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northwest trip itinerary/transportation questions

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Sep 13th, 2011, 04:15 PM
  #1
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northwest trip itinerary/transportation questions

Trying to figure out the best way to do the following: spend 3 days in Seattle, 3 in portland and 3 or 4 days each on Or and WA coasts. Would be flying into one of the cities, whichever is cheaper. Will rent a car for the roadtrip part, but would like not to have one in the cities. Is my best choice Amtrak or should I just rent in one in the destination city and not make such a big deal about having it in the cities and driving in traffic, etc?
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Sep 13th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Rent a car and divide your time among Portland, the Columbia River Gorge (Hood River), the Oregon Coast (Cannon Beach, Yachats, or Newport), and Seattle, with side trips to Mt. Rainier and San Juan Island.

The Oregon Coast has much more to offer visitors than the Washington Coast.

Amtrack is not useful except for between Seattle and Portland.

HTTY
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Sep 14th, 2011, 12:05 PM
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I agree. The coast in Oregon is MUCH more beautiful and dramatic than the Washington coast (I live in Seattle, was just out at Newport & Yachats this past weekend). For the trip you describe, yes I would just rent a car and keep it the entire time. Flying either into Seattle or Portland, whichever is cheaper airfare.
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Sep 14th, 2011, 01:10 PM
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Thanks for your ideas.Guess we will just do the car thing and not mess around.
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Sep 14th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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Would this be in September or February?
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Sep 14th, 2011, 05:19 PM
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most likely would be May. Have been in Sept and oct and would like to see it all in spring.
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Sep 14th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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In May I'd definitely fly into Portland and do a loop out of there. The Columbia River Gorge and Hood River Valley are spectacular at that time - orchards in bloom, lots and lots of water in the waterfalls on the Gorge walls... great time to visit.

In fact, I'd probably limit my time to maybe a day trip from Portland out to the coast - to Cannon Beach, maybe, or one overnight out to the coast and then up to Seattle via Astoria and Cape Disappointment/Ilwaco on the Washington side of the river's mouth (good rocky scenery, lighthouses) thence to I-5, so that you could run up to the Skagit Valley an hour past Seattle (to the north) where you might pick up the end of the tulip festival, then use one of your "coast" days exploring the Puget Sound country - Whidbey Island, Port Townsend etc. - before getting to Seattle itself.

My reason for suggesting this is that May can still be quite wet and chilly at the Pacific coast, while inland - in the Puget Sound country, Willamette Valley in Oregon, etc. - the weather will likely be a little dryer and warmer.
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Sep 29th, 2011, 11:30 AM
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I would spend as much time on the OR coast as you can. I live there and I haven't begun to see it all. Whatever your interests; hiking, biking scenery, fishing, crabbing, birding, kayaking,etc, you can find it on the OR coast.
Yes, the weather in May is a little variable, but last couple years we've gotten more sunny days in May than we got in June.
The Oregon Coast Visitors Association website is a good resource.
My favorite little town is Garibaldi, an authentic working fishing village just and hour and a half from Portland.
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Mar 24th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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For anyone viewing this thread with the same question I totally disagree that Oregon's coast is "MUCH more beautiful" than Washington's. It depends what you're looking for. Oregon's coast is developed for tourism so it's easy to get to in your car, stay in a hotel, and enjoy as a tourist. Washington's sothern coast is the tourist-oriented equivalent of Oregon's coast and doesn't compete well on those terms. The northern half however is mostly wilderness inside Olympic National Park. This is easily the most beautiful section of Pacific coast in the continental US. However it is also the most difficult to get to. The best beaches can only be accessed by 100+ miles of driving from Seattle and then several miles of hiking over rocks, boulders, and tidal flats. You can get cut off by tides so you have to consult tide tables when planning your hike/camp. If you make it there however you are totally immersed in costal wilderness that you'll never find in Oregon. The ocean is amazing and the stars at night will take your breath away (when it isn't raining). I've had some incredible times there.
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Mar 26th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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Do agree that the northern part of the Washington Coast is also beautiful - and like the temperate rain forest in the Olympic forest - but it's harder (takes a while) to get over there.

And would also add that I really like staying up at Mt.Hood/Timberline Lodge for a night or two, an easy drive from the Gorge. http://www.timberlinelodge.com/
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May 30th, 2012, 01:20 PM
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i apologize for jumping in on this post =/ but, haven't gotten much feedback on my Washington / Oregon post. What would PCW natives say is the weather in early November? Is it safe for driving? (speaking from [a flat landed] Florida here)
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May 31st, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Jennise, people who live in the Northwest drive 365 days a year, rain or shine...my experience is that it is as safe as the driver makes it; there is nothing inherently unsafe about the roads. If you want to look at weather statistics go to www.weatherbase.com but realize that history does not necessarily repeat itself. It's safe to say that November is our rainiest month.

Never lived in Miami, but I know that up on the panhandle it rains more than it does in the Pacific Northwest.
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May 31st, 2012, 09:48 AM
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thanks Bobmrg!

rain isn't a problem, it rains almost every day here too. i was more concerned with the landscape.
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May 31st, 2012, 10:13 AM
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Jennise, people who live in the Northwest drive 365 days a year, rain or shine... ...except in Seattle they don't know how to drive in the snow.

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Jun 2nd, 2012, 02:45 PM
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Gardyloo--wondering why you asked if it was in Sept. or Feb. I will be visiting OR in Sept.
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Jun 2nd, 2012, 04:01 PM
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My guess it is because weather conditions are very different during those two months and though the query was posted in September, it did not state the time of travel.

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Jun 5th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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jennise, The worst thing about November is how very very short the days are. Like getting dark at 4:15pm. The weather will likely be cool, gray, raining. It could snow, but that would be unusual, but it HAS happened in November sometimes. But typically speaking the driving is fine, nothing really to comment on, just freeway driving between Seattle and Portland, 3 hrs, very easy.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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thank you everyone for your response
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