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Trip Planner:   USA  /  Oregon  /  Portland  /  Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland

4.0
#11 of 61 in Parks in Portland
Park · Nature / Park
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Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a 36.59-acre (148,100 m2) park located in downtown Portland, Oregon, along the Willamette River. After the 1974 removal of Harbor Drive, a major milestone in the freeway removal movement, the park was opened to the public in 1978. The park covers 13 tax lots and is owned by the City of Portland (Portland Parks and Recreation). The park was renamed in 1984 to honor Tom McCall, the Oregon governor who pledged his support for the beautification of the west bank of the Willamette River—harkening back to the City Beautiful plans at the turn of the century which envisioned parks and greenways along the river. The park is bordered by RiverPlace to the south, the Steel Bridge to the north, Naito Parkway to the west, and Willamette River to the east. In October 2012, Waterfront Park was voted one of America's ten greatest public spaces by the American Planning Association.
The most common uses for the park are jogging, walking, biking, skateboarding, fountain play, lunching, basketball, fireworks viewing and boat watching. Due to its recreational use, lunch hours (11:00 am to 1:00 pm) are peak-use hours for the waterfront park. In addition to recreational use, the park is also highly used by bike and pedestrian commuters during rush hours (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) because the park is easily accessible to the downtown Portland workforce and provides a pleasant, off street thoroughfare away from vehicular traffic. It is currently home to the Waterfront Blues Festival, Oregon Brewers Festival, Gay/Lesbian Pride Festival and the Bite of Oregon festival. The park is also the host of many Rose Festival events.

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Tom McCall Waterfront Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
465 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Just another way Portland offers a chance to walk or ride outside yet right in the midst of a large city. 
    Just another way Portland offers a chance to walk or ride outside yet right in the midst of a large city.  more »
  • This park is very nice and right on the river. Nice views of all the bridges. But there are a lot of homeless people. Many seem to be in need of mental health professionals or drug rehab. It’s... 
    This park is very nice and right on the river. Nice views of all the bridges. But there are a lot of homeless people. Many seem to be in need of mental health professionals or drug rehab. It’s...  more »
Google
  • This waterfront area is nice for walking, bike rides and a great place to hangout. The park was clean and had restrooms. Few homeless people in the area. We booked a lime scooter and strolled around the park for 5 miles. The walkways are paved and there's a lane for the cyclists. Loved the scenery and the bridges over the river. There are a bunch of cherry trees in the park which must be magnificent in spring.
  • When I visit any city, I always head for the waterfront. This is where the spirit of the city is best felt. You can start your walk in this park and walk along the Willamette River, which runs through the city of Portland. What I find amazing is the amount of bridges crossing the river. Feels like every road turns into a bridge. Took a star off as there a some benches missing the wooden planks. There a lot of many homeless in this area. But overall the river walk felt safe.

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