Just North of Portland can be found the other-half of the Portland-Vancouver Metro Area. Much like Portland, Vancouver boasts an abundance of greenery, a vibrant cultural scene, and a rich history. Whereas Portland is bifurcated by the Willamette River, Vancouver is nestled in the banks of the Columbia River which pours out west to the Pacific Ocean and northeast to the Cascades.
Vancouver is not only popular for those who work in and around the city, but is also a hotspot for Portland commuters looking to take advantage of cheaper property values without having to compromise on a metropolitan lifestyle married to an unparalleled access to the outdoors. The absence of an income tax in Vancouver and of the Sales Tax in Vancouver means that all it takes is a little drive across the Glenn Jackson Bridge or Interstate Bridge and over the Columbia River for you to maximize your savings.
Vancouver is a laid back city that in some ways even more laid back than Portland (if you can believe it)! It’s home to one of the largest Farmers Markets in Southwest Washington where over 250 vendors can be found. During the Summer you can find a slew of outdoor concerts, including the Six to Sunset and Destination Downtown Noon concerts–both of which are sponsored by the city.
In addition to being surrounded by greenery, Vancouver (like Portland) is home to a number of green initiatives. Bike paths, foot trails, and recycling initiatives are all front and center. Many Vancouverites take advantage of the 14+ biking trails in the environs. Plus, the city is home to one of the oldest public parks in the Pacific Northwest. Established in 1853 Esther Short Park is home to a number of pieces of public art and numerous events throughout the year (including the Farmer’s Market).
Just because Vancouver is a bit lower key than Portland, don’t think that it’s lacking in panache. Since the 1990s the city has been establishing itself as a artistic force to be reckoned with. In 2010, a group of local artists mobilized to further revitalize the arts scene in Vancouver. Now, it’s easy to find a variety of galleries and art related events (such as First Friday art walks) throughout the city. What’s more, the city is home to a theater that is on its way to being 100 years old. On the silver screen of the Kiggins Theater, you can find a variety of indie flicks, vintage films, and quirky throwbacks playing.
For more great reasons to move to Vancouver checkout this article on Movoto.com.
If you’re looking to move to Washington or Oregon, I highly recommend looking into the Portland-Vancouver metro area.