Steeped in history, Vancouver is the oldest city in Washington. Once the largest western outpost of the British Hudson's Bay Company, where supplies and food were bartered in the 1800s, it was closed in 1860 as Americans took over commerce. The outpost was later recreated as the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. For more history, check out the Pearson Air Field, the oldest operating airfield in the West, where vintage aircraft are displayed at the Pearson Air Museum. If adventure is your bag, Vancouver is the perfect base for day trips to the Columbia River Gorge, the breathtakingly beautiful 70-mile river stretch that cuts through the Cascade Mountains, or Mount St. Helens, the site of the famous volcano, both of which offer a slew of outdoor activities. For calmer pastimes, cruise the picturesque river in the Columbia Gorge riverboat, or visit Beacon Rock, the world's second largest monolith, where a walking trail leads to spectacular panoramic views.
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