It’s getting warmer in the Pacific Northwest, which gives you the perfect opportunity to spend some time in the great outdoors. Grab the kids, fill up your picnic baskets (or grab take away from your favorite food cart) and enjoy the beauty that Portland and its surrounding areas have to offer.
Rowena Crest, Mosier – This lookout has ample parking and a spot for anyone who wants to show up (literally room for a hundred picnic-goers). Views both up and down the Columbia River, Mosier is a little over an hour’s drive from Portland proper, making it an easy day trip. Let the kids frolic in the wildflowers while you peacefully bathe in the sun.
Cathedral Park, Portland – Cathedral Park is directly under the iconic St. John’s Bridge (Sonny Vaccaro can be seen driving over it in the new movie Air and it’s front and center on the promo picture for Shrill). Don’t forget your camera because the bridge’s arches create the most beautiful backdrop. Grab a pizza from Signal Station Pizza on N Lombard and enjoy!
Trillium Lake near Government Camp – A quick 90-minute drive from Portland will land you at Trillium Lake, with gorgeous views (Mt. Hood front and center). It costs $10 for a day-use pass but is worth every penny. It’s a great spot to escape the city heat but warm enough to relax on the shore in a swimsuit. If you have a SUP, kayak, or any float, throw it on the roof of your car and pack life jackets for the kids.
Mt. Tabor Park, Portland – Only have a couple of free hours? Head to Mt. Tabor Park during sunset. One of the best times to enjoy a beautiful place is at sunset; here, you will get the most incredible views of the city. Bathrooms are available, a covered picnic spot, and plenty of places for the kids to run and play. The park is close to so many take-out favorites ensuring your picnic will be top-tier.
South Park Blocks, Portland – Okay, hear us out on this one. At first glance, you’ll likely just see the 12-block greenspace in the Cultural District as just a backdrop for an urban walk. Take a closer look, though, and you’ll find this space is full of amazing city sounds, interesting people and is just a stone’s throw from your favorite restaurants, shops, and museums. June 10th marks the first day of the Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio exhibit at the Portland Art Museum, something both adults and kids are sure to enjoy.
Ruthie Prasil is a mom to six children living in the Portland area, born and raised in the PNW. When she’s not making snacks, doing laundry or cleaning the kitchen, Ruthie loves going to the beach, reading, watching The Real Housewives and anything scary, and eating delicious food with an incredible cocktail. If you love stories about terrible school pickup lines, uninteresting school lunches, and so many mommy fails, follow her on IG at @ruthiep1985.