20 Things to Know Before Moving to Vancouver

Vancouver Washington Pond

1. Willie Nelson—local radio disc jockey

Willie Nelson

Country music star Willie Nelson worked as a DJ for Vancouver's KVAN in 1957. He also wrote "Family Bible" and recorded "Lumberjack" during his stay in the city. When KVAN denied him a raise Nelson hit the road and moved back to Texas.

2. Sniff, sniff:  Is that romance in the air?

Romantic moment in the park

According to Amazon.com The ‘Couve is the seventh most romantic city in the nation, based on the community's purchases of sexy products from the online retailer. The most romantic city on the list? San Antonio, followed by Washington's very own Seattle.

3. Wine & Jazz Festival

Bravo! Vancouver's annual Wine & Jazz Festival

Bravo! Vancouver's annual Wine & Jazz Festival is the largest jazz festival of its kind in the Northwest. Each year it draws up to 13,500 visitors. With acclaimed musicians, 200 varieties of wine and local artists its easy to see why people from over 19 states have come to experience Vancouver's signature event.

4. Hey sister, soul sister

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Vancouver's Jazz & Wine festival recently took on a distinctively Dalmatian flavor. And no, we don't mean the dog.  Dubrovnik, Croatia recently became one of Vancouver’s sister cities due to their international edition of the Wine & Jazz festival also sponsored by Bravo! Vancouver.

5. War and peace

Peaceful city, Vancouver

The Atlantic's CityLab named Vancouver the 10th most peaceful metropolitan region in 2012. The city was tied with Portland, Oregon. Estately ranked Vancouver the 11th for lowest crime of Washington's 20 biggest cities.

6. Peace, love and... self-reported crime?

Weird Washington Laws

In Washington it is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town. Maybe Vancouver's relative peace is because criminals follow this law more than other U.S. metropolitan regions?

7. The first rule of Fight Club

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Chuck Palahniuk, famous author of Fight Club among novels, lives with his partner in what he described to The Times (London) as a “former church compound just outside of Vancouver, Washington."

8. Taxes

Vancouver, WA shopping

Vancouver residents have perfected tax evasion. Many prefer to save their shopping sprees for neighboring Portland where they don't have to pay sales taxes and work in Vancouver where they don't pay income tax. As a result the city is popular with retirees.

9. Smooth move

Clark County prunes

In the 1920s when prunes were still the nation's most popular breakfast fruit, yes this time did exist, Clark County was considered the prune capital of the world. Another reason retirees love Vancouver.

10. Groovy summers

Esther Short Park, Vancouver

Every summer Vancouver's Esther Short Park hosts two summer concert series. The Destination Downtown Noon Concerts and the Six to Sunset Night Concerts are free and open to the public. The park also happens to be the oldest public square in Washington.

10. Respect thy neighbor (and their drink)

Vancouver Brewfest

In Washington it is illegal to destroy someone else's beer cask or bottle without written consent. So keep those ragers to a minimum and bare this in mind when attending the Vancouver Brewfest with 39 participating breweries and a number of wineries and cider houses. The city also hosts a Summer Brewfest and Winter Brewfest. The seasons might change, but the beer is never in short supply.

12. Novelty flicks

historic Kiggins Theatre

The historic Kiggins Theatre, located downtown, is an independently owned, single-screen movie theater. The art-deco theater has been a local icon since opening in 1936. Today, the Kiggins presents independent, classic and art-house cinema, as well as providing a venue for non-profit organizations, and local filmmakers. They also have a bar for those who want to wash down their popcorn with something with a kick.

13. Best county fair

Clark County Fair

Livability.com named the Clark County Fair one of the top 10 in the nation. Around since 1868, the fair attracts 260,000 people annually. The Clark County Fair features classic foods in their deep-fried glory, a high dive show, concerts by bands like CCR and Night Ranger, and their own take on ComicCon: FairCon.

14. A tree grows in Vancouver

Washington's oldest apple tree

Vancouver is home to Washington's oldest apple tree. Planted in 1826, the tree is considered the great grandmother of the state apple industry. It has its own festival every October, which includes handouts of the tree's cuttings (while supplies last) and community cider pressing.

15. Presidential history

Lt General Ulysses S Grant, former president

The Grant house, now a restaurant, is named after Ulysses S. Grant, who was stationed at the barracks as a Captain. The house is located on historical Officers Row, part of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, which is a made up of 22 of the former homes of U.S. military officers stationed at the Vancouver Barracks dating back to 1850. The National Register of Historic Places named Vancouver one of the “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2003.

16. Employment

Fred Meyer lamps

Vancouver's biggest employers include the PeaceHealth SW Medical Center, the city's two school districts, Clark county government, and Fred Meyer retail. Clearly Fred Meyer's lamp section is where the party's at.

17. Housing market

Vancouver housing market

The average Vancouver resident person can afford 20 percent of the houses on the market in Vancouver.This is a higher percentage than Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue. With a median income of $49,271 the average homebuyer can afford a house listing at $220,603 or less.

18. Education

Vancouver Schools, Christmas Carol

According to Greatschools.org the school system in Vancouver earned a rating of five (out of 10). This ranks them in the bottom five of Washington's 20 biggest cities.

19. Life in the fast lane

NASCAR driver Greg Biffle

NASCAR driver Greg Biffle was born in Vancouver. He won championships in both the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series.

20. Sausage Fest

Vancouver Sausage Fest

It's exactly what it sounds like. St. Joseph Catholic School created the festival as a fundraiser in 1972. It was featured on the Colbert Report where Vancouver Congressman Brian Baird was grilled on the festival's phallic symbolism. Sadly all sausage fests must eventually come to an end, and much like the pizza-stained leather couch from your bachelor pad years the festival will be discarded after 2014 in favor of something new.

Vancouver Real Estate & Homes for Sale

Vancouver Real Estate & Homes for Sale

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15 Photos
12300 NE 5TH ST
$199,900
House
4 beds
1.3 baths
1,232 sqft
10,019 lot sqft
0 days on site
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16 Photos
4130 SE 162ND CT
$450,000
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3.1 baths
3,084 sqft
11,326 lot sqft
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15809 NE 26TH ST
$367,900
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4 beds
2.1 baths
2,449 sqft
10,019 lot sqft
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10 Photos
2712 T ST
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1 baths
768 sqft
4,792 lot sqft
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1019 W 38TH ST
$229,900
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4 beds
2.1 baths
2,106 sqft
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16 Photos
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3.1 baths
2,080 sqft
6,534 lot sqft
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1,817 sqft
12,197 lot sqft
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$279,900
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3,049 lot sqft
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4000 NE 109TH AVE #182
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3224 SE 195TH AVE
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2.1 baths
1,552 sqft
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17607 SE 16TH ST
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2.1 baths
2,232 sqft
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15508 NE NOBLE ST
$209,900
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2 baths
1,416 sqft
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17802 SE 13TH ST
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3610 S ST
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2015 E 29TH ST
$144,900
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$259,000
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2,088 sqft
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3114 BRIDGE ST
$125,000
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3419 E 21ST ST B-3
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8616 NE 31ST CIR
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5615 SE SCENIC LN 201
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