Vancouver, Washington sits on the north bank of the Columbia River directly across from Portland, Oregon. The Pacific Coast is less than 90 miles to the west. The Cascade Mountain Range rises on the east. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and Mt. Hood are less than two hours away. The spectacular Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area lies 30 minutes to the east. Vancouver combines the excitement of a major metropolitan area with small-town charm and abundant recreational opportunities.
New food carts, chef-driven restaurants, and wallet-friendly happy hours—the list of must-tastes in the Couve keeps growing. Downtown favorites continue to impress, and the Eastside is expanding with group-friendly dining options. At The Mill, Rally Pizza serves artfully charred Neapolitan pizzas, seasonal veggies, and house-made frozen custards. Plus, new eateries are moving in at the Waterfront, including WildFin American Grill, Barlows Public House, and Stack 571.
Outdoor & Adventure
Spring is a wonderful time to explore our region. It offers some of the most scenic trails, lakes, and rivers to investigate and has millions of square acres of dedicated outdoor space nearby. To find the best park for your activity, choose from one of the 191 area parks in Vancouver.
Summer is for adventure! Perhaps you are a hardcore mountain biker looking to get some air, a fisherman who enjoys landing the perfect salmon, a hiker of lush forests, or a birdwatcher looking for a red-tailed hawk—Vancouver USA is the place for you.
Fall is the perfect time for a romantic getaway in Vancouver, Washington. Take a scenic drive through the hills of north Clark County and stop off at one of the many wineries that are celebrating the fall crush. Head to Moulton Falls to enjoy a scenic backdrop for a late-season picnic.
Winter is one of the best times for photographers to observe outdoor action. Catch the seasonal shift at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, which is a hive of activity as the birds prepare to migrate. Bring your snowshoes to Mt. St. Helens for a snowy trek.
Columbia River Gorge
Discover the scenic Columbia River Gorge, a deep canyon of the Columbia River that’s home to gorgeous waterfalls, epic vistas, and seemingly endless options for outdoor recreation. Along the way, historic landmarks and small towns provide places to rest and relax while exploring this one-of-a-kind destination.
Check out these links for Columbia River Gorge reference:
What does a day at The Waterfront look like? Plan to grab a fresh seafood dish on the WildFin patio—or swing by the seasonal walk-up What A Catch Fish Bar window for a quick bite of fish ‘n’ chips and a soft-serve ice cream cone—while watching sailboats pass by the 90-foot Grant Street Pier. A gathering place for all who visit the Waterfront, the cable-stayed pier is the focal point of the new waterfront park, complementing the surrounding $1.5 billion project by Gramor Development. Pour yourself a local brew from the Portland area’s only self-serve beer wall at the second-story Barlows Public House, or sip a Washington wine at Maryhill Winery’s newest satellite tasting room. You can even do a whole wine walk to five tasting rooms within a few blocks! Head to Twigs Bistro if a martini is your drink of choice, or just enjoy a tasty supper while the sun sets on the horizon. For a riverside retreat, stay at the Hotel Indigo—a unique and vibrant boutique property that exudes the local culture of Vancouver USA—and enjoy a gourmet steak dinner on El Gaucho’s terrace patio (both coming soon).
Bring the kids to play in the City of Vancouver’s new 7.3-acre Waterfront Park that features an open lawn for cartwheels, an urban beach for sandcastles, and seating areas perfect for picnics. The Headwaters Wall is an interactive water play feature, complete with a bronze topographical map of the Columbia River’s watershed. The Waterfront Renaissance Trail connects to the park, extending the current five-mile trail from Vancouver’s urban core to Wintler Park.
Festivals come in all shapes and sizes, and Vancouver has several varieties throughout the year. Celebrate everything from local craft beverages and historic apple trees to recycled art and Hawaiian culture.
If you enjoy music, Vancouver has many options, from classical to contemporary. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra focuses on classical revival while touring big-name acts stop at Sunlight Supply Amphitheater. The summer concert series at Esther Short Park provides free entertainment with local cover bands and feel-good throwbacks.
For those who appreciate the literary arts, Vancouver is home to one of the nation’s few Brautigan Libraries. Named after the famed beatnik poet, this “very public library” features over 400 unpublished works from writers across the globe. As one of the fixtures of the Clark County Historical Museum, visitors are always welcome to pull up a chair and browse through the stacks.
Vancouver has no shortage of performing and visual arts. With a strong Hawaiian cultural presence, it’s only natural that we have one of the most prominent Polynesian festivals on the mainland. Four Days of Aloha has dancers, drummers, and other performers that will make you think you’re on the Islands. For the hippest, most eco-conscious festival around, visit the Recycled Arts Festival in June.
In partnership with home and community, Vancouver Public Schools provides an innovative learning environment that engages and empowers each student to develop the knowledge and essential skills to become a competent, responsible, and compassionate citizen.
Schools in the Vancouver area include: