Move over, Portland. Vancouver is making a name for itself as one of the coolest places to live in the PNW.
Commonly celebrated as “the most hipster city in the US,” Vancouver is a treasure box of microbreweries, tattoo parlors, beautiful parks, great food and coffee, and charming small-town neighborhoods.
If you’re visiting or new to the area and looking for the best experience in “The ‘Couve,” you need to go where the locals go.
Vancouver Hot Spots Overview
26 things to do and places to go in The ‘Couve
- Wild Fern
- Vancouver Mall
- Uptown Village
- Vancouver Farmers Market
- Chuck’s Produce
- Mack Shack
- Mighty Bowl
- Twigs Bistro
- WildFin American Grill
- Little Conejo
- Nom Nom
- The Thirsty Sasquatch
- Low Bar
- Heathen Brewing Feral Public House
- The Grocery Cocktail and Social
- Golden Cup Coffee
- Presso Coffee Kitchen
- River Maiden
- Savona Coffee House
- Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters
- Vancouver Lake
- The Columbia River Renaissance Trail
- Silver Star Mountain
- Cape Horn Trail
- Moulton Falls Regional Park
Where to shop
Vancouver is so close to Portland that virtually no store is too far out of reach. But you don’t need to venture too far to find some of the area’s best shopping. From thriving locally-owned boutiques and specialty stores (like the inspiring Wild Fern) to charming and robust shopping centers, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a shop-till-you-drop excursion, be sure to visit the Vancouver Mall, featuring over 140 stores, including a movie theater and lots of dining options. For a more local and eclectic shopping experience, venture to the heart of Vancouver and explore the many local shopping options in Uptown Village.
Delicious places to grab a bite
Like their Portland neighbors, Vancouver locals love a good food truck. You’ll definitely need to try a gourmet sandwich from Stanwich, a breakfast burrito at the Mack Shack, and a fresh and healthy meal from Mighty Bowl.
Vancouver also features some great fine dining experiences. Tourists and locals alike flock to Twigs Bistro and WildFin American Grill. And for something in between casual and fancy, visit Little Conejo — a delicious taco shop in downtown Vancouver. Or grab some topnotch Vietnamese and Thai food from the crowd-favorite, Nom Nom.
Best spots to enjoy a drink
Beer, wine, and spirits are flowing in Vancouver. There’s no shortage of microbreweries, lovely tasting rooms, and fun happy hour spots. Take your pick!
The Thirsty Sasquatch is a big favorite among locals and visitors alike. Their cozy taproom in Uptown Village offers more than two dozen craft beers and ciders along with locally-produced wine and spirits. During warmer months, their patio is a great place to spend a weekend afternoon or grab a drink after a long day.
Low Bar is a chill hangout spot with locally-sourced comfort food and great craft cocktails & beer. Heathen Brewing Feral Public House features a huge patio and outside bar and 56 taps. And The Grocery Cocktail and Social is a casual cocktail lounge that’s perfect for hanging out with friends after a long day.
Top choices for a caffeine pick-me-up
Like many Pacific Northwest cities, Vancouver likes its coffee. It’s even been named the No. 2 coffee city in the country.
Needless to say, if you’re jonesing for a cup of joe, you’ll find plenty of options throughout Vancouver. Try a matcha latte or pour over at Golden Cup Coffee, or head to Presso Coffee Kitchen. Raspberry mocha and avocado toast anyone?!
Fun outdoor adventures for a nice day
Located on the banks of the Columbia River and surrounded by world-class mountain peaks, Vancouver is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. Even on a cloudy day, you’ll find swarms of locals hiking or enjoying many parks and outdoor landscapes.
Your options for an outdoor activity are virtually endless. Mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, picnicking — take your choice!
Vancouver Lake is a 190-acre regional park that’s especially popular for families in the summer. The Columbia River Renaissance Trail’s 5-mile stretch along the waterfront is a popular route for running, biking, or strolling with a view.
For those who want to venture a bit out of the city for a hike, Silver Star Mountain and Cape Horn Trail are very popular trails with beautiful views. Or if you want to stick closer to home, visit Moulton Falls Regional Park for an excursion and some lovely waterfalls.
Favorite neighborhoods to buy a house
Vancouver is certainly a popular and wonderful place to live, but not all its neighborhoods are created equal. If you’re thinking of moving to Vancouver set your sights on one of these popular Vancouver neighborhoods:
- Village at Fishers Landing is ranked the top Vancouver neighborhood to live in by Niche.com. This area features beautiful home designs and timberline views and easy access to nearby shops and restaurants.
- Cascade Highlands neighborhood features various types of housing, including apartment complexes and single-family homes. It has some great nearby parks and other neighborhood amenities.
- Oakbrook is a family-friendly neighborhood, thanks to its low crime rate and great schools. It also has easy access to public transportation and is relatively affordable.
- Shumway Neighborhood is just 10 or so blocks from downtown Vancouver and incredibly walkable.
- Bella Vista is well loved for its relaxed atmosphere, diverse amenities, and affordability.
There are many more great up-and-coming areas around the city worth checking out. If you’re serious about moving to The ‘Couve, take a drive around. See what’s on the market, tour a couple homes, and find a neighborhood that’s perfect for you.
Columbia Redevelopment is Vancouver’s real estate investor
Columbia Redevelopment pays cash for houses throughout Vancouver and the surrounding areas. We buy homes in any condition — no contingencies and no inspections — with the goal of improving the house and finding a new owner to love it!
If you’re looking to sell a home in Vancouver, or if you’re interested in the homes we’ve recently updated in the area, give us a call and let’s talk.