If you’re a fan of children’s literature, you may recognize Grant Park as the setting for Beverly Cleary’s beloved Klickitat Street series, which included characters like Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy (Henry’s dog). Cleary, and her most well-known characters, are honored with sculptures in the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children, one of Portland’s most popular playgrounds.
But you don’t need books to be charmed by this cozy residential area, built in the 1920s and 30s, and featuring mostly Old Portland and Craftsman style homes. The park and neighborhood are named after U.S. President Ulysses Grant, who lived in Vancouver, Washington early in his military career. In conjunction with its fascinating history, Grant Park is also an entirely contemporary Portland neighborhood, bordering some of the city’s fastest-growing areas while still remaining safe, quiet, and close-knit. The Laurelhurst, Alberta, Hollywood, and Alameda communities all border Grant Park, which runs north from NE 26th to 47th and east from NE Knott to NE Broadway.
The Neighborhood Association is very active, offering opportunities for community members, both residential and commercial, to gather often to plan events and discuss local improvement projects for Grant Park as a whole. The actual Grant Park is well-loved by Portlanders, and offers a dog park, walking trails, sport fields and courts, and an enormous picnic area, which can also be reserved for large events. It goes without saying in Portland, but the area is also home to fantastic food options and farmer’s markets!
The two most famous outdoor spaces in Grant Park are the beloved Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children and the eponymous Grant Park, but those aren’t all this diverse community has to offer. Behind 35th and Siskiyou, urban hikers can explore the many sets of staircases etched into the hillside leading up to Alameda Ridge. From the Ridge, stunning vistas of Portland and beyond are available in every direction. For less dramatic, but equally as breathtaking a show, the cherry blossoms in NE Portland are city-renowned as harbingers of spring and sunshine.