Reviewed on Sep 16, 2021
Reviewed on Sep 19, 2021
Reviewed on Sep 10, 2021
Southwest Washington exemplifies just why the state is so appealing. Forest-covered mountains and extinct volcanoes form a breathtaking backdrop to lively cities. Uncover a rich historical and cultural legacy in the cities and escape to the wilderness in this diverse and exciting corner of the country.
The history of Southwest Washington stretches back a very long time. Visit the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center to find out about 40 million years of the region’s history. Witness the traditional culture of the Kwakliutl people at the Lelooska Foundation and Museum.
Learn about the establishment of the state as a fur trading post in the late 18th century. The Lewis County Historical Museum is housed in the old Northern Pacific Railway depot, built in 1912. Nearby Claquato Church is the oldest church in Washington.
Revel in the atmosphere of Vancouver, a city bordered by the Columbia River on one side and volcanic mountain ranges on the other. Tour wineries and breweries and attend farmers markets throughout the year. In the evenings, watch plays and concerts outdoors in the Sleep Country Amphitheater and Esther Short Park, a picturesque square with public art and a playground.
Head out into the natural beauty of Southwest Washington. Hike to the crater of Mount St. Helens, a volcano that last erupted in 1980. Drive along scenic roads to reach stunning sights such as Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. Bald eagles are just one of many bird species that live here in this habitat alongside bears, deer and other mammals.
Get your heart pumping at Washington’s stunning coastline and rivers. Kayak, canoe or windsurf along the Columbia River for immersive experiences in nature.
Fly into Portland International Airport, which is just on the other side of the Columbia River from Southwest Washington. The best time to visit is between July and September, when the chances of rain are lower and flowers bloom across the state. Fall, however, promises ripe harvests and colorful foliage.