For more than a century, the Portland Rose Festival has attracted visitors near and far to celebrate the city’s history and culture with flagship events like the Grand Floral Parade and Fleet Week. While the two-week long celebration is rooted in tradition, we invite you to explore something new during your stay in the region: the north shore of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

This year, for the 116th Grand Floral Parade, there is an added connection with the City of Roses, as The Couve sends its first parade float in a few decades named “With Love, Vancouver.” According to the Clark County Historical Museum's researcher Samantha Smith and Columbian newspaper records, the 1960 took home the coveted grand sweepstakes award for its Spanish bull themed décor. From Portland’s northern neighbor, this year's float is adorned with large scale apples, locally farmed florals, and foliage from our own backyard.

Vancouver Rose Parade float

Staying in Vancouver

If you haven’t been to Washington’s Vancouver in the past five years, it will look nothing like you remembered. From the waterfront development to colorful murals along the Fourth Plain international corridor and downtown, the city has grown up in many ways, while maintaining its welcoming and friendly feeling. The “Brewcouver” craft beer scene has blossomed (some may say rivaling Portland’s revered beer mecca), and coffee roasters and restauranteurs have planted roots on this side of the river.

Hotel Indigo

Grand Floral Parade Hotels

After enjoying the fun festivities, escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Portland with a serene stay on the Vancouver Waterfront. Boasting riverfront views and several restaurants and wine tasting rooms within a few blocks, Hotel Indigo and the AC Hotel Marriott offer luxurious, yet approachable accommodations less than eight miles away from the parade route.

Keep the city vibes going in a more quaint atmosphere at the Hilton Vancouver WA in the heart of downtown, across from Esther Short Park—the oldest public square in the Northwest. More budget-friendly downtown lodging options include the Comfort Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and Econo Lodge. Hilton Vancouver WA, Comfort Inn & Suites, and Homewood Suites by Hilton all have pools on-site, and the latter two also offer complimentary breakfast.

Vancouver Waterfront

Family-friendly Perks

After catching candy and cheering on the floats and marching bands, bring the kids across the river for safe activities and good eats. Find the Headwaters Wall water feature at the waterfront with a fish ‘n’ chips walk-up window nearby, as well as gourmet milkshake creations. Explore Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the Pearson Air Museum (free admission) for a fun learning experience a half mile from downtown. Plus, get outside for a carefree walk at one of the city’s 90 parks and find accessible playgrounds sure to bring enjoyment to all.

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When you’re planning your trip this May and June, consider Vancouver as your base camp, just a 15-minute Uber ride away from the Grand Floral Parade. We’re close to everything, but far from typical.