Being Oregon’s largest city and surrounded by buttes and mountains, would you believe me if I told you, it only sits at 50’ in elevation? Pretty crazy, huh? On the other hand, the west hills have mountain peaks as high as 1,073’ and buttes towering 636’ in elevation, creating a perfect combination of majestic mountainous beauty. Get ready as I share with you a few of my favorite and sought spots to soak in the best views of Portland!
Pittock Mansion (northwest)
BEST views in Portland, of the entire city and Cascade Mountains
If you want the most out of Pittock Mansion, I highly recommend you plan a half-day for all the excursions you’ll be doing here since there are so many interesting things to do and see. The mansion is part of Washington Park and bodes a unique and historic personality of its own as it radiates charmingly vintage architecture. If you love touring home museums, this is your spot to check out! On a clear and sunny day, take a stroll around the property and admire the beautiful landscaping, greenery, and privacy this place offers. You’ve probably seen the iconic photo showcasing the expanse of the city of Portland with the incredibly scenic Mt Hood towering in the background (the first one featured in this post). You can have that iconic shot as well, taken from the grounds of Pittock Mansion!
Hoyt Arboretum (southwest)
Another extension of Washington Park, Hoyt Arboretum features nature’s true beauty as you’re surrounded by lush greenery, walking trails, and the sounds of forest animals. This is often the sought location for engagement, wedding, and special event photo-shoots as there’s no better backdrop than the gorgeous outdoors and trees from all over the world. Escape the bustling city sounds and crowd and come visit this beloved gem if you need to reconnect with Mother Earth. On a clear day, you can actually see Mt Rainier which is 105 miles away! How cool!
Portland City Grill (southwest)
This unique hot spot is located in the pink glass building in downtown Portland aka the Bancorp building on 5th and Pine St. Make your way up the 30th floor to get the spectacular view. You’ll be able to gaze upon the beauty of the Willamette River, bridges, and the east side that’ll reaffirm your decision to pay the price of admission for this experience. It’s a great spot for visitors to get a chance and appreciate a mixture of city life and seeing beautiful mountains. Portland City Grill is a fabulous experience any time of the year, although I particularly like it when the weather is cooler – so I can be cozy while appreciating the views.
Mt Tabor Park (southeast)
Here’s a fun fact: This is the only city park that’s built on top of a VOLCANO. Yeah, you heard me! Luckily for everyone around town, it’s an extinct one, but super cool nonetheless. For me personally, Mt. Tabor encapsulates the true definition of Portland’s spirit. There’s always something fun, quirky, artistic, and eventful happening here. From yoga classes, and Shakespearean plays to embracing cultural Native American drumming, impromptu concerts and so much more. The list of fun possibilities is endless at Mt Tabor and people love it! If you’re not in the mood to trek the entire pathway up, there’s an option to drive. But if you are feeling your oats, get your steps in at the start just south of Belmont and 69th and that’ll get your heart rate going. The result is the beautiful scenic views only Mt Tabor can offer. It’s breathtaking!
Powell Butte (southeast)
These buttes on the east side are a result of the Boring Lava Field that formed over 2.7 million years ago and we’re so glad they did! There are roughly 80 of them and to our advantage, some of them are accessible so we could have another location to appreciate what Mother Nature has to offer. I enjoy being able to drive to the very top and then set forth my own walking adventures. Sparse oak trees at the top allow you to see the magnificent view of the valley and as you descend, the forest will greet you with an abundance of foliage. It’s always a fun trip to visit Powell Butte, but without the shade from trees, the best times are during spring and autumn as the temperature stays between 60-70 degrees of perfection!
Revolution Hall Rooftop (southeast)
BEST views in Portland, OF downtown Portland
As a devoted eastside resident, I had to pay homage to an eastside rooftop drinking establishment! The Buckman neighborhood has some of the best drinking and eateries in all of Portland. Conveniently located less than a mile from downtown, Revolution Hall Rooftop place is the perfect spot to sit and watch the stunning sunset over Portland with a drink in hand. There’s something special about being able to appreciate the sun setting over the horizon, declaring the end of another day. I savor every bit of the experience.
All in all, no matter which location you decide to visit to take in the views, you will be left with a memorable experience of Portland. The people of the city are proud to call this place “home” and they take pride in taking care of it so visitors such as yourself can soak in the unique beauty that’ll leave you planning your next time back!