Alternative Trip from Seattle to Vancouver

Old Mar 10th, 2008, 06:36 AM
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Alternative Trip from Seattle to Vancouver

We are visiting Seattle in June for a couple of days and are then travelling to Vancouver for a couple days from where we will return to Australia. What are the alternatives to get to Vancouver other than Amtrak, bus or car up the freeway? Would it be practical to take a Ferry via Victoria or is there an interesting drive to Vancouver avoiding the freeway?
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 07:59 AM
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Well, you could fly--it's a quick flight between the two cities.

I would only do the ferry to Victoria if you're planning to at least overnight there--otherwise it's too long a day of traveling IMO (without a car, you'd take the Clipper from Seattle to Victoria and then the PCL bus which goes on the BC Ferry).

Once you're about 45 minutes north of Seattle, there are some nice back roads you can take instead of I-5, including the roads through the Skagit Valley with a possible stop at La Conner, and Chuckanut Drive to Bellingham. If you decide to do that post again and I'll try to write out the exact routing.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 08:01 AM
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There are a couple of interesting driving alternatives. The ferry to/from Victoria is a bit of a time suck frankly.

I've taken overseas visitors on this route a couple of times and got good reviews:

North on I-5 from Seattle to the Mukilteo (SR 526) exit (around 20 min.) then west on SR 526 past the Boeing widebody factory (biggest building in the world by volume) - stop for the factory tour - http://www.futureofflight.org - if time allows (booking ahead is a good idea.)

Then down into Mukilteo and take the ferry over to Whidbey Island. Drive north on the island road to the Langley turnoff, and visit Langley (very attractive waterfront village) then continue north to Coupeville (another cute town) and eventually over the Deception Pass bridge (stop and gawk) to Fidalgo Island.

Continue on SR 20 north and east until the junction of SR 11 (aka Chuckanut Drive) which follows the coast into Fairhaven, Bellingham's old town.

From Bellingham you pretty much need to follow I-5 to the border, although if you still want more attractive countryside you can follow SR 542 to SR 9, then cross the border at Sumas and take the TC Hwy (freeway) into Vancouver from there.

In all this adds something like 3-4 hours to the drive (not counting Boeing tour or ferry/border waits) so it's a full day trip, but you get exposure to some excellent scenery, interesting towns, and get a better picture of what this region is all about.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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I've done Gardyloo's route as far as Bellingham several times and think it is a great alternative if you are driving. If you have time explore Whidbey Island a bit, it's a wonderful place to visit.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 05:08 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions,plenty of food for thought.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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Victoria is a must for its museum of Indian art. I found the ferry crossing pleasant.
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