As soon as I heard in January that Canada’s National Parks would be free to enter this year, I immediately knew where I would be headed for Spring Break. Banff National Park had always been on my bucket list of places to go and what better way to spend spring break than in this breathtaking place.
I got my one of my friends to go with me and we decided to take a road trip from Portland, stopping in Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver BC, Glacier National Park of Canada and Banff.
Here are some of the wonderful adventures we had!
Tacoma Museum of Glass- $12 for students. We got to see a live show of glass being made as well as a tour of the museum.
Couchsurfing on Capitol Hill - This was my first time Couchsurfing in the USA. We stayed with a really chill guy named Kyle. He had an adorable pup named Precious. After a long day of exploring Seattle, we just ordered a pizza, watched some Bob Ross painting tutorials and crashed on Kyles couch.
Food In Seattle:
Seattle has similar food contents to Portland. We ended up getting two of my classic go-to meals. These places were both within a five-minute walking distance of our CouchSurfing place.
After only spending a night in Seattle, we made our way to Vancouver, BC. There, we stayed at Samesun Backpackers Hostel
It is located on Granville St. in downtown Vancouver, close to many amazing pubs, food, and activities. That first night we met up with a friend of mine who I met at a party hostel in Bolivia. He took us bar hopping and gave us a little mini walking tour of the city.
Bar Hopping Itinerary:
Samesun Backpackers Hostel Bar
The next day we were very hungover, which was fine because it was pouring rain and not ideal exploring weather. We did, however, treat ourselves to a delicious and inexpensive meal at the Basil Pasta Bar. All the plates of pasta are $9 CAD which is really affordable. I devoured a Mediterranian Penne which was a penne pasta with pesto sauce, artichokes, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach, and topped with a generous portion of goat cheese. For all those goat cheese sluts out there, this pasta dish is for you.
Vancouver BC ----------------> Banff, Alberta
The road trip to Banff was extremely long, it took us nearly 10 hours of driving to get there but boy was it beautiful.
BANFF NATIONAL PARK:
Johnston Canyon: Lower and Upper Falls
Located in Banff National Park, Johnston Canyon is a beautiful hike up an icy pathway to gorgeous turquoise waterfalls. As I went at the end of March, the snow was still there and it was very icy. It's a good thing I came prepared with my snowshoes. For the people who didn't have any sort of traction, it was very dangerous with lots of slipping and sliding.
Tunnel Mountain, which doesn't actually have a tunnel is a breathtaking hike around the Banff area. It is a combination of switchbacks and flat grounds but is mostly uphill. Just like Johnston Canyon, snowshoes were needed as it was extremely icy.
Lake Louise is the most iconic lake in Banff National Park. The night before going to Lake Louise, I had gone bar hopping with a Kiwi and a German, we ended up decided to all go to the lake together along with my travel buddy. We walked across the entire lake and climbed to the base of a giant frozen waterfall. All of them except me stripped down to their boxer-briefs and dove into the small thawed out part of Lake Louise.
Lake Louise was by far my favorite part of the trip.
Old Spaghetti Factory: Originally from Portland, the Old Spaghetti Factory in the town of Banff is basically run by Australians. This place never disappoints with it's exceptional pasta and three course meal.
Indian Curry House: This hidden gem located on Banff Ave. is by far the best Indian food I have ever had in my life. We ended up eating there a couple of nights because it was so delicious. Everything from their Garlic Naan to their PaIak Paneer was a masterpiece of flavor and spices in the mouth. I still have cravings for it. Enough said.
Eating out every night can be expensive, especially in the town of Banff which is why we ended up cooking a lot of our meals. There are a couple of grocery stores near by and the kitchen in Samesun Backpackers is excellent for cooking meals while also meeting new people.
Tip: Many hostels have free breakfast, which usually includes some bread and toppings like peanut butter and jam or cream cheese. We ended up making PB&J sandwiches from leftover breakfast to take on hikes that way we didn't have to buy extra things to make lunch or eat out.