If you have ever been to Portland Oregon you probably know that it rains A LOT. One benefit of all this rain though is the beautiful flowers that we get. I for one absolutely love flowers (bees, not so much) and am always on the hunt for where to view some beautiful blooms. Below I wanted to share with you some of the must-visit flower festivals in and around the Portland area that I have found over the years! Trust me, your eyes and your Instagram followers will thank you
The first one of the year is the Cherry Blossoms. Every year, once the cherry blossoms arrive, I know that spring can't be that far behind. There isn't a festival surrounding these flowers but the most well known location to view them is along the Portland Waterfront between the Steele and Burnside bridges. Think NW portion of the waterfront. For those of you who have never been, it is pretty much a long stretch of trees that create a magical "hallway" parallel to the river. The cherry blossoms usually appear around the end of March/early April but do not last that long! Pretty quickly the blossoms fall and are washed away with the rain. These flowers are definitely a must see but you have to make sure you visit in time. If you do miss them like I did this year, there are tons of other cherry blossom trees scattered around the city.
Next to arrive would be the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival! Located only about 45 minutes south of Portland (kind of near the Woodburn outlet), the tulips fields are perfect for the whole family as well as canine friends. I have gone to this festival for four years now (check out the gallery below for some fun throwback photos) and it is always a good time although I can imagine it being quite muddy if you happened to go on a rainy day. The festival costs $5 per person or $20 per car and I am always shocked by how many cars are in the two parking lots! There are around 40 acres of tulips so although it might be packed, it is still possible to get some pictures without people in the background if you walk to the further ends of the field. In addition to taking photos and enjoying the colorful flowers, they also have many entertainment options for children as well as food and artisan booths. This festival goes on for several weeks with a wide range of events that take place on different days.
Learn more about the festival here
The next festival that I discovered is the Sunflower Festival at the Packer Orchards in Hood River, Oregon. It doesn't take place until about mid-August. Last year was the first time I attended and the sunflowers were in full bloom. We went earlier in the morning so it wasn't very crowded. I'd say that this sunflower festival is definitely smaller than the others but it has a cute, home-y feel to it. While taking photos with the many sunflowers, there was also some acoustic guitar playing and the option to try a lot of amazing honeys and jams that are all made locally. There is no admissions fee but make sure to bring some money if you want to purchase any sunflowers (it is a U-Pick farm) or any food from their little market. This festival is only during two days of the summer so it is easy to miss. You can learn more information here
The last festival of the summer is the Swan Island Dahlia Festival. This actually may be my new favorite out of all these beautiful flower events. Last year was the first time I had heard of it and I am SO glad I went! This festival is located in Canby, Oregon and is the largest festival since there were also so many tents in addition to the acres of flowers. The many tents sell an assortment of foods and drinks for purchase. During the middle of the day you can also enjoy some live music. Although there are less carnival styled games compared to the tulip festival, this is still a family friendly event. One thing I really appreciated about the set up was that each row of dahlia's had a sign with the name of that flower. Reading all of the names was honestly one of the best parts of this festival. There is also a room set up inside where you can view all of the dahlias as well if you aren't one to want to walk around in the hot sun. Little did I know, dahlias come in so many shapes and colors and sizes! This festival is completely free but is only open two weekends of the year during the end of August and the beginning of September. You can find out more information about the dahlia's here
Thank you so much for reading! If you end up attending any of these, please let me know what you thought! I am also constantly on the hunt for new places to view flowers so let me know of any other local florals worth seeing. Hopefully I can attend the lavender festival this year in which case I will make sure to post an update!