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Vancouver/Seattle Trip

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Hello Fellow Fodors - My wife and I have a wedding July 29th in Seattle, but we've decided to make a vacation out of it and go to Vancouver. Our plan is to fly from Chicago to Vancouver on Monday, July 24th and fly back from Seattle on Monday, July 31st. Now, we're not alone as we're meeting family and a bunch of friends in Seattle, but will be on our own in Vancouver. Everyone arrives to Seattle on Thursday.
Chicago to Vancouver (flight) - Roughly 3 days (All Monday afternoon, all Tue and Wed and drive to Seattle Thursday afternoon
Seattle - 3 days (Thursday night, all Friday, all Saturday (wedding day, 5pm) all Sunday, fly back Monday morning to Chicago
I was told Gastown is a good area to stay in Vancouver. Any other recommendations? I want to get the most out of the 3 days in Vancouver without having to rush.
For Seattle, I was told Ballard or Fremont are good spots to stay.
Not really interested in Museums. More about sites, beautiful mountains, bars, food and fun! Might be somewhat broad, but I'm hoping you can help out.
Looking forward to your recommendations. Cheers!

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