5 Great Places to Picnic in Portland, OR

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Portland.

Tanner Springs Park

A fantastic, unique park in the Pearl District of Portland. The park is situated on former wetlands, and has boardwalks that take you over the water where you can see lotus flowers and lily pads and more. Across from these wetlands is an open grassy area with several trees and benches for picnicking. The park is smaller, but normally not too crowded. One of the most unique features of the park is the wall which runs along one side of it. The wall is made from railroad tracks and hand-painted glass. So, a visit to Tanner Springs Park for a picnic feels special – the artistry of both nature and humanity is on full display. 

Council Crest Park

Built in 1937, this hilltop park has become a beloved landmark in Portland. At the top of the hill, you are treated to panoramic views of the city and the snow capped mountain in the distance. On the way to the top, you’ll follow fun wooded trails with secret alcoves of benches. The top of the hill is the best place for picnicking, either on the open field or on a bench near the edge, overlooking everything.

Mt Tabor Park

Mt Tabor Park covers a large area East of Portland. It sits on an extinct volcano and is covered in a beautiful forest of towering pines. There are picnic pavilions in the groves of trees, like secret places tucked away. There are two large reservoirs if you prefer a lakeside picnic. The Mt Tabor Stairs (either North or South) are a fabulous attraction as well. If you can make the climb, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views. Mt Tabor East Picnic Area is another excellent place to stop because it sits above the city and has clear views of the mountains in the distance.

Washington Park 

One of the largest, most popular parks in Downtown Portland. Washington Park is home to the Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, Rose Garden, and Japanese Garden as well as several other meadows and gardens. You will never be at a loss for scenery to marvel at or to picnic near. Some of the best places to picnic are near the playground, the Secret Garden, at the Stevens Pavilion Picnic Shelter near Hoyt Arboretum, or on the Big Meadow.

Laurelhurst Park

An absolutely stunning and rich oasis just East of Downtown Portland. You can charm the ducks on the pond or walk the trails sheltered by lush trees. The park is dog-friendly and has a playground, so it is the perfect getaway for the whole family.

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Portland, OR

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!


1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a science and technology museum that contains three auditoriums, including a large-screen theatre, planetarium, and exhibition halls with a variety of hands-on permanent exhibits focused on natural sciences, industry, and technology. Transient exhibits span a wider range of disciplines.  Visitors can experience our latest feature exhibition, Dinosaurs Revealed, the Natural Science Hall, USS Blueback Submarine, Empirical Theater, and Planetarium presentations.

Pittock Mansion

3229 NW Pittock Drive, Portland, OR 97210

The Pittock Mansion is a French Renaissance-style château originally built in 1914 as a private home for London-born Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock and his wife, Georgiana Burton Pittock. It is a 46-room estate built of Tenino Sandstone situated on 46 acres that are now owned by the city’s Bureau of Parks and Recreation and open for touring. Modeled after Victorian and French Renaissance architecture, the mansion is situated on an expanse in the West Hills that provides panoramic views of Downtown Portland. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Washington Park

4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221

Washington Park is a public urban park that includes a zoo, forestry museum, Arboretum, children’s museum, rose garden, Japanese garden, amphitheater, memorials, archery range, tennis courts, soccer field, picnic areas, playgrounds, public art, and many acres of wild forest with miles of trails. Washington Park covers more than 458 acres on mostly steep, wooded hillsides, which range in elevation from 200 feet to 870 feet. It comprises 241.45 acres of city parkland that has been officially designated as “Washington Park” by the City of Portland, as well as the adjacent 64-acre Oregon Zoo and the 153-acre Hoyt Arboretum, which together make up the area described as “Washington Park” on signs and maps.

Hoyt Arboretum

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Portland

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! But with the country beginning to emerge from the worst of it, some celebrations are returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Portland this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Waterfront Blues Festival

There’s going to be a big, socially distanced music festival in Portland over the holiday weekend. Waterfront Blues Festival, Upriver 2021 will be coming to The Lot at Zidell Yards for an unforgettable in-person event, along with optional livestreams for those that want to attend from home. There will be two performances each day from both local and national artists.

The festival takes place from July 2-5 with all shows separately ticketed. Make sure you gather up some friends, since tickets are sold in groups to promote social distancing -you’ll be seated in a “pod” with your group where you can dance and enjoy your beverage in a private area distanced from other groups. At the end of the night, you’ll have a perfect view of the city fireworks!

Laurelhurst Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out Laurelhurst Park which has lots of shady space to spread out ta picnic blanket or picnic areas with tables and grills that you can reserve through the Parks and Recreation Department.

You’ll love the atmosphere at Laurelhurst Park – it’s one of the city’s oldest parks with big trees and a lake. It’s also big enough that you can plan to spend the day there and keep everyone entertained. There’s an off-leash dog area for furry friends, room to run, kick soccer balls, or toss frisbees, playgrounds, a horseshoe pit, and walking trails.

Cannon Beach

Cooling off at the beach is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and luckily, Portland isn’t too far from the ocean. If you want to get out of the city and head to the coast, the best town for an Independence Day by the water is Cannon Beach. This quaint coastal town has a breathtaking shore, with the famous Haystack Rock just off the coast.

If you’re looking for something special to do for the Fourth of July, you can enter their Sandcastle Contest! Normally this is a big festival, but to promote social distancing, this year it’s virtual and spread out through the summer. So, build an epic sandcastle, take a photo, and then submit it online to enter the contest!

And there’s plenty of other things to do around Cannon Beach, too! In the culture category, there’s shopping, art, museums, and exploring this corner of the North Coast Food Trail. Meanwhile, outdoor enthusiasts can join a birdwatching walk, go surfing, or explore local hiking trails.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Portland

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcome all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Leach Botanical Garden

6704 SE 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97236

The mission of Leach Botanical Garden is to maintain and enhance living collections of plants for the purpose of education, research, and conservation and to preserve the legacy of the Garden’s founders, John and Lilla Leach. The Garden is committed to providing positive experiences to the diverse community upon which it relies for support. Discover a place like no other! 

Portland Japanese Garden

611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205

At the heart of a Japanese garden is harmony with nature. Through the careful use of plants, stones, and water, areas of serene and quiet beauty emerge. These peaceful spots in the Garden lend themselves to meditation and contemplation. The 12-acre Japanese garden is composed of eight distinct garden spaces and a Cultural Village with classrooms, galleries, and the Umami Cafe. The Portland Japanese Garden offers events, workshops, and cultural holiday celebrations. The Garden is host to more than 350,000 visitors a year who come to experience this peaceful setting of spectacular beauty.

International Rose Test Garden

400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205

More than 10,000 individual rose bushes bloom in the International Rose Test Garden (IRTG) from late May through October, representing over 610 different rose varieties. The majority of roses in the Garden are commercially available. About 10 to 20 varieties are replaced each year with some of the best new roses released onto the market.  The primary purpose of the Garden is to serve as a testing ground for new rose varieties. In the beginning, while World War I was raging, hybridists sent roses from around the world to Portland’s garden for testing.

Hoyt Arboretum

4000 SW Fairview Blvd, Portland, OR 97221

Founded in 1928 to conserve endangered species and educate the community, Hoyt Arboretum encompasses 190 ridge-top acres and 12 miles of hiking trails just minutes from downtown Portland.  Home to 2300 species of trees and shrubs from six continents, Hoyt Arboretum, is a place of beauty and serenity no matter the season.

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

5801 SE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is a unique 9.5-acre garden containing an outstanding collection of rare species and hybrid rhododendrons, azaleas, and other lesser-known ericaceous plants, as well as many companion plants and unusual trees.  The internationally recognized garden is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year.  April through May, when the azaleas and rhododendrons are in full bloom, the garden is spectacular.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Portland

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.


Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Portland, there’s no better place for brunch than HunnyMilk, a (long) weekend-only pop-up located in LaBuca Restaurant. All HunnyMilk does is brunch, so you know they do it right! Here’s how it works: you choose one drink, one savory dish, and one sweet dish for a total of $23. You can add on alcoholic beverages as needed and all the meal options are very creative! Some examples from their mouth-watering menu include jalapeno hushpuppy rancheros, cheesy herb biscuits with chorizo gravy, and a sourdough pancake donut!

Peninsula Park

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Peninsula Park. This 16-acre park in the Piedmont neighborhood is a lovely spot to relax. After you eat, you can take a stroll to view the historic bandstand and the 100-year-old fountain.

Bottle & Bottega

If you want something unique to do with your mom, get in touch with your creative side on an outing to Bottle & Bottega. This paint and sip studio downtown lets you create masterpieces while you sip wine and socialize. They’ll provide the materials, instruction, and a wide selection of beer and wine for purchase. You just bring party snacks and get ready to have some fun! You have the option of booking a private party in the studio, or if you’d rather, picking up at-home kits (which come with step-by-step video instruction).

Hiking Adventure

Is your mom an active nature lover? If so, get her registered for May Bark About: A Mother’s Day Outing. This outing takes the form of a gentle excursion into the forest in the Lolo Pass area, about 90 minutes outside of Portland. The goal is to reconnect with nature, learn about the forest, and do some easy, guided, off-trail hiking. The event is hosted by Bark, an organization devoted to protecting and restoring Mt. Hood.


If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out. Consider Nodoguro, one of the most accoladed restaurants in Portland. This high-end Japanese restaurant serves farm-to-table meals and many major publications agree that it makes the best sushi in the city. You’ll need to make reservations ahead of time (they also have a waiting list for dates that are all booked up).

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Best Car Washes in Portland, Oregon

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Portland, Oregon It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Portland has to offer.

First, we recommend Gallagher Auto Spa. This shop details it all, from trucks to motorcycles, vans to RV’s, boats, ATV’s, personal watercraft, even planes. This shop has several different packages to choose from. You can choose exterior only, interior only, or both together. You’ll be happy to know they handwash all their vehicles and offer several add-on services to choose from, such as ceramic coating, paint protection, or headlight restoration. They will clean your engine or remove your dents, even tint your windows if you’re so inclined. Call or go online today to get a quote and book your appointment.

Second, we suggest Elegant Auto Detailing. This mobile detailer is more than happy to come to you. They service vehicles of all kinds, from cars, boats, RV’s, SUV’s, trucks, vans, semis, even motorcycles. You can purchase gift certificates here as well, just in case you’ve been looking for the perfect gift for that perfect someone. There are several packages available to choose from, including classic, deluxe, or premium services. Extra add-ons would include a clay bar package or an engine detail. They even restore cloudy headlights.

Finally, Radiance Mobile Detailing might be what you’re looking for. You can choose to detail your interior, your exterior, or both together. Their services include a hand wash, clay bar, spray wax, vacuum, and condition leather or vinyl seats. Prices vary on the size of your vehicle, going up in price as the cars go up in size. Radiance Mobile Detailing services sedans and coupes, as well as trucks, SUV’s, minivans, and full-sized vans. They’re mobile, so that means they’ll come to you. This shop specializes in making your car gleam as it did the day you drove it off the showroom floor. Go online or call to book your appointment.

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Splash-n-Dash Car Wash on NE Martin Luther King Blvd., Washman Car Wash on SE Clay St., or Eco Car Wash on N. Jantzen Dr. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Portland, Oregon, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Portland

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Portland and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Portland that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

McMenamins Kennedy School

Portland is well-known as a very hip city, so it’s no surprise it has lots of hotels that will appeal especially to millennials. If you’re looking for the cool factor, look no further than the McMenamins Kennedy School. This highly Instagrammable hotel exists in a restored 1915 elementary school! The rooms are unlike anywhere you’ve stayed before, with their original chalkboards and cloakrooms still intact. Other amenities in the hotel include bike rentals, a soaking pool, and a cafeteria-inspired bar and restaurant in the courtyard. The hotel has a very flexible pet policy, placing no limits on size, species, or number of pets per room. You’ll just pay a fee of $15 per pet, per day.

Kimpton Hotel Vintage Portland

Feeling fancy? If not, the Kimpton Hotel Vintage’s decor will get you there quickly., from distressed wooden headboards to art everywhere. But don’t think there isn’t a cool, youthful vibe here as well. The Kimpton is your “childhood fantasy [with] adult execution.” This means features like an urban tasting room, a game lounge for adults, and evening wine hours. Additional amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, and refrigerators, yoga mats, and bikes available. They’ll allow ANY pet that fits through the door, no matter the species, at no additional charge. The concierge will be able to recommend pet-friendly activities around the city and you can borrow a pet bed, bowls, or mats to keep your pet comfy in your room!

Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at the Sheraton Portland Airport, one of the closest hotels you’ll find. You can’t get more convenient than a quick shuttle service to take you to the terminal! And in addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a comfortable stay, with access to a 24-hour gym, indoor pool, and on-site restaurant. You’re allowed to bring one pet weighing up to 40 pounds for no additional fee!

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#GoExplore Portland – Fun Day Trips Around Portland

Are you traveling to Portland and wondering what to do on your stay? Or maybe you live there and are in dire need of a little weekend getaway out of town. Either way, if the urge to go explore the Portland area is hitting you, here is a little guide with fun day trips around the city.

Hood River

Typically, people think Napa Valley when they think about American wine country, but did you know there are a ton of wineries right near Portland? The cute town of Hood River, Oregon is a perfect place to start as there are loads of cute wineries around. And even if you’re not a huge fan of wine, you’ll find something for everyone here:

·         Spring Blooms: In early April, the region explodes with pink and white flowers as the cherry, apple, and pear trees in the orchards all begin to bloom.

·         Beer: There are great craft breweries around Hood River, as well as a cider fest and a hops fest!

·         Windsurfing: If you like adrenaline-inducing sports, Hood River is the windsurfing capital of America! You’ll also have the opportunity for other fun activities like rock climbing, kiteboarding, and paddle-boarding.

Pacific City

Feeling the need for some salty breezes and ocean views? It’s a bit longer of a drive (perhaps better suited to a weekend trip) but Pacific City is a lovely town right on the coast. Its biggest draw is the nearby state park, Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, where you can explore sound dunes and hike rugged cliffs along the sea. Pack a picnic and a kite and make a day of it on the beach relaxing after your hike!

Columbia River Gorge

If you like pretty scenery – and really, who doesn’t? – you’ll love Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, which is only about 40 minutes from Portland. This gem of a canyon is full of viewpoints and hiking trails. And those trails are extra rewarding because the canyon has over 90 waterfalls that you can hike to! The loop trail to Multnomah Falls in particular can’t be missed. You’ll be treated to several smaller waterfalls as you make your way up the trail until you get to Oregon’s tallest waterfall, the jaw-dropping Multnomah Falls. So, lace up your hiking boots and go explore the gorge!

Frog Lake

Sometimes a relaxing day at the lake is just what the doctor ordered, and an hour and a half outside of Portland, Frog Lake is a perfect spot for it. Situated just south of Mount Hood, the lake offers jaw-dropping views of the mountain. If you enjoy photography, you can great shots of the mountain reflected in the lake, too! You could spend a wonderful day barbecuing by the lakeside, or even make it into a weekend trip by staying at the campground! Recreational activities like swimming, fishing, and boating are all allowed at the lake.

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What to do in Portland, Oregon

Have you found yourself in Portland, Oregon with nothing to do? Portland is such a weird and eclectic town, there is absolutely something for you to do here! In fact, “Keep Portland Weird” is the motto in these parts. We have a few recommendations for you that will be a blast whether you’re by yourself or with the whole family. Let’s take a look at what Portland has to offer.

First, we suggest the powerful and awe-inspiring Multnomah Falls. Multnomah Falls is just one small slice of the scenic Columbia River Gorge, however, hiking these falls is most definitely worthy of a day trip all its own. Comprised of an upper and a lower falls, this beautiful waterfall has a fantastic trail with a famous bridge that crosses right in front of the falls, making for a fantastic photo opportunity. A lodge sits at the bottom of the falls with a restaurant and a gift shop. Stop in and find the perfect souvenir to take home. Just a little drive up the I84 from downtown Portland, Multnomah Falls is a glory you definitely do not want to miss.

Second, Powell’s Books is an iconic staple of the city, being the largest new and used bookstore in the world. No matter the obscure niche the book you’re looking for might be in, it will be sure to be found at Powell’s World of Books. This bookstore sells both new and used books, and also buys used books as well. It covers an entire city block and has several levels and satellite buildings. If you’re a bookworm, you will absolutely get lost here and have the greatest time losing yourself. It is quite possible no one will hear from you again for a few days.

The Portland Japanese Garden is sure to take your breath away with its carefully cultivated beauty. This garden not only features glorious flowers in fabulous colors, it also places rock gardens on display, and several topiaries pruned to resemble the gardens of Japan. You will feel immersed in another world as you wander these winding pathways and marvel at the beauty surrounding you. Portlanders are particularly fond of the Japanese Gardens, and it is most definitely a site any tourist or vacationer should see before leaving the city.

Finally, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is open to the public and a favorite destination for children of all ages. OMSI is in the heart of downtown Portland, and even has the USS Blueback on permanent display in the nearby Willamette River, the very submarine made famous in the movie The Hunt for Red October. They boast a fantastic planetarium as well as a new exhibit called Dinosaurs Revealed. For any budding paleontologist, this exhibit is a dream come true. Round up the whole family and have an adventure at OMSI.

If you’re in Portland, one thing is for sure, you will not be bored! There is something to do around every street corner, whether walking the waterfront, checking out the Saturday Market, or dining at fine restaurants. Come on down and have a great day.


On Air Parking (PDX) – https://www.onairparking.com/parking/Portland-International-Airport-PDX

Multnomah Falls – https://www.oregon.com/attractions/multnomah_falls

Powell’s Books – https://www.powells.com/

Portland Japanese Garden – https://japanesegarden.org/

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) – https://omsi.edu/

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near PDX

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Multnomah County Health Department

619 NW 6th Avenue

Portland, OR 97204


Hours:  Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm

Several Portland retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         CVS

·         Safeway

·         Walgreens

·         Fred Meyer Pharmacy

·         Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy

·         Brooklyn Pharmacy

·         Costco

·         Bi-Mart

·         Health Mart

There is a mass vaccination site located at the Oregon Convention Center.

Several health systems collaborated to open a community vaccination clinic at the Portland International Airport’s Red Economy Park Lot.

Several hospitals and clinics are offering the vaccination as well.  As always, call ahead of time as most require an appointment.

·         OHSU Primary Car Clinic in Scappoose

·         OHSU Multnomah Pavilion

·         OHSU Primary Care Clinic in Richmond – appointments are invitation only

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