This small town on the Columbia River just upstream from Portland is especially welcoming in the holiday season.
Plumes of steam rise over Camas, Wash., attesting to the tenacity of this mill town northeast of Portland, where Georgia-Pacific creates computer paper and disposable towels—as well as prosperity for a community of 17,000. Shop for a Nino Bossi handbag or a vintage hat, then stroll tree-lined NE Fourth Avenue to sip velvety pinot noir. On December 2, the monthly First Friday takes on a holiday theme with a tree lighting, carols, and bargains for shoppers. Area code is 360.
- Families still flock to shows at the renovated 1927 Liberty Theatre, with its Spanish Moorish facade and vintage neon. Admission is $3.50 for all films including classics and current releases. 315 NE Fourth Ave., 859-9555, camasliberty.com.
- Wines from the Walla Walla region dominate the racks at K’Syrah. Lunch on curry chicken salad or get familiar with local syrahs, cabernets, and other varieties at Friday tastings. 316 NE Dallas St., 833-9429, bistro.ksyrahcatering.com.
- A fragrant wave of lavender, sandalwood, and lemon verbena washes over you at Bloom Organic Body. Treat yourself to a hot stone massage or some bright, sparkly, toluene-free nail polish. 222 N.E. Fourth Ave., 834-1886, bloomorganicbody.com.
- Vintage postcards, beribboned hats, blue glass jars, and china hutches are amassed at Camas Antiques in lace-draped, dust-free alcoves. 305 NE Fourth Ave., 834-4062, camasantiques.blogspot.com.
- At Navidi’s Olive Oils & Vinegars, you can sample over 20 olive oils from Spain, California, Chile, Tunisia, and beyond. Don’t miss the Meyer lemon–infused olive oil or raspberry balsamic vinegar. 322 NE Cedar St., 210-5921, navidioils.com.
- Cocktail history lives at the Birch Street Uptown Lounge, where you can sip a classic icy martini or go retro with a monkey gland—a tasty concoction of gin, orange juice, grenadine, and absinthe. 311 NE Birch St., 210-7219, birchstreetuptownlounge.com.
Photography by Curtis Cronn
This article was first published in November 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.