It’s my favorite time of the year, summer family vacation time. My family has rented a house in Vail, Colorado every summer since I was 12 years old but this year, I challenged the fam to follow me to the Pacific Northwest for an adventure! We had 5 days to plan a trip to Seattle, Victoria, and Vancouver. None of us had been to Canada so we were desperate for a little guidance. I asked you guys to send me travel recommendations on instagram stories, expecting to get 10 or so messages. To be honest, I was blown away by the hundreds of messages and recommendations from y’all! I felt so loved!!! It was overwhelmingly helpful and it was very evident that you guys are extremely passionate about the PNW! I read every single message and took time to really soak it all in.
I crowdsourced your fav spots and put together an itinerary before we left. Of course, life happens and we weren’t able to stick to the plan but here is where we traveled over the span of 8 days!
SEATTLE. I noticed Seattle is a city of many neighborhoods; eclectic, urban, outdoorsy, artsy, gritty, down-to-earth, or posh—it’s all there. We only had 24 hours to spend there but experienced quirky indie bookstores, coffee shops, microbreweries, and the like. Pike’s Place Market, which is probably the most famous tourist attraction in Seattle, was my favorite spot. It’s not everyday you see a fish toss in the Texas. After a day at the market I had a caffeine boost at Storyille Coffee and then visited the original Starbucks for a quick photo opp. That evening we enjoyed dinner at sunset near the water at Etta’s, a Tom Douglas seafood restaurant.
We stayed at the W Hotel in downtown and were really excited about the location because most everything was walking distance. The next day had breakfast at Honest Biscuit. After a filling breakfast we walked to the gumwall and experienced one of the more quirky sides of Seattle. I was skeptical about visiting the flagship Nordstrom while we were in Seattle because I know, I know, ‘you can shop anytime!!’ but you guys, if you like fashion in the slightest bit, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU GO! There is nothing like it. I miss it so much. *single tear* That afternoon I had a photoshoot with Jessica Whitaker, a Seattle photographer and YouTuber. Check out her channel, she is the sweetest!
FERRY FROM SEATTLE TO VICTORIA. Okay. I hate to sound like a diva I learned a valuable lesson on this leg of our trip. Not every ferry is created equal. The ferry from Seattle to Victoria consisted of 3 hours of rocking back and forth on the water as I threw up in a brown paper bag. Sea sickness is REAL. I recommend a helicopter, plane ride, or Dramomine.
VICTORIA. Stepping off the ferry into Victoria felt like a fairytale. THE FLOWERS! I had never seen so many gardens blossoming with roses, orchids, hydrangeas so big and beautiful! We checked into Parkside Hotel which no one had recommended to us but it had the best rates and we were hoping to save a little moolah! We were pleasantly surprised with the hotel! The rooms were big and spacious and the location was central enough to walk everywhere. That evening Jordan and I managed to getaway from our group for 45 min and ran to a lighthouse on the water to watch the sun go down over the rocky mountains. It was pretty romantic. Hehe. Later that evening we all had dinner at Steamship Bar & Grill on the water! Highly recommend. This is where my life changed for good. The food was phenomenal but save room for dessert. The Doughnuts with espresso Nutella sauce are life changing. Quote from my dad: “I’m thankful I now know there is something that exists out there this good.”
The next day we visited the Butterfly Gardens, Butchardt Gardens, took a bus tour of the city, and went to Miniature World. The Butchard Gardens were stunning but I was disappointed with the amount of visitors at once. We were often shoulder to shoulder shuffling through a garden. My mom and I were a little underwhelmed by Miniture World but my cute little boyfriend was obsessed. For dinner we had tea at the Fairmont Express. This was the first time I attended a formal tea time. It was a pretty cool experience but don’t expect to filled up from those little cucumber sandwiches!
FERRY FROM VICTORIA TO VANCOUVER
After my last sea-sick excursion, I was a little nervous about the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver. We were scheduled for the 9 pm ferry ride to catch the sunset. I HIGHLY recommend the 9 pm ferry ride. It was one of the most gorgeous things I had ever seen. This ferry was much bigger, like big enough to drive a bus and multiple cars onto so I was golden.
VANCOUVER. We decided to go all out in Vancouver. Rented a car and stayed at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. You can’t help but step into the Fairmont and feel like a complete superstar. Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn were there the sane time we were. Hehe. I did a little bit of fangirling myself.