As we are seeing more and more sunny days, everyone is running outdoors looking for something to do. Now,I love a good picnic when the spring weather decides to cooperate and not decide to dump rain halfway through the day. Naturally living on a budget can feel limiting at times, but hey we all need our time in those sweet rays! So break out your best picnic blanket, grab your favorite snacks and head to these five places. Oh, did I mention all five listed are totally free on top of being absolutely gorgeous.
My partner and I love the outdoors and we love going hiking but sometimes we just want to relax. So Portlanders, this one’s for you! If you plan on visiting Portland, you totally should, save this list it will come in handy. Here are my top five favorite picnic spots to visit over the summer days.
Mt. Tabor was probably one of the first parks I visited upon moving over four years ago and it is still a favorite. Located in east Portland, it is 190.82 acres of sheer beauty and fun. If you have kiddos, be they human or fur babies, joining you on this excursion, there is a play area for the humans kids and an off leash dog area for your fur babies. No matter your interest, there is something for you. Whether you seek a designated picnic area, horseshoe or a leisurely stroll along the path. I love it. Mt. Tabor is a great picnic area be it with friends, family or just a solo trip. The park is available from 5am to midnight every day however, cars do not have access on Wednesday’s.
And fun fact, the park has been around since 1909!
This place is another “oldie but goodie” spot for me. I have made this hike a number of times and each time I have taken a different path or discovered a new spot to picnic. This is a pretty busy waterfall but don’t let that deter you. It is certainly worth your time. And goodness if this is not the most breathtaking waterfall and makes a lovely backdrop for your picnic needs as well as a fun photo shoot. Multnomah Falls is located in the Mt. Hood and Gresham area just off of I-84, so it’s about a 30 minute drive from the city. The waterfall is an impressive 611 feet tall! Fur babies and human babies are welcome here as well, but fur babies must stay on their leash.
There is also a lodge, restaurant, and gift shop if you would like to make a day of it. I personally have not visited the lodge but I have gone to a second, smaller waterfall! Make it day or just an afternoon, there are lots of options to ensure an enjoyable visit.
Peninsula Park is a local love. The rose garden is fragrant all summer with over 5,000 roses and a beautiful fountain that has been around since the it’s completion in 1913. There is a community center and basketball court if decide you want to participate in a game or two after lunch. I love this park and it has even held a number of weddings here. Which I mean, after seeking this beauty it is really no surprise. My partner and I used to work for Instacart and during the slow periods we would often find ourselves strolling around the park. The North Portland area has plenty to do as it is and makes this a great pit stop to enjoy the outdoors. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss the opportunity to visit, this park is the reason Portland is called the City of Roses after all.
Cathedral Park is a little different than the aforementioned parks. It’s smaller at just 23.31 acres and much quieter. If you are looking to spend sometime one on one time with your love or a nice place to read with your snack, you’ll like this spot. They have an area for dogs to be off leash and a place to launch your boats or canoes. However if you are bringing your kiddos there really isn’t a designated play area. This is also a beautiful place to go out and take some pictures if you need a new Facebook or Instagram picture (if you do tag us!). Not to mention going over the St. Johns bridge is another great reason check out this park.
Fun fact: This park is thought to be one of the fourteen spots the Lewis and Clark team spent a night back in 1806!
This place is amazing and it’s right next to the Portland Zoo! Going back to those Instacart days, we discovered this “park” by sheer luck. At 190 acres and about 12 miles of trails this can certainly be another all day outing. Hoyt is home to endangered species so you can definitely find some plant life you have never seen before and may never again. Depending on where you are from of course. I can’t even put into words how much I love coming here, it makes my heart so happy. You really don’t have to walk far into the arboretum to find a spot to spend an hour or a few hours, you know, whatever works.
Hoyt Arboretum is actually a museum so there are also classes and volunteer options as well. I promise you, this not a place easily forgotten for all the right reasons.
What Are You Waiting For?!
With the weather looking up and the budget being what it is that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself. I love soaking in the warmth of the sun and snacking, why not both for free? It’s easy enough to make a couple of sandwiches, grab some fruit and head out. Or whatever makes your taste buds dance. I mean we’re millennials, what’s a picnic without avocado toast?!
So, what are you waiting for?! Grab your baskets, if you got one, and head outside to a new spot!
Happy Picnic Day!