The Best of Vancouver: Must-Visit Sites, Restaurants, and Bars for WRPA 2024 Attendees

The Best of Vancouver: Must-Visit Sites, Restaurants, and Bars for WRPA 2024 Attendees

Parks and rec professionals from all around the Evergreen State will gather for the 77th annual 2024 WRPA Conference in Vancouver, Washington, from May 21-24.

If you're heading to this year's conference, explore our curated list of 14 top Vancouver sites, restaurants, and bars that are perfect for stretching your legs between conference sessions or enjoying a delicious meal or drink!

Scroll on down to see our handpicked list of places to visit while in Vancouver!

Vancouver Sites: 4 Must-Visit Sites In and Near Vancouver


1. Vancouver Waterfront Park

Photo of Vancouver Waterfront ParkAny visit to Vancouver requires a stop at Vancouver Waterfront Park. This popular destination site is over 7 acres and features a grand pier with breathtaking views of the Columbia River!

Distance from WRPA: 0.5 miles

2. Esther Short Park

Calling all parks and rec history lovers! Esther Short Park is the oldest public square in the state of Washington! On top of that, this 5 acre park is less than a 5 minute walk from the conference. If you need to grab some air during the conference, head over and enjoy the walking paths, clock tower, and rose garden. 

Distance from WRPA: 0.2 miles

3. Fort Vancouver National Historic Site


While you may not have time for seeing the entire site, it is open to the public and there are opportunities for self-guided tours! Get a sense of Fort Vancouver's illustrious past and discover why it was a powerhouse in the fur trade. 

Distance from WRPA: 1.2 miles


4. Officers Row


If Fort Vancouver feels like too much to tackle, Officers Row offers a perfect compromise. Just outside the fort, these 22 restored Victorian houses boast charming views and are just a short stroll from the conference.

Distance from WRPA: 1.1 miles

Xplor Recreations WRPA 2024 conference iPad giveaway (1)


Vancouver Dining: 5 Must-Visit Restaurants in Vancouver


1. Nom Nom Restaurant & Grill


If you're in need of late night eats, then this Vietnamese and Thai restaurant is for you. Whether you're craving Pho or Pad Thai, this spot has you covered with its flavorful dishes made from fresh ingredients.

Distance from WRPA: 0.3 miles


We're hosting a social mixer at Nom Nom Restaurant and Grill on May 21st, from 8pm - 10pm, and attendance is complimentary for all WRPA attendees! Space is limited, so register for the event today!

Xplor Recreation 2024 WRPA Social Event Graphic

2. Beaches Restaurant & Bar

Not only does this popular spot boast over 4,000 positive reviews on Google, it also has a magnificent view of the Columbia river. Our recommendation - choose the patio seating!

Distance from WRPA: 1.4 miles

3. The Waterfront Taphouse


Treat yourself to a memorable evening at this upscale pub, offering a breathtaking view of the Grant Street Pier and the Vancouver Waterfront. Afterward, take a leisurely stroll along the trail for a night you won't forget!

Distance from WRPA: 0.4 miles


4. Willamette Valley Vineyards - Vancouver Waterfront


For a relaxed evening with great wine, head to Willamette Valley Vineyards - Vancouver Waterfront, just a short walk from the conference. Wind down after a long day and enjoy their award-winning wines and a delicious food menu.

Distance from WRPA: 0.4 miles


5. Thai Orchid Restaurant and Sushi Bar


If you're torn between cuisines, Thai Orchid Restaurant and Sushi Bar is your perfect solution. Renowned for its delectable menu, inviting ambiance, and lively happy hour, this restaurant offers the best of both worlds for a satisfying dining experience!

Distance from WRPA: 0.3 milesXplor Recreations WRPA 2024 conference iPad giveaway (1)


Vancouver Nightlife: 5 Must-Visit Bars in Vancouver


1. Loowit Brewing Company

Not only is this local brewery a city staple, but it's also conveniently located just a stone's throw from the conference! If you're eager to sample the best of the city, don't miss the chance to discover why Loowit Brewing has garnered a long list of awards and accolades!

Distance from WRPA: 269 ft


2. The Smokin' Oak Pit and Drinkery


Just 300 feet from the conference, enjoy authentic Texas-style BBQ at this full-service restaurant. Don't miss out on their full bar with an excellent whisky selection.

Distance from WRPA: 300 ft


This latin kitchen and tequila bar was recently voted #1 booked restaurant in Portland on OpenTable. If you're in the mood for waterfront views and specialty cocktails, be sure to swing by during one of their happy hours! 

Distance from WRPA: 0.4 miles

4. Foxhole Cocktail Den

outside photo of foxhole cocktail denUnveiled in 2022, this hidden gem has quickly become a favorite spot for those seeking a good time. Explore their classic cocktails and creative craft drinks while discovering the Polycade arcade games in the back half of their building!

Distance from WRPA: 0.1 miles

5. Coral Club


For a complete departure from the rest of our recommendations, consider visiting the Coral Club. If you're seeking something unique and a guaranteed memorable night, this tiki bar is the perfect destination for you!

Distance from WRPA: 0.4 miles


Wrapping it up:

We're pumped to see y'all in Vancouver! 👋 Also, be sure to stop by booth #3 to visit the Xplor Recreation team, and:

🎁Enter in a draw to win a Free iPad Air 

🔍See our all-in-one recreation management software in action

📱Get a hands-on experience of our NEW Client Mobile App

🎉Snag yourself some *useful* swag to take home

📸Have a laugh and capture memories with your team at our photobooth!

Xplor Recreations WRPA 2024 conference iPad giveaway (1)


See what Xplor Recreation can do for you