A small and charming city, Vancouver may fall into the shadow of nearby Portland or Canada’s Vancouver. It’s a fabulous destination that always impresses, with compact streets filled with local markets, good restaurants, historic attractions and a number of leafy parks. These attractions see Vancouver regularly rank one of the most liveable cities in the US, and it’s long enjoyed a status as one of the country’s hidden gems. Vancouver lies on the northern side of the Columbia River that divides the states of Washington and Oregon. It’s just a few kilometres from the city of Portland and Portland International Airport.
Historic buildings have been converted into museums throughout Vancouver. Pearson Air Museum has a wonderful wooden hangar, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site celebrates the city’s origins as a fur trading post, and many of the restored 19th century homes on Officers Row are open to the public. Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods are located along the water, south of the more modern downtown area. Alderbrook Park is home to many family-focused activities while the fountains and gardens of Esther Short Park have been around since the mid 19th century.
Local buses transport visitors from Portland International Airport to destinations across Vancouver, with the most convenient central connections being at Fisher’s Landing and Parkrose stations. An extensive bus system services urban and rural areas and Vancouver Station is on multiple Amtrak train lines.
Washington’s Vancouver precedes the Canadian city of Vancouver that lies 480 kilometres north. Captain George Vancouver provided the name for both, an English explorer who charted the northwestern Pacific Coast region. Washington’s Vancouver was incorporated in 1824 and started life as a fur trading post.