Stunning sunsets and fresh air are waiting for your family at these epic vistas around Portland. Grab some jackets and head out to see the sky burst into reds, yellows and purples.MoreLess
The Eastside’s favorite dormant volcano, Mt. Tabor, offers plenty of hillside space for picnics, fun and exploration. Explore the trails, play in the playground or hike to the top, then settle in to watch the sun set over the city skyline and the west hills. Tip: the top’s views can be somewhat limited, so spread a blanket out on the west slope over the reservoir. You’ll get to sit and relax and still enjoy the view.
You might have to come early, and you’ll definitely get a show of the best and weirdest of Portland, but the views on this hillside can’t be beat. The steep bluffs are a classic picnic site, running for miles above the Willamette River. Throw on your best hipster outfit, grab your guitar, and join the show.
Built in 1914, the mansion on the hill is a popular destination in Portland. You can take tours inside as late as 5 p.m., but arguably the best attraction is the view of the city. The best views actually face east, but if you weren’t up for the sunrise, you’ll still catch a beautiful scene of the alpenglow on Mt. Hood as the sun sets behind you, casting purple and pink light on the snowy slopes, and the extensive grounds of the mansion are a great place for a picnic.
Catch the last of the rays between the cathedral-like buttresses of the St. John’s Bridge. Whether you picnic down by the edge of the Willamette or higher in the park, you’ll see the sun dip slowly behind the trees of Forest Park on the west side of the river. It’s debatable whether it’s better under the bridge or above, so come back and test them both out!
The rocky volcanoes of Powell Butte are home to wide meandering trails through a surprising variety of landscapes–wildflower meadows, old-growth forest, and cottonwood groves. Many trails are paved, making them an easy stroll, and at the top markers point to surrounding mountains like Mt Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, and more. At 600 feet high, it’s a spectacular spot to watch the sun dip. And dusk is the best time to look for the park’s normal residents, like bats, raccoons and gray foxes.
Stay close to home by simply heading to the river for the nightly views. Sit behind OMSI on the pier, take an evening stroll, or ride your bikes up the esplanade and enjoy the glow. The 1.5-mile path includes sections on the water, benches, and plenty of places to sit and gaze. Head to the canoe launch and dip your toes on a hot night, or stay up on the main section and watch the sun set behind the Hawthorne Bridge.
For a spectacular view of the entire Gorge, challenge yourself to the Angel’s Rest hike. This is best for older kids who can handle the 5mile round trip hike up a steep slope, or kids young enough to be carried. Once you reach the top, the natural amphitheater offers an incredible perspective. (Note: there are no guardrails, so keep the kids away from the edge). There’s a field of boulders on the west side before you reach the summit, which is likely a better place to watch the sun go down.
Nestled in the southwest hills, the top of Council Crest offers stunning 360 degree views of the city. You’ll catch the sun setting in the west, and if you turn around you can enjoy the light reflecting off the mountains in the east. It’s a 3.3 mile hike up the top (you can also drive, though), where you’ll find picnic tables and a vista viewing point with all the best views.
Located in the hills of Beaverton, the 100 acres that make up this winery include both organic and biodynamically grown grapes. The tasting room is normally open from 12-5 p.m., but every Friday night in the summer they open their lawn up for Neighbor Night until 8 p.m. Bring the kids, pets, and a picnic and enjoy live music as the sun sets.