Oregon/Washington Itinerary

Old Jan 14th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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Oregon/Washington Itinerary

Any feedback on the following itinerary would be appreciated. We are Dad, Mom, Son 15, and Daughter 12. We love scenery, wildlife, National Parks, etc more than city stuff. We aren't into shopping, wineries, fancy restaurants, etc. Thanks

Day 1 - Fly into Portland (from Little Rock)
Day 2 - Columbia River Gorge and back to Portland
Day 3 - Drive to Tillamook, then up the coast and overnight in Astoria
Day 4 - Mt St Helens, overnight near Mt Rainier
Day 5 - Mt Rainier
Day 6 - Drive to Port Angeles. Visit Bremerton (show the kids where I was stationed 20 years ago) and Port Townsend
Day 7 - Olympic NP (Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent)
Day 8 - Day trip to Victoria
Day 9 - Drive to Seattle.
Day 10 - Whale Watching Trip from Everett or Anacortes
Day 11 - Seattle
Day 12 - ????
Day 13 - Fly home from Seattle

Specific questions -
1. Day 3 on the coast is the Fourth of July. I know it will be crowded that weekend, but will everyone be heading home that day?
2. Day 12 is open and can be moved anywhere in the itinerary. What should we fill this with?
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 01:03 PM
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I think your trip sounds good. Since you were in Bremerton you are already at least somewhat familiar with the area.

In Everett you may be interested in doing a tour at Boeing. I do not know the specifics, but look at their website. Also, in Seattle the Museum of Flight is great. When we lived in the area, we visited it quite a bit and our kids liked it as much as we did.

If you are driving over to Tillamook on the 4th of July, you shouldnt encounter too much traffic. Most will be coming back this direction (towards Portland) since the next day is a workday for many people.

Are you looking to hike, or just enjoy the outdoors at a more casual pace? All the places you mention are fantastic for hiking, but also for just taking in the nice views.

We lived in Seattle for a while and have family there, but we are in the Portland area now. There are a lot of us that live here in the PNW on the boards so I am sure any questions you have will get answered. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 01:23 PM
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For your overnight in Astoria, I would recommend the Hotel Elliott. www.hotelelliott.com Right across the street from the hotel is Schooner's 12th Street Bistro, not fancy but great food there. I really like the sea scallops, but there are lots of things on the menus the kids will love. We had our Father's Day lunch there with 13 of us, six being kids.

Take your kids to the Maritime Museum there if you have time, they all loved it. www.oldoregon.com A stop at Fort Clastsop might also be nice. We've had a second home in Astoria for twenty years way before it became a tourist destination.

Another great place to grab a bite to eat is the Ship Inn, very casual and the best fish and chips on the coast. you will have gorgeous views of the Columbia River from the dining room. A ride on the riverfront trolley would also be fun for your kids to take in some of the gorgeous scenery.

If you like Italain food, Fulio's is the place in Astoria. (You will have lots of casual dining there.) Peter Roscoe has relocated his restaurant from Portland is doing very well in the area.

On your way up from Tillamook, I hope you get to spend some time in Cannon Beach. It's gorgeous, walk out to Haystack Rock or have a picnic at Ecola State Park where you will see some of the most breath-taking scenery on the coast.

Will you be touring the cheese factory in Tillamook? Your kids would enjoy a jaunt through there and they produce some very tasty cheese. I love the Pepper Jack there.

We've spent many Fourth of Julys on the coast. Lots of different places to see the fireworks. Seaside would also be fun for your kids. Aquarium, prom, etc. Beautiful views of Tillamook Head from the beach there.

We're headed over to Portland ourselves for a couple of nights for business/pleasure, then we'll be spending the extra days on the coast. I can't wait! ***kim***
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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Nice itinerary! Will you have room for another person in the car? My one suggestion would be to put day 12 on the Oregon coast. But then, I'm from Portland, and have a definite bias! You could maybe start from Lincoln City instead of Tillamook.

Like your screen name, by the way.
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 01:47 PM
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How about going whale watching from closer to Victoria, as the whales are up that way, in the Haro Strait and around the San Juans and not around Seattle. It would save a lot of driving.

So, I'd suggest this: Day 8 Victoria (Depending on ferry schedules, stay overnight in Victoria or in Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands).
Day 9 whale watching and exploring San Juan Island. Stay at Friday Harbor
Day 10 - Ferry to Anacortes and drive back to Seattle.

You still have extra days! You could easily spend more time in Victoria/San Juan Island area, the Olympic Peninsula (visit Hoh Rain Forest), or Mt. Rainier.
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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You have worked out a very nice itinerary. However, driving on the Oregon coast is much more time consuming that you might imagine. I suggest that from Portland you drive directly to Cannon Beach and spend the night there, exploring that town and nearby Ecola State Park, Oswald State Park, and Manzanita. Then, visit Astoria on your way to Mt. St Helens.
 
Old Jan 15th, 2005, 11:10 AM
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Richbutnot: Orcas has good advice about logistics. Washington State Ferry is best for return trip from Victoria and docks near Anacortes. Must get a reservation at that time of year.

Oregon's beaches are fabulous and your teenagers would much prefer a day at the beach over a trip to Tillamook (did it, saw the cheese factory and it was crowded; teens would be bored I think).

Bring your bug repellent if you decide to do Olympic parks. We did it, same time of year, and the bugs were considerable in the rain forest.

In general, I think you might want to tighten up this itinerary to spend less time in the car (speaking as a local).

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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 11:26 AM
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Check out, www.seasideor.com Let your kids view the website for some fun things to do in Seaside. Do you like to surf or boogey-board? A great spot for this is Avenue U in Seaside. Take your teens to the Bigfoot Pub & Grub for some great food. Rib night is every Sun. night. The best ribs I've ever had & we dine out A LOT!! ***kim***
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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I'm guessing you're taking the ferry from the US to Victoria. When you're leaving, why not take the ferry from Victoria to the Lower Mainland and stay in (or around) Vancouver. You don't have to shop, you could do outdoorsy things, go to Grouse Mountain, or even take your whalewatching tour from Vancouver or the Village of Steveston (in Richmond). If you're going to be all the way out to the West Coast, it seems a shame to miss out on one of the most beautiful cities in the region. Seattle would then be an easy 2.5 hour drive from Vancouver (I do it all the time!).

Cheers
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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I agree with the above post that recommended spending the additional day on San Juan Island. It really does not make any sense to day trip to Victoria, backtrack to Seattle, only to drive back north to take a whale watching trip to the waters near Victoria (that is where the orcas are that time of year)!
So, if you spend a day in Victoria, then take the ferry from Sydney, BC to San Juan Island, and take a whale trip from there, THEN take the ferry to Anacortes and drive down to Seattle, it makes a lot more sense. You can make reservations for the Sydney-San Juan run-I'd recommend it, that time of year. Alternately, you could spend the extra day on Vancouver Island/Victoria and take the whale trip from Victoria, taking the Sydney-Anacortes ferry through the gorgeous San Juan Islands on the way back to Seattle.
There are some wonderful kayaking whale watching trips from San Juan, if that appeals to you (nothing like seeing whales at eye level!). Also, the whales tend to "hang out" off the west side of San Juan Island, so if you can find a rental house/cabin there with a western view, you are quite likely to see whales from your accomodation.
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Old Jan 29th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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OK, we adjusted our schedule per the above posts to go from Port Angeles to Victoria on Sunday morning, then Sydney to Friday Harbor later that same day. We will whale watch out of FH on Monday and then take a ferry to Anacortes later that afternoon and drive to Seattle.

The problem is that I can't find a summer ferry schedule to see if this is feasible. Can anyone help me with that? We will be taking our car.

Any recommendations for a whale watching company. I plan on choosing one from http://www.nwwhalewatchers.org/index.html

Also, based on advice from this board, we shifted Day 12 to add a day to the Oregon coast.

Thanks, Rich
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Old Jan 29th, 2005, 07:34 PM
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Try calling the Wa. State ferries and asking what the sailing schedule from Sydney will be. They do have a "real" (not just a recorded message) information person. I believe there is only one run per day and that it leaves Sydney early afternoon. That gives you zero time in Victoria if arriving from Port Angeles that same morning, so you might want to spend that extra day there.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 10:33 PM
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Hey richbutnot,
You must love road trips! Couple of suggestions: Centralia WA, near Mt. St. Helens has a fun old hotel, the Olympic Club: http://www.mcmenamins.com/index.php?loc=58&id=135
It is the old railway hotel, barely fixed up, with a movie theater (with couches and tables), a restaurant and pub on the first floor.

You might also consider spending more time on Vancouver Island like this:
Day 8 - ferry to Victoria
Day 9 - Vancouver Island west coast hiking
Day 10- Vancouver Island whale watching
Day 11 - Tsawassen ferry (BC ferry to mainland.) Then 3 hours to Seattle.
Day 12 - In Seattle: Experience Music Project (perfect for kids 12 & 15 y.o.)
Day 13 - home

I'm sure you can find whale watching on Vancouver Island & the scenery is stunning - more so than the San Juans. And, depending on the time of year, the ferry wait can be much shorter on the BC ferries.
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