Columbia River Gorge
Things to Do
Vancouver Farmer’s Market at Esther Short Park – Photo Op!! Recommended by a local!
Every weekend, the streets West of Esther Short Park are blocked off for Vancouver’s Farmer’s Market. Local vendors and artisans will woo you with homemade donuts, lavender body butter, fresh produce and so much more. Plus Esther Short Park is often home to summer events. Watch the clock tower on the hour, and maybe get your feet wet in the large fountain!
Fort Vancouver Visitor Center
Tours start here, but it’s also a great orientation for all the sites on the campus. View a 22-minute film about the history of the region, and explore the historical displays and memorabilia.
*Fort Vancouver – Photo Op!!
See history brought to life! Much of the original Fort has been restored from maps that showed the original locations of buildings like the bakehouse, trade shop, the blacksmith shop (still in operation), wash house, kitchen, fur warehouse, counting house, jail, and more. Open Monday thru Saturday, 9am-4pm, and noon-4pm on Sundays.
*Pearson Field Education Center (formerly Pearson Air Museum) – Photo Op!!
As an extension of Fort Vancouver, the Pearson Center honors another army-era of Fort Vancouver. At the turn of the century, the Fort became an Army Air Corps base (you’ll probably pass the barracks on your way).
Cathlapotle Plankhouse at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge – Photo Op!! Recommended by a local!
The Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge is a great place to spend an afternoon. Get ‘lost’ on a long walk. While exploring, you’ll find the plankhouse, which is a full-scale Chinookan Plankhouse. The refuge is home to the remains of a Chinook town called Cathlapotle. The plankhouse is open from Noon to 4 pm on the weekends.
Columbia River Waterfront Trail and Renaissance Park
Just have a couple hours to stretch your legs? Take a walk through downtown, along the waterfront, past many historical sights. The entire proposed trail is 5 miles, but there are shorter paths.
Places to Eat
Burgerville $$ Recommended by a local!
Founded in downtown Vancouver in the 1960s, this local ‘quick-service’ restaurant has expanded to 40 locations in Washington and Oregon. The focus has become local sustainability, with beef, eggs, salad, hazelnuts, berries, onions, and so much more coming from right here in the Pacific Northwest. Check out what’s in season: strawberry shortcakes, blackberry lemonade, or Walla Walla sweet onion rings!
Thai Orchid $$ Recommended by a local!
Downtown, the Thai Orchid has taken hold as a favorite for fresh and healthy food. The fresh sushi is popular among locals. Open daily from 11:30am-10pm.
Ice Cream Renaissance $
Proudly serving the best homemade ice cream in Vancouver, Ice Cream Renaissance has become a destination all its own. Try some ice cream therapy after a long busy week, or just indulge in the addicting flavors of ice cream. Open daily from 12pm-9pm, later on, weekends.
This new, locally-owned restaurant serves farm-to-table dinner made over a wood-fired oven and grill. Try an artisanal cocktail to accompany your meal.
Open daily from 11am-10pm.
Mint Tea $$ Recommended by a local!
In a renovated building on Main St., you’ll find the colorful building that is home to Mint Tea. The menu is international but locally sourced. Try tea from around the world, enjoy the eclectic atmosphere, and relax with good food and good friends. Make sure you browse the rooms for fair-trade art and artisan goods from around the world. Great vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Open weeknights from 9:30am-5pm, weekends from 9am-4pm.