Seatle/Vancouver/Whistler Trip Questions

Mar 17th, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 351
Seatle/Vancouver/Whistler Trip Questions

We were invited to a family event in Vancouver in late December. It looks less expensive to fly to Seattle and drive to Vancouver. Does this make sense? It looks to be a short drive. What is along the way that we (2 adults and a teenager)might enjoy. We were also considering extending the trip and going up to Whistler for a few days. How far is it? Is that a feasible idea? Best source for short lodging/ski packages?
ilana25841 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2008, 07:39 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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It's about a 3 hour drive from Seatac to Vancouver, but it could take longer if you have a wait at the border (depends on time of day, day of the week, is it a holiday, etc). There are some scenic places along the way (Whidbey Island, La Conner, Chuckanut Drive) but late December probably won't have weather conducive to enjoying them.

Whistler's about 2 hours from Vancouver so going would definitely be feasible although you might run into minimum stay requirements if your visit is during the busy week between Christmas and New Year's.
NWWanderer is offline  
Mar 17th, 2008, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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The trip up the I-5 is not a short drive, it's at least 3 1/2 hours of incredibly boring road. There is nothing along it that either you or your child would like - fast food, Lowe's, etc. It will be longer if you catch the northbound Seattle go-home traffic. The border can be a little faster if you use the truck exit, but once over you still have a good 45 minutes into Vancouver. Yes, it's cheaper to fly to Seattle, but I'll never do that drive again.
oliverandharry is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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While I agree wholeheartedly with Oliverandharry that there's little of interest on the highway between Seattle and Vancouver, I had to laugh at the oath to never do it again!

He was correct to point out that Seattle (like most cities) has a rush hour and that it's best to avoid the Northbound drive during it, but I would advise you to follow NWWanderer's advice; it's balanced and accurate.

global_guy is offline  
Mar 19th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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Thanks for the comments (and not laughing at my misspelling of Seattle). We will be traveling on Christmas day, so I was hoping it would be a little bit faster. I'll ponder the headache vs. the $750 we'd save on 3 airfares.
ilana25841 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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I would defintiely do the drive. We just got back from a trip to Whistler & flew into Seattle due to lower flight prices & drove up. Yes, it's a somewhat boring drive unless you have clear skies you can see some mtns. But I think it would definitely be worth saving $750! The drive from Vancouver to Whistler is about 2 hrs - just avoid driving at night if you can. Check out my trip report for more details. is a good place to book condos. And I would suggest buying lift tickets at the 711 in Squamish to save some $$.
AngelaS is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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A warning about that I-5 drive in late December. If there's snow, road can be treacherous, because the route is not salted/ploughed as it is north of the border. We live in Vancouver, have recreational property in WA State, so we drive that route often, and will fly out of Seattle when fares/routes are better, but only in spring/summer/fall now. We've had a few scary winter drives to/from Seatac. I don't know cost for 3 on the Seatac-Vancouver shuttle bus, another alternative.

It's a beautiful scenic drive to Whistler and some Olympic 2010 venues are already finished, but accommodation is very pricey that time of year.
jojo46 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Posts: 351
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. Just getting out of winter, hate to think about winter driving again, but you have good points.
ilana25841 is offline  

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