Winter Retreat Ideas

Wintertime in the Pacific Northwest is often cold and wet, but this year, we’ve had a comparatively mild winter and many folks are considering heading outside to explore the area they live in. Winter retreats or getaways are a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of regular life and get caught up on some necessary rest and relaxation. Here are some of my go-to places in the Pacific Northwest that help me recharge!

Hood River:
This area has beautiful views of the water and lots of fun things to do. It’s full of amazing hiking and walking trails that offer breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge. There are also several wineries and vineyards that are fun to explore, as well as some great dining spots. There are a variety of vacation rental homes available or stay at one of the several in-town hotels, such as the historic Hood River Hotel.  No matter what you do here, you’ll be surrounded by quintessential Pacific Northwest stunning scenery.

Skamania Lodge:
This is another great place to unwind. It’s only a short drive from Clark County and the lodge is surrounded by forest greenery and overlooks the Columbia River Gorge. The lodge is known for their outstanding weekend brunch – it’s one that you won’t want to miss! Many of the rooms have fireplaces, so if a book and a cozy blanket by the fire sounds nice for your retreat, you’re in luck. Or, venture out to one of the nearby walking trails or take a short drive to Multnomah Falls to walk around.

Oregon/Washington Coast:
If escaping to the ocean is one of the ways you can best relax, you’re in luck with many different beach options. Rockaway Beach, Long Beach, Ocean Shores, Seaside, or Cannon Beach are all great options when it comes to a winter retreat. Wintertime at the beach can sometimes be rainy and stormy, but the smell of the ocean air is invigorating, no matter what. Stay inside and read or watch some of your favorite movies if the weather is stormy, and when the weather settles down for a bit, head out for a beach walk and some famous coast clam chowder.

Clark County:
Of course, if you need a retreat but your budget doesn’t allow for any overnight getaways, there are great ways to relax in the comfort of your own home. Unplug your laptop and your phone for a day or two and recharge without any electronics. Focus on doing some things that you love doing locally, even if it’s just sitting at home with your favorite warm beverage and catching up on reading your newspaper or watching some of your favorite shows.

No matter how you decide to take a break from the stresses of every day life, setting time aside for yourself to recharge is important and a winter retreat will do great things for your soul, body, and mind!

Posted on February 5, 2018 at 9:57 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Selling Your Home, Vancouver History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top Reasons to Move to Vancouver


Vancouver is a wonderful city and a great place to put down your roots. Not only is it close to the hubbub of its neighboring city Portland, but it has its own unique flavor that makes it appealing to people of all ages and walks of life. Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider moving to Vancouver.

Reason #1: Vancouver is paradise for outdoor lovers.
Living in the Pacific Northwest means you’re surrounded by greenery and rugged beauty. You’re close to the beach, the mountains, and hundreds of forested areas. Nature lovers enjoy exploring the many walking trails, hiking areas, and parks that Vancouver and the surrounding areas have to offer. For a day trip, travel through the Columbia Gorge for some breathtaking scenery that is simply unlike anywhere in the world, or visit one of the many locally owned and operated breweries, bakeries, or wineries that have become popular in the past several years.

Reason #2: Vancouver offers lots of events and activities.
If you’re someone that enjoys attending events around town and meeting new people, Vancouver has some fun events that happen seasonally throughout the year. Bundle up in December and check out the Christmas ships that travel down the Columbia River. Once the springtime weather arrives, you can take a short drive up to Woodland and experience the amazing tulip fields at the Woodland Tulip Festival.  In the summer, downtown Vancouver is busy with movies and concerts at Esther Short Park as well as the local Farmers Market that hosts more than 200 local farmers and vendors. In the fall, Bi-Zi Farms or Joe’s Place offer fun pumpkin patches and hay rides.

Reason #3: The restaurant scene is growing.
Vancouver’s restaurant scene is starting to catch up with Portland’s outstanding food scene. Whether it’s locally owned wood-fired culinary sensations at Lapellah, fresh-made cookies and desserts at Treat or Bleu Door Bakery, or amazing tapas at The Grocery Cocktail & Social, food lovers are sure to find new restaurants that will delight their palate.

Vancouver is a fantastic place to live, giving you the smaller town feel while at the same time allowing you access to everything that you need and want. If you’re thinking about moving to Vancouver, call me today and I am happy to talk to you about the housing market here and answer any other questions you have about the area.

Posted on May 17, 2016 at 5:02 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips | Tagged , , , , , , ,