Vancouver is a city in the Southwest Washington region of Washington State, immediately north of the border with Oregon. Two bridges across the Columbia River connect Vancouver to the rest of the Portland metropolitan area. Vancouver is the fourth largest city in Washington (and is more populous than all cities in Oregon with the exception of Portland), but is obscured by its close proximity to and economic reliance on Portland, OR. It should not be confused with the larger city of the same name, Vancouver, BC (Canada) which is just under 300 miles (450 km) to the north.
The Historic Downtown area of Vancouver, Washington.
Vancouver is closer to the Portland International Airport than most of Portland, accessible via Interstate 205 and five - twenty minutes away from most of Vancouver and it's eastern suburbs of Camas and Washougal.
Interstate 5 is the main freeway in central Vancouver. Interstate 205 is the primary freeway on Vancouver's east side crossing the Columbia from the Eastern Portland suburbs and eventually ending o Interstate 5 in northern Vancouver. Washington State Route (SR)14 follows the Columbia river from eastern Washington and terminates in downtown Vancouver, providing access to Vancouver's eastern suburbs including Camas and Washougal.
SR 500 and SR 503 provide additional routes through eastern Vancouver including Camas and Battle Ground.
Amtrak, 1301 W 11th St, . Amtrak's Vancouver station is served by the Cascades, Coast Starlight, and Empire Builder lines.
Lower Columbia CAP, . Rural public bus system serving nearby Salmon Creek (reachable via C-TRAN bus) from Longview, Kalama, and Woodland. At Longview you can transfer from a different CAP bus route that comes from Castle Rock and Chehalis. Fares are $1 each way.
Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. Fifth Street, ☎ +1 360 694-7026, . Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.. The museum is located on historic Pearson Field, the oldest active airfield in the United States. The museum is also home to the country's oldest wooden hangar. Built in 1918 as part of the U.S. Army Spruce Division, it has been used as an airplane hangar since 1921. It even housed Italian prisoners of war during W.W.II. The museum is the first step in a three-phase project to recreate a pre-WWII Army Air Corps Field that existed at Pearson Field in the 1920's and 1930's.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 612 East Reserve Street, ☎ +1 360 816-6230, . 9-5 Summer, 9-4 Winter. Vancouver is home to the historic Fort Vancouver. Built in 1825, Fort Vancouver was a fur trading outpost and home to the Hudson's Bay Company. It's right outside Downtown Vancouver and next to the Pearson Air Field and Museum. It's a great spot to stop and have a picnic or just to look at the handful of old buildings and displays. Also, on the 4th of July be sure to check out the amazing firework show, said to be the biggest west of the Mississippi River.$3/person, $5/family.
Water Resources Education Center (Water Center), 4600 SE Columbia Way, ☎ +1 360 487-7111, . Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Enjoy the hands-on, interactive activities in the Exhibit Hall. View the nature-inspired art in the White Sturgeon Art Gallery. Take in the panoramic view of the Columbia River from the Center's balconies. Get a closer look at the rolling Columbia River and nearly 50 acres of wildlife-rich wetlands from the Marine Park Overlook that also connects visitors to Vancouver's Renaissance Trail, a paved waterfront trail favored by walkers, runners and bicyclists. free.
Esther Short Park, W Columbia Ave & W 8th Street, . The oldest public square in the Pacific Northwest, established in 1853. The park includes a playground, rose garden, fountains and a variety of public art pieces. In the summer, Esther Short hosts a variety of concerts and festivals. Free.
Officers Row, 1301 Officers Row, . Check out twenty-two restored nineteenth century homes near the Vancouver Barracks. Several are open to the public. The Grant House is home to a restaurant that is operated by a local culinary school. Varies.
Big Al's, 16615 SE 18th St, ☎ +1 360 944-6118, . Big Al's is a local family entertainment center with bowling alleys, billiard tables, arcade and a sports bar & grill themed restaurant.
The Amphitheater at Clark County (Clark County Amphitheater), 17200 NE Delfel Road, ☎ +1 360 816-7000, .
Cinetopia, 11700 SE 7th St, ☎ (360) 213-2800, . The theater offers a variety of seating including large leather auditorium seats or couches in the living room theater (21+). Cinetopia serves alcohol as well as food, and there is a restaurant Vinotopia on-site. There is also a great rotating display of local artwork. 8.50+.
The Steakburger/ Golf-o-Rama, 7120 NE Hwy 99, ☎ (360) 694-3421. An old-school burger and shake shop featuring a 36-hole miniature golf course.
Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main Street, ☎ (360) 737-3161, . Newly renovated 1930s movie theatre showing second-run movies. Grab a drink before the show in the upstairs lounge. $4+.
Pop Culture, 1929 Main Street, ☎ (360) 750-1784, . Mon. 5pm-9pm Tues-Thurs. 11:30 am-9pm Fri. 11:30am-10pm Sat. 11:30am-11pm Sun 11:30am-4pm. Downtown Vancouver hangout that often showcases local music, poetry and comedy. Check out a show while enjoying a soda from their huge collection of specialty pops, as well as a small menu of hot dogs and munchies.
G6 Airpark, 2200 NE Andresen Rd. Ste. J, ☎ (360) 828-1444, . Mon-Thu, Sun 12pm-10pm Fri-Sat 12pm-12am. Jump through an elaborate indoor trampoline park that includes an arcade, cafe, and birthday packages for children.
Alderbrook Park, 24414 NE Westerholm Road, Brush Prairie WA 98606 (Take I-5 to exit #4. Travel East. Stay straight on Padden Parkway, which becomes Ward Road. Ward Road becomes 182nd Ave. Turn right on 184th Street, which becomes 189th Street. Turn on Westerholm Road.), ☎ 360-882-4444, . Seasonal (11am - Dusk). A family friendly, magical forest hidden in the foothills of Larch Mountain. A variety of activities are available for all ages: trackless train, pedal boats, catch and release fishing, bounce houses, mini-golf, horses and pony rides. Discover the enchanted children's area where lies a life-size, beached pirates ship. Amenities include swimming pool, bath houses, picnic pavilions and guest houses.$5.00 / person. (45.752971,-122.418788)
Vancouver Farmers Market. Open March through October, Saturdays 9-3 and Sunday 10-3, rain or shine. Great selection of naturally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs, local natural meats, seafood and dairy products. Over 200 vendors.
Uptown Village is nestled between downtown Vancouver and its historic neighborhoods. It lies between Mill Plain and 4th Plain Boulevards along Broadway, Main, and Columbia Streets.
Westfield Vancouver Shopping Center (Westfield Vancouver Shopping Mall or just Vancouver Mall), 8700 NE Vancouver Mall Dr, ☎ +1 360 892-6255, . The mall offers a variety of stores including large department stores such as Nordstrom, Macy's, Sears and JCPenney. There are over 120 stores, restaurants and specialty shops.
Burgerville, 7401 E Mill Plain Blvd., ☎ +1 360 694-4971, . 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Founded in 1961 and still based here in Vancouver, the NW's own fast food chain with a decidedly NW flavor promoting sustainable practices and fresh, local ingredients. Great burgers and traditional fast food fare. Amazing seasonal items including sweet potato fries, asparagus, strawberries, blackberries, onion rings and more. The original Burgerville USA was actually in the building next door to this location.
Vancouver Pizza Company, 2219 Main Street, ☎ +1 360 750-1196, . Mon-Thurs 11 AM to 9 PM, Sat 11 AM to 10 PM, Sun 4 PM to 9 PM.. Vancouver Pizza Company is a great, family friendly gourmet pizza shop with over 25 specialty pizzas. They also offer fresh salads, hot sandwiches, and breadsticks! Stop in and treat yourself to our delicious lunch menu, or bring in the family and enjoy an evening of pizza, and a game of checkers. Children love our kid's meals and their own coloring page! Rated 4 stars by the Columbian.
Sushi World, 13503 SE Mill Plain Blvd, ☎ 360-944-9659. Sushi World is one of the best and cheapest places in the Portland/Vancouver area to get sushi. It's clean, friendly, but sometimes crowded, especially on nights when they're offering a discount. Plates travel around to booths and bars while staff in the kitchen and in the hub of the restaurant replenish stocks. Options vary from nigiri or rolls to noodles to dessert items. Offerings are invariably fresh, and special items are available from the sushi chefs on request. It is very possible to eat your fill here and get out the door for $10 per person.
Sakura of Japan, 8010 NE Highway 99 # A, ☎ 360-573-3883. Looking for the best Japanese food in Vancouver? A 5 minute drive north of the Downtown area will bring you to the suburb of Hazel Dell where Sakura of Japan is located. The staff is friendly and the food is amazing. The restaurant prepares many Japanese dishes, including Teriyaki Chicken, Yakisoba Noodles, and Miso Soup. The servings are generous and there's always some left over to bring home. And the best part of it all is the food is cooked right in front of your eyes, a la Beni Hana's.
Philly Bilmos, 2100 SE 164th Ave, Vancouver, WA 98683, ☎ (360) 944-1006, . An east coast style deli serving the best in cheese steaks, fettuccini, and cheesecake.
Roots Restaurant and Bar, 19215 SE 34th Street, Suite 110 Camas, WA 98607, ☎ +1 360 260-3001, . 11:30-11:00. A destination restaurant for foodies from all over the Northwest, Roots specializes in fresh, seasonal cuisine showcasing local farm products such as Puget Sound clams, Ellensberg lamb, and Walla Walla onions prepared simply yet skillfully. The restaurant features an open kitchen, outside patio seating, clubby booths, banquettes and a rich northwest feel. Bon Apetit magazine named it one of the best spots around the country for a romantic winter dinner.
Thai Lotus, 16209 SE McGillivray Blvd., Ste H (Take SE 164th Avenue Exit off SR-14, go North, left at SE McGillivray, located near Auto's Pub), ☎ (360) 883-3419, . Truly flavorful, family-run restaurant with exotic atmosphere. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Reservations welcome. Gift certificates available. Our family looks forward to serving you.
McMenamins on the Columbia, 1801 S.E. Columbia River Dr, ☎ +1 360 699-1521, . Sunday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.;Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.–1 a.m.. Not only do they have fantastic food, but they also have a full-service bar. Located along Vancouver's water front on the Columbia River, the pub is known for the many beers it makes and serves. The atmosphere is very relaxed and appealing. McMenamins is a great place to visit and enjoy drinks, food, and an incredible view.
Vancouver Hilton 301 W. 6th Street, +1 360 993-4500. just opened in 2005. It's in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, right across from Esther Short Park, where the Vancouver Farmers Market is held. There are many shops all around and plenty to do. Take a walk to the south and you will reach the Columbia River, which is always bursting with activity. Or you can go catch a movie at the historic Kiggins Theater or get a bite to eat at Little Italy's Italian Cafe and Restaurant.
The Heathman Lodge 7801 NE Greenwood Drive, +1 360 254-3100, . A relaxing, rustic getaway is closer than you think. Conveniently located off SR-500 between I-205 and I-5, the Heathman Lodge offers a mountain-like retreat that couldn’t be more convenient. Whether you’re here to soak up the Northwest or you need to get down to business, the Lodge allows you to escape the world. While remaining connected.
Red Lion Hotel - Inn at the Quay 100 Columbia Street, +1 800 434-6835. is a great location just across the Interstate bridge on the Columbia River. The rooms are clean and comfortable, the staff is friendly and helpful, and the view of the river is gorgeous. There is a restaurant and bar on-site with an amazing view and you are very close to the Saturday Market, a movie theater, and other local downtown Vancouver attractions. Plus it is quick and easy access to I-5 and less than 5 minutes away from the Oregon border.
Phoenix Inn Suites, 12712 SE 2nd Cir., +1 360 891-9777.  - All suite accommodations with complimentary breakfast buffet, high speed internet, and 24 hr. business center
Best Western Vancouver Mall, 9420 NE Vancouver Mall Drive, ☎ +1-360-256-0707, . A hotel located within walking distance of Westfield Vancouver Shopping Mall. Complimentary breakfast. Pool, spa and fitness center.
The area code for Vancouver is 360. Seven digit dialing for all local calls, but note that the 360 area code also covers most of Washington west of the Cascades but outside the greater Everett-Seattle-Tacoma corridor, so 360 numbers outside of the local calling area may incur long distance charges, depending on where in the 360 area code you are calling. You don't need to use the area code when calling within 360.
Fort Vancouver Regional Library (Vancouver Community Library), 1007 E. Mill Plain Blvd., ☎ +1 360 695-1566, . M Tu W Th 9-8;F Sat 10-6. Free Wi-Fi access at all FVRL locations. See the librarian for guest access to the library's Internet-enabled computers.
Beacon Rock State Park, about 35 miles East of Vancouver, is one of the Northwest's more enjoyable day trips. After driving for less than an hour through the scenic Columbia Gorge, you arrive at the base, where it is advisable to use restroom facilities and prepare for a relatively short, but moderately vertical hike up the 1-mile trail to the top of this old volcanic core, the second-largest free-standing monolith in the world (after the Rock of Gibraltar). Spectacular views of the Gorge, the river, and various wildlife will be your reward. The park also offers camping and more hiking trails, if you feel so inclined or you wish to avoid other hikers.
Mount St. Helens and the Ape Caves are less than an hour north of Vancouver. Get great views of the mountain or drive up closer to the observatory. The Ape Caves are lava tunnels that can be explored, though be sure to bring a very good flash light and warm clothing, because even on the hottest and brightest days, the Ape Caves are cool, dark, and damp. While up there, be sure to stop at one of the many reservoirs for a picnic or a swim.
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