When you live in a rainy place like Portland, Oregon, spring is something you definitely look forward to after a long, wet winter. Granted, we still get quite a bit of rain this time of year, but sprinkled in—pun intended!—are beautiful, sunny days and lots of gorgeous flowers.
Listed below are generally the best times to see these flowers in bloom, though keep in mind that it varies slightly from year to year! Whether you’re local to the Portland area or are planning to visit, I hope this post can serve as a helpful reference for spring and summer flowers.
Cherry Blossoms at Waterfront Park
The cherry blossoms at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland typically reach peak bloom mid to late March. The area with the cherry blossom trees is at the Japanese American Historical Plaza and between the Burnside Bridge and Steel Bridge. I highly recommend visiting on a weekday if possible because the weekends can get super crowded!
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
About 45 minutes south of Portland in Woodburn is the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. The best time to see their vibrant tulips is usually mid to late April.
This year, tickets must be purchased online for specific dates/times, and they’ve extended their festival this season until May 8th, 2022. The weekends usually sell out so definitely plan ahead!
Portland International Rose Test Garden
The Portland International Rose Test Garden first opened over a century ago in 1917. It’s the oldest public rose test garden in the US and a lovely example of why Portland is often called the “City of Roses.”
While it’s open year round, the best months to visit are May through September. Admission is free!
About half an hour west of Portland in Hillsboro is Mountainside Lavender. Usually the best time to visit is in June and early July! On clear days you can even see Mount Hood in the distance (as shown above).
You can purchase pre-cut bundles of lavender and various lavender products here, or you can cut lavender out in the fields yourself ($6 per bundle). Admission to the fields is free.
Sunflowers at West Union Gardens
West Union Gardens are also located in Hillsboro, not far off Highway 26. The best time to see their beautiful sunflower field is in August. I did pay a small fee for entry when I was there in 2020, but I’ll revise this when I find out what the fee will be for this summer.
There are two more flower fields I plan to add to this list later this season: Adelman Peony Gardens in Salem and Swan Island Dahlias in Canby. I’ve never been to Adelman, and I haven’t seen the dahlias since I was a kid, but I’ll definitely update this list with photos and more info after I visit!
- This year, Adelman Peony Gardens are open from April 30th to June 15th, and peak bloom is usually around Memorial Day Weekend.
- The Swan Island Dahlia fields are open in August and September (closed on Wednesdays).