Recreation and the Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon Area

The Family Medicine of Southwest Washington (FMSW) Residency program is rigorous. However, when residents are not busy learning, they can often be found outdoors, exploring the Pacific Northwest or just 10 miles south, soaking in all that the culturally and culinarily-rich city of Portland, Oregon has to offer (venturing from their income-tax free state of WA to the sales-tax free state of OR). 

Recreation in the Pacific Northwest

The wilderness and great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest is unparalleled. The Cascade Mountain Range is home to numerous volcanoes and several peaks exceeding 14,000 feet! The area is widely known for hiking, skiing and snowboarding, rafting and kayaking, fishing, mountain climbing, camping and backpacking. Again, below are just a few activities to scratch the surface.

    1. Enjoying endless skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing on Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood, Mt. Baker or one of the other ski resorts in the Pacific Northwest. Just don’t forget your avalanche gear!
    2. Cozying by the giant fire place at the National Historic Landmark, Timberline Lodge
    3. Hiking one of the many trails within the 292,500 acre The Columbia River Gorge. FMSW recommends looking at The Portland Hikers Field Guide for vast information on access, seasonal recommendations, etc.
    4. Rafting down the Deschutes River

The Vancouver and Portland Area

When not exploring the outdoors, below are just a few places around town where you might find FMSW residents on their weekends off (in no particular order):

    1. Turning their fingers blue at one of the area’s famed U-pick berry farms
    2. Jumping out of a van to complete a leg of the run from Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean (197 miles) in the annual Hood to Coast Relay Race

    3. Going for an urban hike in Forest Park, one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves encompassing over 5,000 acres and 70 miles of recreation trails within Portland

    4. Stocking up on fresh local produce at one of the area’s dozens of farmer’s markets

    5. Browsing the aisles of the world’s largest independent new and used book store at Powell’s City of Books

    6. Cozying up with a delicious cup of coffee at one of the area’s many world-renowned coffee shops

    7. Enjoying a pint of Oregon’s famed craft beer. Portland takes it’s brewing seriously, and is home to the largest gathering of independent craft brewers in the US.

    8. Rocking or swaying to the sounds of live music at one of the many venues in the area. According to the Guardian, Portland’s music scene is one of the most vibrant in the US and its gig venues and concert halls are a reflection of this. Portland’s music scene also boasts the annual Waterfront Blues Festival.

    9. Catching a flick at Cinetopia Theatre, which offers live pre-show music and in-theater restaurant service

    10. Exploring art at Portland or Vancouver’s monthly art Gallery Walks

​​For more ideas of life outside of residency in the Portland and Vancouver area, the following are great resources:

The Big To-Do Portland: 100 Things To Do Before You Die by 7x7

25 Things to Do in Portland by Oregon Live