Amtrak to Seattle for “Black Friday” Sales November 26 – 28, 2010

The scenic Amtrak Cascades train. Photo: Amtrak

Since most Vancouverites see U.S. advertisements on the TV all the time—and live close enough to the border for a day-trip to Washington State—most of us are already familiar with “Black Friday,” the U.S. equivalent of Boxing Day and the U.S.’s biggest sales day of the year.

Though, technically, Black Friday sales last through the weekend (at least), it’s the Friday after U.S. Thanksgiving—this Friday, November 26—that has the most notorious sales, with prices slashed on everything imaginable, from electronics to clothes to toys.

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Amtrak to Seattle for “Black Friday” Sales November 26 – 28, 2010

Catch the Amtrak Cascades Train to Vancouver

The train travels along the scenic waterfront (Photo: Amtrak)

Hey Seattle! Portland! Looking for something to do? Looking for a short getaway?  Well, look no further! I have the answer, and the answer is Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada!

Visit your neighbours, just over the border and do it all in comfort by catching the Amtrak Cascades train. Amtrak Cascades offers a Pacific Northwest route between Eugene, Oregon and Vancouver, BC which stops at major cities along the way (Portland, Seattle) and some others in between (check out the Amtrak Cascades website for exact stops).

 

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Catch the Amtrak Cascades Train to Vancouver

Shopping the Labour Day Sales in Vancouver & Washington State

Metropolis at Metrotown

Labour Day weekend is one of the biggest sales events of the year. Anywhere you go to shop in Vancouver this weekend—from small boutiques to brand name stores, from fashion to electronics to furniture—there will be huge sales. Labour Day is the time for summer clearances and back-to-school sales, and that’s as true south of the border as it is here in Vancouver.

If you’re staying in Vancouver for the weekend, you can best capitalize on the sales by heading to the big shopping centres. For fashion and gifts, head to Robson Street and Pacific Centre downtown, to The Bay department store (where they’re having a 75% off summer clearance), or take the SkyTrain to Metropolis at Metrotown (the largest mall in B.C.).

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Shopping the Labour Day Sales in Vancouver & Washington State

Amtrak-ing from Seattle

Water views on Amtrak

Water views on Amtrak

With a new Amtrak Cascades line running – bringing the Portland (and Seattle) to Vancouver route up to twice a day – it’s never been easier or prettier to get between the urban centres of the Pacific Northwest. A usual car-addict, I wanted to try out the trip on a weekend jaunt to Seattle to see what all the fuss is about.

Immediately, the appeal is obvious. Despite an early morning (the train departs at 6:40 am), as soon as you’re settled on-board you’re able to relax. The seats are comfortable, wide and cushy (the only big difference between coach and business class is a wider armrest), the service is friendly, and the views – the views are definitely better than your typical highway fare.

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Amtrak-ing from Seattle

On the Train: Vancouver to Seattle & Beyond on the Amtrak Cascades Train

On board the Amtrak Cascades from Vancouver to Seattle; Photo © KC  Lynch

On board the Amtrak Cascades from Vancouver to Seattle; Photo © KC Lynch

If you’re looking for a weekend mini-break, or a way to combine a trip to Vancouver with a trip to the U.S., why not hop on the scenic Amtrak Cascades train and head to Seattle for a few days? The train takes about four hours to make the journey from Vancouver to Seattle and the whole trip is lovely: Gorgeous views of the Pacific Northwest coast, perfect in any weather. (I actually find it more romantic when it’s grey and moody.)

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On the Train: Vancouver to Seattle & Beyond on the Amtrak Cascades Train