Vancouver lies just a stone’s skip across the Columbia River from its big sister, Portland, Oregon. But don’t confuse its proximity to a larger city for an aspiration to be one itself—Vancouver sports a personality all its own, the defining characteristic of which is good old-fashioned fun.
The entertainment doesn’t get more classic than at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, which was once the region’s hub of commerce and trade. From historic reenactments and vintage baseball games to campfires and the region’s largest Fourth of July fireworks show, there’s always something going on at the park. But there’s plenty of room for more modern amusements, too.
The adjacent Pearson Air Museum—the oldest operating airfield in the U.S.—showcases vintage World War I and II aircraft. Just a few blocks away, families also flock to Marshall Park, a 19-acre green space with a giant children’s play area, community gardens, and a loop trail for strolling.
But the town’s crown jewel is certainly Esther Short Park. The oldest public park in the state, this five-acre community space dates back to 1853 but boasts plenty of recent updates, such as a glockenspiel that plays five times a day—more often than not signaling any number of public events and concerts for all to enjoy.
Learn more about all there is to see and do in Vancouver USA.
—John Patrick Pullen