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.
Vancouver is closer to the Portland International Airport PDX IATA than most of Portland, about a 20-minute drive away. From Portland Airport, take I-205 north across the Columbia River to reach Vancouver, then follow SR 14 west to downtown.
By local bus, from Fisher's Landing in the east part of town, the #65 bus goes down to the Parkrose/Sumner Transit where passengers transfer to the MAX Red Line train to the airport.
Interstate 5 and 205 passes directly through the city. From the east, Interstate 84 (in Oregon, connecting to 5 and 205) and SR 14 (in Washington) provide access through the Columbia River Gorge. SR 14 begins/ends in downtown Vancouver.
- 1 Vancouver station, 1301 West 11th Street. Amtrak's Vancouver station is served by the Cascades and Empire Builder lines.
- C-TRAN, Main downtown boarding area is along Broadway between 15th Ave & Evergreen, ☏ . Operates buses between Vancouver and Portland. See #By public transit for more details. $2.50 from Vanport or Parkrose Transit Centers, $3.85 express from downtown Portland.
- Greyhound, (bus stop) 1090 NW Station Way (Ticket counters at 427 NW 6th Ave and Curbside stop at 1090 NW Station Way), ☏ , toll-free: . The Portland bus station at 550 NW 6th Ave has closed and the property is up for sale. The new ticketing office is at 427 NW 6th, one block south & opposite side of 6th Ave from the old bus station while map marker is at the new curbside stop on NW Station Way, north of Union Station. Greyhound buses traveling between Portland and Seattle stop only in Tacoma, Olympia, Centralia (off exit #81) and Kelso. NO service into Vancouver, WA. Therefore, passengers would have to travel down into downtown Portland by C-Tran/Tri Met and transfer to Greyhound or another bus line to get where they're going. Prices vary depending on your destination.
- Lower Columbia CAP, 99th Street Transit Center @ NE 99th & Hazel Dell Ave off of Exit #5 along I-5, ☏ , toll-free: 1 800 383-2101. Rural public bus system to the 99th Street Transit Center (reachable by C-TRAN buses #32, 71 and 105) from Longview, Kalama, and Woodland. $2 Each Way.
By public transitEdit
In addition to routes within Clark County, C-TRAN operates express buses to downtown Portland, Lloyd Center &/or Marquam Hill (routes 105, 134, 157, 190, and 199), as well as regional service to Parkrose/Sumner MAX station (route 41 from downtown Vancouver to Fisher Landing; route 65 from Fisher Landing to NE Portland and MAX Red Line to downtown Portland or the airport) and to Delta Park/Vanport MAX Station (route 60 to N Portland from downtown Vancouver and MAX Yellow Line to downtown Portland).
Fares on C-Tran are $1.80 for trips within Clark County; $2.50 for regional service (C-Tran service to Vanport and Parkrose/Sumner MAX stations in Portland); and $3.85 for express C-Tran service to downtown Portland. Regional and express fares can be used to transfer to TriMet.
The regional Hop FastPass smartcard works on C-TRAN as well as on TriMet in Portland and can be purchased at Fred Meyer and Safeway stores in Clark County. See the Hop FastPass section under Portland for more details.
- 1 Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E 5th St, ☏ . W-Sa 10AM-5PM. 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 1920s and 1930s.
- 2 Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 612 E Reserve St, ☏ . 9AM-5PM Summer, 9AM-4PM 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, ☏ . M-Sa 9AM-5PM. 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.
- 3 Esther Short Park, W Columbia Ave & W 8th St. 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.
- [formerly dead link] 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.
- 4 Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main St, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Sa 11AM-4PM, First Fridays 5PM-9PM. Adults $5, Senior (62+) and Student $4, Youth (5-18) $3, Child under 5 free.
- 5 Vancouver Waterfront Park, 695 Waterfront Way. 5AM-10PM. Free.
- Big Al's, 16615 SE 18th St, ☏ . Big Al's is a local family entertainment center with bowling alleys, billiard tables, arcade and a sports bar & grill themed restaurant.
- Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel Rd, ☏ .
- Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), 1300 NW 139th St, ☏ .
- 1 Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main St, ☏ . Newly renovated 1930s movie theatre showing second-run movies. Grab a drink before the show in the upstairs lounge. $4+. .
- [formerly dead link] G6 Airpark, 2200 NE Andresen Rd, Ste J, ☏ . Su-Th noon-10PM F-Sa noon-midnight. Jump through an elaborate indoor trampoline park that includes an arcade, cafe, and birthday packages for children.
- 2 Alderbrook Park, 24414 NE Westerholm Rd (Take I-5 to exit #4. Travel East. Stay straight on Padden Pkwy, which becomes Ward Rd. Ward Rd becomes 182nd Ave. Turn right on 184th St, which becomes 189th St. Turn on Westerholm Rd), ☏ . 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/person.
- 3 Vancouver Lake Regional Park, 6801 NW Lower River Rd. 7AM-Dusk. Parking $3/car.
- Vancouver Farmers Market. Open March through October, Saturdays 9AM-3PM and Sunday 10AM-3PM, 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.
- 1 Vancouver Mall, 8700 NE Vancouver Mall Dr, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. The mall offers a variety of stores including large department stores such as Macy's, and JCPenney. There are over 120 stores, restaurants and specialty shops.
- Burgerville, 7401 E Mill Plain Blvd, ☏ . 7AM-11PM daily. 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 St, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-9PM, Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 4PM-9PM. 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, ☏ . 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, ☏ . 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.
- New Seasons Market - Fishers Landing, 2100b SE 164th, #101, ☏ . Local natural food supermarket chain with fantastic sandwiches and an awesome deli counter. You can choose your bread, meat/tofu pate, veggies, and spreads. Multiple locations throughout the greater Portland Metropolitan area.
- Philly Bilmos, 2100 SE 164th Ave, ☏ . An east coast style deli serving the best in cheese steaks, fettuccini, and cheesecake.
- [dead link] Thai Lotus, 16209 SE McGillivray Blvd, Ste H (Take SE 164th Ave Exit off SR-14, go North, left at SE McGillivray, located near Auto's Pub), ☏ . Truly flavorful, family-run restaurant with exotic atmosphere. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Reservations welcome. Gift certificates available.
- The Smokin' Oak Pit & Drinkery, 501 Columbia St, ☏ . Su, Tu-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM; closed earlier if sold out. Excellent Texas-style barbecue: brisket, pork, sausages, and Frito pie.
- McMenamins on the Columbia, 1801 SE Columbia River Dr, ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F-Sa 11AM-1AM. 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 St, ☏ . Just opened in 2005.
- The Heathman Lodge, 7801 NE Greenwood Dr, ☏ . The Heathman Lodge offers a mountain-like retreat.
- Red Lion Hotel - Inn at the Quay (now closed - site under redevelopment), 100 Columbia St, toll-free: . 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.
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.
- Portland Take I-5 or I-205 south (which are the only two crossings) and enjoy.
- Olympia, Tacoma, and Seattle are two to three hours north on I-5.
- 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.
|Routes through Vancouver|
|Seattle ← Kelso ←||N S||→ Portland → Eugene|
|END ← Portland ←||W E||→ Pasco → Spokane|
|Seattle ← Ridgefield ←||N S||→ Hayden Island → Portland|
|END ←||W E||→ Camas → Ends at|