Whether you're into nude beaches, casual strolls with coffee, or shopping local produce and native-caught fish, places to visit on a day off are just a short drive from Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR.
This is such a little natural, hidden gem including 2 miles of trails and 2 lakes, off the Old Evergreen Highway right in the center of Vancouver. Go there to enjoy a picnic or nature walk. It has total summer camp vibes, with so much to learn and explore, and includes 100 acres of lush, forested green space, plus a trout hatchery! Distance to Vancouver - None!
Moulton Falls Bridge
You’ve probably seen images of this iconic footbridge over the Lewis River in your Vancouver research. It’s an easy out-and-back hiking trail, with divergent routes to waterfalls (look out for Lucia Falls and Big Tree Falls). Avoid crowds by going early in the morning. Distance from Vancouver - 40 minutes
Kelly Point Park (Portland)
Enjoy a paved loop for a walk or bike ride and drop down trails in a number of areas to the river’s edge, where you can let your dogs run and soak up a little sun watching ships go by. Located where the Willamette and Columbia Rivers merge, it feels a little remote driving there but it’s a somewhat hidden beautiful sandy beach with plenty of shade from towering trees. Distance from Vancouver - 20 minutes
Sauvie Island (Portland)
From a nude beach, to U-pick fruit and berries, to pumpkin patches and corn mazes in the fall, there is something for everyone during every season in Sauvie Island. I love Bella Organic Farm which offers an indoor “farmers market” open daily to get local organic produce and goods. Distance from Vancouver - 30 minutes
Vista House (Multnomah County)
Vista House is a historical museum at Crown Point along the Columbia Gorge on the Oregon side, with gorgeous and accessible panoramic views of the Columbia River. If you can make it at sunset on your way back from a hike deeper in the Gorge, the reflection on the river is stunning. Check hours if you want to go inside for your history lesson. Distance from Vancouver - 40 minutes
Waterfront Renaissance Trail
A 5-mile paved trail along the waterfront in Vancouver, from Wintler Park all the way to the Kaiser Viewing Tower. You can start in the center, by parking and grabbing a coffee at Savona, and head either right or left, depending on how far you want to go. This is also the most direct access to the tiny, “Surprise Beach.” Distance from Vancouver - None!
Bridge of the Gods
A toll bridge over the Columbia River in Cascade Locks connecting Washington and Oregon, east of the 205. Observe the phenomenal views, and check out the fruit stands under the bridge, as well as the Umatilla tribal member-owned Brigham Fish Market that sells fresh Columbia River-caught salmon and other fish in season throughout the year. For more information about buying fresh Indian-caught salmon in season, visit the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) website at www.critfc.org. Distance from Vancouver - 50 minutes
If you're visiting during summertime, check out the top River Floats in the area, and if you need to feast after your adventures we've got some great restaurants in Vancouver!