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Drive from Seattle to Portland in the morning

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Jun 14th, 2012, 06:20 AM
  #1
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Drive from Seattle to Portland in the morning

I am staying in Seattle for one night and have a flight from Portland Airport at noon.
I am staying in downtown Seattle. Around what time should I leave in the morning to provide enough time to drop off car at rental and then head to airport. I know the driving distance is around 3 hours but don't know anything about morning traffic on I-5 from Seattle to Portland. Any help would be appreciated.
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Jun 14th, 2012, 07:12 AM
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That pretty much depends on how long before your flight you want to clear security.

As I write at 7:10 a.m. on Thursday, June 14, traffic on I-5 is flowing freely. If I left Seattle now I should be at the car rental by about 10:30. That would suit me.

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Jun 14th, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Weekday or weekend? Assuming you also need to buy fuel for the car (to avoid extortionate rental car charges) then I'd probably be on the road by 7 AM. There can be commuter traffic slowdowns around Fife/Tacoma, Joint Base Lewis McChord (between Tacoma and Olympia) and around downtown Olympia. And of course construction and accidents can also provide some surprises.
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Jun 14th, 2012, 08:29 AM
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I would leave no later than 8AM. Better to have too much time than not enough. Be sure to take the I-205 exit from I-5 as a means of avoiding city traffic and getting closer to the airport.
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Jun 14th, 2012, 08:47 AM
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If you have never seen Multnomah Falls, you could leave downtown Seattle at 5:30AM and be at the falls at 9AM and be back at PDX by 11. Multnomah Falls has a left exit to the median parking area on I-84 about 35 minutes from PDX.
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Jun 14th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Is the flight you're catching domestic or international? That would change how early you need to be at the Portland Airport. I would allow 5 hours minimum (so leave at 7am), 3-1/2 hrs drive, 1-1/2 hrs at the airport.
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