Every spring, like clockwork, the cherry blossoms in Portland make a very welcome appearance and officiate the start of longer days, warmer evenings and more sunshine.
Barren branches are carpeted with blushing blooms and neither locals nor visitors can get enough of the incredible spectacle.
I’ve lived in Portland for 20+ years and have made a tradition out of finding the best spots for cherry blossoms in Portland.
And today I’m happy to share everything I know about Portland’s cherry blossoms for anyone planning to visit.
Read on to find the best places to catch blushing trees this spring.
Best time to see cherry blossoms in Portland
The cherry blossoms in Portland have a short blooming season. Peak bloom is hard to pin down because it varies from year to year – depending on weather.
As a general rule of thumb, the best time to catch cherry blossoms in Portland is between mid-March and early-April. So keep that in mind while planning your trip.
2020 & 2021 Cherry Blossom Tracker (+Photos)
In the spring of 2020 and 2021, I walked to the waterfront on a weekly basis to check on the cherry blossoms at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and posted real-time photos for readers.
A lot of folks have reached out to share that the tracker was a very helpful resource. If you’d like to give it a look, check out: The Portland Cherry Blossom Tracker
Best Spots for Cherry Blossoms in Portland
#1. Waterfront Park
Waterfront Park Address: 98 SW Naito Pkwy. Portland, Oregon 97204
The best place in Portland to see the cherry blossoms is Tom McCall Waterfront Park. More specifically, the absolute best spot is the stretch of the park between the Burnside Bridge and the Steel Bridge which makes for the most breathtaking display of the blossoms in all of Portland.
Tom McCall Waterfront Park is beloved by both locals and visitors alike for good reason. To see the cherry blossoms, you will want to head toward the Japanese American Historical Plaza, near the Steel Bridge.
The 100 Akebono cherry trees that line the waterfront were gifted by the Japanese Grain Importers Association in 1990.
This spot gets very busy during the spring season because it’s the best spot for cherry blossoms in Portland so make sure to arrive early if you want photos without crowds — plus, sunrise is hard to beat!
- Best time to visit for cherry blossoms: Mid-to-late-March.
- Hours: Open daily from 5am to midnight, there is no admission fee.
Local’s tip: Swing by Pine Street Market for lunch. It’s an industrial food hall chock-full of delicious fare. My personal favorite is Chalkboard Pizza — their seasonal flavors are divine, and at $4 a slice, quite reasonable.
#2. The Portland Japanese Garden
Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave. Portland, Oregon 97205
Visiting Japan during sakura (cherry blossom season) is a bucket-list worth item on many traveler’s lists for good reason. But if you can’t visit Japan this year, why not visit the beloved Portland Japanese Garden instead?
Few know that Portland’s Japanese Garden is often referred to as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. After visiting Japan myself, I can attest that this Japanese Garden is in fact quite impressive.
The garden has something beautiful to offer every season of the year, but there’s something exceptionally beautiful about spring, which is why so make folks come here during cherry blossom season.
- Best time to visit for cherry blossoms: Late March to early April.
- Admission: Advanced ticket reservations required and can be booked online.
#3. Washington Park
Washington Park is my favorite park in Portland, Oregon. Boasting 410 acres of beautiful natural landscapes, this park truly shines during the spring season when beautiful blossoms poke through the barren trees.
You’re bound to find cherry blossoms and other interesting spring blooms all over the park, but my favorite area is near the tennis courts because of the cherry trees that line the pathway between the rose garden and tennis courts.
Peak bloom occurs mid-March to early April, pack a blanket and enjoy an easy-going afternoon under the pretty pink trees with your special someone, hard to think of a better way to spend the day.
#4. Hoyt Arboretum
Address: 4000 SW Fairview Blvd. Portland, OR 97221
Home to a late-blooming variety of cherry trees like Shogetsu and Shirofugen trees, the spring blooms at Hoyt Arboretum bloom later than those at Waterfront Park.
What’s more, since this spot is lesser known for cherry blossoms in Portland, it gets less crowded. So if you find yourself overwhelmed by the crowds at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and/or notice that the cherry blossoms are past peak, head over to Hoyt Arboretum.
Visit in April to see these incredible Portland cherry blossoms in full bloom.
- Best time to visit for cherry blossoms: April
- Hours: Open daily from 5am to 10pm, no admission fee
#5. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Address: 5801 SE 28TH Ave. Portland, OR 97202
Portland’s stunning rhododendron garden offers seven beautiful acres for visitors to explore. You won’t see many cherry blossoms in the garden (stroll the neighborhood if you’re itching for some), but you will find dazzling displays of rhododendrons and azaleas.
These spring blooms start blooming as early as February, but don’t hit peak bloom until April (and even May). But believe me when I tell you they are worth the wait, you’ll be wowed by a stunning pop of spring color!
- Best time to visit: April through May
- Hours: Open daily from 6am to 10pm
- Admission: $5 from March 1 to September 1 (FREE on Mondays), free the rest of the year.
#6. Lan Su Chinese Garden
Address: 239 NW Everett St. Portland, Oregon 97209
When visiting the Lan Su Gardens, here’s a heads up for first time visitors – Portland’s Chinatown is going through a challenging transition and this area seems to surprise tourists.
I want to be transparent, Portland has a severe homelessness problem and you will see that near the Lan Su Chinese Garden.
That detail aside, the Chinese Garden is lovely, especially during spring. You won’t find cherry blossoms here, but you will be impressed by blooming magnolias, orchids, daphne and camellias. The indulgent spring fragrance of daphne is reason alone to visit!
- Best time to visit: Early March
- Hours: Open daily from 10am to 6pm
- Admission: $12.95 per adult
#7. Laurelhurst Park
Address: SE Cesar Chavez Blvd & Stark St., Portland, Oregon 97214
It’s no secret that I love Laurelhurst Park and consider it one of the best parks in Portland, and if you’re looking for great spring blooms in Portland, you would be remiss to skip this spot.
Expect to find blooming rhododendrons and healthy cherry blossoms. Bring a picnic and enjoy the afternoon with a group of friends.
You can take a lovely stroll through the park and stop to admire the ducklings and turtles. Street parking is available but limited during warm spring and summer weekends.
- Laurelhurst Park is open daily from 5am to 10:30pm, there is no admission fee.
Spring Blooms in Portland
#8. Duniway Park Lilac Garden
Address: SW 6TH Ave & Sheridan St., Portland, Oregon 97201
This is a local gem that is seldom shared so it feels like a secret. Lilacs remind me of my mom, so this garden has a very special place in my heart and this garden does not disappoint.
The Lilac Garden in Duniway Park has 225 lilac plants with more than 125 varieties. One clear standout is the ancient Japanese Lilac Tree that blooms in June. If you love the smell of lilacs or spring blooms in general, you won’t want to miss this gem.
- Best time to visit for lilacs: Late April to early May
- Hours: Duniway Park is open daily from 5am to midnight, there is no admission fee.
Tip: A free parking lot is provided for visitors but limit your parking to one hour because parking is strictly enforced in this area.
#9. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
If you can’t get enough of the spring blooms in Portland, make sure to swing by the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival during spring by taking a 45-minute drive to Woodburn.
#10. The Portland Rose Garden
Portland is often referred to as the City of Roses because the local climate creates the perfect conditions for growing roses and nowhere is this more evident than at the exceptional Portland Rose Garden within Washington Park, which is usually in bloom from May to October.
Portland’s beloved rose garden is both the largest rose garden in America and the oldest. Home to an impressive 650+ varieties of roses and more than 10,000+ bushes, it’s easily one of the best free things to do in Portland.
Further Reading: Local’s Guide to the Portland Rose Garden
Love Portland? You may find this articles interesting
- 20 HONEST Pros & Cons of Living in Portland, Oregon
- 25+ EPIC Things to Do in Portland (+4 Tourist Traps to Avoid)
- 12 Stunning Parks in Portland, Oregon
- 20 Interesting Facts About Portland You Probably Don’t Know
- 10 Epic Portland Viewpoints to Check Off Your List
- 10 Adventurous Day Trips from Portland
- 30 Weird, Free & Cheap Things to Do in Portland
- Let’s Talk: Portland, Oregon Vs. Portland, Maine
Whew, we covered a lot today I hope you enjoy your springtime visit to Portland, Oregon. The cherry blossoms in Portland are a sight to behold, but don’t overlook all the other heavenly blooms!
If you can’t make it down to the cherry blossoms this year, feel free to check out the video below – it’s the next best thing!
Portland cherry blossoms, Cherry blossoms Portland
Best spots for spring blooms in Portland (Post Summary)
In sum, here’s a quick list of the best spots for cherry blossoms and spring blooms in Portland.
- Tom McCall Waterfront Park
- Portland Japanese Garden
- Washington Park
- Hoyt Arboretum
- Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
- Lan Su Chinese Garden
- Laurelhurst Park
- Duniway Park Lilac Garden
- Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
- Portland Rose Garden
Map of the best spots for spring blooms and cherry blossoms in Portland
P.S. My new blogger friend, Stefanie also wrote a post about the best places to see cherry blossoms in Portland. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well.
Until next time,
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