Best Places to Live

Vancouver, WA

Population: 168,050
LIV
SCORE
627
Brian McCord

Vancouver made this year's Top 100 Best Places to Live list thanks to its affordability, engaging amenities and the community’s dedication to health. Often overshadowed by the nearby (and much, much spendier) city of Portland, OR, Vancouver is finally drawing much-deserved attention with its burgeoning art scene, outdoor recreation and superior health care options.

If exploring wilderness trails, wineries and an endless number of new eateries sounds like the perfect way to spend your downtime, then this Pacific Northwest locale should be on your radar. It comes with the same big-city perks offered by its neighbor to the south, without the insane traffic or elevated cost of living.   

Local Obsession: Lots of beer and lots of wine. Downtown Vancouver has a multitude of new sipping and suds spots opening along its waterfront. It’s where everyone wants to be.

Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: The grass never gets thirsty.

Top Industries and Employers: Vancouver’s top industries are healthcare and manufacturing. The top employers are PeaceHealth and Vancouver public schools.

Local Dream Job: A gallery owner or curator in downtown Vancouver’s bustling arts scene.

Quintessential Meal: Beer and a slice of artisan pizza from Vancouver Pizza Company

Favorite Weekend Activity: Hike Moulton Falls and end your day touring a couple of the local wineries.

After-Work Meetup Spot: The Hammond has a great vibe and accommodates large groups.

Best Brewery/Local Beer: Heathen Brewing

Beloved Bookstore: Vintage Books. It’s been serving the community since 1975.

Free Way to Have Fun: Tour the public art galleries in downtown Vancouver and then walk the five-mile scenic Waterfront Renaissance Trail from Esther Short Park in the downtown area to Wintler Park.

Truly Hidden Gem: C’est La Vie, an authentic French café and creperie that serves seven types of grilled cheese sandwiches!

- Annette Benedetti

Read More:

Moving to Washington? Here’s Everything You Need to Know.

Vancouver is One of the Best Places to Live in Washington

8 Reasons to Move to Washington Right Now

“I’m close to a big city but not close enough to have to deal with traffic. Likewise, I’m just about as far from the city as I am from the woods — and I like splitting my time between those places. It’s a good middle ground.”

Ron Rambo
Vancouver-based writer/content manager

Vancouver, WA Ranking Data

Civic
64
Demographics
62
Economy
62
Education
45
Health
64
Housing
68
Infrastructure
63