vancouver, by train

You've probably seen Amtrak grace your Twitter feed a couple times in recent weeks. Between the much-talked-about #AmtrakResidency, granting writers free roundtrip train rides to garner inspiration from the rolling countryside, to the recent "live train ride" of social media stars tweeting and blogging their way to SXSW in Austin (#AmtrakLIVE), Amtrak is hopping aboard social media marketing in the best way possible.

So you can imagine my excitement when I opened my email a few months ago and discovered that Amtrak wanted to give me (and my Instagram) a free train ride too. After verifying Nick was also invited, I began researching where we should go, and eventually decided on a weekend in Vancouver, BC.

Last Friday we boarded our Amtrak Cascades train bright and early in the morning and enjoyed a scenic four hour ride, hugging the coast up to Vancouver. Because the route was called Amtrak Cascades, I was expecting the train to take us through the mountains. Instead we got the shores of the Puget Sound — unexpected, and equally beautiful. Between multiple bald eagle sightings (if you know me, you know how excited I was about this) to amazing conversation between my husband and I, by the time the train rolled into the Vancouver station, I had definitely found my new favorite way to travel!

Nick and I stayed at the incredible Sheraton Wall Centre Downtown; one of the tallest buildings in Vancouver, we enjoyed stunning views of the city each morning over our breakfast and coffee. The stay was a gift from Starwood Hotels & Resorts for my work documenting Sheraton's GM Summit in Seattle as the "social photographer" a few weeks back.

Vancouver, by the way, is a remarkable city. Similar in style and weather to Seattle, we immediately felt right at home chatting with very friendly locals and discovering amazing restaurants and coffee shops via their recommendations. We spent a memorable few hours at the Vancouver Aquarium, and another afternoon sampling fudge and salmon chowder at Granville Island — the best parts of Bainbridge Island and Pike Place Market rolled up into one amazing spot.

As always, I am so grateful for the opportunities and memories that social media is allowing me to embark on with my best friend. Enjoy a few photos from our train trip and Vancouver weekend:


While I was in Vancouver, Amtrak published a post on their blog featuring my go-to Seattle recommendations for those traveling to the Emerald City. Check it out here!

Amtrak Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a free trip courtesy of Amtrak for review purposes. The opinions, photos and videos are completely my own based on my own experience.