Now is the Time to Visit Washington’s Vancouver
Tucked between the snow-covered peaks the Cascade Mountains, and the majestic Columbia River is Washington’s Vancouver. It’s a Pacific Northwest destination that should not be missed. Vancouver is the place where you feel right at home, north of strange and south of Sound.
For urban dining and sipping, there are eight wine-tasting areas from renowned regional wineries. There are also several restaurants within a few blocks. You can sip a Cabernet Franc at Maryhill Winery’s 1885 Brunswick mahogany bars, or a Runway Red Blend at Airfield Estates, which is aviation-themed. Garlic Shrimp and Asparagus Panzanella are just a few of the options available at Brian Carter Cellars’ riverfront location. Or, you can find a barrel booth next to a fireplace at Willamette Valley Vineyards’ cozy second-story restaurant.
The Vancouver Waterfront is anchored by the sparkling Grant Street Pier, jutting 90 feet over the calm waters, with a walking path that follows the curves of the river. The waterfront has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a glamorous Latin night with tapas, extravagant drinks at DOSALAS Latin Kitchen Tequila Bar, or if you want to feel like a kid again, with the Yard Milkshake Bar’s ice cream creations that are Instagram-worthy, there is a place for you.
Make Vancouver your base camp and explore southwest Washington’s moderate yet distinct seasons with an outdoor adventure to Mount St. Helens or the Columbia River Gorge. Mount St. Helens is one of the most iconic landmarks in the Pacific Northwest. It offers snowy hiking, cross-country skiing and the chance to climb the volcano from Marble Mountain Sno-Park in winter (just over an hours drive from downtown). One of only 10 National Scenic Areas in the United States, the 80-mile Columbia River Gorge is beautiful during any season, offering panoramic views, hikes to wispy waterfalls, and a plethora of activities for any outdoor enthusiast.
Relax after your adventure with a beer from one of Vancouver’s local brewery. The tight-knit community, affectionately called “Brewcouver”, rivals any beer scene with its bold lagers and juicy IPAs as well as flavorful stouts. For a variety of food trucks outside the brewery spaces, visit Trap Door Brewing and Brothers Cascadia Brewing.
Within walking distance of the waterfront, downtown offers local boutiques and antique shops, intriguing art galleries, colorful murals, and events happening year-round. You will find the best coffee roasters and unique bakeries for your morning cup of coffee. Uptown Village, located north of downtown, is a charming area that features local favorites Bleu Door Bakery (and Relevant Coffee).
Less than half an mile from downtown, you can visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, one of the most historic permanent settlements west the Rocky Mountains. The 191-acre area tells the story of the frontier fur trading post of the Hudson’s Bay Company, a powerful miliary legacy at the U.S. Army’s Vancouver Barracks, and the magic of flight at the Pearson Air Museum.
Vancouver is near everything, but far away from the typical. Come and see it for yourself.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.