With its tight-knit community, access to big-city amenities, relatively affordable housing and outdoor recreation options, Vancouver is an excellent place to live. And there are several reasons to consider moving here if you don’t live here already!
But as the fourth largest city in Washington and the largest suburb of Portland, it can be difficult to maneuver the many wonderful neighborhoods of Vancouver. That’s where we come into play!
Let’s zero in on some of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city, from historic enclaves near the heart of downtown to scenic communities with immediate access to outdoor recreation. No matter where you end up, you’ll love living in the riverside city of Vancouver.
Arnada is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Vancouver, which is evident in the charming historic homes and old growth trees lining the streets. The neighborhood is also home to a community park aptly called Arnada Park, providing a space for residents and visitors to gather and play. One of the biggest perks of living in Arnada is the convenient access to both downtown Vancouver and I-5, connecting to Portland and other areas. Not to mention, Uptown Vancouver runs along the western edge of the neighborhood, providing endless options for dining, shopping, drinking and entertainment. The average home price in Arnada in September 2020 was $519,000 and homes are listed fairly infrequently, so keep an eye out for newly listed properties!
Not to be confused with the 22-site new home neighborhood with the same name, Bella Vista is an established community near the river in east Vancouver with a variety of homes ranging in size and age. Residents enjoy a laid-back, relaxed lifestyle away from the city while maintaining close proximity to neighborhood conveniences, like grocery stores, hardware stores, shops, restaurants and more. Plus, Bella Vista Park is situated at the northern tip of the neighborhood, offering a spacious grassy area for recreation and relaxation. The median home price in Bella Vista hovers around $400,000, making it a relatively affordable neighborhood in Vancouver.
Situated in eastern Vancouver, not far from Bella Vista, Bennington is a great neighborhood especially appealing to families. It includes a mix of condos, apartments and Craftsman-style homes, all situated near neighborhood conveniences, like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Walmart, Costco, 24 Hour Fitness and restaurants along NE 164th Avenue. Not to mention, the Columbia Tech Center is in the heart of Bennington, offering plenty of employment opportunities. Several excellent public schools, including Columbia Valley Elementary School, Shahala Middle School and Union High School, are all nearby as well.
Just down the street from Bennington lies Cascade Highlands, one of the most popular neighborhoods in east Vancouver. It has a variety of diverse housing options to choose from, including both apartment complexes and single-family homes. Plus, the neighborhood contains a number of shops, restaurants, coffee shops and other attractions, but is also just a 15-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. Residents also have plenty of nearby recreation options, including Peach Beach on the Columbia River and Homestead Park, a 6.2-acre park with walking paths, a playground and barbecues.
Photo Courtesy of Beth Conyers Photography via Clark County Washington
Situated between Hazel Dell and Salmon Creek in northern Vancouver, Felida is a former farming community now home to more than 7,000 residents. Many of the homes were constructed in the ‘70s, ranging from smaller ranch-style homes to larger homes in gated communities. But there are a large number of homes built in the 1990s and 2000s in several pockets of this large, rapidly growing neighborhood. Residents may easily take a stroll to a local restaurant or coffee shop, but can easily travel to nearby Salmon Creek and Hazel Dell for additional dining, shopping and other services. The 14-acre Felida Park has three soccer fields, a playground, basketball courts, a picnic shelter, and walking trails. Additional parks in Felida include Sergeant Brad Crawford Park and Raspberry Fields Neighborhood Park.
Although it’s right next to Fisher’s Landing (more on that next!), Fisher’s Creek deserves its own moment in the spotlight. This small enclave of homes just east of Vancouver is one of the highest ranked neighborhoods in the city. It includes a mixture of architectural styles and has mature, lush trees towering over the sidewalks. Fisher’s Creek Neighborhood Park is a 1.9-acre park in the center of the neighborhood, providing a space for residents and families to relax and play. Fisher’s Creek is also desirable for its proximity to downtown Vancouver, which is just a 10-minute drive away, as well as neighborhood shops and restaurants nearby.
Fisher’s Landing is a peaceful, mixed-use community featuring well-kept, tree-lined streets and parks, with good schools, community involvement and a business-friendly environment. This former commercial shipping and refueling dock area is now home to a mixture of homes, townhomes, condos, apartments and businesses, making it an ideal area for the young professional or family. Major employers, including WaferTech, Nautilus, Sharp and Hewlett Packard, are located just minutes away, in addition to a business district called the Southeast Tech Center. In addition to dozens of neighborhood parks dotting the landscape, Fisher’s Landing is not far from the river, which offers breathtaking views of Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens.
Just south of Felida lies the desirable and scenic Lake Shore community. The name, of course, comes from its proximity to Vancouver Lake, a shallow lake surrounded by the 234-acre Vancouver Lake Regional Park. The park is a popular destination for picnicking, windsurfing, sand volleyball, swimming and walking. Lake Shore contains a variety of homes, from smaller starter homes to more opulent properties enjoying a view of the lake. The community is also home to a number of excellent public schools, making it especially desirable for young families. Residents may easily access amenities in downtown Vancouver but enjoy the serenity and peaceful nature of this lakefront community.
For a centrally located neighborhood, look no further than Shumway, which is just 10 blocks north of downtown Vancouver. This established district contains quiet tree-covered streets lined with historic homes and newer homes alike. Residents may easily access I-5, which runs along the eastern border of the neighborhood. Plus, it is within walking distance of Uptown Village and all the shops, restaurants, coffee shops and breweries within. With a median sale price of $290,000 (September 2020), Shumway is a bit more affordable than other neighborhoods in Vancouver. The community here is tight-knit (with an excellent neighborhood association) and residents flock here for its walkability and central location.
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