Washington Park is a sprawling woodland in Southwest Portland, home to the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum, and a series of gardens including the International Rose Test Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, and the Portland Japanese Garden. Cycling paths and walking trails wind throughout the park, providing a convenient nature escape.
Stroll through Washington Park’s many trails, rent a bike to explore on two wheels, or bring a lunch to enjoy at one of the park’s picnic areas. Don’t miss the 64-acre (61.5-hectare) zoo, which houses more than 2,000 animals from North America, Asia, and Africa; the Children’s Museum with its 12-foot (3.7-meter) waterfall; and the Japanese Garden’s vine-draped arbors, curving bridges, and stone sculptures.
Washington Park is a top Portland attraction and therefore features on many city sightseeing tours, whether you want to explore on a full-day or half-day excursion. Small-group guided tours are available, and you can also see the park at your own pace on a hop-on hop-off trolley tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
Washington Park is located roughly 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from Downtown Portland. Parking for cars is limited, especially during warm, sunny weekends. The city’s MAX Light Rail is a good public transportation option, and from May through September a free shuttle service runs on a loop through the park. Biking and walking trails also connect the park to Downtown Portland.
When to Get There
You can visit Washington Park year-round, but Portland’s weather is typically best from June through August. To avoid crowds, opt for an early morning or late afternoon visit.
Other Attractions in Washington Park
Besides the famous rose garden, Japanese garden, and arboretum, Washington Park also houses the World Forestry Center with exhibits exploring forests in the Pacific Northwest and around the world, the Oregon Holocaust Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial, tennis courts, and an archery range.