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This sprawling river town started as a Hudson's Bay Company fort and trading depot in 1824, and soon became the frontier metropolis of the Pacific Northwest. The U.S. Army built a fort on the bluff above the Hudson's Bay post in 1846. Today the National Park Service maintains and runs the reconstructed Ft. Vancouver, and the fort as well as the Officers' Row complex are part of the larger Ft. Vancouver National Historic Reserve.
Downtown Vancouver has several historic buildings, and Esther Short Park, in the center of town, is surrounded by the new Hilton Vancouver Washington and Vancouver Conference Center, shops, and restaurants, and has gardens, a playground, fountains, and an amphitheater. On summer weekends the park hosts concerts. The nearby Vancouver Farmers' Market is the region's largest. The market moved into a permanent year-round indoor location adjacent to the park in the lower level of Esther Short Commons in fall 2005. The Columbia River waterfront district is another hot spot for dining, shopping, and strolling, along the paved Renaissance Trail.
Vancouver at a Glance
- Clark County Historical Museum
- Columbia Waterfront Renaissance Trail
- Ft. Vancouver National Historic Site
Elsewhere in Southwestern Washington
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