Sandy beach
Cliff jumping
Hike-in Required
Sensitive Habitat
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

Not Required


Sandy beach for a half-mile. Proximity to Portland.


Peak summer crowds. Garbage left on beach.



Broughton Beach is great for a weekday trip to the water. They've expanded the parking lot and there's an actual restroom on the far south end. Parking requires a $5.00 fee (cards accepted) but seems worth it if it helps keep this area decent. I'd recommend bringing water safe shoes because I've found broken glass. I now always also come equipped w/a safe trash receptacle (take out cup) for all of the glass I pick up. Know that some folks come to let their pooches take a dip so unleashed dogs may be encountered. I have yet to come for the sunset but give this place a thumbs up for a quick easy day of summer fun and relaxation.
I came here last night to watch the moonrise. With no more summer crowds this is a great place to visit for an evening on the river. Very quiet other than the airplanes taking off directly overhead (which is awesome to watch).
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