Summer is here and we’re ready to help you make the most of the longer days and warmer temps in Vancouver USA! Use this bucket list as a jumping off point or turn it into your full itinerary to take all the guess work out of a fun-filled visit.
Don’t forget to check the status of your planned escape, as some businesses may still require masks and/or reservations. Find the latest pandemic-related guidelines in our city and state here.
Get outside and win big
Download our Clark County Parks & Trails pass, get outside, and explore—and be entered to win $100 to a local recreation business! (The pass is active July 1 through August 31.) Find a trail for all levels and abilities, have a picnic at the park, all while discovering PNW gems along the way. Looking for outdoor adventures that are accessible? Check out this blog post for more information! Remember to leave no trace and stay on marked trails so others can continue to enjoy the trails for years to come.
Wine your way through Downtown to the Waterfront
Vancouver USA is fortunate enough to have multiple wineries that call the area home. Head downtown and to the waterfront to find eight (soon to be 10!) tasting rooms within walking distance of one another, with plenty of public art scattered along the way to make the walk even more beautiful. Make it a whole day of tastings or grab a bottle to go. Bonus: We found the best pizza & wine pairings to turn your SW Washington wine adventure up a level.
DOWNTOWN WINERIES: Burnt Bridge Cellars, SuLei Cellars
WATERFRONT WINERIES: Brian Carter Cellars, Pepper Bridge Winery & Amavi Cellars, Airfield Estates, Maryhill Winery, Barnard Griffin Winery, and Valo Cellars & Massalto Wine. Keep an eye out later this year for Evoke Wine Bar and Willamette Valley Vineyards.
Work on your Brewcouver passport while enjoying a locally crafted beer on the patio
Whether it’s experiencing the first self-serve beer wall in the Portland area at Barlows Public House, or finding food cart pods outside Trap Door Brewing and Brothers Cascadia to pair with your pint, Vancouver has it all when it comes to quality craft beer that earned the nickname Brewcouver. Grab a passport at any participating brewery, then work your way through the city, one craft brew at a time. Use our Downtown Tap Trek blog post to get you started or find breweries with patios here.
Experience the historic Fort Vancouver gardens in full bloom
Step back in time and experience heirloom plants and floral blooms as you roam the historic reserve. Make time to explore inside the walls of the reconstructed Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum* while you’re there. Walk along Officers Row and head downtown after you’ve worked up an appetite to enjoy some delicious grub from Slow Fox Chili in the Columbia Food Park outdoor dining area.
*Pearson Air Museum is temporarily closed while installing a new exhibit and will reopen in July. Check their website for updates.
Spend an Instagram-worthy day at a historic mill & end with a sunset picnic at the lake
Opening back up July 10 for select hours on the weekends, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill offers picturesque views waiting to be perfectly captured while you explore the historic structure and beautiful forested grounds. Once you’ve snapped the perfect pic for the ‘Gram, head farther out to Lake Merwin to enjoy a picnic and sunset on the beach. Plan ahead and pack a picnic with takeout from La Provence or Airfield Wines.
Go on a downtown mural tour then take your turn being the artist
Grab a map, some comfortable walking shoes, and head downtown. Fuel up with sweet or savory crepes at Mon Ami, then find colorful larger-than-life murals throughout the downtown core, as well as public art installations to catch your attention. End your day by putting yourself in the artist seat and color your own versions using our free mural coloring book download!
Make time for a movie at a historic theater
Head to Kiggins Theatre to watch anything from blockbuster new releases to classic films or get dressed up and participate in a live production of Rocky Horror Picture Show the last Saturday of each month! Complete the evening with dinner and drinks at Vancouver’s only underground speakeasy, Underbar, or grab a night cap at The Grocery Cocktail & Social.
Make Vancouver USA your home base & head out on a day trip to Mount St. Helens
Book a weekend hotel stay in Vancouver, WA, then find yourself in the shadow of the infamous volcano within an hour and a half drive of downtown Vancouver. While the visitor center is temporarily closed, you can still access Coldwater Lake and family-friendly hiking spots like Hummocks Trail. Stop at ilani on your way back to The Couve for casino gaming, delicious food and drinks, and live entertainment.
Celebrate the return of in-person events
From Ridgefield Raptors home games and 4 Days of Aloha to the ilani BrewFest and Friday Night Movies in the Park, we’ve got the inside scoop on the must-attend events happening this summer. Missing concerts? Check out ilani’s line-up and Sunlight Supply’s event calendar.
Take the trail less traveled & experience a lesser-known hike while soaking up all the beauty SW WA has to offer
Drive a few miles north to Whipple Creek Park for an escape into 300+ acres of forested land with more than four miles of dirt trails, or try Lewisville Regional Park with wide open fields that border the East Fork Lewis River. For more of a challenge, head east to The Columbia River Gorge to access longer hikes like Hamilton Mountain and Cape Horn. Be sure to check the status of each hike before leaving, and remember to recreate responsibly.
Dive into a local swimming hole or rent a paddle board & spend the day on the water
Cool down with a dip in a local swimming hole and end the day with a cold treat. Not feeling like braving the chilly water? Head to Lacamas Lake and rent a paddle board from Sweetwater SUP Rentals (you may still get wet!) or rent a kayak from Peach Beach Rentals.
Hop on a Zoot Scoot & explore downtown in a new and exciting way
Zoot Scoot in downtown Vancouver USA offers hourly and day rentals of their big wheel electric scooters. Zip around downtown to the Waterfront for a unique and fun way to spend an afternoon exploring.
Go on a cookie crawl through downtown
Who says crawls have to involve pubs? Spend the day working your way from Uptown to the Waterfront while enjoying sweet treats along the way. Start with Simply Sweets (insider tip: cupcake BOGO happy hour goes from 2 to 3 p.m.!), work your way south to Bleu Door Bakery, Sugar and Salt, and Treat (note: they are currently requiring pre-orders). Work off some of the sugar with a stroll through the oldest public square in the state of Washington, Esther Short Park.
Let your taste buds travel from South America to Europe without ever leaving Vancouver
Find authentic cuisine from all around the globe in the International District. Take a mural and food tour through the Fourth Plain Corridor with our itinerary or use it as a starting point to create your own foodie-venture. Looking for upscale flavors beyond Fourth Plain? Try recently-opened SAAP Fusion Kitchen for a mix of Asian and Latin tastes or DosAlas Latin Kitchen & Tequila Bar for fine, small plate dining with unbeatable views of the Grant Street Pier and the Columbia River.
Check out one (or all) of the local markets
We have a different market for almost every day of the week throughout Clark County. Find the one nearest your hotel and stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, flowers, artisan goods, and more. Celebrate the return of the in-person Night Market Vancouver or check out their sister store NMV Pop-Local. New to the scene, The Downtown Alley Flea Market hosted by Kindred Homestead Supply occurs every first Saturday through September.