Portland's downtown districts (the area bordered by Interstate 405 to the west and the Willamette River to the east) are walkable for many reasons. Tops on the list is all the green and open public spaces, parks, plazas, and fountains that make wonderful places to sit down, people watch, and relax with a latte or a snack from a nearby food cart. Parks have been valued by Portlanders since the city was first incorporated and remain so today. Many of Portland's downtown parks were established during the 1800s. Others are more recent additions. All of them enhance your downtown Portland experience.
SW Broadway and Yamhill St
Pioneer Courthouse Square Event Calendar
Stretched about one mile along the western shore of the Willamette River, Tom McCall Waterfront park sits between Steel Bridge and Marquam Bridge. The park is a great place for walking and biking, with trees and the downtown skyline to one side, and river and bridge views to the other. Along the way there are historic memorials and monuments, fountains, resting places, green lawns, boat launches, and the Sternwheeler Portland dock. Several major Portland festivals take place at Waterfront Park during the year, including the Bite of Oregon and the Waterfront Blues Festival. Waterfront Park is named for beloved Oregon governor Tom McCall.
Terry Schrunk Plaza & Chapman Park & Lownsdale SquareOccupying adjacent city blocks, these three parks provide a lovely oasis of green among the downtown skyscrapers. Terry Schrunk Plaza, which offers green lawns and an amphitheater, occupies federal land. Both Chapman Park and Lownsdale Square are longstanding city parks, each offering mature elm and gingko trees, enticing benches, and commemorative statues, monuments, and fountains.
between Salmon St and Jefferson Street along SW 4th Ave
SW 3rd Ave and Harrison St
This Portlandia came first, well before the popular TV series. Perched above the entrance to The Portland Building, the grand copper repoussé statue is based on the Portland city seal. It features a muscular woman in classic draped attire, boldly holding a trident. In her crouched position, Portlandia is still over 34 feet high. While not in any official park, the statue is across from the entrance plaza to another downtown highrise - and conveniently, a coffee shop - that also includes some seating. So grab a latte and enjoy not only Portlandia, but the Post-Modern architecture of The Portland Building, designed by famed architect Michael Graves.
1120 SW 5th Ave
1120 SW 5th Ave
SW 3rd Ave and Clay St
NW Park Ave between Ankeny St and Glisan St
Ankeny Plaza and Skidmore FountainA combination of the old and the new, this plaza was updated during the 1980's to meet Portland's modern needs but retains many historic treasures. Tops among these gems is the Skidmore Fountain, first built in 1888 as a memorial to a prominent local businessman. The fountain has become a popular spot for street performers. Ankeny Plaza is alive with activity most weekend's of the year as a venue for the Portland Saturday Market.
SW Naito Pkwy and Ankeny St
One of Portland's newer public plazas, Director Park is a granite-paved space attractive for a variety of reasons. Kids and families will enjoy the play fountain on warmer days. It's a great place to enjoy a lunch or a snack from nearby Elephants Deli or the plaza Starbucks. A portion of the plaza is sheltered by a striking glass canopy. There are enclosed entrances/exits to the parking garage, which is located below.
815 SW Park Ave
815 SW Park Ave
Mill Ends ParkFamous for being the "World's Smallest Park", this official city park occupies a two-foot wide circle of tended land, protected by curbing, in the middle of a intersection of downtown streets.
at SW Naito Parkway and Taylor St