Pacific NW Itinerary

Old Jun 8th, 2021, 04:20 PM
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Suze please give any sage advice I know nothing about this area I just want to see and experience beautiful nature.

What do I know? I'm a city girl -haha. But the one thing I can share from reading internet travel forums (here and the WA forum at Trip Advisor) is newbies almost always vastly underestimate how BIG it is here. How long it takes to get from place to place. They don't know there's still snow where they want to go hiking at altitude. That there aren't a bunch of "charming towns" out on the Olympic Peninsula. That ferries take time. Stuff like that. I am smiling but unfortunately not joking!

My best advice is to at least look at one guidebook and one paper road map. Get a feel for how big things are. Use google to plot road time and add a margin to that for reality. And lastly... listen to Gardyloo. He is the one with sage advice!!
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 05:04 PM
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If you do make it to Crater Lake- HWY 138 has many easy waterfall hikes. You can spend a whole day seeing multiple falls. Watson Falls is a favorite but some of the others are easier. Susan Falls is another favorite. Some of the falls are just a few yards from the parking lot. Since you like easy hiking, this is an opportunity to see some spectacular scenery without too much effort.
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 05:06 AM
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I haven't spent time on the Olympic Peninsula but quite liked Tacoma so would definitely visit it when in that area. I might have liked it as much as Portland, where I can't imagine spending a week or more in. Portland has a lot of issues, is relatively expensive, and also is harder to get in/out of seems to me (not bad for a city, of course). I don't know why you'd want to base in Portland for mostly doing stuff outside the city. I don't think I did anything in the city proper but the main art museum and that rose garden. Outside it along the Columbia Gorge, etc, sure, but not in Portland itself. So I could see several days in the area towards Tacoma and Mt Rainier, perhaps. Maybe a couple days in Portand, 3 at most (presuming some of that time is outside the city).

Tacoma has several nice museums, for one thing (glass, WA state history, art, and a new one I haven't been to on classic cars--I always like those). But just outside the main city is Pt Defiance Park which is really nice for hiking/5 mile drive. There is Ft Nisqually there to see, also.
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 12:25 AM
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If you have time, please see the St. Mt. Helen's visitor center. It's not a short drive from the freeway but the views and history of the area should definitely be experienced.

Also, for a nice stop to have a picnic or take an hour to do an easy but beautiful stroll, consider Tumwater Falls Park just south of Olympia. It's literally next to the freeway and always beautiful to see due to its waterfalls and fauna.
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