Spring and early summer are the most magical times to explore the sprawling Hoyt Arboretum (4000 SW Fairview Blvd., 503-865-8733, hoytarboretum.org), when it’s bursting with color thanks to the awakening dogwoods, magnolias and trillium. But with thousands of species, something is always in bloom, and the arboretum is worth visiting year-round for the panoramic views and wealth of off-the-beaten-path groves to explore. The Redwood Deck (about one-third of a mile from the visitor center) is crowded, but offers a stunning photo op among the towering, ruddy tree trunks. The rolling hills above the zoo are an ideal place to simply plop down and loll in the sun. And each classification-specific trail—such as bamboo, oak, spruce—offers a distinct pocket of horticultural gems, nearly 9,000 varieties from around the world.