Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland

4.0
#11 of 62 in Parks in Portland
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 that 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, Segwaying 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
457 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Great place to hang out to watch people and wildlife. Stroll down to Saturday/Sunday market for a bite.  more »
  • Very clean and well-kept walkway and greenspaces alongside the river. Lots of runners, bikers, skaters, dogs, etc. Never felt unsafe. Supposedly they hold one of the largest open markets in the US on....  more »
  • This is a lovely park located along the Willamette River waterfront. It has a large lawn (unfortunately occupied by about 100 Canadian Geese) that slopes down to the river. Plenty of mature trees...  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.
  • Had a blast at the blues festival for 4th of July. Fireworks were spectacular and the music was pretty good even though I'm not that into blues. The food was good and the people and vendors were very nice and helpful. they did not accept my credit card at the ice cream stand and ended up giving it to me for free. That was a nice surprise and I gave them a $1 tip which was all I had at the time. I felt bad I could not pay for the ice cream because I had a credit card as my only form of payment but it was worth it because you can't have Fourth of July without ice cream for dessert.
  • We come down to this park annually for Oregon Brewfest. Great pedestrian walk way along the water. In the summer, there are geese which the children enjoy looking at. There is also a large fountain at one end that’s great for kids when it’s really warm.
  • I love walking/ bicycle touring the water front! There are so many activities to do around here! Saturday market, rent a bike, fountains to play in and more! There are also many events that take place on the waterfront as well. Its just a great place to hang out if you are bored and looking for a good time!
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