Once the site of the Oregon Iron Company, George Rogers City Park's beach on the Willamette River in Lake Oswego now draws families and kids by the hundreds when temperatures float up above 80 degrees. The beach, although not massive, is easily the broadest and sandiest on Portland's south side. While nearby Sellwood Riverfront Park Beach is commonly overrun with dogs, George Rogers beach is a mecca for families, so if you're kid-phobic, this certainly won't be the place for you. If you have kids, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better place to pass away a few hours during the summer.
While at the park, particularly with kids, enjoy its other amenities including the large playground, tennis courts, and sports field.
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.