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Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland

4.0
#11 of 61 in Parks in Portland
Park · Nature / Park
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
462 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Formerly a favorite destination in PDX and a "must see" place for any walking tour of Portland. Since COVID and the nightly riots and demonstrations, the place has badly deteriorated. Homeless...  more »
  • Not much going on here other than it is on the Willamette River. It's kind of cool to look at the ridges but there isn't much else to do. With the exception of dodging jerks on bicycles riding too...  more »
Google
  • I like Tom McCall Waterfront Park primarily for the Saturday market. They do have a lot of events there throughout the year. It's a great place to people-watch if you want to truly know how the heart of Portland beats. If you want to know something about Portland just ask pretty much anyone who hangs out at Tom McCall Park. You can see the Moda Center across the river and you can take a boat ride down the river. A great place to hang out on a summer afternoon.
  • I love spending time on the waterfront. Wonderful place to sit and relax. Great corridor for riding bikes, scooters, running, jogging, skipping or rollerblading/skating. Flat, long sidewalk which is wheelchair and stroller accessible. In the summertime they turn the fountain on. Great for splashing around in and getting wet on hot days. There are several events at the waterfront. I enjoy sitting near the water and relaxing.

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