Help With Week in Seattle Area

Old Jun 8th, 2009, 03:04 PM
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Help With Week in Seattle Area

We have a week in the Seattle area, 6/26-07/04. Flying in late to SeaTac and staying at airport Hilton Friday night. We then plan to start driving, visit the falls first, then up to the bridge to Whidbey Island, where to stay and what not to miss on the way and there? Then take the ferry over to Port Townsend and see some of the Olympic Park area, places to stay, must sees? Then drive on down to check out Gig Harbor, maybe a night there, then on into Seattle proper and stay at The Edgewater for the last three nights. Is that too much driving, not enough time in Seattle itself, any guidelines would be much appreciated. We are excited to see the area and want to make the best of our time. Thanks!
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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You have an ambitious schedule, but you will love the area. I'm assuming by the falls you are referring to Snoqualmie (I think I got it right)....gorgeous. Ferries in that area are always fun. Staying at the Edgewater I'm sure you'll spend some time in the market...it's a great experience...The Seattle area is greatly underrated...you'll have a great time, and don't worry if it rains a little...
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 06:32 PM
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The routing Seattle--Snoqualmie Falls--Whidbey Island--Port Townsend strikes me as awkward, and Port Townsend is not a good base for exploring Olympic National Park (if that is your intention).

Also, I am curious why you want to check out Gig Harbor. It is not a usual tourist destination. However, the drive down 101 along the west side of Hood Canal is beautiful, and it will take you in the direction of Gig Harbor.

Do you have a particular reason to stay at the Edgewater rather than at one of the hotels closer to more attractions, restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, etc.?
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 06:58 PM
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Deception Pass is pretty, by Whidbey but make sure the bridge is open (was being worked on). I love Port Townsend and there are several hotels on the main street at which to stay but be aware they can be a little loud. Fort Worden State Park is pretty and very close by. Check out the Inn at Langley, it's so nice on your way back down to Seattle or Gig Harbor. Edgewater is a pretty hotel a Noble House Property I believe and hanging over the Sound but the rooms are small. Otherwise it's great. You can walk to the marriott and take the elevator up and it will plant you at one end of Pike's Market. I think you have enough time in Seattle, depending on what you want to do. If you like Pan Asian food, I would recommend the Wild Ginger although there are several nice restaurants at which to eat including Daniel's Broiler on Lake Union if you wanna check that out too. Argosy Cruises can take you on a lake cruise. Going to Bainbridge for a day is also fun, just hop the ferry and walk into town. Our Zoo is pretty darn good too, of all things. Around the market and waterfront use the same judgement you would in any city at night but I think Seattle is a pretty safe city.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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The Deception Pass bridge hasn't been closed; it's the Hood Canal bridge that was closed but reopened this week (a week early.)

Port Townsend isn't all that inconvenient for visiting Hurricane Ridge or Lake Crescent - adds about 45 min. in each direction, so not a killer for a day trip. However if you want to visit other Olympic NP areas like the coast or Hoh valley, it would make for a pretty long day. I'd still be tempted, since the alternatives are a bunch of so-so motels in Port Angeles or mediocre places in Vampireville.

I also think (unless you have another reason) that Gig Harbor is a bit off your route. If you're getting to the Olympic Peninsula via the Whidbey ferry, then returning via the Hood Canal Bridge and the Bainbridge ferry is much more direct and saves the better part of half a day's drive without retracing your route.

If you want to hit Snoqualmie Falls and then go onto Whidbey, I'd recommend taking I-90 to the falls, then head north up SR 202/203 through the Snoqualmie Valley (Fall City, Carnation, Duvall, Monroe) then SR 9 north to Arlington before cutting back to the freeway, thereby avoiding retracing your steps and avoiding traffic in the Seattle commuter belt. Instead of roaring over SR 20 to Whidbey, go via La Conner, a very cute waterfront village (signposted off the freeway) from which you can easily rejoin SR 20 toward Oak Harbor and Whidbey.

If time permits, do be sure to visit Langley and Coupeville on Whidbey, both very attractive waterfront villages with lots of historic buildings, galleries etc.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 08:01 PM
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As happytrailstoyou noted, Port Townsend, while a delightful city isn't well located for the Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles is better suited...you can also take the ferry to Victoria, BC if you bring your passports. Leave the car in PA and join the walk-on crowd. Victoria is very walkable.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 09:25 PM
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Yes I think 3 days is plenty for a taste of downtown Seattle at the end of your trip. On Whidbey Island, I like the Captain Whidbey Inn in Coupeville (inn, bar, restaurant, and cabins).

Ditto the question about including Gig Harbor? Not on most people's must-do list.
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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for all the responses, just wondering why Gig Harbor seems to be a surprise stop for most everyone, too commercial, just residential, it looks like a lovely harbor and one we thought we would like to check out, we're boaters and are always interested in seeing new waterfront communities. Just looking for pros and cons. Thanks!
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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 05:59 PM
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Gig Harbor is pretty. It's mainly a suburb of Tacoma these days, but worth a visit if you're in the area. I guess my sense is that the benefit:cost ratio (cost in terms of time) is a little off if you're to include Gig Harbor in your agenda.

There are some very pretty waterfront places that are somewhat more convenient to your overall plan, a few of which have been mentioned: La Conner, Langley, Coupeville. If you return to Seattle via the Bainbridge Island ferry, you could stop at the Harbour Public House - http://harbourpub.com/ - overlooking Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge, which is a terrific setting.

For boating people, however, Seattle itself is the mecca of meccas, with (as far as I know) one of the highest per-capita boat ownership rates in the world. Take a cruise around Lake Union or Lake Washington, or through the Ballard Locks, and you'll see what I mean. Have lunch at Maggie Bluffs near the Pier 91 cruise terminal, and gaze out onto a billion dollars or so worth of boats bobbling idly in the marina, with the city skyline and Mt. Rainier (gods permitting) visible behind the floating assets.
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Old Jun 11th, 2009, 06:53 PM
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Thanks Gardyloo, great info to now look into, let me ask you what you would do with 4 or 5 days to do what you want outside of Seattle, I look forward to any and all tips that you have!
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Old Jun 11th, 2009, 08:05 PM
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CHeck out The Inn at Langley and the Four Sisters' property in Langley(sorry can't remember the name). We stayed at the Inn and it was nice however the Four SIsters property looked even nicer.
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