5 of Our Favorite Vancouver Neighborhoods
Thinking of making Vancouver your home? Many neighborhoods throughout the Vancouver region have a lot to offer you and your family.
Officers Row is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Vancouver. It’s situated on twenty-one acres just north of the Vancouver Barracks Parade Grounds and shows off twenty-two fully restored nineteenth-century homes that are all listed on the National Historic Register.
Today these homes are used as private residences, offices, and even historical museums that showcase what life was once like here in the place we now call home.
The Marshall House was built in 1886 and was home to Brigadier General George C. Marshall and his wife, Katherine. They lived in it from 1936 to 1938. While in Vancouver, Marshall commanded the Third Division’s 5th Infantry Brigade and the Civilian Conservation Corps camps. He later served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army during World War II, and as Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to the Marshall Plan, which helped rebuild the European and Pacific economies after the war.
The General Ulysses S. Grant House is also on display. Grant served as quartermaster at Fort Vancouver from 1852 to 1853. Though the Grant House was built in 1849 to serve as the post commander’s quarters, Ulysses Grant never used it as his home. It is the oldest building at Vancouver Barracks and currently serves as a restaurant that is open to the public.
Esther Short Park
If you head into Downtown Vancouver, you’ll find the Central Park neighborhood. It’s surrounded by beautiful new construction that’s quickly changing the skyline. It’ll soon be filled with urban living and high-class condos, amidst the old town charm that Vancouver is known for.
If you visit Vancouver for any time at all, chance is you’ve already come across Esther Short Park. It’s a five-acre gathering place right in the heart of downtown. It’s the oldest public square in Washington state.
There you’ll find a stage that takes on all kinds of events. It’s really a year-round venue for a variety of different programs and activities. You can’t miss the Vancouver farmers market that takes place every year from mid-March until the end of October. Is beer sampling more your speed? Then you’ll love the annual Vancouver Brewfest, a celebration of everything around craft beer. Is sports more your thing? Then participate in the Vancouver USA Marathon, which gives you the opportunity to take part in a variety of events, everything from a kids fun run to a full marathon.
We also love the old world ambiance mixed with new technology. You can’t help but notice the magnificent bell tower at one end. Your kids can’t help but notice the bathing suit friendly water fountain that’s nearby. Bring a towel, fill up a bag with snacks, and stay for a while.
It’s hard to drive around Vancouver and not find yourself stopping and spending some time at Marshall Park. Marshall Park is at the epicenter of Vancouver’s most charming neighborhoods, including Harney Heights, Evergreen Highlands, and Bagley Downs to name just a few. It’s set on 19 acres and has an array of activities throughout the year divided between the Marshall Community Center and the natural space near by. You can reserve the picnic areas for a fee and find public restrooms that make it a perfect place to hang out for the day.
What we love so much about this community center is the massive climbing structure you’ll find in place. It’s affectionately known as the “spider web park” because of the many braided ropes you can climb and metal rungs you can shimmy through an intricate maze or “web”. And if you get tired of the play center, let your imagination soar at the all-natural sandpit and log area that brings the most creative juices to life.
The small community of Fisher and Fishers Landing was once a thriving dock and steamboat landing. You’ll find Fishers Landing along the Columbia River, directly across from Government Island. From the early 1900s to the 1960s, it was the Washington end of a ferry that went between Government Island and Washington. Today there is a small community beach and park.
Fishers Landing was named after Solomon W. Fisher, who filed a Donation Land Claim on 160 acres on Government Island and 160 acres on the north side of the Columbia River. The Fisher family – five brothers and sisters – left Missouri by wagon train in 1850 to settle in the Pacific Northwest. They staked their claims along the Columbia River and became well-known pioneers of the county area.
Fishers Landing was built in 1851 as a commercial shipping and refueling dock for steamships moving on the Columbia River, with a second dock added later. The site included many services – a post office, a livery stable, a blacksmith shop, mercantile shops, and the Pioneer Building. Though the buildings are long since gone, it is still a popular community that offers Vancouver residents unique places to live, shop, and play.
To take in Vancouver, you can’t miss the Arnada neighborhood. It has a vibrant shopping district on Main Street, a secluded park, and a rich history. Most of the large, carefully crafted homes were built in the early 1990s and are still standing and occupied today.
When Arnada was formed, the developer used the names of three friends to form the name: AR from Margaret Ranns; NA for Anna Eastham; and DA from Ida Elwell. That closeness continues to be a part of the community.
This is a place where kids can play at the local park, and you can just as easily walk to the downtown library. People in the community come together for everything from installing playground equipment to maintaining the Uptown Village. It’s often called the smallest, most active neighborhood in the city. They care so much about their community, they were the first in Vancouver to set up an active neighborhood association.
So what does neighborhood mean to you? Neighborhoods are more than a place you can call home. They are a place to live, to grow, to enrich and plan a life for many years to come.
If that sounds like something you’re looking for with your family, maybe it’s time to check out one of the growing neighborhoods right here in Vancouver. We have many communities throughout Vancouver to meet your needs. The only question you’ll have is how to select the right one.