Your Favorite Urban Parks in the Pacific Northwest

Via readers share their favorite city parks and green retreats.

Mt. Tabor Park view of downtown Portland, picture
The sylvan retreat of Mt. Tabor Park rises high above Portland.

Mt. Tabor Park is a superb vantage point for watching sunsets and the twinkling lights of downtown Portland and gazing at Mount Hood to the east. Birds use the park as a migratory stop in spring, there's a bawdy ‘adult’ soap box derby every summer, and the open reservoirs make for spectacular photo ops.”—Martrese White

“The trails in Alton Baker Park in Eugene, Oregon, teem with walkers, rollerbladers, and bikers. Ducks and geese swim in the pond, while kids fish in the canal. The park hosts several festivals each year, and there are summer concerts at the Cuthbert Amphitheater. There's even a small Nobel Peace Prize exhibit in the park.”—Dave Taube

Lithia Park, centrally located in downtown Ashland, Oregon, is a true gem. This green oasis features miles of hiking trails, several large lawns, two duck ponds, a creek with a wading area, a Japanese garden, a band shell, a playground, baseball diamonds, a horseshoe pit, tennis courts, community buildings, and in winter, an ice-skating rink. It’s beautiful year-round.”—Inge Kendrick


Stanley Park in Vancouver, B.C., is home to Canada’s largest aquarium, lovely beaches, and miles of well maintained paved and dirt trails. There's an array of can't-miss kid-friendly spots, including a pool, a water park, and the Stanley Park Miniature Train offering rides in the summer and on some holidays.”—Michael Stone

Bush's Pasture Park used to be just that—a pasture for one of the founding families of Salem, Oregon. It still has their mansion, their greenhouse, and the beloved Cat and the Cow statue near a children's playground. What I love best is that the Bush barn is now a museum run by the Salem Art Association, and the park is used for a large art festival each July.”—Joel Rosenblit

“If you’re in the neighborhood of Seattle’s Pacific Science Center, stop at the nearby Artists at Play. The playground’s rope-climbing structure, covered slides, and musical chimes are all fantastic.”—Jennie Daniels