Exceptional city views

A misconception about city living is that you sacrifice seeing beautiful scenery close to home, but in Portland that’s far from true. From parks and hillside views to urban street art and the iconic waterfront,  Portland is full of amazing sights and views to be enjoyed without leaving the city limits.

The Fields Neighborhood Park opened in 2013 in the Pearl District. It’s a modern park near Union Station, with an exceptional view. While the areas surrounding this park are currently under a lot of construction, it’s hard to notice with the great view of the 405 bridge and the old industrial buildings offering a unique backdrop for the area. When the weather’s nice, many people walk their dogs in the attached dog park or take their children to the playground. The oval-shaped field is great for picnics and relaxing, and benches surround it for people to sit and enjoy the view.

The “Keep Portland Weird” sign isn’t the only piece of artwork that defines the city. On Washington Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues, these pieces stand tall and can be viewed while out walking or when taking the streetcar, and they show that the city can offer a type of view you can’t get anywhere else.

Portland is sometimes called “Bridge City,” named after the many bridges stretching over the Columbia River. This makes the Tom McCall Waterfront Park one of the best views in Portland. People can be seen running, walking, skating and biking down the waterfront and over the bridges, while others go just to enjoy the view. Depending on where you are along the waterfront, you can experience a new view and a new scene, making it one of the most gorgeous places to visit, even if the sun isn’t out.

So many people rely on hiking to get good views, but you can hike right in the city. Neighborhoods and residential areas right in downtown offer beautiful views of the city from a variety of angles. Some views, like the one featured in the video, are just a 10-minute walk from campus. You can drive, or you can take a steep walk and get your heart racing. Whichever method you choose, the sights you’ll see are worth it.

Portland is full of views—the biggest problem is not knowing where to find them. But the greatest scenery in Portland isn’t far, it’s just downtown. Venture out, find your own views, discover the beauty of downtown Portland.