It’s a rare and treasured occasion when Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring, and this year, the groundhog did just that for the 21st time in more than a century. And when one cuddly oracle calls for an early end to winter, we Portlanders happily embrace the notion! Let’s get ready for the best of Portland outside this early spring!
Stay and Ski – Hotel Benson’s Stay & Ski Package – Gear up for a perfect getaway for snow worshipers! Whether you’re a genius on the snow or a complete beginner, it’s time to dig out your skis or snowboard and hit the slopes of the 2,000-acre Mt. Hood Meadows. Then, unwind for some quality apres-ski time with a relaxing, luxurious stay with us in the heart of downtown Portland! Valid for stays before March 29 (book before March 28).
Walk the Portland Japanese Garden – Located in Portland’s Washington Park, this tranquil, urban oasis was designed in 1963. Today across its 12 acres it features eight unique garden styles. Also on the property is a stunning traditional Japanese tea house, meandering streams, cozy footpaths, and it offers a great glimpse of Mt. Hood. With buds just starting to burst into full blooms, you’ll catch the garden at its most vibrant. Details here.
Restaurant-hop during Portland Dining Month – Lucky you! Each March, Portland’s top restaurants offer three-course meals for a great price, three meals for $33 to be exact! Travel Portland donates money to the Oregon Food Bank for each reservation made through OpenTable via the promotion linked here. With 141 participating restaurants covering all of Portland, you’ll be glad to taste the best of early spring at these eateries, and affordably! Note: many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are on the menu!
Hike the Dogwood Trail – Just five miles from downtown Portland is a popular two-mile urban trail loaded with switchbacks, elevation gain and, best of all, seasonally spectacular dogwood trees! Located within Forest Park, you can add mileage by linking with some of the park’s other trails such as the Leif Erickson and Wild Cherry Trails to do the 8-mile Cherry Loop. Access this gem at Northwest 53rd Drive near Cornell Road.
Find Treasure at the Portland Saturday Market – This outdoor arts and crafts market is the largest continuously operated outdoor market in the country, held each Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from the first weekend in March to Dec. 4 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park (under and south of the Burnside Bridge). With about 400 member artists and makers, it’s become an economic engine for the neighborhood and makes for a fun and funky adventure that’s authentically Portland.
Green Fun on the Shamrock Run – Portland’s largest running event takes place in celebration of St. Patrick’s Weekend (March 15). In its 42nd year, more than 25,000 revelers will walk, run and sprint while donning their finest emerald-colored ensembles. Choose from a half-marathon, 15k, 8k, 5k, (even shorter distances for the kids) and enjoy this family-friendly, spring harbinger event. Oh, and of course there’s a beer garden for that victory lap! Details at https://shamrockrunportland.com.
However you decide to ring in this early forecasted spring, we welcome you at the Benson! The Benson, a historic downtown Portland hotel, has long catered to celebrities, CEOs, dignitaries and every U.S. President since William H. Taft. It offers guests 287 tastefully appointed guest rooms, including a variety of suites, 18,000 square feet of meeting space and abundant guest amenities. Whether you are traveling for pleasure or business, The Benson offers comfort, luxury and proximity to all Portland has to offer.