If you want to explore more of the West Coast but aren’t sure where to start, a road trip from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Portland, Oregon, is a great way to see three major cities, try a variety of unique restaurants, and have a great time in general.
Driving from Vancouver to Portland is roughly a five-hour drive. Spanning 520 km, or 320 miles, the route takes you through Vancouver, B.C. and Washington State before arriving in Oregon.
While driving from Vancouver to Portland can be accomplished in one day, allowing three days, with two overnight stops, means that you can visit several attractions and sights.
Stops and things to do on the road
There’s a lot to do and see along the Pacific Northwest. Here are just a few suggestions to do on the way down to Portland from Vancouver.
Hike up North Cascades National Park
Located in Northern Washington State, North Cascades National Park is a beautiful park with beautiful glaciers, lakes, lush evergreen forests, and mountains. With hiking trails like the Thunder Creek Trail, this is a must-stop for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
See some volcanoes in Mount Rainier National Park
Just southeast of Seattle, Mount Rainer stands at 14,410 ft tall. The highest point reachable by car is the 6,400 ft Sunrise point. From here, you can look out at a selection of volcanoes, including Mount Adams.
From Vancouver, Seattle is roughly a three-hour drive. The largest city in Washington state, Seattle has many attractions and destinations that could easily fill a day or more. Downtown Seattle is filled with trendy cocktails, world-class restaurants, and cultural hubs. A great place to spend a night in, enjoy coffee from the original Star Bucks in Pike Place, visit the Seattle Space Needle, and shop for one-of-a-kind gifts at Pike Place Market.
Things to do in Portland
Roughly two hours from Seattle, Downtown Portland is a popular city filled with well-maintained public art, independent businesses, and a strong craft beer and coffee culture.
Spend some time in a Traditional Japanese Garden: Portland Japanese Garden
The Portland Japanese Garden is a tranquil spot. With all cell phones turned on silent, it is easy to get lost in the beautiful greenery.
Driving versus flying
Flights to Portland can be booked for relatively cheap prices. The flying time from Vancouver to Portland is around 4 hours. While the trip is faster, if you have the time, and want to see more of The U.S. and B.C., driving from Vancouver to Portland is a great way to do so.
Other modes of transportation
Another popular way to travel from Vancouver to Seattle and Portland is Amtrak. The Amtrak Cascades train runs from Vancouver to Seattle to Portland. It is also possible to bus from Vancouver. However, driving to Portland is the way to go if you want to make the journey part of the trip.
This way, you can enjoy your trip the way you want to without following a set route or schedule.
Conditions of entry into the United States from Canada
When driving across the Canadian border to the United States, everyone in the vehicle must have certain documents:
- Valid driver’s license for the driver(s) of the vehicle
- Vehicle registration/proof of rental/insurance
- Valid passports
- Ensure you have all rental paperwork organized. Custom agents always look out for people who import vehicles without paying taxes.
Driving from Vancouver to Portland in a rental car
Ascent Car Rental is conveniently located in downtown Vancouver, making it the perfect place to start your trip. Enjoy a selection of luxury cars that will make your road trip comfortable and enjoyable.