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Best Parks in Portland

By: Cityseeker
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Lan Su Chinese Garden

Resembling a community garden you would find in Suzhou, Portland's sister city, Lan Su Chinese Garden is a beautiful green space near the bank of the Willamette River. The garden is complete with winding pathways, gorgeous plants, a lovely tea-house and a gift store. You can take a tour to get insider knowledge of the garden and try to come during one of their many interesting events, including exhibitions and lectures. This place is a must-visit for its unique beauty. You can even hire this garden for private events such as weddings and receptions.

Portland, OR, United States
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International Rose Test Garden

Portland is called the "Rose City" for a reason. These public gardens were established in 1917 and set above the cityscape of Downtown Portland. They are the oldest official public rose gardens in the United States and the only place in North America that can officially issue recognized awards for hybrid roses grown around the world. The best time of the year for viewing is during the summer, when the fragrant blooms begin to appear and continue until frost.

Portland, OR, United States
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Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden includes waterfalls, koi filled ponds, a wisteria arbor and even a tea-house that was built in Japan with ancient construction techniques. It features five unique gardens. The Strolling Pond contains the five-tiered stone pagoda lantern given to Portland in 1963 by Sapporo, Portland's sister city in Japan. Many events are observed in the gardens, including Children's Day, the Tanabata Star Festival and the Obon Spirit Festival. Garden curators also offer classes in Japanese culture and gardening techniques.

Portland, OR, United States
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Laurelhurst Park

Stroll through a forest of old and majestic trees, play frisbee on the expansive grassy fields or just sit back and watch the wildlife from a comfortable bench. Park visitors should pack a lunch and picnic under one of the shady trees. In addition to a man-made lake, you will also find a large children's play area, more than 30 acres (12.14 hectares) of grass and trails, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, restrooms and more. Laurelhurst Park has graced the City of Roses since 1911.

Portland, OR, United States
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Washington Park

Set amid a scenic location of sloping, forested hills, Washington Park has a number of notable attractions, including the International Rose Test Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, Japanese Gardens and the Oregon Zoo. Plenty of different spots across the park offer sun, shade, and shelter from the rain, and views of the city. A brimming hive of activities like tennis, hiking and archery, this park is a brilliant, sprawling carpet of eternal and abundant natural beauty. A range of winding trails slice through acres of wild forests at this park, while motley jubilant fountains, plazas and memorials accentuate it further. An evocative canvas of vibrant wilderness, this sprawling park is a breathtaking nexus of nature, botany and recreation, being rather unsurprisingly, one of Portland's most beautiful symbols.

Portland, OR, United States
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The Grotto

For more than 75 years, The Grotto has held a special place in the hearts of the locals. The 62-acre (25.09 hectares) site is a Catholic sanctuary that also features beautifully kept botanical gardens. Visit the shrine of "Our Lady's Grotto," which is not only spiritual, but a geological marvel since it's a cave carved into the base of a cliff with a replica of the Pietà sculpture in the center of the rock cave. After admiring the shrine, take the time to tour the grounds and marvel at the beautiful plants then visit the spectacular gift shop. Visitors are also welcome to attend mass. If you want a real treat visit during annual Festival of Lights. While the lower grounds and gift shop are free to visit, there is a small fee to enter the upper levels of The Grotto.

Portland, OR, United States
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Elk Rock Island

Formed by a volcano that erupted around 40 million years ago, this gorgeous island is known for its jagged rocks. Explore this natural wildlife habitat and stroll along its hiking trails that wind around the bay, where blue herons feed and sturgeon swim in some of the deepest waters of the Willamette River. The island has seven different habitats, including Emergent Wetland, Riparian Forest, and Willamette Valley Grassland. See if you can spot a bald eagle's nest in one of the trees!

Portland, OR, United States
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