Often confused with the Canadian city of the same name, Vancouver, Washington, is the fourth-largest and most southwestern city in the state. Vancouver hugs the north shore of the Columbia River across from Portland, Oregon. Vancouver event venues reflect a city proud of its roots: In the past several years, the city has been designated as a Preserve America Community for its preservation of cultural and natural heritage resources.
Downtown Vancouver is a 15-minute drive from Portland International Airport (PDX), which is served by 16 major airlines. There are more than 75 nonstop destinations from PDX, including international cities such as Amsterdam and Tokyo. PDX has been named the No. 1 domestic airport by Travel + Leisure for six consecutive years.
Convention venues in Vancouver include the Vancouver Convention Center, which provides 30,000 square feet of function space on the south end of the 226-room Hilton Vancouver Washington (which was the first hotel in the world to attain both LEED and Green Seal certification). The city's other sizable facility is the 100,000-square-foot Clark County Event Center, with options ranging from banquet seating for 700 people to theater seating for over 10,000. Hotel venues include the 182-room Heathman Lodge, a Northwest-inspired mountain lodge with 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
Vancouver's non-hotel meeting and special event sites range from a LEED Gold-certified, state-of-the-art library, which features a deck overlooking the Columbia River, to a spate of historic venues at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Among the options on the site's grounds: a reception for 500 with a backdrop of vintage planes at Pearson Air Museum and a gathering for up to 150 in the renovated Artillery Barracks, which feature white oak hardwood floors and a restored tin ceiling.
City spaces include downtown's 5-acre Esther Short Park, which accommodates up to 9,000 people, and Vancouver Landing, an outdoor amphitheater located on the Columbia River.
Vancouver's constantly evolving downtown has continued to grow and revitalize. Most recently, a $1.5 billion development at the Waterfront Vancouver has brought a wealth of cultural and recreational experiences for visitors to explore, as well as shopping and dining options. The 90-foot, cable-stay Grant Street Pier and the new 7.3-acre Waterfront Park add to the fresh identity of the city.
The craft beverage community in Clark County sees rapid growth each year as well, with more than 40 breweries and taprooms and 26 wineries and tasting rooms to showcase local talent. Quality coffee houses, boutique retail shops, an indoor rock-climbing facility, and more complement the thriving downtown core of businesses. Among the many dining options is Grays Restaurant, which is located in the Hilton and features regional favorites in its newly renovated space and on its outdoor patio. Amaro's Table brings a modern American dining experience to downtown, and The Grocery Cocktail & Social wows with unique handcrafted cocktails.
On the east side of Vancouver, The Mill shopping center has attracted renowned Portland chefs to start new ventures on the other side of the river, with Rally Pizza and Smokehouse Provisions. The 192nd corridor on the edge of neighboring Camas has attracted premier wine shops, upscale Northwest cuisine, and taphouses for a variety of outing options.
Group activities in Vancouver include historical tours through the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and Pearson Air Museum, hikes on the beautiful Columbia River Gorge just east of Vancouver (with a stop at the Pendleton Woolen Mill), and rides on the pedal-powered Couve Cycle for a taste of local craft brews.