Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Cool off in the fountain, walk or bike the paths, or take in a festival at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Spend any time in Portland and you will no doubt find yourself drawn to this locals’ favorite, which they simply call Waterfront Park.

Many visitors from other cities envy Portlanders’ attractive green space in the heart of the city. Stroll along the banks of the Willamette River and in no time you will forget that you are only minutes away from the hubbub of a busy commercial center. The wide, tree-lined paths filled with joggers, cyclists and dog walkers make for a pleasant atmosphere any time of year, although summer is when this park really comes alive.

Join the dozens of families who like to cool off in the waters of the ornate fountain, Salmon St Springs. With 185 water jets, there is room for everyone. On Saturday and Sunday from March through December, the Market Pavilion showcases locally made arts and crafts. This outdoor market started in 1974 and is the longest running of its kind in the United States. As well as handmade items, the market has an international food court with booths offering anything from Nepalese-style dumplings to Philly steak sandwiches.

As you make your way around the park you will notice several statues and memorials. Notable among these is a monument to the Battleship Oregon, a U.S. naval ship built in 1893. There is also the Japanese-American Historical Plaza, which commemorates the Japanese citizens held in inland World War II prisoner-of-war camps.

The park hosts many city festivals. There’s a Waterfront Blues Festival in early July, and the Oregon Brewers Festival in late July. Oregon Bite showcases the best of all things culinary in August, and the Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival is held in November.