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Vancouver is located in the Southwest corner of Washington just across the Columbia River from Portland, OR. The Columbia River is Vancouver's only waterway but, the Pacific Ocean is not far at just about 100 miles to the west. The weather is very temperate and much sunnier than Seattle. Contrary to many visitor's assumptions, winters are mild in Vancouver. Also, many assume the region receives an abundance of annual rain as does Seattle, but this is not the case at all; annual rainfall is pretty normal.
A great time to visit the city is in the summer when a variety of outdoor events take place and the very popular Vancouver Farmer's Market is in full swing. During the months of July and August, there are free concerts in Esther Short Park, the Northwest's oldest public square located in the heart of the city. The Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival also takes place here on the fourth weekend in August each year. Another event not to be missed is the Fort Vancouver 4th of July FIreworks display scheduled to resume again in 2010. Downtown Vancouver is home to numerous independent shops, stores, restaurants, cafes, and artisans. Make sure you visit downtown before 5pm as only a few bars and clubs make up the "night scene".
There are a variety of outdoor activities that can be done as day trips from Vancouver including; the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, zip lines in neighboring town Camas, breathtaking scenery just a short drive east in the Columbia River Gorge, hiking in the Gifford Pinchot Mts., snow sports on Mt. Hood, and fishing in coutless rivers and streams.
Vancouver has four distinct seasons. Summers are warm with temperatures regularly in the 80s and plenty of sun. The fall is a gorgeous time to visit as the lush forests put on a showcase of foliage colors. Winter temperatures average out above freezing and as mentioned, are pleasantly mild. The spring, like a classic description, is full of blooming flowers and again, more temperate weather. Be advised that weather can change very quickly in the Spring so regardless of what it looks like when you wake up - be prepared for rain and warm sun cycling multiple times in a single day. It rarely rains "hard" in Vancouver but often "mists" or "sprinkles" lightly; especially late Fall, Winter, and Spring. Weather in Vancouver is very mild and because of that visitors find themselves coming to Vancouver all year round. The most popular times to come however, are late spring through the fall.