walked under or biked along.
2. Hey little Apple Blossom
April is “Blossom Time” at the orchards in Hood River. Whether you complete the entire 35-mile Fruit Loop or just stop at a few orchards to enjoy the sights and sample some cider, it’s not exactly spring in Portland, but it’s definitely worth the road trip!
3. Tiptoe Through the Tulips
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is a PMB favorite! It’s running March 23 – April 29th this year, but check the field report to see how many bulbs are currently blooming. If your kids are the type to lose interest in beautiful flowers after, oh I don’t know, 2.5 seconds, there’s a children’s play area and cow train to amuse the little ones, too.
4. All Roads Lead to Rhododendrons
Spring in Portland means the rhododendrons and azaleas in the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in SE are in full bloom!. Little trails wander through the garden, which has bridges, little waterfalls, and even a lake with a resident flock of ducks! It’s a nice walk for short legs. This park does charge an admission fee for adults Tuesday – Sundays, but Mondays are free, and kids under 12 are free all week.
5. Magnolias, Oh My!
Blooming Magnolia trees bring some drama to spring. The Magnolia Trail at the Hoyt Arboretum is a meandering loop filled with these beauties. This trail packs a short, convenient spring punch for flower lovers of all ages.
6. DO Go Chasing Waterfalls
With the wet February we’ve had, the spring snow melt should lead to some pretty incredible waterfalls. Latourell and Bridal Veil Falls are some of my favorites on the historic Columbia River Gorge Highway, or a road trip to Silver Falls might be in order. If you want to head further towards Central Oregon, Sahallie Falls and Koosah Falls are worth the drive.
7. Make Friends with Frog and Toad
Late spring and early summer are a perfect time to spot tadpoles, frogs, and the birds who like to eat them at the local waterways and wetland. We’ve seen them at Cooper Mountain Nature Park and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.
8. Support Your Local Farmers Markets
Those are a few of my favorites. What are yours? How do you like to celebrate spring in Portland?