Every spring, like clockwork, the cherry blossoms in Portland make a very welcome appearance and kick off the official start of longer days, warmer evenings and sunny days.
Barren branches are carpeted with blushing blooms and neither locals nor visitors can resist the urge to partake in the happy occasion. I’ve lived in Portland for more than 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. Tom McCall Waterfront Park
The best place in Portland to see the cherry blossoms is Tom McCall Waterfront Park. More specifically, the stretch of cherry trees near the Steel Bridge (officially known as the Japanese American Historical Plaza). This area has the most breathtaking display of cherry blossoms in Portland.
The 100 Akebono cherry trees that line the waterfront were gifted by the Japanese Grain Importers Association in 1990, and you can believe me when I tell you it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Every year, the trees explode with unbelievable delicate flowers that completely change the landscape.
But fair warning, 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, the sunrise glow is hard to beat and worth an early wake up call.
- Best time to visit for cherry blossoms: Mid March to early April.
- 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.
Address: 98 SW Naito Pkwy. Portland, Oregon 97204
#2. The Portland Japanese Garden
Visiting Japan during sakura (cherry blossom season) is a bucket-list item for many travelers for good reason. But if you can’t visit Japan this year, why not visit the beloved Portland Japanese Garden instead?
Opened in 1967, the perfectly-curated Portland Japanese Garden provides a calming escape from the hustle and bustle of city living and the Portland cherry blossoms during spring make the experience that much better.
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 Portland’s cherry blossom season.
- Best time to visit for cherry blossoms: Late March to mid April.
- Admission: Advanced ticket reservations required and can be booked online.
Make sure to swing by the cozy Umami Cafe for matcha or tea for a little break or to warm up, you won’t be disappointed.
Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave. Portland, Oregon 97205
#3. Washington Park
Washington Park is often considered the crown jewel of Portland’s robust park system and it’s not hard to see why.
The breathtaking park spans 400 acres and houses six cultural institutions — like the beloved International Rose Test Garden, Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon Zoo and Hoyt Arboretum.
There’s never a shortage of great things to do in the park, nor a bad time to visit. But I will say, Washington 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.
Since peak bloom occurs mid-March to early April, you’ll want to pack warm clothes. If you’re willing to brave the cold, pack 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 an easy spring day.
Further Reading: 12 Stunning Parks in Portland, Oregon You Can’t Afford to Miss
#4. Hoyt Arboretum
Home to a late-blooming variety of cherry trees like Shogetsu and Shirofugen trees, the spring blooms at Hoyt Arboretum bloom later than others mentioned on this list.
Even better, Hoyt Arboretum isn’t as popular of an attraction for cherry blossoms in Portland, so it gets less crowded. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the crowds at Tom McCall Waterfront Park or notice that those 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
Address: 4000 SW Fairview Blvd. Portland, OR 97221
#5. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Address: 5801 SE 28TH Ave. Portland, OR 97202
Portland’s stunning Crystal Springs 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 a dizzying display of colorful 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
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.
Visiting the Lan Sun Chinese Garden is a lovely experience, especially so in the spring when blooming magnolia trees completely change the landscape.
You won’t find cherry blossoms here, but with so many other impressive spring blooms (orchids, daphne and camellias) you won’t even miss them. 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
Address: 239 NW Everett St. Portland, Oregon 97209
#7. Laurelhurst Park
When discussing the best spots for cherry blossoms in Portland, it would be inexcusable to skip Laurelhurst Park (one of the best parks in Portland).
Expect to find blooming rhododendrons and prolific cherry blossoms. Bring a picnic basket 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 at the pond. Street parking is available but limited during warm spring and summer weekends.
Address: SE Cesar Chavez Blvd & Stark St., Portland, Oregon 97214
More 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 International Rose Test Garden (better known as the Portland Rose Garden), which is located within Washington Park.
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 spots for spring blooms in Portland.
The history of the rose garden is equally fascinating. Originally started in 1915 by Jesse Currey, (an Oregon Journal editor and rose hobbyist), the rose garden was created in an effort to preserve roses susceptible to eradication during World War I.
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,
Cherry blossoms in Portland, best places for cherry blossoms in Portland. Portland cherry blossoms. cherry blossoms in Portland Oregon, where to see cherry blossoms in Portland, where to see spring blooms in Portland, Portland spring blooms, cherry blossoms Portland , cherry blossoms in Portland.