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Trip Report Back from Seattle and Vancouver Island- WOW!

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My husband and I, both 50ish, just celebrated our wedding anniversary with a wonderful trip to the west coast. After many helpful suggestions from Fodors, we scheduled our time this way:

Monday- Flew from the east coast to Seattle
Tues. - Took the Victoria Clipper to Victoria, rented a car, and drove to Tofino
Wed.&Thurs,- Tofino/Ucluelet
Friday&Sat.- Victoria
Sunday- Took the Clipper back to Seattle
Monday - Flew back home to NC

This schedule was completely doable, and we had a wonderful time. While in Seattle, we saw the Mariners play the Whitesox at Safeco Field, went to Pike Place Market, walked around the city, and saw a fabulous new musical at the 5th Ave.Theatre -"Catch Me if you Can" - watch for it on Broadway now.

Stops along the beautiful drive to and from Tofino included Coombs, Chemanus, Duncan, and Cathedral Grove- all suggested by Fodors posters. We enjoyed them all.

While in Tofino, we soaked up the gorgeous scenery by hiking several trails in the Pacific Rim National Park- trails through coastal rainforests that led to the ocean. We also loved the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet. The views were breathtaking.

In Victoria, we spent time exploring the inner harbor, and went on a whale watching trip with Prince of Whales. We saw a lot of orcas, and although we couldn't get as close to them as I would have liked, it was fun. We also went to the IMAX theatre at the museum
and saw the film about whales.

I highly recommend all three of places we stayed while on this trip:
In Seattle- The Arctic Club Hotel on 3rd Ave. > Absolutely beautiful historic hotel, good location for walking to sights, and the best service and friendliest staff we've ever encountered at a hotel.
In Tofino- Middle Beach Lodge> Rustic, no frills lodge with beautiful views, delicious breakfast included
In Victoria- Carlton Plaza on Johnson St.> Huge room w/ sitting area and kitchen, very reasonable price, easy walk to inner harbor. Ask for a quiet room, though.

Our trip was a perfect mix of exciting city sights and the wonders of nature. We really hated to leave Tofino after three nights. Although Victoria is a beautiful, we wish we could have stayed in Tofino one more day to go kayaking or on another adventure.

Suggestions to others considering this trip: The average temp. in this area in August is about 68 degrees F, so pack accordingly, but pack lightly. The luggage we brought was a bit of a burden since we stayed in three different hotels. We reserved everything online before going- rental car, hotels, the clipper, and tickets to attractions. Some things could be canceled if needed, but everything went according to plan.

Thank you so much to everyone who posted suggestions about Seattle and Vancouver island, and to those who answered my questions when I was planning the trip. It was wonderful!

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