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-   -   Vancouver to Seattle (https://www.fodors.com/community/canada/vancouver-to-seattle-310984/)

joc Apr 26th, 2003 01:25 PM

Vancouver to Seattle
 
My husband and I are taking a cruise to Alaska that ends in Vancouver. I'd like to drive(?) from Vancouver to Seattle. I've been reading the threads about routes from Vancouver to Seattle and am wondering if driving is the best way. Could anyone please tell me the easiest (least hassles),efficient and if possible most scenic route from Vancouver to Seattle?

gocats2002 Apr 26th, 2003 08:47 PM

I wouldn't say the drive is scenic, but it is the easiest way between the cities. I-5 is pretty flat all the way, with nothing much to speak for it, but a great designer outlet mall about half-way.

amygirl Apr 26th, 2003 09:01 PM

The biggest hassle of the approx 3 hr drive is the border. Waits at the border can be long and boring. Just an idea, if you are open to a suggestion and don't need to drive, why not take Amtrak which has one train a day between Vancouver and Seattle. No long waits at the border and no boring I-5...although the stretch between Vancouver and Seattle is much nicer than the stretch between Seattle and Portland especially if you take the old Chukanut route which a very pretty alturnative to the I-5 which returns you to the I-5 right at the outlet mall mentioned by the previous poster.

waltd Apr 27th, 2003 01:20 PM

Yea, the drive is ok, particularly north of the border. IMy memory may be faulty but it seems like it took us about 4 hours when we drove it last summer, not counting the border. With beefed up security, the lines can get kinda long, but not too bad. Three lanes were open and we waited about half an hour to get to the booth; the inspection took 5 minutes. But it's 4-lane interstate all the way.

dar Apr 27th, 2003 01:34 PM

It's a rather uneventful 21/2 to 3 hr. drive to Seattle, not including border. I would recommend starting early before line-ups at the border get busy, drive straight down Oak street, over the bridge to Richmond, right to the border, listen to News 1130 AM radio for border info, and take Peach Arch or the "truck crossing", depending on what the radio says about the line ups. Then head south and detour to the Chukanut drive route, which snakes along the coast for awhile. Stop at Larabee state park, walk along the short trail to the ocean and hang out for awhile to stretch the legs. Or for the more adventuresome, there is a trail across the parking lot of Larabee that takes you up the mountain (and I mean up!) and you get a great view. Leave 1 1/1 hours for this hike. Great little view if you walk the path and climb on the rocks. Then continue on Chukanut until it becomes flat and drive to the small town (can't remember the name off-hand - touristy town, little crafty shops, etc. - they host the Tulip Festival - someone help me here!) and have lunch/aft. cool one on the patio of one of the pubs or restaurants. Wander through the gift shops etc. Then back to the boring I5 and head home. This side trip can add anywhere from 1 hour to several, depending on how long you stop - and you will want to stop!

Carmanah Apr 27th, 2003 05:08 PM

dar - you're talked about the town of La Conner. I agree, it's a nice side stop.

joc May 10th, 2003 05:58 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions.


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