Discover a scenic region with towering volcanoes, wild national parks and historical attractions in this beautiful part of Washington state.
Southwest Washington offers undeveloped wilderness and scenic views across valleys. One of the areas encountered by early 19th-century explorers Lewis and Clark on their journey west, Southwest Washington retains its pioneering spirit to this day and its residents also display a desire to live harmoniously with the land. Hike up an active volcano, kayak on a lake that’s a state park and explore charming small towns.
One of the main draws of Southwest Washington is the city of Vancouver where history, art and nature all mingle. Discover the flourishing music scene by attending a classical concert put on by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and enjoy an outdoor concert series at Sunlight Supply Amphitheater. Spend time at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a reconstructed fort with gardens and a village.
Not far from Vancouver is a treasure trove of natural sites. Swim or kayak through Battle Ground Lake State Park, a stunning lake created by ancient volcanic activity and surrounded by forests at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Ride on horseback through Bells Mountain Trail in Yacolt and take a guided tour through the rocky terrain on Cape Horn. Hike through Dog Mountain in the spring to see endless fields of wildflowers and gather a few friends to play disc golf in Leverich Park.
There is nowhere better to observe the power of nature than Mount St. Helens, an active volcano closely monitored by expert geologists. Take a helicopter tour of the area for a bird’s-eye view or keep your distance and view the volcano from the Johnston Ridge Observatory.
North of Mount St. Helen’s is the town Centralia, where charming downtown streets are dotted with boutique shops. Head south to reach Camas and the Lacamas Lake Park to take a boat out on the water or relax on the shore.
Take the scenic Amtrak Cascades train service to Vancouver or Kelso. The closest airports are Portland International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Drivers can enter the region via several interstate highways.
Whether you come to relax or for wilderness adventure, Southwest Washington is a dream vacation destination.