A local's guide to flower fields & festivals in Oregon

Pink cherry blossoms, multi-colored tulips, purple lavender fields: Oregon is home to some of the Pacific Northwest’s most beautiful flower fields, and Portland is a great starting point to visit colorful flower festivals in spring and summer. Fruits and vegetables, flowers, and even wine grow extremely well in Oregon. Reasons for the diverse blooming landscape are the great climate conditions. No wonder that countless farms and vineyards are located in the valleys surrounding Portland and along the Columbia River Gorge.

flower fields and gardens in Oregon
‘City of Roses’ one of Portland’s nicknames and symbol for the colorful summer season

Flower festivals, U-pick fruit picking, and fall harvest celebrations take place throughout the entire summer. If you are up for hiking, wildflowers will color up your nature trip in spring. In this guide, you find the best flower fields and festivals near Portland as well as an overview of blossom seasons and farm locations.

Kicking off spring season:
Cherry blossoms in Portland

Every year blooming season gets kicked-off with the white and pink cherry trees. As soon as you see the first blossoms you know that spring is around the corner and the following months will be colorful in every aspect. The most iconic spot for cherry blossoms in Portland is located at the Tom McCall Waterfron Park on the West side of the Willamette River. It’s the only real alley of cherry trees in Downtown Portland. But there are many more spots in and around town, where you can admire the pink bloom. Especially the Northeast and Southeast neighbourhoods are surprisingly full of different kinds of cherry trees.

Best time for cherry blossom viewing: The cherry bloom already starts in February. Keep your eyes open and don’t waste time! As the cherry peak bloom doesn’t last long in general it can be over in only one or two weeks by Mid March. But don’t worry: The pink cherry blossoms might be gone fast, but many more weeks of colorful bloom will follow. For more details take a look at my article “Cherry Blossom in Portland, Oregon”.

Cherry blossom in Portland Oregon
Wandering through the cherry blossom alley at Tom McCall Waterfront Portland

Colorful tulip fields:
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

While multi-colored tulip fields generally get connected with the Netherlands, Oregonians don’t need to fly to Europe to admire the endless rows of colorful tulips. Oregon’s biggest tulip field is located only 30 miles /48 km South of Portland at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm & Vinyard near Woodburn. The adjacent vineyard opens up the opportunity to combine wandering through the fields with sampling some estate-grown wines or heading over to the tasting room after you’ve been strolling in the fileds and shopping some bulbs, bouquets or cut tulips.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival Oregon
Wooden Shoe Tulpenfarm, Woodburn

The farm is also host of the yearly Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest (March to April). That adds a tulip market, wine waggon tours and even hot baloon rides to the activity list – as well as various family activities such as a cow train, pony and hay waggon rides.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm Oregon
Tulip fields near Salem, Oregon

Iris, Dahlias & Peonies near Portland

If you are in the area around Woodburn or Salem and really are into flower fields, you shouldn’t miss checking out Schreiner’s Iris Garden (open until the end of May), Adelman Peony Gardens, or Brooks Peony Gardens (open until mid-June). In August and September the fields of Swan Island Dahlias, the largest and leading dahlia grower in the United States, are in full bloom.

Swan Island Dahlias Festival Oregon
Swan Island Dahlias Festival
Swan Island Dahlias
Colorful dahlia field in Oregonn

Lavender fields near Portland, Oregon

Similar to the association of tulips with the Netherlands, comes the association of impressive lavender fields in France, doesn’t it? And luckily also for the purple fields of the Provence in Europe, Oregon provides an answer: There are around 20 lavender farms and fields located around Portland in the Willamette and Tualatin Valley. They grow lavender to distill essential oil for the production of soap, lotions, candles, perfume, etc.

aerial view of lavender field in Oregon
Lavender field from above

To find the lavender farm near you, check out the Lavender Northwest, a website that provides a great overview of Oregon’s lavender farms, their locations and lavender festivals (taking place in June and July). Curious where to find the unique scenery of lavender fields with Mount Hood in the distance, head to my article “Lavender fields in Oregon”.

Lavender Valley Hood River, Oregon
Walking through lavender Valley close to Hood River

By the way: The Helvetia Lavender Farm, located close to Portland, is also home to a Christmas Tree Farm. where you can cut yor own Christmas Tree.

Portland, City of Roses

Did you know that Portland’s claim ‘City of Roses’ isn’t only another of Portland’s nicknames but also the official city name? And that the annual Rose Festival is Portland’s biggest festival with parades, fireworks, and events throughout the city? (Next Rose Festival will take place in 2022)

Rose alley at Peninsula Park Portland
Strolling through fields of rosees in Peninsula Park, Portland

Roses in Portland bloom from May through September with their peak bloom in June. To see impressive rose gardens you don’t even have to leave the city. One of the most popular rose gardens is the International Rose Test Garden at Washington Park, close by the Portland Japanese Garden. It’s the oldest continuously operating public rose test garden in the United States. Roses bloom throughout the entire city. My favorite rose garden is Peninsula Park in Northeast Portland. This location is especially popular with locals who meet up for a walk or picnic.

Rosen im Peninsula Park Portland

Wildflower hikes near Portland

As soon as spring arrives in the Pacific Northwest and cities like Portland or Seattle awaken from hibernation, mountains and valleys get dressed up as well. Then it’s time to get your hiking boots ready and head out to find wildflowers. The Columbia River Gorge, the Saddle Mountain State Natural Area, Willamette Valley and the Cascade region are the best places to find wildflowers during the months of May, June and July. As the Eastern parts of Oregon will be the first regions to turn into colorful meadows, the bloom continues westwards and hits the mountain ranges latest. So there is enough time to plan your trip.

flower fields in Oregon
Lavender field in Hood River Valley

Another possibility to admire hundreds of blooming trees is cruising along the Hood River Fruit Loop in spring. Actually, a must when visiting Portland. Even the city of Portland is home to many colorful parks and gardens that come to full bloom in the summer months. There is a reason why Portland is also known as ‘Rose City’.

Late summer: A sea of yellow sunflowers

Sauvie Island, Hood River and Hillsboro seem to be the places to find sunflower fields in August and September. I found this information at “The House of Hood Blog” and will definitely check it out as I’ve missed them last summer. Sauvie Island isn’t far from Northeast Portland anyways and worth a visit throughout the entire summer. Sauvie Island is well known for its fruit and vegetable farms, where picking season start in June. Strawberries are the first to be harvested, followed by rasberries, Oregon native marionberries, peaches, cherries and a variety of vegetables. The season only comes to an end in October, when the famous Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch wraps up the festival season.

Swan Island Dahlias Oregon
Visiting flower and fruit farms is one of Oregon’s summer highlights

Fall colors & harvest season:
Pumpkin patches near Portland

As you might have realized by reading through this article, flower cutting and fruit picking isn’t only a thing because of the colourful fields. Every bloom and harvest comes along with a festival to be celebrated. The closer the season comes to Thanksgiving and Halloween the more obvious it becomes that the fruit and veggie season can only be wrapped up with pumpkins.

Before being presented on dinner plates and decorated on front porches the orange, yellow and red vegetables need to be harvested, no matter the size and weight. Of course this couln’t be celebrated without one last family festival. Harvesting your own pumpkin is THE event every October. Everything you need to know about pumpkin patches and fall maizes is covered in my article “Portland´s ultimate October-experience: Harvest your own pumpkin!“.

Kürbisfeld Oregon Dronenaufnahme
Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch in October

Flower fields Oregon:
Blooming season & farm locations

MonthBloomLocation
February / Marchcherry blossomTomMccall Waterfront, Downtown Portland
Portland Japanese Garden
Hoyt Arboretum, Portland
Portland Neighbourhoods
April / MaytulipsWooden Shoe Tulip Farm, Woodburn
May / Junepeonies
iris
roses
Peonies Adelman’s Peony Gardens, Salem
Brooks Garden Peonies, Brooks
Iris Schreiner’s Iris Garden, Salem
International Rose Test Garden, Portland
Peninsula Park, NE Portland
June / JulylavenderLavender Hood River Lavender Farm, Hood River
Lavender Valley, Hood River
Helvetia Lavender Farm, Hillsboro
August / SeptemberdahliasSwan Island Dahlias
SeptembersunflowersSauvie Island, Hilsboro, Hood River
OctoberpumpkinsSauvie Island
Bauman’s Harvest Festival

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More Oregon flower power reads:


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QUESTIONS & COMMENTS?

Have you ever been to Oregon and were looking for colorful flower fields like tulips, lavender, or sunflowers? Leave me a comment! Do you like the article, or still have any suggestions, feedback, or recommendations? Feel free to share this article with your friends!

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Flower fields in Oregon

Flower fields and festivals in Oregon

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