Trip Planner:   USA  /  Washington State  /  Vancouver  /  Parks  /  Esther Short Park

Esther Short Park, Vancouver

(4.4/5 based on 420+ reviews on the web)
Esther Short Park is a public park and town square located in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Established in 1853, it is the oldest public park in the state of Washington. and one of the oldest public parks in the West.It is located in the city's downtown between West Columbia and 8th Street. It was bequeathed to the city in 1862, and includes a children's playground, a rose garden, a large fountain system made of columnar basalt, a bell/clock tower, and the historic Slocum House. The park also houses a weekend farmer's market. In the summer of 2007, the park hosted over 30 outdoor summer concerts, many free.Esther ShortEsther Short was an early Vancouver resident, whose husband Amos and ten children "jumped a claim" near present-day downtown Vancouver. This land was originally part of a larger land plot by American Henry Williamson, who mapped out a little town called Vancouver City and registered the claim in the US courthouse in Oregon City. He left his caretaker, David Gardner, in-charge of the land before leaving for California. During a dispute, Amos Short killed Gardner, though he was acquitted of any crime. Short used his courtroom experience to become a judge and claim the disputed land for himself. He died during a return voyage from selling local produce in San Francisco. With Williamson's registered claim intact, Esther Short filed papers to claim the land. Ultimately, she obtained part of the land (including the parcel which includes present-day Esther Short Park), along with the Catholic Church and Vancouver City. She also gave permission to use house ferry boats to land on her property, at the foot of present-day Washington Street, where she operated a restaurant and hotel called The Alta House.
To visit Esther Short Park and other attractions in Vancouver, use our Vancouver trip itinerary planner.
Source
Create a full Vancouver itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Vancouver

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Vancouver by other users

9 days in Vancouver BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Vancouver BY A USER FROM CANADA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Vancouver BY A USER FROM CANADA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Vancouver BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 9 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM CANADA April, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Vancouver BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, kids, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 11 days in Oregon & Vancouver SEE PLAN July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Vancouver BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Vancouver BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Vancouver BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Vancouver BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A fun place to shop for craft items and fresh produce. Some of the most beautiful hand thrown pottery I've seen. People are friendly and like to bring their dogs, on a leash of course. Be ready to wal...  more »
  • I remember when you wouldn't go to this park with all the druggies and homeless sleeping in the park. But then the mayor decided he wanted to take the city back and it was transformed into one of the ...  more »
  • This park is located in down town Vancouver WA. It is surounded by businesses and residential properties. It often hosts city of Vancouver functions. Cute place to take a walk, let your dogs walk and ...  more »
Google
  • One of the oldest landmarks in Vancouver. Usually well-kept and the variety of flowers are a nice touch. I've been going to this park for many years and have always had good experiences. Many events (Wine and Jazz fest, Concerts) are held are various times throughout the year. During these events a multitude of tents, booths, eateries are set up at your convenience. My favorite event is probably "Hoops on the River" which is a premier 3v3 basketball tournament. All in all a wonderful park that is highly recommended by just about anyone
  • good spot for the farmers market. KIds play area is good. just be mindful of events going on near bye. Earlier in the am you may be explaining what a homeless person is to your kids.
  • This is a great city park. Old growth trees to provide shade. Well maintained and manicured. Has pretty Rose Garden that you can sit in middle of and "stop and smell the roses!" Nice play equipment for kids and cool water features that kids and big Kids can cool off in. Benches throughout to sit and enjoy people watching, enjoy some fresh air and talk to someone quietly. The park is Vancouver's living room. Throughout the year there are events here. Summer has live, free, concerts and movies featuring local musicians and current films. On weekends spring through fall the farmer's market is on the side of the park which is convenient to shop and then enjoy stroll in park!
  • Good park, has a wayer feature that you can cool down at, playground for kids, close by restaurants and Starbucks. The only reason no 5 stars is that there are some homeless but very few. Still a safe place with family and kids.
  • What a lovely park! There is a water feature and a nice play ground. Nicely paved paths and lots of benches. I had the pleasure of going during the Hawaiian festival and a Farmer's market was there too!