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jrzgrl Jul 18th, 2007 09:43 AM

Seattle 4days in Oct. w/ 11 mo. old-Recreation Ideas/Inn at Harbor Steps/Island hopping?
My husband and I are planning our first trip to Seattle in mid. October for 4 days w/ our 11 mo. old son. We're flying into SEA-TAC on a Thursday at 12 pm and renting a car. We depart on a Monday at 330pm. We plan to stay at The Inn at Harbor Steps in downtown. We love the outdoors and would love to go hiking somewhere. (We have a baby back pack.) How's the weather at this time of year? Is that feasible? We would also like to stay at a B & B on one of the islands or someplace in Seattle for 1-2 days. I looked at the ferry service, but I can only find info. for this summer, not the fall. Should we just concentrate on Seattle? We plan to do the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and maybe some museums or the aquarium. What other attractions should we see? Besides the San Juan Islands, would it be worth it to go Whidbey Island or someplace closer? Also, what about the crowds for this time of year? Thanks in advance for your advice!

NWWanderer Jul 18th, 2007 10:10 AM

If you're going to go to the San Juans (and I'm not sure I'd recommend it with such a short amount of time), logistically it would make sense to go there 1st and stay 2 nights, then come to Seattle for Sat and Sun nights. Otherwise you'd have to change hotels 3 times, because it's not a good idea to take a ferry the same day as a flight IMO.

The fall schedule won't be out until the end of September but there will be a mid or late afternoon ferry and one in the evening.

Most B&Bs aren't child-friendly so you will need to find a place that is comfortable for young children, and most likely that will be an inn or motel.

Weather--who knows. It could be nice and in the 60s or it could be chilly and rainy. Most likely both within the 4 days you're here ;-).

You can go hiking in Moran State Park on Orcas, or from Seattle, head east to Twin Falls or other trails out towards Snoqualmie Pass on I-90.

ALF Jul 18th, 2007 11:19 AM

An overnight Whidbey/Fidalgo Islands tour would be a good idea. Take the Mukilteo Ferry over to Whidbey, then drive up this picturesque island, crossing the high Deception Pass Bridge to Fidalgo. From there, you can drive back to I-5 and on to Seattle. There are a couple of great B&Bs or small inns in Langley, a great town to stroll around. I'd recommend the rooms and food at the Inn at Langley. There are good hiking opportunities at Deception Pass State Park, and Mt. Erie Park. You can drive to the top of Mt. Erie (on Fidalgo) for spectacular views (weather permitting!) that range from Rainier to Seattle to Victoria, to Baker.

Another choice would be a mountain driving loop. You could drive I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass, then take Rte 97 north to Rte 2. Take Rte 2 back over the Cascades, via Stevens Pass, then return to Seattle. There are great Alpine hiking choices in and near both of the Passes.

The weather in October is going to be iffy. You could get 4 glorious days of warm dry sunny weather, or you get 4 days of gray drizzle. My guess is that you will get 2 days of each. The Whidbey/Fidalgo trip will still be good if there's a little rain, but the mountain loop might not be worthwhile. You could be flexible and wait for a weather forecast. As for crowds, there won't be many.

As for Seattle, you might want to consider a harbour tour. When at the Space Needle, don't miss the nearby Experience Music Project (EMP). I also really like the Sculpture Garden, along the east side of the waterfront.

enzian Jul 18th, 2007 12:20 PM

If you get a god-weather day, one of my favorite fall hikes is along the Pacific Crest tTrail, heading north from Snoqualmie Pass. The trailhead is just one hour from Seattle. The route starts in Forest, but pretty quickly rises and then traverses an open slope with great views; all blazing in red fall color.

A nice variation on the Whidbey Island suggestion would be to take the Bainbridge ferry and drive up to Port Townsend for the first night, then take the ferry from there over to Whidbey to explore on the second day.

Port Townssend is a nice little town with lots of B & B's and good restaurants. Fort Worden State Park is a fun place to explore.

jrzgrl Jul 20th, 2007 08:04 AM

Thanks guys for the help. We'll look into the options. Also, how far would it be to Olympic National Park/Forest? Would we drive or do a ferry/drive combo.? Thanks again!

NWWanderer Jul 20th, 2007 08:13 AM

It's about 2.5 hours from Seattle to Port Angeles, including a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown.

enzian Jul 21st, 2007 08:54 AM

Hi jrzgrl---Olympic National Park is very large, and there are no roads through it. So you have to approach from various sides, depending on what you want to see. Hurrican Ridge, a mountain viewpoint with some nice moderate hiking, is above Port Angeles, which as NW Wanderer explained is about 2.5 hours from Seattle, or less if you don't have a long wait for the ferry. That includes the Bainbridge ferry ride (35 minutes) and 1.5 hours to drive from the ferry to PA.

The Hoh rainforest and ocean beaches for which Olympic NP is best known are on around to the west, a several-hour drive past Port Angeles. I haven't been out there in a few years, but I think it's at least 4 hours from the Bainbridge ferry. Lodging options are few, mostly small places in the town of Forks. Or consider Lake Quinault Lodge near the Hoh,

or Lake Crescent Lodge between PA and the coast.

The weather in mid-October could be anything from very nice to cold and rainy. It usually "turns" from good to bad sometime around mid- to late October. The area on the north side of the Olympic Peninsula, from Port Townsend and the town of Sequim, over to Port Angeles and up to the San Juan Islands, are in the rainshadow and generally have better weather (or at least, less rain). The hike out Dungeness Spit is very nice, and one I have done with my own son in backpack:

You will generally see lots of birds, and occasionally seals playing in the "surf".

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