Why go now: What you might recall as a stretch of musty antique shops is now a neighborhood blooming with chic boutiques, farm-fresh eats, and garden inspiration.
A real urban hike: Take a woodsy walk through the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (S.E. Milwaukie Ave. at S.E. Mitchell St.), and you'll think you've left the city limits.
Fresh cuts: By the Bunch (closed Sun, 7042 S.E. Milwaukie, 503/236-4286) uses fern curls and berry-laden branches as teh foundation for its whimsical arrangements.
Farm to table: A Cena ($$$, 7742 S.E. 13th Ave., 503/206-3291) does springy takes on Italian dishes, like potpie with local lamb and morels foraged by the chef himself.
Remember roller skating: It's alive and well at Oaks Amusement Park (from $5.25, skate rental from $1.50, 7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way, oakspark.com), where all ages skate to 80's rock and occasionally to a live Wurlitzer organ.
What every gardener needs: A soothing soak at Ashiyu Foot Spas ($10/half-hour, 8015 S.E. 13th, 503/232-0902).
A park made for a picnic: On the east bank of the Willamette River at Sellwood Riverfront Park, picnic tables are perfectly places and the lawn is an ideal spot to spread a blanket. The park is popular with dogs, and if you want to take a walk, the wetland at the northern edge makes a pretty loop. S.E. Spokane St. at S.E. Oaks Park Way, portlandonline.com/parks