Named after the former Oregon Governor Tom McCall's wife, the Audrey McCall Floating Dock is known for nothing more than the city's main boat put-in dock for rowers and dragon boat fanatics. During the hot summer months, however, this little eastside dock transforms into one of Portland's most beloved sunbathing and swimming locations. Nearly 150 feet long and 10 feet wide, metro area families and central eastside hipsters alike find room to cohabit and soak in the sun's rays.
If you can't find a few inches of dock to call your own, however, head north, to the other side of the Hawthorne Bridge where Fire Station 21's floating dock is often less crowded.
For decades Portland natives avoided swimming in the Willamette River. Jokes were made about what exactly would happen to you if you did, but thanks to additional decades of cleanup work, a $1.4-billion public works project to mitigate sewer overflow, and stormwater retention projects, the river is finally very safe for swimming. According to OPB, the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services tests for bacteria weekly at five different locations during the summer months to assure safety.
Note: Current becomes stronger and wakes from passing boats become larger the farther you swim into the Willamette River. Enjoy and swim safely.