8 Walkable Places to Read for an Afternoon

8 Walkable Places to Read for an Afternoon

McKenna Stack


As students, we are always reading: reading for class, reading applications, trying to sneak in a reading of our favorite novel. As young adults, we have tight attention spans and are always yearning for adventure. Why not find a new place to do your next reading? Here are some options on and off campus; try to find your new favorite reading spot!

The Bluff


A crowd favorite. It truly is hard to beat the Bluff as a perfect reading spot. There is something about sitting at one of the tables, on one of the benches, or on the grass at the Bluff; there’s an unexplained feeling of gratitude when spending one’s time out there. The scenery is gorgeous, but even being surrounded by that beauty while reading is a wonderful experience.

The Grassy Area by Swindells Hall


The grass stretching from the Bluff all the way to Waldschmidtis lush and relaxing. Hardly anyone takes advantage of this grassy area, compared to quads inundated by students on sunny days. The spot with the most variety is behind Swindell’s; there are benches that overlook Swan Island and downtown Portland, trees to lean against, and grass to sunbathe on while you read.

Benches by Corrado

There is an area behind Corrado Hall that houses two benches. It looks out onto the beautiful scenes of the Willamette River and the hills of Forest Park. One of the best ways to enjoy this part of campus is to come at the right time of day; this area is a perfect spot to watch the sun go down.

Under the Franz Tree


A beautiful spot that is overlooked is the big tree that lives outside of Franz. Sit down on the few steps below this tree, and let yourself be surrounded by its greatness. Reading under this tree while students are in class is the way to go; it’s very quiet and peaceful.


If you want to feed your adventurous side, walk down the road behind Fields to the River Campus on the Willamette River. There are many small beaches and little places to settle into. If you walk towards the train bridge, there is an area that has logs to sit on that are comfortable for reading.

Portsmouth Park


If you want to take a quick walk off campus, Portsmouth Park is a great reading destination. Walk down Portsmouth and turn right on Princeton. The park is just a block in. There are no benches, but there are a lot of trees to sit against or grass to lie in. If you want quiet, mornings are your best bet; in the evenings, the park is filled with sounds of families playing.

McKenna Park


Walk past Fields Hall to McKenna Street, turn right, and walk until you come tothe park. This park is another option if you wish to lengthen your walk or Portsmouth Park is too crowded. Open your book under a nearby tree and hide from the afternoon sun.

Cathedral Coffee Shop


What goes perfectly with a fantastic book? A warm espresso drink. Walk 15 minutes down Willamette Blvd. to Cathedral, a quaint coffee shop that is a favorite of many UP students. Coffee shop sounds are conducive to reading, because it’s usually quieter than most dining spaces.

Happy reading and adventuring!


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