Seattle vs Vancouver???

Apr 14th, 2003, 11:30 AM
  #1  
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Seattle vs Vancouver???

We are planning a trip during the 2nd half of July and will be flying into Seattle. Would you recommend spending time in Seattle, the San Juan Islands, and Victoria on Vancouver Island or skipping Seattle and picking up Vancouver instead. Any advice on itinerary and length of stay along with getting to and from would be helpful. Thank you.
wildcat is offline  
Apr 14th, 2003, 01:16 PM
  #2  
 
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Although it is one of the prettiest and most pleasant large city in the United States Seattle is, when all is said and done, a generic American city in a lovely setting. There are many things unique and worthwhile to do there and if you had a few extra days after spending time in Vancouver I would certainly say you should spend at least a day or two in Seattle.

But since you've put it down to an either/or thing then there is no question that you must choose Vancouver.

Besides being one of the 4 or 5 most beautiful cities in the world Vancouver is also a world class cosmopolitan city where Asia, North America and Europe blend their cultures. Thirty five Percent of greater Vancouver's over two million people are of Asian dexcent and the effects are everywhere. Unlike the American melting pot , Canada considers itself an ethnic Mosaic and the wonderful effects of that are seen throughout the city whether in the Asian Malls, the Punjabi Market or little Italy. There is also a strong West Coast Native People influence that is immediately apparent to people arriving at our Airport. Vancouver has beautiful sandy beaches, (one clothing optional), mile high mountains and huge virgin rainforests all within the city and places like Granville Island, Gastown, Yaletown and the West End which make our downtown a vibrant 24 hour place with a population of almost 100,000 permanent residents.

I could go on and on but when I say choose Vancouver over Seattle I assure you I mean no disrespect to Seattle.
GaryA is offline  
Apr 14th, 2003, 04:15 PM
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I live in Seattle and much as I think it is a terrific city, I agree with GaryA in that it pales in comparison to Vancouver. Our northern neighbor is far more comospolitan than Seattle and is truely one of the most beautiful cities you will ever see, with tons and tons of great things to do and wonderful places to eat.

Ken
LordBalfor is offline  
Apr 14th, 2003, 05:29 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for your wonderful replys. How many days would you suggest we spend in each Vancouver, Victoria and San Juan Islands???
wildcat is offline  
Apr 14th, 2003, 06:04 PM
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Well, you didn't mention how many days you will be in the area, but I'm guessing it's a maximum of 2 weeks.

Victoria is very nice, with lots of character and charm, but it's also definitely a "touristy" place and much, much smaller than Vancouver. Two or three days is enough to see the main attractions.

Can't say a whole lot about the San Juans' as I'm really not that familiar with them, but they are pretty, dotted with small towns and picturesque bays. Not sure how much you like to explore beaches and windowshop in small towns, so I really don't know how long you should stay in the area.

Personally, I would hoard the bulk of my time for the Vancouver area since no matter what you like (city type attractions or communing with Mother Nature you can find in the immediate vicinity.

If you are interested, I've written a couple of Trip Reports/Reviews on both Vancouver and Victoria that you mind find of interest, where I point out a few of my personal favorite thinks to see/do.

You can see them here:

http://www.epinions.com/user-lordbalfor/show_~content/pp_~1/pa_~1#list

For more info, do a web search on "Vancouver Attractions", "Vancouver Tourism" or other such phrases. There's lots of good info out there.

Ken

PS: I don't know if you are aware of this, but Vancouver is a major location for film production, and many, many TV shows/movies were/are shot there - including "X-Files", Jackie Chan's "Rumble in the Bronx", "Smallville", "Twight Zone", etc, etc etc.
LordBalfor is offline  
Apr 14th, 2003, 06:05 PM
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PS: Please ignore my numerous typos, I was too much of a hurry. I think you can make out my meaning.

Ken
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Apr 14th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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Tell us how long you'll be there, Wildcat.

I think the contrast between Vancouver, Victoria and the San Juans would be wonderful, from big city, to picturesque capital town, to laid back island community.

For the San Juans, Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island, is a fun little town. You may be late in booking in the San Juans for July, so go to it, if you're going to. From my trusty "Best Places Northwest" which you should buy as soon as possible, Friday Harbor House is top rated, along with Harrison House Suites. We've stayed at Roche Harbor, on the north side. Its very fun and has a variety of accomodations. It's more resorty, with swimming, tennis, even a mausoleum.
You may want to visit Orcas Is, too, which has the highest point in the San Juans, for good views. (in a park)

I'd give the San Juans 3 or 4 days (explore, lay back), Victoria 2 or 3 (Buchardt Gds, the Museum, and knock around) and Vancouver maybe 3 or 4. But I don't know how much time you have.

If you are actually landing in Seattle, as it seems from your post, it seems you'd want to spend a day or two there, too. And, if you have more time, going to Mt. Rainier and staying at Paradise Lodge or Longmire is worth the entire trip, believe me. (I'd plan on at least 2 nights at Mt. Rainier. Tons to do there. Beautiful trails at Paradise; in the forests; at Longmire; Ohanapakosh for huge trees and rainforests; Sunrise, for sure sunny weather. Great ranger presentations and hikes. It is one of the greatest sites in the world, I think.
gocats2002 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2003, 07:21 AM
  #8  
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Again, thanks for the great info! We are planning to spend 10 days in the area. My husband and I will be traveling with 2 children ages 11 and 15. Which area do you think they would enjoy the most? Would you suggest skipping San Juan and going to Mount Ranier instead? I don't think we'll have enough time to do all of it. Again, thanks for all the great info and taking the time to answer my questions
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Apr 15th, 2003, 05:46 PM
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That's a tough one with 10 days. You could do it all. You'd have to look at drive times and ferry ride times (plus call the ferries and ask for wait times.). Also check availability at Rainier. The two big in-pk lodges (Paradise and Longmire) are probably booked. There are some hotels outside of the park.

Mt. Rainier is in the opposite direction, though not too far. The other three, Vancouver, Victoria and the San Juans, are bunched together, making a trip to the three of them relatively easy. It would be a lovely trip, with a lot of water to look at and enjoy.

I think it depends on what your family is interested in doing. I can only say that Mt. Rainier is spectacular and you see God's hand touching the earth if you go there.

But the whole area is beautiful. You will have a wonderful trip and I am so happy you are going.
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Apr 17th, 2003, 07:19 PM
  #10  
mcf
 
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I'm also planning to visit the Seattle area for seven days. I'm planning to go and visit Vancouver for a few days,what would be the best way to visit Vancouver,by car,train,etc. Can you take rental vehicles into Canada?
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Apr 17th, 2003, 08:46 PM
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You can take rental cars into Canada. It's just very expensive to drop US rental cars off in Canada and vice versa. If you're flying into Seattle probably the best way to go to Vancouver would be by car. It's a short 2.5 to 3 hour drive plus border wait. Check out the 'Seattle to Vancouver' post of yesterday for border crossing details. You;'ll also need proof of citizennship like a passport or two pieces of ID including Birth Certificate or Registration. Drivers' License is not enough on it's own.
GaryA is offline  
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