Cherry blossoms in Portland: Top spots for spring flowers

Portland is the most underrated city to witness gorgeous cherry blossoms. When thinking of the pink bloom Tokyo, Kyoto, or Washington D.C. come to mind. But have you ever heard of Portland in connection with “Sakura”? I didn’t until I moved to Oregon.

However, the truth is that cherry trees grow in Portland and bloom throughout Portland. Thanks to various kinds of cherry trees planted throughout the city, at the Portland Waterfront, in parks, and in residential neighborhoods Portland is an ideal city to witness early spring flowers.

The best part: Most places on my list are public locations. So you can admire the bloom for free.

Where to admire cherry blossoms in Portland

Cherry blossom at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland
Kirschblüten Portland

#1 Cherry Blossoms at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

The most iconic spot featuring an array of cherry trees in Portland is located right on the Willamette River at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Around 100 planted Akabono cherry trees are turning the Japanese American Historical Plaza into a blooming meadow every spring. This plaza is a memorial of 120.000 internment Japanese Americans in World War 2. The cherry trees were donated by the Japanese Grain Importers Association in 1990 and created the most famous grove in the city.

Cherry blossoms at McCall Waterfront Park Portland

It’s the largest amount of cherry trees standing closely together. If you want to get nice pictures of cherry blossoms, this is the place to be.

Heads-up: Portland got extremely popular for the cherry blossoms at the waterfront over the last 5 years. Needless to say you are going to share this spot with crowds of other Hanami (flower-viewing) visitors.

pink cherry blossoms in full bloom

PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: The esplanade with modern facades in the background, the unique “Old Town Portland” sign, and the iconic brown Steel Bridge are great motifs to include in your shots of the pink blossoms. You can also get a lovely bird’s eye view from the Steel Bridge.

Cherry blossoms framing Portland's Steel Bridge
Cherry trees at Portland Japanese American Historical Plaza

Address Japanese American Historical Plaza: 2 NW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97209
open to the public, 365 days / free access

Smile4Travel walking through cherry blossom avenue at Portland Waterfront
This photo was taken in 2020 when the waterfront wasn’t as popular as today.

LOCAL’S TIP: Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a place you want to save for your next trip to Portland! Before you go down to the waterfront, stop by Pine Street Market and grab a coffee or a snack from one of the stalls within this industrial food hall. Pine Place Market is the perfect starting point for a long walk along Portland’s waterfront.

Portland Waterfront with cherry blossoms photographed from the Steel Bridge
View of Portland’s cherry blossoms from the Steel Bridge

Address Pine Street Market: 126 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
Opening hours: daily 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, vendor hours vary

#2 Hoyt Arboretum, Washington Park

Hoyt Arboretum is a floral paradise, located near Portland’s city center, and not only due to its easy access it is a popular recreational site. The 190-acre large Arboretum was founded in 1928 to conserve endangered species and educate the community. It’s a membership-based, non-profit organization that hosts 12 miles of hiking trails and showcases trees from across the globe.

Redwoods at Hoyt Arboretum Portland
Redwood Grove in Portland’s Hoyt Arboretum

Various hiking trails and walking paths are dedicated to different trees: Walnut Trail, Oak Trail, and Maple Trail, just to name a few. They even have a Redwood Trail, where you can spot a grove of impressive, thousands of years old giants, without the need to travel to the Redwood State and National Parks in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

On a clear day, you can spot Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier (located in Washington State) in the distance from the viewpoint at Overlook Path. No matter if you come for magnolia, rhododendron, or not even a certain blooming tree at all, Hoyt Arboretum is a great outdoor recreational area for any given season.

View of Mt. St. Helens from Hoyt Arboretum Portland
Snow-capped Mt. St Helens

Cherry Blossom at Hoyt Arboretum, Portland

Obviously, I went to Hoyt Arboretum a little too early to see their cherry in full bloom as they mostly have trees of the late flowering Shirofugen and Shogetsu cherry there. So maybe there is still a realistic chance to admire the blooming trees by mid-April or even May. I still found some blossoms around Overlook Path behind one of the big water tanks.

If you want to know what’s blooming currently, check out Hoyt Arboretum’s Seasonal guide: where you can click through the seasonal highlights of each month and plan your visit according to plum, cherry, hazel, walnut, or maple bloom.

Hoyt Arboretum Portland Cherry Blossoms

As Hoyt Arboretum is part of Portland’s Washington Park, Portland Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, and Oregon Zoo are easily accessible and can be combined in one visit. You could even walk over to Pittock Mansion and enjoy the iconic view of Mount Hood sitting prominently behind Portland’s cityscape. Or combine your trip to Hoyt Arboretum with hiking the 4T-Trail and sustainably explore Portland’s nature.

Pittock Mansion View of Mount Hood
View from Pittock Mansion: Portland’s cityscape with snow-capped Mt. Hood in the distance

Hoyt Arboretum encourages visitors to practice social distancing and follow the recommendations outlined by the National Recreation Park Association. So check their website or Instagram account for updates and act accordingly.

Address Visitor Center: 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Portland, OR 97221
The grounds are open to the public 365 days a year, from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm
No entrance fees, only parking fees apply

#3 Spring and fall colors at Portland Japanese Garden, Washington Park

As the Portland Japanese Garden is known as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, it goes without saying that Sakura (cherry blossom season) and Hanami (traditional Japanese flower-viewing) can be practiced in perfection here.

Entering the Portland Japanese Garden immediately transfers you to the land of the rising sun, no matter the season. My visit in autumn left me speechless as I found myself within a color explosion of yellow, orange, green, and red autumn leaves. Can’t wait to visit Portland Japanese Garden this spring to admire the cherry blossom.

Red mape tree at Portland Japanese Garden
Portland Japanese Garden in fall

Address: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, Oregon 97205
Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm (summer) / 10:00 am – 4:30 pm (winter)
Admission: $21,95 per adult, see prices

#4 Spring flowers at Lan Su Chinese Garden, Downtown Portland

After talking about the Portland Japanese Garden, I can’t miss mentioning Lan Su Chinese Garden as it’s one of the most authentic Chinese gardens outside China. This results from a collaboration between the cities of Portland and Suzhou, Portland’s sister city located in China’s Jiangsu province.

Suzhou is famous for its density of traditional Ming Dynasty gardens. The fact that Chinese artisans from Suzhou built Lan Su Chinese Garden makes it needless to say that the experience you get in Lan Su Chinese Garden is beyond authentic and definitely an architectural and natural highlight.

Magnolia bloom Portland Oregon
Magnolia trees as Lan Su Chinese Garden

Even if there aren’t any cherry trees in Lan Su Chinese Garden, the garden is an absolute must-see when visiting Portland. Although there won´t be the chance for hanami, it invites visitors to admire hundreds of plant species that are native to China – such as magnolia, peony, camellia, rhododendron, osmanthus, lotus, water lily, and bamboo.

Address: 239 NW Everett Street, Portland, Oregon 97209
Opening hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm daily (winter) / 10:00 am – 6:00 pm daily (summer)
Admission: $14 per adult, see prices

#5 Cherry blossom at Laurelhurst Park, SE Portland

Laurelhurst Park is a great spot for extensive walks, picnics, dog walks, or any outdoor activity. It hosts a spring-fed pond, picnic tables, playgrounds, restrooms, basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, a soccer field, a dog-off-leash area, and of course plenty of walkways – paved and unpaved

Cherry Blossom at Laurelhurst Park Portland
Walker at Laurelhurst Park

Besides some cherry trees, which are located along the outer edges of the park, Laurelhurst Park is home to many flowers and blooming trees such as magnolia, rhododendron, and a collection of Sequoiodeae redwoods. In the lake, even ducks and turtles found a place to stay. All this makes Laurelhurst Park a great example for any city recreational area, where every generation finds its space. In 2001, Laurelhurst Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places, the first city park ever listed here.

Cherry blossoms framing Laurelhurst neighbourhood Portland
Laurelhurst neighborhood
Cherry blossoms at Laurelhurst Park Portland

Address: SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd and Stark Street
Opening hours: 5:00 am – 10:30 pm daily
Open to public, no entrance fee

#6 Cherry blossom in Portland’s neighborhoods

In addition to the gardens and parks, the most beautiful cherry blossom sceneries I surprisingly discovered outside my front door. I didn’t know that Portland offered so many blooming corners before moving here. Only the fact I spotted white and pink blossoms everywhere in our neighborhood made me start researching where to find cherry trees in Portland. Maybe it’s the same for the city you are living in?

Cherry blossoms in Portland's neighbourhoods
Pink cherry trees lining the streets of Portland neighbourhoods
Cherry blossom in Portland

As I walked and drove around town I could have easily stopped every other minute to take pictures. Northeast and Southeast are the neighborhoods I discovered the best cherry blossoms. I found lovely blossoms between Alberta Street and Killingsworth Street, in Laurelhurst neighborhood, on Mississippi, in side streets, and in Downtown Portland, around NW 23rd Ave.

When cherry blossoms match residential Portland neighbourhoods

It seems like Portland is full of blooming trees and no matter where you live there is quite a big chance to find cherry blossoms in your district. You don’t have to drive far to admire the beauty of spring blossoms.

cherry blossom in Portland

Fun Fact: During my research, I came across the blog “EmbraceSomePlace”. And guess what happened next: I texted the girl behind, Antonina, we met in person and spent such a fun afternoon together. I hope this blog post inspires you to explore your neighborhood and find some lovely cherry trees or other spring blossoms.

When do cherry trees bloom in Portland, Oregon?

Cherry blossoms are the first colors of spring. In 2020, when I initially wrote this article, I discovered the first blossoms throughout the 2nd half of February. I felt the city´s awakening from winter with white and pink blossoms sprouting everywhere in my neighborhood.

Portland Spring Blossom

Cherry blossom peak season in Portland typically is in March. As weather patterns differ each year, the peak bloom can result in a later April cycle. So don’t be sad if you come by some trees that lost their blossoms already, it’s always worth keeping your eyes open for later flowering trees.

trees full of cherry blossoms in Portland, Oregon

More inspiration from Portland and its surroundings:

Curious about cherry blossom season in Shanghai, China?



Have you ever been to Oregon and explored Portland in any specific season? Or do you have tips for blooming cherry trees in your city? Leave me a comment! Do you like the article, have any suggestions, feedback, or recommendations? Share this article with your friends!



best places to admire cherry blossom in Portland, Oregon blossom in portland

Top parks, gardens and neighbourhoods for cherry blossom in Portland



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  1. This might be the first year that the areas with cherry blossoms aren’t overrun with people taking photos. Ther are lots where I am in Vancouver and it’s eerily quiet in the tree lined streets. I’m glad you’re able to get out for some exercise and enjoy them in Portland though. You’ve inspired me to look for the beauty in this current mixed up world

    1. Thanks Emma,
      Yeah, you are right: This year the areas are pretty quiet, actually the perfect time to get some nice and clean shots. But on the other hand also a weird feeling as we should rather stay at home. I was lucky enough to see Portland’s Waterfront in full bloom before everything went crazy. And fortunately there are blooming trees throughout the city. So I am glad I inspired you to look around your neighbourhood as well!
      Cheers, Stefanie

  2. Thanks for such a great post. For some reason I always think of Washington DC and not Portland when I think of Cherry Blossoms. But they are so pretty all around the city. Clearly I need to visit April of next year! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yeah, that’s funny. I’ve also seen many posts about Washington’s cherry blossoms and honestly I wasn’t aware that Portland is such blooming city, before I moved here. Only got some impressions of the waterfront, but was so surprised to see the whole city in bloom. Make sure not to visit too late next year. The cherry trees already started blooming end of February.
      And make sure to say “Hi”!
      Best, Stefanie

  3. Your photos are gorgeous! I’ve never seen the cherry blossoms (anywhere!), but I really want to! I’ve never heard much about seeing them in Portland, so this is really helpful. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much, Emma!
      Honestly I also wasn’t aware of Portland’s bloom before moving here. I was also pretty surprised sakura is spread out across the entire city. So if you plan your trip to Portland, make sure to choose early spring!
      Best, Stefanie

  4. These photographs are all absolutely gorgeous! This time last year I was in Portland, and these photographs really take me back. It was such a beautiful place with gorgeous food and the most welcoming people, and I miss it so much. Maybe next year I will be able to experience the blossoms again!

    1. Thanks so much Amy!
      This year everything is a little behind due to the winter storm 4 weeks ago. cherry and almond trees are just about to pop.
      But spring is already in the air.
      Hope you’ll be able to visit sometime soon again!

  5. You are right. I wasn’t aware of Portland’s connection with cherry blossoms. But, there are so many places to observe them there. Your photos are amazing. I am a big fan of flowers. Sadly, we are not going to have a big flower this year in California. We have cherry blossoms in the botanical gardens but it is difficult to score a ticket.

    1. Thanks Ruth!
      Portland is a real flower paradise all summer long as resident’s gardens, streets and parks are filled with diverse flowers and trees.
      Why don’t you expect to have flowers inCali this year?

  6. I love Cherry Blossom Season! It´s just about this time here in Düsseldorf, where I live, too! Can´t wait to watch them again! Portland is on my wishlist for quite a while now and Cherry Blossom would be for sure a fabulous time to visit!

    1. Oh yes! I saw many pictures of magnolias and early spring flowers starting to bloom in Germany. There is a huge cherry blossom alley in Bonn. Have you ever visited?

  7. Love this. Such amazing spots and such beautiful photos. I would love to visit. Love cherry blossoms.

    1. Thank you Kelly!
      Yeah cherry blossom season is a special time of the year. I love it when spring finally arrives and the city awakes…

    1. Yeah, it’s not very popular or well-known. But thanks to the climate Oregon is an ideal spot for many flowers, berries, fruit trees and even wine grows well here.

    1. Thanks Alanna!
      Actually cherry blossom is only the very first sign of spring. Portland is so colorful during spring, summer and fall. So still time to make plans to visit… 😉

    1. Absolutely! I didn’t know before I moved here… 🙂
      Definitely gives us the benefit being able to admire without bg crowds. 🙂

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