At approximately River Mile 110, just north of Portland International Airport, a gentle slope of yellow sand meets the shores of the Columbia River. Marine Drive Beach, officially named “Broughton Beach” after British Lieutenant William R. Broughton (the first European to sail up the Columbia River), isn’t the most glamorous of beaches, but it does offer the basics and plenty of elbow room. For Portland and Vancouver residents it's particularly convenient and big enough to get some space from traffic and a long day at the office. One of the most pleasant times to visit is in the late afternoon or evening. At this time of day there are fewer people, the hues of the river, sand, and sky deepen and the beach becomes more than a place to enjoy a good book or a light swim - it becomes a lovely destination for a sunset. Surrounded by big sky views, including a view of Mount Hood on sunny days, visitors will also get underbelly views of descending planes as they land at the airport, which can be exciting for kids especially. To help keep this urban beach destination clean and safe for people and pets, make sure to pack out your trash and always be mindful of river tides and temperatures.