It takes only five hours to get from Vancouver to Vancouver. Sounds weird, but it is not rocket science at all, and you don’t need a rocket to fly around the globe either. A car would be sufficient. If you start in Vancouver in British Columbia and drive south to Vancouver in Washington State, on the border of Oregon, you can definitely make the trip within less than a quarter of a day.
Once you are in the Vancouver in Washington State, the city of Portland is only one bridge away across the Columbia River. With “Rose City” as its nickname, you would think Portland’s future is nothing but optimistic. A big red rose on one of the downtown buildings reminds you where you are (in case you forget after having few locally brewed beers). The beer list in Portland is pretty long—German style, American style, amber, red, brown, wheat, pale ale, Belgian ale, dark, light—and it seems like a never-ending journey of adjectives and style names.
Columbia River leaves the laid-back city of Vancouver in a northwestern direction and continues to Astoria, a small coastal town. There the river says goodbye to the North American continent and becomes an inseparable part of the Pacific Ocean. Before this happens, however, the river separates the states of Washington and Oregon for many miles inland. These two states are reconnected by the long bridge in Astoria on highway 101.
If you continue driving south along the seashore—crossing towns like Surf Pines, Seaside, Lincoln City or Newport—you will enjoy beautiful wild ocean views, fire-like sunsets, lighthouses and many other unique Oregon details. You will become an Oregonian for the length of your trip and you will have a hard time leaving the seashore highway because you know you will miss the Oregon ocean views as soon as you stop seeing them.
The ingredients of western Oregon include boats, the smell of fish, and let’s not forget the famous Haystack Rock. It is almost like looking for a needle in a haystack if you get stuck in coastal Oregon when looking for this iconic rock without a map or GPS.
Finally you will be standing in front of it, taking pictures, before getting back in your car to make your way back to Vancouver in British Columbia by driving through Vancouver, Washington. It is a double-double trip.
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