Still trying to decide where to travel this spring? Portland, Oregon, is the perfect place for an outdoors-inspired weekend getaway. And while Portland might be known for its unique personality, the city’s gardens are known worldwide for their charm and cultural diversity. Experience new cultures and beauties in Portland’s various parks and gardens.

International Rose Test Garden

Portland’s International Rose Test Garden, created to be a testing ground for new varieties of roses, is the oldest official garden of its kind in the United States. The garden houses over 8,000 rose bushes and 600 varieties of roses. The 4.5-acre garden is open to the public year-round, but most roses are in bloom from April through October. The park overlooks the city and provides plenty for visitors to see.


Hoyt Arboretum

Hoyt Arboretum is Portland’s museum of living trees. With over 1,400 species of trees and 12 miles of trails, visitors can walk along various paths and see the expansive collection of nature’s giants. Pick up a map at the visitor’s center to chart your own nature walk, or join a guided tour. As you view the beauty, you’ll understand why the Hoyt Arboretum staff describe the arboretum as “a promise to future generations.”


Portland Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden reflects Japanese history and culture in a serene setting. The 5.5-acre garden encompasses various types of plants and garden features. Elements of the garden reflect Japan’s past and present. The Moon Bridge over the pond and the bamboo gate leading to the tea garden compose what is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside the Empire of the Sun. Authentic culture and art exhibitions, garden lectures and events, and guided tours are also frequently available. Marketing director Lisa Christy says, “Regardless of who you are, where you come from, or your background, the Japanese Gardens speaks to you in a personal way. No matter the expectations, you’ll get a really great experience.”


Whether your travels are for rest and relaxation or for discovering new locations and cultures, Portland is the ideal city for experiencing spring. Walk around these nature reserves, look out over the city and mountains, and witness the beauty and wonder of Portland.

—Stephanie Bahr Bentley