Northwest Portland is a superb neighborhood for fitness, given the many gyms, yoga and pilates studios, and health-conscious boutiques and dining destinations. The best fitness provided by the area, however, is the natural environment of its park areas and the amenities each include.
The North Park Blocks are known primarily for historical artwork and a natural canopy provided by the trees lining their streets, but it also provides a great jogging and cycling route toward Downtown Portland from the Pearl District. They run between West Burnside Road and Northwest Glisan Street, occupying the blocks between Northwest Eighth Avenue and Northwest Park Avenue. TriMet Bus Line 20 serves the southern border made by Burnside, and Line 17 runs along Northwest Everett Street and Glisan through the area; the Portland Streetcar runs up Northwest 10th Avenue one block west of the blocks.
Several basketball courts popular among Northwest Portland residents and guests are in the North Park Blocks. The courts attract a superb diversity of players, from myriad ethnic and demographic backgrounds and whom boast a wide range of skill; some pickup games in the area are casual players just looking for a good time, and others will include players who seem as though they ought to be playing for the Portland Trail Blazers.
There is also a bocce court in the North Park Blocks. Bocce is a game featuring metal or plastic balls, with one team rolling a small ball—known as the bocce— down the court after which both teams roll a larger ball as close to the bocce as possible. The simplistic and precision-demanding nature of bocce make it a popular game among players unable to participate in aerobic sports or elder players who enjoy the blend of strategy and execution bocce demands.
Beyond the basketball and bocce courts, there is a playground located in the North Park Blocks for children to play on and get some cardiovascular exercise on. Dogs are welcome in the area, though they must be on a leash and cleaned up after. Northwest Portland residents are sure to enjoy the park area in their backyard, whether stopping by for fitness or simply passing through on their way across town.