Sitting on the north bank of the Columbia River in the state of Washington is the city of Vancouver. With a population of 172,000, this Washington city is the largest suburb of Portland, Oregon. Vancouver shares its name with the nearby and much more widely known Canadian Vancouver. To avoid confusion, the younger population including those who live in the surrounding areas like Portland refer to Vancouver, Washington, as The 'Couve.
The scenery in Vancouver can’t be beat, and this city has blended nature with urban development. The views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood are breathtaking, and just one of the reasons why Vancouver has topped lists of best places to live and best places to retire in recent years. It doesn’t hurt that there is no income tax in Vancouver, and no sales tax in Portland, located just minutes away.
Similar to other Pacific Northwest cities, Vancouver puts coffee on a pedestal, so make sure to study up on all the different ways to order your morning Cup of Joe before coming here. In 2013, locals began referring to their city as Vansterdam after the state legalized the use of marijuana. But make sure to follow the rules to avoid steep fines!
The arts and culture abound in Vancouver, and on the first Friday of every month residents can visit the many galleries throughout the city. During the summer months, check out the city’s Destination Downtown Noon concerts and the Six to Sunset concerts, which feature local and nationally touring bands.
People in Vancouver embrace weather and never let a few raindrops deter them from their daily activities. You will rarely see anyone using an umbrella — just pull up your hood and off you go!
Mountain biking is taken very seriously in The 'Couve and there are 14 popular biking trails located in the area. Head over to Uptown Village where you will find boutiques, bars and trendy restaurants.
Originally settled as a fur trading post, Vancouver has reinvented itself and now boasts numerous opportunities in high tech manufacturing, telecommunications and software.
The median home value in Vancouver is $305,800. The Shumway neighborhood is near the downtown and Uptown Village, with shopping and restaurants within walking distance. The Lake Shore neighborhood is four miles north of city center and has a nice mixture of natural beauty and city conveniences and excellent schools.
If the idea of a growing, affordable Pacific Northwest city appeals to you, Vancouver, Washington, is worth taking a look at.