Vancouver is the largest city in Clark County, Washington, covering 49.86 square miles and over 174,000 residents.
Vancouver is officially considered a suburb of Portland, Oregon, despite all efforts to make a name for itself.
Whether you just moved into the area or you’ve been a lifelong resident, this local guide will make sure you’re up-to-date on all the best parts of Vancouver, WA.
Table of Contents
A Direct Guide
Direct Plumbing provides plumbing service to hundreds of homes and apartments in Vancouver every year. From leak repairs to water heaters, and home repipes to remodeling projects, we love our connection to the city of Vancouver and all our friends and neighbors here.
Vancouver has a broad variety of neighborhoods. Each has charm all its own.
If there is a part of Vancouver that earns its connection to Portland, it’s Downtown. From the century-old buildings mixed in with shining new architecture, to the neighborhoods of houses from the ’20s inhabited by hipsters in their 20s, one could be forgiven for seeing similarities to Portland’s Alberta Street.
Just north of Downtown you’ll find the trendy neighborhood of Uptown Village. Continuing the blending of old and new, Uptown Village is easily walkable and can feel simultaneously old-fashioned and new-school.
Contrasted against Downtown and Uptown Village, the Vancouver Waterfront is very modern and stylish. The Waterfront’s main attractions are yet to come, including a massive “floating” pier overhanging the Columbia River. The first Waterfront buildings are slated to open sometime in 2018.
East Vancouver is a classic modern suburbia, filled with residential subdivisions, commercial shopping centers, and plenty of corporate offices. It’s easy access to the Portland International Airport makes it a popular location for those who travel often. The city of Camas is just a few minutes away.
Awards & Recognition
Vancouver may not make national headlines often, but there’s no shortage of praise for the area. These are just a few of the many awards Vancouver has earned.
Most Hipster City in America
According to WalletHub, Vancouver was the Most Hipster City in the US in 2017. We even beat Portlandia. Read the full article here
Top 20 Romantic Cities
Amazon ranks US cities based on purchases of romantic books, movies, music, and… other romantic products. Vancouver has made the list for 7 years in a row, most recently in 2017.
Best Places To Raise A Family
WalletHub rated US cities based on the quality of family living. 2017 was Vancouver’s second appearance on the list.
Best Places to Retire
Forbes Magazine listed Vancouver, WA as one of four best places to retire on the West Coast.
Happiest Cities in America
BestLife ranked Vancouver 39th happiest city in America in 2017. We’re not sure whether that’s a compliment or an insult, especially since we ranked below some city named Yonkers.
See the full list of awards & recognition on the City of Vancouver website.
How to get along with the locals in Vancouver.
Don’t use an umbrella
It may seem strange considering it’s only sunny 30% of the year, but a true Vancouverite won’t be caught dead with an umbrella. Don’t worry though; although it rains, it rarely pours.
We may not be as polite as our Canadian counterparts, but here in The ‘Couve we have our own brand of cool civility. Whether it’s holding a door or letting you merge, you’ll find there is a definite standard of politeness which we expect everyone to maintain… and if you don’t, we will give you a mean side-eye.
Whether you just arrived on vacation or you’ve lived here your whole life, you might notice that people in Vancouver don’t pay much attention to you. It’s not you; we just don’t want to inconvenience you with the effort of eye contact.
These are some of the top spots to meet new people and find what you’re looking for.
The Vancouver Tech Project is a great place to meet the growing tech community. Their Meetup.com group has over one thousand members, and they host several events every month.
Nightlife in the ‘Couve
Vancouver has a reputation of being a sleepy city, but the Nightlife in the ‘Couve Meetup group is out to change that. With over 1,200 members and several events per month, this is the ideal group for late-nighters.
If there’s ever a moment when Vancouver isn’t exciting enough, Portland is just minutes away.
The Vancouver Rocks group
If you like life to be a never-ending treasure hunt, then Vancouver “Rocks!” is the Facebook group for you. The group has over 37,000 members (!) and is one of the most active local groups on Facebook. Learn more and join the hunt here.
Unlike other local cities, Vancouver doesn’t have an active local Facebook group. Instead, one of the best places to connect with Vancouverites is the Vancouver WA subreddit. With over 4,000 subscribers, it’s a popular place to ask and answer questions about the city.