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Seattle - 7 people - Help!

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We are going to a family wedding in Seattle at the end of June. Because we have never been to the area we decided to extend the trip an additional 4 days. A few more family members have decided to stay with us and we now have a group of seven. 3 of us are middle aged and 4 older teens through early 20 somethings.

My daughter and I have been put in the position of trip planner. We have done some reading and research, but are finding it a little daunting to trip plan for others.

We will be in the area for 7 days, but the first three we will be involved with visiting and wedding goings on. We will have 4 full days of freedom.

We have some in our party who want to whale watch. Can you tell me the best way to do this?

We have been looking at three hotels that have the exact room configurations that we need: Mayflower Park, Vintage Park, Hyatt Place. I realize that Hyatt Place is a little farther afield, is it still a viable option for sightseeing? What about the other two?

We are considering a side trip to Victoria. Opinions?

Other thoughts and ideas about what to do?

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    Of the hotels, I'd opt for the Mayflower as it's much closer to the main downtown sights than the other two - the Vintage Park is more in the office core rather than the commercial core, and the Hyatt Place is in a very trafficky area north of downtown, closer to Seattle Center. Public transport access to the Mayflower will be an order of magnitude better than the other two, including an entrance to the light rail and bus tunnel (straight to the airport) immediately adjacent. (The Hyatt Place is outside the free bus zone, so you'd constantly have to go downtown and change buses if you want to go anywhere.)

    Regarding whale chasing, the action on that front is virtually all up near the San Juan Islands. That's a long way from Seattle (I believe Clipper Vacations offers a day trip but it would be pretty long) so ideally if the whale watchers and the Victoria-goers happen to be the same people, that would be more convenient, since there are a lot of whale watching operations out of Victoria. An overnight in Victoria or Friday Harbor on San Juan Island would probably be necessary however.

    As for what else to do, well there's quite a lot - sightseeing, shopping, day hikes, ride ferries, King Tut's, EMPeror Paul Allen's and Prince Dale Chihuly's accumulated treasures on display at Seattle Center... what's your preference?

    Are you here for the 4th of July? There's a GREAT fireworks show over Lake Union in central Seattle.

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