Venerable Vancouver got its start in 1824 and, thanks to its advantageous location on the Columbia River, soon became a center of the Pacific Northwest's fur trade. Nearly 200 years later, its industrial riverfront has been given a welcome makeover and reopened to the public, providing one more reason to visit the city just north of Portland.
Sights and Events
A quick stroll from Main Street, the seven-acre Waterfront Park—part of a $1.5 billion, 32-acre renewal project—allows public access to the Columbia from Vancouver for the first time since the 1850s. Held aloft by soaring cables, the V-shaped Grant Street Pier offers spectacular views of the water, the occasional passing stern-wheeler, and the century-old steel-truss Interstate Bridge nearby.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, where the first explorers from the Hudson's Bay Company settled in the 1820s, is a lovely place to walk on a brisk sunny day (and offers handy shelters when it rains). Tour former military residences along tree-lined Officers Row, explore a fullscale replica fort, and visit re-creations of the rustic living quarters used by trappers and traders. Make reservations online for an evening lantern tour with living history demos. 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd.