Visitor shares love for downtown Camas
I am writing this as an informal “letter to the editor” because I was just so thoroughly impressed and absolutely fell in love with Camas this past weekend.
My husband surprised me with an overnight mini-vacation, or what I like to call a nano-cay-stay at the Camas Hotel downtown on Friday night. We are just up north, living in the Olympia suburbs of Lacey, but love to hop down to Portland and the surrounding areas any chance we get. We participated in the town’s First Friday event and met a bunch of local townsfolk and business owners, while having a blast touring downtown. My husband and I each won a prize in the raffle, too, which was just grand and so unexpected.
I personally was just so impressed with all of the coffee shops, art galleries, antique and vintage stores downtown. The history is so rich and vibrant, and even though the town isn’t all that small (or very far away from the hustle and bustle of urban living and livelihood), it has managed to keep its small-town feel and look about it over the last 110 years, and that just adds to its unique beauty and ultimate charm.
One business owner who stood out to me and seriously made our trip most memorable is the one and only Mrs. Marquita Call-Guiani. What an absolute gem. We waltzed into her art gallery (the Camas Gallery) across the street from the hotel, not knowing the history we would be blessed to learn about Camas or the story behind the trees and shrubs downtown. And you best not forget that she is the most amazing and beautiful gallery owner in the entire world according to all the town’s kids that visited and stopped in during our time there. She told us about the paper mill that used to stink up the town, and was sure to point out which places we just had to go before we skipped out the next day. I truly treasure our moments spent with Marquita and all the tales she enriched our lives with about your town and community. To me, she is to Camas, Washington what Dolly Parton is to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. She is just a hooting kick in the pants, and my husband and I look forward to visiting again in October for her Celestial Sphere exhibit red-ribbon debut in October.
The best coffee shop is Hidden River Roasters, where we managed to stop twice within the 24-hour period of being in town. Allie’s genuine smile and warm welcome, and delicious drink recommendations won us over and the 110-year-old house turned roaster and cafe was fun to experience.
Thank you so much for such a tight-knit community made up of an eclectic array of magnificent people. We loved our trip and the people we met, so thanks for the memories and fond times.