First, let us offer a warm and heartfelt WELCOME! Congratulations on the move and we hope you love Vancouver, WA just as much as we do. Our local community has grown significantly over the past several years and we can see why. Located just over the river from Portland, Vancouver is ideally located for residents who want the benefits of living near a major city, but with the community feel of a suburb. Here in Vancouver we also benefit from some key tax advantages, including no income tax in Washington and no sales tax in Oregon (so, get your holiday shopping done on the other side of the river this year!). We are far from a sleepy small town and there is lots to do and see once you’ve moved here. Some quick googles of “best ___ in Vancouver” will get you to some great spots, but below we’ve broken down some of our favorite must-see spots and things to know from a local’s perspective.

Resources For New Residents

Key Vancouver, WA Phone Numbers & Services

As a new resident of Vancouver, you’ll want to identify and record all the important contact information for local emergency numbers, utilities, and services. We’ve detailed a few of the community-wide numbers below. You’ll also want to note down the nearest hospital, dentist, vet, locksmith, etc . that may be specifically relevant to you and your family. We’ve put together a handy DOWNLOADABLE EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST that you can fill out and print in an easily visible space in your home

      • Vancouver Police Department (Non-Emergency) – (360) 693-3111
      • Vancouver Fire Department (Non-Emergency) – (360) 487-7212
      • Mayor & City Counsel – (360) 487-8629
      • Garbage & Recycling Services – 360-487-7160 |
      • Animal Control – (564) 397 – 2488
      • Southwest Washington Humane Society – (360) 693-4746
      • Animal Poison Control Hotline – (888) 426-4435
      • Poison Control – (800) 222-1222

School Districts & Education

One of the major draws to Vancouver, WA is our fantastic public schools and wide variety of school choice. For a thorough guide to school districts in Vancouver, check out our recent blog: Our Complete Breakdown of School Districts In Vancouver, WA. We are proud to say that Clark County has one of the highest concentrations of top-ranked public schools in Washington, ensuring that every student will have ample access to the right education to help them succeed.

Real Estate & Housing Services

Whether you’ve recently purchased a home with Go With Ro, or are just meeting us through this blog, we’re honored to serve you! As a four-time Best of Clark County award-winning Real Estate team with over 22 years of experience and hundreds of five-star reviews, we work tirelessly to ensure flawless service for every client. We aim to form lasting relationships with our community, so if you’re new to the area, drop us a line! We’d be happy to connect you with our trusted contractors who can help you with all of your housing needs. Call or email our lead broker and team leader, Rowena Lusby at (360) 909 – 6399 or

Food & Drink In Vancouver, WA

Foodies are in luck when moving to Vancouver, WA as we have a wide variety of top-notch local restaurants and fast food locations. There is also no shortage of spots to grab a drink whether your beverage of choice is a local craft beer, an expertly mixed cocktail, or a perfectly brewed coffee.

Vancouver Waterfront

A must for any resident of Clark County is to spend a day enjoying the beautiful and newly renovated waterfront, which overlooks the Columbian River. There are fantastic dining options for any meal of the day all along the water. Some favorite dinner options include The Cove (amazing seafood with an unbeatable view), Beaches (casual American fare with a fantastic charitable business model), and Twigs Bistro (perfect for a special night out). If you’re craving something sweet after dinner, stop by The Yard Milkshake Bar for the most decadent milkshake you’ve ever had. Or, if you’d rather find an ideal spot to sip a drink and enjoy the view, try Mayhill Winery Tasting Room or belly up to the bar at Waterfront Taphouse. The waterfront was unveiled in 2012 and they are still adding new businesses and features every year.

Downtown Vancouver

Over the past several years, downtown Vancouver has blossomed with amazing local restaurants and nightlife. There are too many highlights to summarize in one blog, but a great way to get to know the area is to go down on the first Friday of the month for the Vancouver Downtown Association’s monthly “First Friday” event. During this event, businesses and restaurants will host pop-ups, live music, and a local art walk on specially closed streets.

Beyond First Friday, some must-try’s to add to your list are Hungry/Thirsty Sasquatch (craft cocktails, pizza, and pinball – An idyllic trio if you ask us), Amaros’ Table (fantastic food and cocktails), and La Bottega (family-owned business that’s a must for Italian food and wine).

We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention our award-winning farmers market which takes place every Saturday in Esther Short Park during warm months. We’re fortunate to be located near large farming communities, making it incredibly easy to access extremely fresh produce, meats, and other locally-grown products. In fact, there are so many farmers markets in Clark County that there’s a different market for nearly every day of the week across all our different neighborhoods.

Local Coffee Favorites

 If you haven’t spent much time in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll quickly learn that we love our coffee. One of our top recommendations for new residents is to skip the big coffee chains and explore some of our countless local cafes and coffee shops.

In no particular order, some favorites of our team are:


Recreation & Activities in Vancouver, WA

Nature Adventures

One of the best parts of living in Vancouver is the abundance of spectacular nature destinations right at your fingertips. Whether you’re looking for a day hike or weekend adventure, our beautiful Pacific Northwest landscape is sure to deliver. A great place to start exploring our area is browsing the blog at which has lots of great lists of seasonal nature adventures, including where to see Spring wildflower blooms and Fall foliage or even just local dog-friendly outdoor excursions.

First on your list of un-missable local attractions should be The Columbia River Gorge. Take a scenic drive to catch all the incredible views and waterfalls, or try one of the countless hikes to get an even better vantage point (Angel’s Rest is one of our favorite hikes in the area!). Another top nearby destination is Mt. St. Helens which has lots of different family-friendly activities and hikes to enjoy. The history of this remarkable active volcano and its beautiful views make it well worth the roughly hour-long drive to see it.

We also recommend carving out a weekend in any season to explore Mt. Hood and Hood River. Be sure to take a spin around the local wineries and fruit stands in their famous “Fruit Loop” while you’re there.

For a lighter outdoor adventure, stop by WSU Vancouver and walk along the trails on campus. They’re paved and easily accessible for a wide range of mobility levels and still feature stunning mountain views.

Wherever you choose to get out and explore, be sure to bring rain gear! With an average of about 154 days of rain a year, the Pacific Northwest is one of the rainiest spots in the US. It allows us to have some of the most beautiful flora and fauna in the country, but can certainly put a damper on any outdoor adventure (forgive us for the pun).

Unique In-Town Activities

If you’re looking for something to do on one of those aforementioned rainy days (or if hauling up the side of a mountain isn’t your idea of relaxing) then Vancouver has lots of indoor activities to explore and enjoy.

For some unique shopping, stop by Birdhouse Books which specializes in vintage and hard-to-find books. It’s a fantastic cozy spot that offers writing workshops, art nights, and poetry shows.

Live Laugh Love Art is a locally owned business perfect for outings for any age group, with a variety of art-making classes and events. They offer glass fusing workshops in addition to painting classes, group bookings, and more. Check out their website for a full calendar of upcoming events!

If you’re interested in learning about the rich history of our town (we are one of the oldest towns on the West coast and an important stop on Lewis and Clark’s fated journey!) there is no shortage of museums and historical landmarks to visit. Fort Vancouver Historic Site is a 19th-century fur trading post and military stronghold that stands today and offers tours and events within its grounds. You can also learn about our town’s history in early flight and view vintage aircraft at Pearson Field and Air Museum, which is a part of Fort Vancouver. Another top spot to steep yourself in local history is the award-winning Clark County Historical Museum, which is known for its engaging Speaker Series, History on Tap events, and summer downtown walking tours which feature rotating content ranging from garden explorations to top haunted local features.

Other favorite local activities of ours include catching a movie at the historic Kiggins Theatre, signing up for an open climb at Source Climbing Gym or The Hive Climbing Gym, or dropping by Trivia Night on Monday nights at The Hungry Sasquatch.

Overall, we are very excited to have you join our community. We hope you explore and enjoy the spots we’ve listed above and carve out your own favorites! Vancouver is a place full of outdoor adventure, good food, incredible schools, and your NEW home.





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