Bobby and I took about 10 days to explore the Pacific Northwest. We flew into our base city which was Portland, then traveled to Seattle, up to Vancouver, then finally over to Banff National Park. We spent the most time in Banff, so I will have a separate travel guide dedicated to our time there.
I also want to say I had lots of help planning this trip from several friends. It’s always nice having insight from someone who has lived or been to the places your visiting, so be sure to reach out. If you have a future trip planned to any of these places I’d love to answer any questions you have. 🙂
We had at least 48 hours in each of our cities, so let’s get started.
We flew into Portland, arriving around 10am. So we were able to spend a lot of time exploring Portland that day. We went to Powell’s used books, Washington Park for the rose gardens and spent a lot of time exploring the city. My favorite part was probably the NW 23rd street area which had all the shopping!
Our second day we drove over to Multnomah falls, Trillium Park to see Mt hood, drove the Columbia River gorge (oh my gosh, so beautiful) and ended our day back in Portland.
Where we stayed
Park Lane Suites and Inn – great location and great price + FREE parking
Where we ate
Fried Egg I’m in Love (Favorite food truck)
CANNON BEACH + ECOLA STATE PARK
On our third day, we headed out of Portland for the Oregon Coast on our way up to Seattle. This was one of our favorite parts of the trip. We stopped at Cannon Beach (Haystack Rock – Goonies anyone?) and walked along the shoreline for a little while. We grabbed lunch at Pelican Brewing and then headed over to Ecola State Park.
It took us about 3.5 hours to get up the Oregon coast to Seattle, we grabbed dinner real quick like at Pizzeria Credo on the west side of town before heading to bed because we were getting up nice + early to head to the Pike Place Market.
We started early the next morning with breakfast at Bacco cafe at the Pike Place Market and then started our walk through. We were able to see all the flowers, the fish throwing and the second germiest tourist attraction in the WORLD – the gum wall. We both really enjoyed the market but word to the wise go early, because by noon it was shoulder to shoulder.
We wish we would have been able to eat lunch at Piroshky, Piroshky but the line was ridiculously long. I did grab a red bean rice ball at Mee Sum Pastry and some Popcorn at Cobb’s Popcorn. We saw the original Starbucks, too!
Our second day we went whale watching out of the Puget Sound (30 minutes north of Seattle) with the Puget Sound Express. We would book with them again, great people and the boat was incredible with great views of the water for everyone. Be sure to get the blueberry buckle, so yummy! We drove back down to seattle, ate some awesome Tacos at Taco Chukis, and went up to Kerry Park to get a good view of Seattle before we made the 2.5 hour drive across the border to Vancouver.
Where we stayed
Where We Ate
Bacco Cafe – Pike Place Market
Mee Sum Pastry – Pike Place Market
Cobb’s Popcorn – Pike Place Market
TAT’s Deli – philly cheesteaks
We arrived that evening in Vancouver in time to have dinner at The Local and walk around the Gastown district, which was within walking distance of our hotel.
After breakfast at Honey Salt the next morning, we rented bikes at Spokes Bicycle Rentals and rode around the entirety of Stanley Park. Stanley park is HUGE and absolutely beautiful, I would highly recommend riding around the entire park. After bike riding we ate at TacoFina, which is a yummy taco food truck and located near several other food trucks, if you’d like to try another one. There is a large, lovely plaza with lots of tables to eat at, too. They were filming the 90210 reunion in that plaza while we were there.
Afterwards we headed to the hotel to change and walked over to Earnest for ice cream and have a look at some of Vancouver’s murals from their past mural festivals.
(FYI – do NOT walk down E. Hastings St. unless you want to see people actively drug using. Also, know this isn’t a reflection of the entire city. Vancouver is beautiful and we would go back in a heartbeat. That street just seemed to be ‘the’ street where that activity was concentrated and we walked right through it. Just want to pass that along.)
Dinner that night was at one of our favorite places during the whole trip, the Alibi Room. We really enjoyed the food and the beer selection (lot’s of sours for me). After dinner, we walked over to Nero Waffle bar for dessert.
The next day we had breakfast at Jam – get there early, there is usually a line (we waited about half an hour). After breakfast we spent a couple of hours at the Vancouver aquarium which is inside Stanley park and then headed out on our 9 hour drive to Banff.
Where We Stayed
Auberge Hotel – a very upscale, boutique hotel that happened to have quite the deal going on when we booked it. Otherwise I have a feeling it would have been well out of our price range.
Where We Ate
Stay tuned for my Banff travel guide. We spent 3 total days there and did so much in those three days, I just can’t bare to squeeze it into this post. Banff definitely deserves it’s own.