Vancouver National Historic Reserve

Top choice in Washington Coast

Situated within easy walking distance of the city center is Vancouver's most important historical monument, and also one of the most important statewide. The Historic Reserve is a large complex that comprises an archaeological site, the region's first military post, a waterfront trail and one of the nation's oldest operating airfields, but the highlight is the reconstructed Fort Vancouver Historic Site. Start at the visitor center – with a small museum and a fascinating video on the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Along the northern side of E Evergreen Blvd are the historic homes of Officers Row. Built between 1850 and 1906 for US Army officers and their families, they are currently rented out as offices and apartments. Three of the homes are open for self-guided tours: Grant House, Marshall House and OO Howard House. Also stop in at the nearby Pearson Air Museum, devoted to the history of Northwest aviation. The lovely open spaces of the historic reserve are great places to enjoy a picnic, fly a kite or take a stroll. A land bridge connects the reserve with the Columbia River waterfront.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Washington Coast attractions

1. Pearson Air Museum

0.26 MILES

This museum is devoted to the colorful history of Northwest aviation. A number of historic planes are on display in the main hangar, surrounded by…

2. Fort Vancouver Historic Site

0.32 MILES

At this reconstructed fort, park rangers and actors in period costume skillfully summon the era from 1825 to 1845, when it served as headquarters of the…

3. Grant House

0.35 MILES

Built from logs in 1850 and later covered with clapboard, the Grant House is the oldest building in Vancouver Barracks and was originally the home of the…

4. OO Howard House

0.36 MILES

OO Howard House, built in 1879, was a non-commissioned officer's club during WWII and was restored to its former elegance in 1998. It now houses a small…

5. Marshall House

0.36 MILES

This grand Queen Anne–style mansion in Vancouver Barracks was home to General George Marshall in the 1930s. It's open for tours and events; ask at the…

6. Clark County Historical Museum

0.83 MILES

This small, vibrant museum mounts various exhibitions on Vancouver life, culture and history. It's also home to the Brautigan Library, a collection of 400…

7. Forest Park

6.46 MILES

Abutting the more manicured Washington Park to the south (to which it is linked by various trails) is the far wilder 5100-acre Forest Park, an urban…

8. Jamison Square Fountain

6.58 MILES

For simple pleasures, visit the Jamison Square Fountain, a popular Pearl District oasis that attracts splashing kids.