Visit Washington Park while in Portland, Oregon

Visit Washington Park while in Portland, Oregon
Washington Park in Portland, Oregon is a great place for a weekend getaway for the whole family.

There are a variety of sites to see within the park. Some appeal more to kids, and some more to adults, but most are fun for the whole family. Here’s what we discovered about it from our most recent visit.

If you’re staying in the city of Portland, it’s easy to access the park using the MAX light rail system. There is a train stop at the southern tip of the park. From there, you can access the rest of the over 400 acres of park land using the Washington Park shuttle. (This shuttle is free, but only available May through October. It operates on the weekends in May, September, and October, but runs daily starting in June and going through Labor Day.)

During our 3 day stay in Portland, we visited several of the venues in Washington Park including the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum, Japanese Garden, International Rose Test Garden, and the Children’s Playground.

We were not disappointed in any of these venues. They were great entertainment for the whole family. I’m not sure which was my daughter’s favorite; the zoo, children’s museum, or the playground. I thought each of these was well thought out. My husband and I enjoyed the Japanese Garden the most. My daughter had fun there too. She was able to help feed the koi since we happened to tour the garden at just the right time that evening.

Next time, we’ll be sure to check out the museum and hiking trails at the World Forestry Center as well as the spectacular Redwoods at the Hoyt Arboretum.

Overall, I was thrilled with our time in Washington Park. As a parent, I was pleased to find so many bathrooms and food options readily available. As a former teacher, I appreciated all the opportunities for learning and exploring especially out of doors.

My only criticisms about the park are that I think it could do with better signage and directions. We (along with other tourists) found the maps and signs to be slightly confusing. For instance, when you come out of the MAX train station, it’s not clear if you should turn right or left to walk to the Children’s Museum. (Turn left)

Also, I wish there were more transportation options around the park. If you miss your shuttle (or if it’s full) you have to wait another 15 minutes for the next one. This might not seem like much of a concern, but when you have tired kiddos in tow and no place to sit down and wait, it makes for a torturous quarter hour.

If you drove into the park, then this will not be an issue for you. Do be aware that you must pay for parking and there are so many parking lots, you need to be careful to keep track of where you parked.

If you’re visiting Portland, I highly recommend spending some time in Washington Park. There is so much to see and explore.



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