What Are the Best Portland Oregon Beaches to Visit?

When most Americans think of Portland, Oregon, they don’t typically picture fantastic beaches. If that’s you, you may be surprised to learn that Portland, OR, has some genuinely beautiful stretches of sand. Yes, some are somewhat rocky instead of sandy, but they’re still fabulous. If you’re coming to visit Portland and want to enjoy some beach time, read on! Below are links to the most beautiful beaches in Portland, OR. Whether visiting or moving to our lovely city, our beaches are waiting for you to explore and enjoy!

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The 4 Sauvie Island Beaches

Sauvie Island is one of Portland’s biggest treasures. And, when we say big, we mean it! The island is more or less the same size as Manhattan, about 24,000 acres! Sauvie Island is located approximately 10 miles northwest of the city and offers many things to do and see. (Working farms, wineries, and more!) Some of the best are their various beaches, which we’ll take a closer look at below:

Portland Oregon Beaches: Willow Bar Beach

Many folks in Portland, OR, consider Willow Bar Beach the best. It’s undoubtedly one of the longest, with plenty of sandy space to enjoy and long, shallow shoreline. The views of the Columbia River from the beach are breathtaking, and the fishing is pretty good too. Luckily, one thing you won’t find at Willow Bar Beach is enormous crowds, which savvy locals enjoy thoroughly.

Portland Oregon Beaches: Collins Beach

One thing you’ll notice as soon as you walk onto Collins beach is that its clothing optional. That’s right, there’s a nude beach in Portland, OR, and it’s Collins Beach. While not the prettiest beach on the island, most folks visit Collins Beach to enjoy putting their buns in the sun. If that’s your thing, Collins will be your fave beach in Portland, OR. (Do remember to bring sunblock!)

Portland Oregon Beaches: Walton Beach

Another of Sauvie Island’s best beaches, Walton Beach, offers plenty of sand and shoreline. Like Willow Bar Beach, Walton Beach also has plenty of shallow water for wading and swimming. However, one problem is that parking for Walton Beach can be a mess, especially on weekends. As one of the most popular beaches in Portland, OR, that’s a problem you’ll simply have to endure. Our suggestion; go early to beat the crowds and reduce your stress level significantly.

Portland Oregon Beaches: North Unit Beach

At the island’s tip, the last remaining strip of beach on Sauvie Island is North Unit Beach.  Now, truth be told, there’s not a lot of beach to enjoy. There are many small cliffs, but if you want more sand, you’ll have to walk a good distance. One of the best reasons to visit North Unit Beach, though, is this; very few people. On a sunny weekend afternoon in Portland, OR, that can be a blessing in disguise.

Tom McCall Bowl Beach

Now, this is what you call an urban beach! Not surprisingly, Tom McCall Bowl Beach sits in the bowl of Waterfront Park. It’s more of a grassy area for sunbathing than a beach, and the city is everywhere you turn. (Geese are, too, so do watch where you walk.) Boaters love this particular beach, likely because it’s so easy and fast to get here. For that reason, it’s one of Portland’s favorite beaches.

Portland Oregon Beaches
The Willamette River at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, in Portland, Oregon.

Sellwood Riverfront Park

This lovely park offers all the typical amenities, including one of the area’s most popular dog parks. Sellwood Riverfront Park also has a relatively small beach that’s more rocks than sand but still enjoyable for walks. It’s also close to downtown Portland, just north of the ever-present Sellwood Bridge.

Broughton Beach

Have you ever taken the Polar Plunge? If you have, you might have been on Broughton Beach, where Portland’s annual Polar Plunge occurs. Off of Marina Drive, Broughton Beach is one of the busiest of Portland’s beaches. It’s very popular with boaters, even though it’s crowded and, frankly, a bit noisy. (Portland International Airport is right nearby.) Still, it’s one of the closest to downtown Portland, which is why it’s so popular.

Kelley Point

What was supposed to be the area’s next great city ended up becoming one of its best parks. That would be Kelley Point and Kelly Point Park, respectively. That’s excellent news, as Kelley Point Park is fantastic. There are several beautiful Portland Oregon beaches to enjoy, and the park itself offers many amenities like picnic areas. You can hit the beach and cook up some burgers and dogs at the same time! One small caveat; there’s some port activity nearby that kind of ruins the view, but not too severely. Besides that, the beaches at Kelley Point are excellent.

Where to Store Your Boat in Portland, Oregon

George Rogers Park

George Rogers Park sits where Oswego Creek and the Willamette River meet. The park offers several excellent amenities, including hiking trails and playgrounds for the kids. There are tennis courts, too, and plenty of green space to enjoy on a sunny afternoon. Oh, and yes, George Rogers park has a small strip of beach. It’s tiny, but it’s there for your enjoyment. 

Cathedral Park

More a park than a Portland Oregon beach, Cathedral Park is still worth the visit. That’s because looming over it is the gorgeous St. Johns Bridge. You can enjoy views underneath this mighty bridge from the small, sandy beach nearby. (Cross the railroad tracks to get there.) Cathedral Park’s beach offers another excellent example of a suburban beach at its finest!

Best Things to Do at the Beach in Portland, OR

Below are our picks for some of the best things to do when visiting Portland Oregon beaches. Turn your beach day into an all-out adventure with the following activities, restaurants, and attractions:

  • International Rose Test Gardens
  • Jantzen Beach Center
  • St. Jack
  • Pelican Brewery
  • Little River Cafe
  • Raven’s Manor
  • Bar Dune
  • Multnomah Whisk(e)y Library

Is There Boat Storage in Portland, OR?

If you’re moving to Portland, OR, with a boat, where to store it might be on your mind. You’ll be glad to know that Northwest Self Storage can store your boat safely, securely, and for as long as you like. We only offer month-to-month boat storage leases, too, so you’ll never get stuck in a long-term contract. If you have questions about boat storage in Portland, OR, please chat with us online!

Portland Oregon Beaches

Portland, Oregon, has Beautiful Beaches to Enjoy!

Were you surprised to discover that Portland, OR, has so many nice beaches? At Northwest Self Storage, we’ve known Portland’s sandy secret for a long time. Many folks moving here rent storage units in Portland, OR, and are surprised, too. We give them another pleasant surprise with clean, safe, secure, and affordable Portland storage units.

Northwest Self Storage has 20 self-storage locations in Portland’s metro area to serve you. All offer various Portland storage units with 24/7 security and on-site managers. Drop by the closest location to your home and ask them about boat storage in Portland, OR. (They’re boat storage experts!) You can chat with us online, too, if you need quick answers to your Portland self-storage questions. Until then, enjoy the beautiful beaches here in Portland, OR. We might not be Miami, but the beaches here are still fabulous!