Assuming players are racing on the Forwards version of this track, it takes racers on a straight road, with a pair of cars on the oncoming side of the road, with a bus or a big rig hauling speedboats tagging behind them. (slamming a rival into the big rig hauling speedboats grants the Truck Torpedo signature takedown). As players drive further down the road, they will drive through an underpass (DJ Stryker claims this to be the Waterfront Convention Center at times in the Crash Nav, or while racing on the track), and are directed to a side road leading uphill.
As players make their way up the side road, a hairpin turn is encountered. Players can either slow down to make the sharp turn, or drift around it to the right to gain some Burnout Points. Another turn is spotted up ahead; players may either drift around it once again, or slow down and swerve left. Racers then make their way further up the hill, where a junction can be found (very little to no traffic is encountered here; the road to the left connects Waterfront and Sliver Lake via a tunnel, however both the left and the road ahead is blocked off), directing players to turn right.
As they pass by the Aerospace Museum on their left, players are then led to the end of the road, leading racers to turn right, onto a 2-lane freeway, with many road splitters separating both sides of the road. It is generally ill-advised to hug the walls here, as there are side roads on both sides of the road, which may lead to players crashing into the wall. Traffic is somewhat light, but not non-existent, while on this part of the track. Eventually, players will be led downhill, past another junction and leading to a barrier directing racers to head right (the road ahead eventually leads to the highway linking Waterfront and Downtown; however both this road and the road on the left are blocked off by the barrier).
Once players swerve right, they are led onto a wide road, before becoming separated temporarily by the bridge ahead, with traffic becoming more common as players are directed into town. The road then ends with players having to turn right, heading into the heart of town.
While driving through the town, racers will encounter a big junction after the turn into town, which is usually cramped with traffic, along with an occasional tram on either side, in the middle of the road; however it may be inaccessible due to the barriers blocking off passage (the road on the left links Waterfront with Downtown). This is possibly one of the most annoying areas to drive in, as cross traffic may happen randomly, and players or rivals may be unlucky and slam into traffic sideways, should the traffic be moving, costing them precious time if it is a race or burning lap.
Once players make it through the 'death junction', players will have to navigate through a few 90 degree corners. It is recommended to drift around these, and there may be traffic around the corners. As players head left onto a main road, there is a chance that a tram can be found in the middle of the road (making a rival crash into the tram will award the Tram Ram signature takedown). Also, traffic tends to build up here, so players should take caution while on this part of the track.
Players are then directed left, down a winding road, which is clustered with traffic, along with buses and big rigs. As racers head down the road, another hairpin is encountered, which racers have to navigate, while racing through the traffic as they are led out of town. Players are then directed to head left, back onto the road where the finish line can be spotted.
- Tram Ram - Smash an opponent into a tram.
- Truck Torpedo - Smash an opponent into a trailer carrying a boat.
Waterfront is the first map to feature a Face Off event. Getting a gold in the event unlocks the Modified Compact.