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Looking to take in the beauty of spring? Here are several places to view cherry blossoms in Oregon and Washington.

L.E. BASKOW / PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - People take in a fine sunny day amongst the spring cherry blossoms at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.


KEYWORDS: Portland, city, closer to home, trees, blooms, blossoms, Willamette RiverIt's a sure sign of spring when cherry blossom events return to the Pacific Northwest.

From Salem to Vancouver, with lots of blooming trees in between, there are plenty of places around the Northwest to take in the natural beauty.

Here are several places to view cherry blossoms in Oregon and Washington:


Gresham

The Gresham Japanese Garden The Gresham Japanese Garden has not advertised any special events for viewing cherry blossom trees in bloom, but the trees typically bloom in March or early April and the public is invited to visit and enjoy them.


Hood River

Hood River Cherry and Fruit Blossom Train Hood River visitors can enjoy a train ride to witness fruit trees in bloom. Riders on the Cherry Fruit Blossom Train Tour can see the change from blossoms to the beginnings of fruit on about 2.4 million trees. The train ride makes a stop for photos at an orchard and there's an audio recording played on the train ride that tells riders more about the apples, pears, cherries and peaches grown in the Columbia River Gorge. The train runs on April 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28.


Portland

The Japanese American Historical Plaza at Tom McCall Waterfront Park Every spring, Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park erupts with pink cherry blossoms. Their falling petals give the impression of pink snow along the Willamette River. There are 100 Akebono trees at the park and the space is ideal for a spring picnic or photoshoot. The trees were donated to the city by a group from the Japanese Grain Importers Association in 1990. They line the sidewalk between the Burnside and Steel bridges.

Hoyt Arboretum Tucked away in Portland's West Hills, the Hoyt Arboretum offers more than 200 varieties of cherry trees that display a variety of flower shapes and colors.

Portland Japanese Garden The Portland Japanese Garden also features a variety of cherry trees for the public to enjoy.

Portland Parks For more free cherry blossom viewing, check out other Portland parks. Laurelhurst Park has several cherry trees and Mt. Tabor also has some cherry trees scattered throughout its grounds.


Salem

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department's Yozakura As part of the Cherry Blossom Day events, Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department is hosting aYozakura in the State Capitol State Park. Parks staff will be lightly illuminating the Akebono cherry trees in the Capitol Mall on March 26 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The public is invited to bring a blanket, camping chairs and a nighttime picnic to enjoy under the canopy of the trees.


Vancouver, Wash.

The Clark College Sakura Festival Every year, Clark College holds its Clark College Sakura Festival to celebrate the anniversary of when the city of Vancouver received 100 Shirofugen cherry trees. The trees were a gift from John Kageyama, the president of America Kotobuki Electronics, Inc. He gave the trees to the city on April 11, 1990, as a celebration of Arbor Day and Earth Day. The trees were planted on Clark College's main campus in Vancouver's Central Park. In 2022, the annual Sakura Festival's opening remarks will take place in the Royce Pollard Japanese Friendship Garden on April 21 at 1 p.m. The celebration begins at 2:30 p.m. in Gaiser Student Center.


Wilsonville

Cherry Blossom "Sakura" Week Wilsonville's sister city is Kitakata, Japan and to celebrate Japanese culture, Wilsonvillle is introducing its first Cherry Blossom Week, April 4-10. The city said the week will highlight the cherry trees, called "sakura" in Japanese, in Town Center Park. The trees were gifted to the city by Kitakata. Every day during Cherry Blossom Week, there will be a free community activity to enjoy near the cherry blossoms, such as picnicking, a photo contest, a Japanese tea ceremony, a free yoga class and more.

Hood River Fruit Loop The train isn't the only way to see blooming trees in Hood River. Visitors can also take the 35-mile scenic drive known as the Hood River Fruit Loop through the valley's orchards to enjoy the blossoms. Travel Oregon said the loop offers great photo opportunities and places to stop for fruits, wines and lavender.


KOIN 6 News is a news partner of Pamplin Media Group.


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