There’s nothing quite like the city of Camas, Washington – 98607 – in the fall. The leaves are turning along the tree-lined streets of Historic Downtown Camas, handcrafted coffee is brewing at the local Caffe Piccolo, and the surrounding area is home to 14 parks and 22 miles of trails to be enjoyed in this temperate fall weather. Currently home to approximately 21,000 residents, Camas is only minutes from Portland, but worlds apart when it comes to the pace of life.
The town of Camas was founded in 1883 by the Portland pioneer and paper magnate, Henry Pittock. Initially named LaCamas (after the camas lily), the upriver site was the ideal spot for Pittock’s new paper mill. The mill has been a central part of life in Camas since it was first built, providing jobs and a sense of community among its residents. Though a diverse number of industries have moved into the Camas area, the paper mill still exists and has been in operation under Georgia-Pacific since 2000.
During it’s 100-year history, this suburb has expanded and developed to blend a mix of cultures, values, and vision. Camas has successfully worked to promote economic growth, family-oriented neighborhoods, and beautiful outdoor spaces. The area perfectly balances the principles of work and play within its city limits.
Find Your Inner Foodie
Camas holds its own in the dominant shadow of Portland’s food scene. Camas, and Clark County alike, have followed in Portland’s footsteps: increasingly putting a bigger emphasis on local, family-owned, high-quality cuisine. Some of my favorite culinary stops on this trip included:
Open since 2015, this quaint cafe has quickly become a favorite meeting place for the Camas community. Known for having the best customer service in the area, Caffe Piccolo serves up handcrafted coffee, tea, and a Euro-inspired menu with a dash of hometown friendliness.
This family-friendly Mexican joint is the place to go if you’re looking for authentic Southwestern fare in Camas. In the past year, Nuestra Mesa has expanded their restaurant and kitchen and the establishment continues to be a hit among locals.
Miss Nola’s Cafe
Tim and Melissa McCusker bring the Big Easy to Camas with their Southern inspired fare. From the Shrimp Po Boy and Jambalaya to half shell oysters and grits, you’re sure to find something to love at Miss Nola’s.
Feast at 316
Another McCusker owned restuarant, Feast 316 is a seafood and steakhouse with craft cocktails and a great wine selection. The McCusker’s are truly embedded in the Camas community and visiting one of their restaurants makes you feel like you’re part of the family.
Other Camas Favorites
As mentioned above, the food in Camas is unbeatable. But, there are many other great things to enjoy in the Camas area. Here are a few things on my list that you should check out:
Head to the Camas Hotel if you need a relaxing retreat or an escape from the fast-paced life of Portland. The historic hotel has operated in Downtown Camas for 105 years. With very reasonable rates and luxury amenities, there is no better place to stay in Camas. Many have stayed at the Camas Hotel and have loved the area so much that they decided to buy homes in the area!
Liberty Theatre of Camas & Washougal
This beautiful historic theatre showcases independent films and second run flicks at super affordable prices: $5.50 regular admission and $3.50 on Tuesdays!
Arktana is an amazing shoe boutique that caters to the fashion forward who still want to be comfortable. They truly have a passion for shoes and people. Walk in a customer, walk out in-style and as a friend!
Lacamas Lake & Park
Lacamas Lake Regional Park is 312-acres of recreational area, great for fishing, hiking, birdwatching, playing, and much more.
Visit Millie, the bronze dog that lives on the streets of Downtown Camas. Artist Georgia Gerber created Millie as a fun addition to the downtown landscape. Her name adorably reflects the town’s paper mill history.
Upcoming Events in Camas
Visit Camas for some fun this autumn. You’ll be sure to fall in love with it, as I did!
Camas First Fridays
Much like First Thursdays in Portland, Camas First Fridays occur the first Friday of each month in Downtown Camas. Each month has a theme and features activities, art, dining, and shopping. Upcoming themes include Pumpkin Pageant & Star Wars Costume Contest (Oct. 7) and Thankful for Pie! (Nov. 4).
Boo Bash Trick-or-Treat – October 26th from 3-5 pm
Take the little ones trick-or-treating at participating Downtown Camas businesses, including the library and City Hall!
Little Box Friday – November 25th
Instead of supporting big box stores this Black Friday, shop local for the holidays at Little Box Friday in Downtown Camas.
I’ll see you next time in 97140, Sherwood! Thank you for all of your interest and support of UnZip The Zip-Code. Drop me a line on Facebook or email me with your mortgage questions and let us know where you’d like us to UnZip next.
Mortgage Specialist • NMLS 506902