The large expanse of green areas and gardens of Washington Park in Portland is the large public urban park of the city. Just located about two miles from downtown, Washington park is huge with over 410 acres of public park area that incorporates a zoo, botanical garden, rose garden, Japanese garden, a forestry museum, playground areas, hiking trails and even a historic home open to the public to visit. It borders Forestry Park grounds which is another 5,100 acres of forested areas of Portland, which is the city’s premier wilderness area and many hiking trails to discover.
If you are a mature traveler and love the outdoors, parks and beautiful gardens, then spend some time visiting Washington Park, it is definitely worth the effort and with the easy Max light rail stopping right at the park, it’s an easy go to place from downtown Portland.
Fun things to do in Washington Park, Portland
The large expanse of green areas and gardens of Washington Park in Portland is the large public urban park of the city. Just located about two miles from downtown, Washington park is expansive with over 410 acres of public park area that incorporates a zoo, botanical garden, rose garden, Japanese garden, a forestry museum, playground areas, hiking trails and even a historic home open to the public to visit. It borders Forestry Park grounds which is another 5,100 acres of forested areas of Portland, which is the city’s premier wilderness area.
How to get to Washington Park
You can easily get to Washington Park taking the Max light rail with a direct stop at Washington Park
Just outside of the metro stop is the Zoo and World Forestry Center Discovery Museum and a variety of nearby trails.
Best time of the year to visit Washington Park in Portland
The park is a year-round destination with locals but for visitors to the park and area grounds, the best time to visit tends to be in the spring to summer months when many of the flowering trees, plants and flowers bring on a gorgeous display around the park grounds from the Japanese gardens, the rose gardens to the arboretum to the wilder and more natural parts of the park.
Explore the Gorgeous Gardens of Washington Park
Visit the Japanese Tea Garden
Located in a mature forested area with trails climbing up the hills in the garden, the Japanese tea garden is right above the rose garden and is one of the most authentic Japanese gardens with intimate walks, meandering streams, sandstone and natural garden, strolling pond and tea house surrounded with azaleas, cherry trees, maples, bonsai and other Japanese inspired landscaping and plants.
Entrance to the Japanese Tea Garden
Azalea blooms at the Japanese Tea Garden
Portland International Rose Test Garden
One of the most inspiring places to visit in Washington Park, the Portland International Rose Test Garden was created as a showcase for the popular rose displays with over 10,000 roses in the garden along with other perennials, beautiful vistas and show gardens to explore. The rose garden is one of the signature attractions to the city and is the oldest test garden in the USA with many different zones featuring miniatures, hybrid, Royal Rosarian Garden and a Shakespeare Garden.
Entry down to the Portland Rose Garden
Walking the perimeter of the International Rose Garden
A 190-acre garden filled with over 1000 plants with a variety of hiking trails, large specimen trees and flowering trees like magnolias, dogwoods and cherry trees. With over 12 miles of hiking trails, you’ll be surrounded with lush forests and plantings in a naturalized setting with views of the downtown area and even Mt. Hood in the background. You can even take the Wildwood trail which extends out over 30 miles into the national recreation trail. Check out the Hoyt Arboretum website here for more details of places to explore and hiking trails in the area.
Blooming Magnolias and dogwoods in the Hoyt Arboretum
Hiking trails at Washington Park and Forest Park
There are many hiking trails to explore in the Washington Park area and a fun way to be outdoors and in nature in the heart of the city. Check out the Forest Park hiking trails here for more extensive hikes in Washington and Forest park heres.
Washington Park fun for children
Washington park is for all age groups but is especially geared towards children with a fabulous zoo and fantastic playgrounds to visit. There is also a wonderful museum that is kid friendly called the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum.
Visit to the Oregon Zoo
An easy walk from the Washington Park Max station, the Oregon zoo is a very popular attraction to visit along with the fabulous choo choo train and the carousel located in the park grounds. Check out the details to visiting the Oregon Zoo here for information to visiting and fun things to do at the zoo.
The Colorful Oregon zoo
Visit the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum
World Forestry Center Discovery Museum and filled with educational displays sharing sustainable forestry and this enormous petrified stump weighing over 10,000 pounds. Check out the details to visiting the museum here for more information and current events or visits to the museum.
Take the Oregon Steam train
You can take the Oregon steam train around the zoo, park and visit the popular playground which is close to the rose garden
More details to visiting Washington Park
Outside of the Max station is a map of the park area that you can view or you can also download the map guide here for easy reference.
There are only a few places to eat at Washington Park: Aviary park at the zoo, The Children’s Museum and Hoyt Arboretum welcome center sells snacks and drinks. Check out this website post here on top restaurants close to Washington park for you to eat nearby.
Check out the Washington Park website here and schedules for the park shuttles that cover the entire park area.
Attractions close by to Washington Park
Visit the Pittock Mansion
You can get to the Pittock Mansion from the Hoyt Arboretum on the Wildwood Trail and through some lush forested areas going through the park area or you can also catch an Uber ride since a good part of the trail is uphill to see the expansive views of Portland from the viewing areas of Pittock. This gorgeous French Renaissance mansion was the home of Henry Pittock, the gregarious publisher of a local Portland Newspaper. Built in 1914, a visit to the mansion details the transformation of rural Portland into a more urban and industrialized city with lots of interesting facts and information detailing the growth of Portland through this pioneer.
Check out the details to visiting the Pittock Mansion here for more information and reserving a time slot to visit.
Interior rooms and self tour of the Pittock Mansion
Hiking trails around Washington Park
Conclusion of Things to do in Washington Park Portland
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