5 Best Parks in Portland, OR for Rest & Relaxation

Couple having a picnic in the best parks in portland oregon

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

Our lives are increasingly busy and full of activity. Most of it feels necessary, but that doesn’t stop us from feeling overwhelmed and tense. These and other feelings continue to expand in us and become the norm. Soon we don’t even realize the level of stress we’re holding day to day. It’s imperative to your health and wellness to find rest and relaxation in your days. Visiting one of the best parks in Portland Oregon may be just the thing!

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Incorporating Rest & Relaxation in Your Day

The trick to living a healthier existence while you’re still doing everything you have to is to incorporate rest and relaxation in your day. 

It’s almost pointless to advise anyone to reduce the activity in their lives – not that we shouldn’t do that if we can. But life is busy. The ways that you bring rest and relaxation into your lives don’t have to be big or complex. In addition to the following, consider lovely walks or picnics in our local parks.

  • Sip a cup of tea
  • Read a good book
  • Enjoy a leisurely soak in the bathtub
  • Watch a great movie
  • Consider meditation
  • Try a yoga practice
Man taking selfie near green trees

The 5 Best Parks in Portland

Almost nothing is so nourishing to your mind and body as time spent in nature. Fortunately, Portland has many of the most beautiful and peaceful parks in the U.S. Here are the best places to find rest and relaxation.  

Laurelhurst Park

This city park is located in the prestigious Laurelhurst neighborhood and expands over 26.81 acres. In 1919, this fantastic place was named the most beautiful park on the West Coast and as of 2001, it was the first park listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It boasts paved and unpaved paths, a picnic site with tables, a playground, dog leash-off areas, a horseshoe pit, a stage, and restrooms, as well as a soccer field and basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts. There are lots of ways to enjoy this park on your own or with friends. There are even several fantastic restaurants in the area.

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Peninsula Park

You can find Peninsula Park’s entrance at 700 N Rosa Parks Way. This beautiful park, which once belonged to local businesswoman Liverpool Liz, extends across 16.39 acres. Many of its current features were added when it was purchased as a part of a city beautification initiative back in 1912.   

This park boasts amenities like an accessible picnic area with shelter and tables, a playground, a horseshoe pit, a fountain, a splash pad, paved paths for walking or jogging, a plaza, and public art. There are even softball and soccer fields and basketball and tennis courts. If you prefer the Northern part of the city, this park is a wonderful place to spend your time.  

Washington Park

Just two miles west of downtown Portland, you’ll find one of Oregon’s oldest and most beautiful parks. The Washington Park expands over 410 acres and is home to some of the most impressive attractions, including the Hoyt Arboretum, Portland Japanese Garden, the Oregan Zoo, International Rose Test Garden, the World Forestry Center, the Rose Garden Children’s Playground, and an archery range. Several memorials within the park include the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial, the Sacajawea Memorial, and the Oregon Holocaust Memorial. 

The park has a free parkwide shuttle system, offsite parking services, and visitor information services. 

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Council Crest Park

For those who prefer the city’s southwest portion, you can enjoy Council Crest Park. It stretches over 42.95 acres, and because it’s over a thousand feet above sea level, it’s one of the highest locations in the West Hills and boasts amazing views of Portland. There are many attractions and amenities, including paved and unpaved paths, public art, picnic tables, a vista point, a plaza, dog off-leash areas, and a wedding site that may be reserved for your big day.  

Cathedral Park

Cathedral Park is one of our city’s most historic parks and is located in the St John’s neighborhood. It’s best known for the awe-inspiring St. John’s Bridge, and the incredible free jazz festival held there every summer. The amenities available at this park include accessible restrooms, a plaza, a boat dock, a boat ramp, picnic tables, an outdoor stage, and a dog off-leash area. There are also paved and unpaved paths and a nature patch. 

This park is not only one of the most beautiful in the city but also makes a wonderful escape because it is located away from downtown.

Woman sitting on stones
Woman sitting on stones

How to Find Rest in Your Busy Life

Use any or all of the above parks to find a little peace and rest in your busy life. Following are some other ways to invite restoration into your days.      

Allow Yourself to Rest

Rest is essential to your physical and mental health. It isn’t an indulgence – it’s a must. Stress and burnout can lead to health problems, so you shouldn’t feel guilty or worry about career progress if you take time off.  

Calm Your Mind

Often, the only thing busier than your day is your mind. Your thoughts are racing with everything you’re trying not to forget to do. This can be exhausting and stressful. A meditation practice can be beneficial for calming your mind. 

Surround Yourself with Peace

While you may not be able to control the atmosphere in your office, you can choose recreational surroundings that bring you peace. Find spaces that nourish you mentally and emotionally.

Understand the Importance of Sleep

Without sound and restful sleep, your body cannot be in optimal health. So, in addition to being intentional about relaxing practices, you also have to prioritize sleep.  

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Enjoy the Best Parks for Rest

Visiting these parks is an excellent way to restore your energy and joy. Even if you’re only able to be in nature for brief periods, you can still benefit. Enjoy the fresh air, changes of seasons, and the lovely amenities and attractions they host.

Are you dealing with an injury or unexplained aches and pains? We can help you improve your overall health, wellness, and quality of life. Visit Inner Gate Health & Wellness Clinic to learn more.