City break or great outdoors? These two very different holiday styles are rarely simple to combine, so most holidaymakers have to choose between urban or outdoor environments. Fortunately, those who insist on only the best of both worlds will find their perfect solution this summer when Delta Air Lines, in partnership with Virgin Atlantic, launches flights to Portland, Oregon - the first time the Pacific Northwest city has enjoyed a non-stop air service from London.
Portland is routinely feted as one of America’s greenest cities, both in terms of sustainable living and the amount of green space woven into its footprint. In fact, around 30 per cent of the city is blanketed in trees, with no less than 288 public parks for visitors to explore.
Green spaces galore
Portland’s collection of green spaces ranges from manicured, flower-filled gardens to an urban forest that’s one of the USA’s largest municipal parks. Between them, they offer 166 miles of hiking trails, which themselves are in addition to 250 miles of bike paths criss-crossing the city.
One park that visitors won’t want to miss is centrally located Washington Park - just two miles west of Downtown – with its gardens, zoo and other lush attractions. Top picks here include the International Rose Test Garden, which dazzles with petals and perfume all summer. Budding botanists will enjoy discovering more than 700 varieties of roses, all scenically set against soaring Mount Hood and the Downtown skyline. Other highlights elsewhere in the park include a picturesque Japanese Garden, plus a children’s museum complete with petting zoo and playground where youngsters can let off steam.
Best foot forward
Active adults can expend their own energy on the 30-mile Wildwood Trail, which winds its way beneath towering sequoia trees into neighbouring Forest Park. This vast woodland space offers a taste of American wilderness within minutes of buzzing city neighbourhoods. Plentiful wildlife - from bobcats, beavers and black-tailed deer to more than 100 bird species - further add to Forest Park’s sense of escape in the great outdoors.
All of this becomes easy to reach on 26 May, when Delta Air Lines – in partnership with Virgin Atlantic - begins its inaugural season of non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Portland. Conveniently operating four times per week, the service will run until early October - allowing holidaymakers to experience Portland throughout its summertime best. Visit delta.com to book your trip and make summer 2017 a season to experience Portland - the city break with adventure on its doorstep.