One of the things I love about Portland is that you can hop on a bike, bus, car or your own two feet and become connected with nature in a matter of minutes. Sauvie Island, Multnomah Falls and the Oregon coast are just some of the many adventures waiting to be embarked upon by those who call Portland home base.
Nestled high above Portland is Pittock Mansion, a beautifully preserved early-20th century home that once belonged to pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock. While known for many achievements that are still recognizable today, like creating the daily newspaper now known as The Oregonian, the Pittocks were avid fans of the beauty that the natural world had to offer. You could say they were among the first Portlanders to set into motion a culture of outdoorsy, nature-obsessed creatives that would later define the city for years to come.
Georgiana Pittock maintained an enviable terrace garden outside their elevated estate, planting every flower imaginable. Walking around Pittock Mansion today, you would never have guessed Georgiana ever stopped gardening as the now public grounds are blooming with an innumerable amount of roses. Georgiana is even noted for originating Portland's Rose Festival.
The trek I made up to this breathtaking viewpoint was more residential than rough. Starting from 21st Street, I made my way up the weaving neighborhood roads lined with multi-million dollar homes, stopping to take a peek at downtown Portland as I neared the almost 1,000-foot-high final destination. However, you can tailor your trek to be more woodsy by hiking on Wildwood Trail in Forest Park. No matter how you get there, this vista is sure to be rewarding and worthy of an Instagram post.
Pittock Mansion is the perfect place to learn about Portland's history from the eyes of one influential family. If you visit, make sure to stop and smell the roses for me.