Vancouver Travel Guide

  • Inside 5 guys
    Inside 5 guys
    by thecatsmeow
  • Outside view
    Outside view
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  • Inside 5 guys from entrance
    Inside 5 guys from entrance
    by thecatsmeow

Vancouver Highlights

  • Pro
    glabah profile photo

    glabah says…

     Smaller community, some items cheaper than Portland 

  • Con
    truesally profile photo

    truesally says…

     too many strip malls, tendency toward narrow-mindedness 

  • In a nutshell
    Easty profile photo

    Easty says…

     A nice clean city 

Vancouver Things to Do

  • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

    As part of the national park system, this area of Vancouver was set aside due to the significant historical role it played in the settlement of Oregon and Washington, and thus the settlement of the west.At one time, it was thought that the Columbia River would probably be the border between British territory and American territory. This fort was...

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  • Watch Artifact Preservation &...

    There are already tips written about Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, so I won't add too much to them (but you can read my tip about the place elsewhere). Vancouver was really the first English speaking settlement in the west, and therefore is of very significant historical interest. The buildings (see some photos of the fort) are almost...

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  • Frenchman's Bar Park

    Frenchman's Bar Park has a narrow, steeply sloping beach along the Columbia River. There are a number of picnic tables, and a fair part of the park property is set aside as wildlife area. There is a segment of the park dedicated to beach volley ball. Some of the rest rooms close in the off-peak season.There are frequently freighters on the river at...

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  • Pearson Air Museum

    UPDATE: There have been some political turmoil within the Pearson Air Musuem, and there are ongoing negotiations between the museum, the national historic site, and other parties. The hope is that the air museum will open again soon. However, as of this writing it is not open to the public. Please watch the web site below for updates.Located on the...

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  • Frenchman's Bar Trail (horses bike hike)

    Formerly "Vancouver Lake Trail" or multi-use trail.Heading south from the main parking area at Vancouver Lake Park, there is a paved trail for biking and walking. Soon after crossing highway 501, this trail separates into a bark dust track (best for joggers and horses) and a paved trail (best for bikes). The trail is separated from the road by a...

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  • Shillapoo Wildlife Area

    On the maps this frequently appears as a "wildlife refuge" but that is not its official name. Insead, its official name from the state of Washington is a "wildlife area". It is located to the north and west of Vancouver Lake Park and joined to that park by several routes.The area is attractive to ducks, geese and great blue heron. The smaller birds...

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  • Vancouver Waterfront Renaissance Trail

    This paved concrete trail runs along part of Vancouver's shore line with the Columbia River. Along this trail there are several restaurants, a new condominium complex, and some nice (not spectacular, but nice) views of the Columbia River and Oregon on the other side of the river.The city of Vancouver claims the trail is 4 miles long, but it seems a...

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  • Fort Vancouver - National Historic Site

    Check out Fort Vancouver and the Officers row, learn about the Hudson Bay fur trading operation and how the northwest was settled. Get some heritage seeds to plant in your garden, they are free. Watch live demonstrations throught the day, at the blacksmith shop and carpenter shop. Go on an Archeological tour.Walk or drive down officers row see the...

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  • Fort Vancouver - Outside the Fort

    When people talk about Fort Vancouver, most of the time they have in mind the wooden replica that, as much as possible, replicates the old Hudson's Bay Company outpost. However, when it was officially decided that what is now the State of Washington would be part of the USA rather than British territory, Fort Vancouver became part of a US military...

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Vancouver Hotels

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Vancouver Restaurants

  • Things are hopping at ihop

    I've never had any issues with any IHOP that I've ever visited. The restaurant in Vancouver was clean and had courteous help. They were running through customers quickly enough so that the wait wasn't long despite cars parking on the street because their parking lot was full. French toast... ;)

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  • Casual Yet Elegant Dining

    Hudson's is a very nice restaurant in the Heathman Lodge. I experienced breakfast, dinner and room service. The bar is nice. On some evenings you can listen to piano music while enjoying a glass of wine. If busy, dinner can be somewhat noisy. There are two tables near the fire place which are considered romantic by some. I stay away because that...

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  • Fresh beef burgers and hand cut fries

    This is a great place for fresh not frozen burgers and hand cut fries. They cook everything when you order it which is always a plus. When you order you tell them what you would like on your burger and they add it for free. I always go for the grilled mushrooms and grilled onions. If you order a Hamburger it is 2 beef patties and a Little Hamburger...

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  • Stunned by fried chicken!

    One of the major parts of every one of our trips is to search for great restaurants. Not just high end or food you've never seen or heard of before, but stand head and shoulders above other restaurants with similar fare or theme restaurants. I was stunned by Bill's. It is a small, regular guy, middle aged waitresses, unassuming decor with booths,...

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  • Happiest Happy Hour in town

    The food here is Pacific NW gourmet - local, in-season flavors (salmon, beef, mixed greens, berries). Portions are sized just right, leaving room for a delectable, seasonal dessert (pumpkin fritters in fall, raspberry cheesecake in summer, etc). The decor is sleek metal and smooth darker wood but not cold; the lighting is amber so it's warm, never...

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  • Funky & Filling Pizza

    We were privy to the original shop in Hillsboro and the next one in Forest Grove when we lived in Oregon - the story goes that the owner told his dad he wanted to open a great pizzeria to which the dad replied, "Pizza schmizza, why don't you get a real job?" And here we are, lucky to find them following us around the NW :)The pies are huge, with a...

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Vancouver Nightlife

  • truesally's Profile Photo

    by truesally Written Jan 2, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Make a night at the movies more interesting by having your dinner in the Living Room theater before a film, while listening to live music. The theater is arranged into individual seating areas as well as pillow pits, making for a more cozy movie-viewing experience.

    Waiters take orders until 10 minutes before the movie start-time. The food is tapas-style, with a delectable variety ranging from seafood to steak to vegetarian creations, along with tasty cheese & fruit plates. If you're somehow still hungry, the concessions offer funky fare like pizza, pastries, espresso, & popcorn with gourmet toppings.

    You can choose to eat in the dining room before retiring to the Living Room theater and take advantage of the wine bar. Their selection is vast, and the wine bar, Vinotopia, has an innovative system for wine tasting. Each patron can get a personal 'wine card' to use for their choices.

    It's a pricey evening, but definitely a different experience and worth the occasional splurge.

    Dress Code: We're Pacific Northwesterners, so dressy means GAP-wear and that is perfectly appropriate at Cinetopia.

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Arts and Culture

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Vancouver Transportation

  • Public Transit Exists, but Not...

    It is possible to get around in Vancouver, Washington by public transit, but transportation services aren't quite as good as they once were. Among other things, TriMet bus route #5 from downtown Portland has stopped operating, so there are no options of getting to downtown Vancouver using TriMet any more.Bus services in the Vancouver area are...

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  • Amtrak Service Several Times per Day

    The Vancouver Train Station is not some huge, spectacular edifice that great gobs of people flock to see. It is an older style wooden station, though it certainly has a charm much different than the huge marble, stone and brick edifices found in the larger cities.However, all trains that serve Portland, Oregon also serve the Vancouver, Washington...

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  • Summer Construction to Avoid

    Avoid traveling through the interection of SR 500 and 112th st or Gher Road, they are making a bridge for 500 to go over this intersection. You would be best off using Fourth Plain Blvd. To get to Gher road, or if you need 112th take a left on 121st, another left at NE49th St, and then a right at 112th. Construction has not yet started check the...

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Vancouver Shopping

  • astier's Profile Photo

    by astier Written Mar 20, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Play area for Children.
    Westfield Shoppingtown Vancouver presents

    Meier & Frank, Mervyn's, Nordstrom, JCPenney and Sears

    Old Navy, Gap, ect.

    140 specialty stores (approximately)

    5200 car parking spaces (approximately)

    Food Court

    What to buy: Make sure to check out the Thomas Kincade Art Gallery.

    What to pay: Be cheap and just window shop or blow it all! Remember to let them know you are out of state so you dont pay Sales Tax!

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Vancouver Warnings and Dangers

  • Don't Get Shot!!

    Vancouver Lake Park and the nearby connected wildlife refuge are great places, but keep in mind that the wildlife refuge is a popular place for hunters during certain times of the year. If you go out there, be sure to wear some bright clothing or some other item that can be visible. Don't go down some narrow little trail through the brush where...

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  • Boredom!

    I have lived in Vancouver for about 13 years of my life and I know the only warning you need is, DON'T GO THERE! I have already walked down that path and I want to save some people from making the same mistake I did. So if you find yourself in a car bound for Vancouver, Jump Out!

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  • Vancouver Hotels

    26 Hotels in Vancouver

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Vancouver What to Pack

  • Pacific Northwest - Not Always Rainy...

    An umbrella would be smart, but a jacket with a hood will work perfectly well. Sweaters year-round, decent sneakers, sandals for summertime (last part of July/first of August). Here, dressy typically means GAP-wear and casual says "I Was Cleaning My Garage Today;" we're pretty low-key people. If a place wants you to wear a tie, they'll say so up...

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  • It's rainingin Winter, Its perfect in...

    This is up to you, however in the northwest we like to pack light, minimal load full of maximum function. WINTER, FALL: Rain gear, Umbrella, pants, sweaters (not to burly), stick with tennis shoes or other protective foot gear, in sandals you'll be wet and cold. SPRING: Yuu can lighten the heaviness of the clothes but be prepared for rain....

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Vancouver Off The Beaten Path

  • Ilchee: Native American Woman Tribal...

    Located along the Vancouver riverfront trail, this statue is somewhat hidden by a condominium building and tall bushes and grasses. She was a leader of the people living along the Columbia River in this area approximately in 1800, but unfortunately there is not a large amount of information available about her. There are some who think that she was...

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  • Stewart Glen Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway...

    On the maps and documents of Vancouver, you will find this place officially referred to as "Stewart Glen Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway Park" and I am quite surprised that all that fits within a VirtualTourist title field, but it does.This small park extends from Fruit Valley Road along Burnt Bridge Creek to Hazel Dell Avenue. It contains a paved bike...

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  • ~~~ Jesus Northwest Festival ~~~

    This large Christian festival is held here (Clark County fairgrounds) during the third weekend in July, from thursday through saturday. In 2004, 29,000 people attended the festival. Famous Christian music groups and preachers perform here. A camping site is located within the premises.

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Vancouver Favorites

  • Pearson Aviation Museum - (it...

    Pearson Aviation Museum - (it is right next to the Fort). This museum has a lot of vintage aircraft and interesting history on aviation in the Portland/Vancouver area.

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  • Officer's Row at the Vancouver...

    Officer's Row at the Vancouver Barracks is very interesting if you like Victorian architecture. These were homes built for the officers base in Vancouver during the last part of the 19th century. Some of them are offices now and you can only walk around the outside but one is a restaurant and another has a function room and gift shop. The barracks...

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