Port Townsend-Victoria-Olympic Nat'l Park

Old Aug 4th, 2003, 04:14 PM
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Port Townsend-Victoria-Olympic Nat'l Park

We are planning a 2nd Anniversary trip (end of Aug/beg of Sept) from Oregon to Port Townsend, WA(overnite), on to Port Angeles ferry ride to Victoria B.C. (for 4 nites), then back to Olympic Nat'l Park (2-3 nites). Suggestions needed for: 1.Moderate-priced, CLEAN, friendly lodgings along the way - microwave/fridge helpful (approx. $100/nite), 2.Are B&B's a better way to go or motels/hotels?, 3.Sites to see/do along way, 4.Places to eat.
Love personal recommendations and "word-of-mouth advertising" -- much more reliable than ads.
Also, will the weather be mild, say 64-75? Pack to wear layers?
In Victoria, we've been told to stay at the Queen Victoria Inn, or the Hotel Grand Pacific. We are comfortable with Super8 style,if necessary due to budget, but really want inner harbour view.
Ideas/suggestions warmly welcomed, and thanks so much for everyone's thoughtful assistance.
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 05:15 PM
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You might look into staying in Sequim, which is a small town near Port Angeles. Have stayed at a nice B&B there right on the Strait of Juan de Fuca called the "Dungeness Lodge B&B" that was nice and convenient for trips to Olympic National Park.
http://www.dungenesslodge.com

In Olympic National Park, walk one of the trails near Hurricane Ridge and take a drive to the northwestern-most point of the continental US at Cape Flattery.
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 06:54 PM
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Although I've never stayed in Sequim, I would look into that also. I love the Dungeness Spit area.

In Victoria I would choose the Queen Victoria Inn over the Hotel Grand Pacific only because of my own, completely personal, negative feelings about Grand Pacific's monstrous size and lousy landscaping. Also, it is next to the carriage horse stands where it can get quite 'fragrant' although that would probably only be noticed when walking by. But are either in the $100 range? You could also see if any specials are running at Laurel Point, Harbour Towers or Delta Ocean Pointe. Laurel Point and Ocean Point don't have a road between them and the harbour. There is also the Days Inn on the Harbour, but I'm not sure how good their views are. I know someone who was very happy with their stay at Dogwood Manor but it's on Fairfield Road, several blocks from downtown with no water view. It was reasonable - in the springtime anyway, quiet and clean (they expect you to take your shoes off).

The Saanich Fair runs over the Labour Day weekend if you're in Victoria at that time and interested in country fairs.
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 07:27 PM
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The weather at the time you're going is generally very warm. In the 70's along the Strait is not uncommon then, but it is often windy.
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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 09:11 PM
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We returned a couple weeks ago from a similar trip, driving up from the Bay Area. We stopped in Shasta and Portland on our way to Port Townsend. There are a ton of nice B&B's in Port Townsend, but you will need to reserve in advance. It takes about an hour to get from there to Port Angeles.

If you are taking the ferry into Victoria, I might suggest staying in Port Angeles the night before. We stayed at Colette's B&B, which I thought was a little overpriced, though the views were spectacular. It was actually located closer to Sequim, which wasn't as convenient for taking the ferry. While there, I noticed two hotels located right in Port Angeles that I would consider trying: the Best Western Olympic Lodge, and the Red Lion, both of which have websites and seem to be reasonably-priced.

Will you be taking the car or people ferry? If the people ferry, you can make reservations in advance. The car ferry doesn't take reservations, so you need to get there early, especially in summer, to make sure you get on.

On Vancouver Island we stayed in Sooke, rather than Victoria, so I can't give you any recommendations there. In Victoria, check out the chocolates at Bernard Callebaut.

Let me know if want any more information about our trip. You have chosen a great itinerary -- I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

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Old Aug 4th, 2003, 11:32 PM
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Here are some of my pick hits. In Port Townsend, try dinner at the Fountain Steps Cafe and breakfast at Salal is a must. Fountain Steps would be a fine anniversary type of place. It's casual but nicely so and the food is good and plentiful.

We are among those who have stayed in Sequim. My advice would be to make certain you stay near the spit. Sequim near the hwy looks like a strip mall.
We stayed at the Juan de Fuca cottages. They are reasonably priced, include kitchens(ettes) and have a lovely view. We ate at Three Crabs in Sequim and found it to be a great local "joint". I'd say for an overnite a B&B is just fine. There is one, to my memory, down near the spit and Three C's. However, I cannot remember the name. In the Park we have also stayed at Lake Crescent Lodge. It's nothing fancy but the views are lovely. I read one of the best books of my life (Fugitive Pieces) sitting in a chair outside our cabin there.

In Victoria make cetain you check out the Royal Museum. The first peoples exhibit is a must if you see no other part of the museum. We stayed at Abigail's in Victoria which I think is above your $ stated. If you want to splurge any place, I'd say do it here. It is not in the Harbor but a few blocks away. The breakfast alone is worth the cost of the rooms.
Happy Anniversary. You are headed into beautiful territory.
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 02:15 AM
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I would advise staying in PT over Sequim. I lived in Sequim and worked in PT and PT is one of my favorite places in the world. Walking along Water Street (the main street) and the streets of "uptown" is a delight. Chetzemoka Park is a place to relax among the trees. For a small town, PT has many good restaurants, including Sentosa (a highly acclaimed Japanese restaurant), Khu Larb (excellent Thai) among others. (I disagree about the Three Crabs in Sequim being a "locals" joint. The opposite is true--it is geared very heavily to the tourist trade and we found it to have mediocre food and service--you can do so much better on the Olympic Peninsula).
Re hotels/motels v. B&Bs, that is a personal choice. I prefer nice motels or inns to B&Bs. In your price range, the Harborside Motor Inn has nice, clean rooms with microwave and fridge. Reserve an upper floor room with a private balcony overlooking the water--the balcony alone is worth the price of the room!
You should check www.ptguide.com for more information or www.ptleader.com (the PT Leader is the local newspaper).
When my in-laws lived in Sequim, we used to make the drive almost every other week-end up from Vancouver, WA. I suggest you take I-205 until it meets up with I-5 (north of Vancouver, WA) rather than I-5 alone. We would exit I-5 in Olympia to pick up 101 then follow that up to Route 20 into PT. A pretty, scenic drive. Just cross your fingers you don't get stuck behind a lumbering, overized RV. The trip from Vancouver, WA, usually took us about 4.5 hours but we found the drive pleasant overall.
Leave early in the morning from PT to get to PA. The drive is pleasant and with luck you'll catch a view of the Rte 101 elk herd that lurk around Sequim. They're magnificant animals and seeing them in the early morning mist is a real treat.
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 06:12 AM
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In Pt. Townsend, we stayed at the Harborside Inn, just across the street from the harbor. Its a very nice mom & pop motel - sparkling large rooms, pool, micro-fridge and private patio with great views. It was also very convenient for our early morning whale-watching tour that we picked up right across the street.

To explore Olympic NP however, we stayed in the park at Lake Crescent Lodge and then to explore Hoh Rainforest, we stayed at the Best Western Lighthouse Inn in Ocean Shores, WA

Yes, wear layers. Our trip was in July '02 and we often needed sweatshirts. Happy anniversary and have a great time!

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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 01:08 PM
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Well, three C's might be geared to the tourists but it felt comfortable to us. We however are folks who are happy to order a bucket of clams or mussels.
I agree with the person who said you can find far better places to eat on the OP. And I agree Port Townsend is infintely more charming than Sequim. I just don't think we found many places in PT that were around $100/night. We did stay on the outskirts of PT but the place was $150/noc and quite run down leaving the "charming" aspects of old out of the equation.
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 01:31 PM
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Motels are expensive on the Olympic Peninsula this time of year. Last weekend--attending a wedding--we had a lovely room for $139 including an excellent breakfast at the Best Western Olympic Lodge in Port Angeles. Family members paid $109 for the Ramada in Sequim which was sub-average and a rip off and not worth the $109. If you can get a room at Crescent Lake Lodge--take it. Rooms have no fridge, phone, or TV--but the place is great. Fine restaurant, too.
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Old Aug 6th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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The Harborside rates start at about $75 and max out at about $150. I think there are discounts for AAA, etc.
Sad to report that Aldrich's grocery store, a long-time fixture of "uptown" Port Townsend, burned to the ground a few days ago. It was one of those classic old-fashioned grocery stores with screen doors, wooden floors, etc. The owners promise to rebuild.
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Old Aug 6th, 2003, 09:23 AM
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Thank you all for terrific information to get us started. We are following up on all of the suggestions listed and can't wait to reply with further questions, and later with a trip report.
This forum is really helpful and each of your responses is very much appreciated. Thanks for taking your time to consider others needs and help out fellow travelers.
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Old Aug 7th, 2003, 02:41 AM
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In May we stayed at the Mortenson's Sea Loft in Port Townsend. A delightful fully contained loft apartment (with beautiful view over the Juan de Fuca? sound). The Sea Loft is listed on the internet and the rate is about $95 per night. You have your own kitchen so you can prepare breakfast (or any other meal!) yourself. The loft is within easy walking distance of downtown Pt. Townsend. A wonderful base for exploring the Olympic Peninsula. IMHO Pt. Townsend is the most charming town in the area.
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Old Aug 7th, 2003, 10:37 AM
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stayed in Sequim last year and liked it altho we just stayed at the EconoLodge - nothing fancy.

The view from the 3 Crabs is excellent. I found the food ok, but I expected more given the publicity.

You might see if any of the Lavender Farms are open - a different tourist sp[ot to visit (We also enjoyed the U Pick berry farms - but not exactly an anniversary event)

Two very interesting, small, free museums in the area are the town museums in Sequim and Forks (very highly recommended). Both can be seen in 15-30 minutes.
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Old Aug 7th, 2003, 12:18 PM
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The lavender farm visit is an excellent idea (if schedule permits). One of the nicest in Sequim is Purple Haze (www.purplehazelavender.com)
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Old Aug 7th, 2003, 01:29 PM
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Lavender will probably be bloomed out but dried bouquets available.

The best thing at the 3 Crabs, aside from the setting, is the coleslaw.

Try Priceline for Victoria. People have been hitting the Empress and Coast Harbour for US$60 or less. Don't expect much too close to Labor/Labour Day, though. Use www.biddingfortravel for pointers.

Weather could be hotter than that; cool near the water of course.
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Old Aug 7th, 2003, 04:09 PM
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I highly recommend the Lonely Planet travel book for the Pacific Northwest. It proved very very helpful when traveled in WA state two years ago.
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 11:11 PM
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Organzme2, are you back yet? How was your trip? What were the highlights?
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