Seattle

Old Nov 9th, 2010, 12:55 PM
  #1  
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Seattle

My wife and I (+/- 55 in age) are considering traveling for a week to Seattle/Victoria/Vancouver during late April or early May. Is it to agressive to attempt to travel to all 3 locations in a week? How should we schedule our time and what are "must" sees? Should we travel in/out of Seattle and out/in through Vancouver; rent a car or use ferries between the cities? I know there are many questions but any help would be appreciated?
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Old Nov 9th, 2010, 04:50 PM
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That's not really the best time of year weather-wise for any of the places. Most likely still cool and rainy. Could you wait and come later in the summer or fall?

As far as the aggressiveness of the schedule just depends your preference. I think a nice trip is into Seattle, and take the walk-on ferry (Victoria Clipper) for an overnight in Victoria then back to Seattle. If you really want to hit all 3 places then you're into a car rental and some ferry rides.
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Old Nov 9th, 2010, 05:55 PM
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Thanks for the help. We have an open week then so that is why we are traveling during that period. Can we find enough to do in Seattle for a week or is that just too much time?
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Old Nov 9th, 2010, 06:20 PM
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As noted, the weather is unpredictable. However, if you have six nights, there are many options, including:

You could start in Seattle (1), drive to Vancouver (2, 3), ferry to Victoria (4), ferry to Port Angles and back to Seattle (5, 6).

You could start in Seattle (1, 2, 3), take the Clipper to Victoria (4, 5), and take the Clipper back to Seattle (6).

You could start in Seattle (1, 2), take a quick look at the Olympic Peninsula (3), take the foot ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria (4, 5) and then take the foot ferry back to Port Angeles and drive back to Seattle (6).

You could start in Seattle (1, 2), take the train or drive to Vancouver (3, 4), and take the train or drive back to Seattle via Whidbey Island (5, 6).

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Old Nov 9th, 2010, 08:06 PM
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You could probably do it if you fly into one city and fly out of a different one. However, there are issues with renting cars and taking them across the border. You may find your week more relaxing if you limit your visit to two cities as opposed to all 3.
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Old Nov 10th, 2010, 08:11 AM
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Sure you could find enough to do in Seattle for a week (heck I've lived her for 25 years and haven't done all the things most visitors/tourists do!). You could do a few days in the city: Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square historic district, Chinatown/International district, Smith Tower, Space Needle, the Waterfront, a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island and back. And rent a car for a few day or single overnights like out to Snoqualmie Falls or Whidbey Island.
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Old Nov 10th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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I think as much as I want to see Vancouver since so close; it appears from the comments that it seems to gogo! Thanks for the assistance.
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Old Nov 10th, 2010, 11:32 AM
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If I understand correctly that you intend to go to Vancouver, good.

It is a great city with beautiful gardens, excellent restaurants, and some outstanding museums. The drive from Vancouver to Whistler is quite beautiful, if you have the time.

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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 07:44 AM
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Thanks
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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We did a week a few years ago to Seattle and Victoria, but in August and the weather was good in both cities. We flew into Seattle and then took a float plane to Victoria (something I'd wanted to do for years). We spent about four days in Victoria (a city we absolutely love) and the rest of the time in Seattle. In Seattle we stayed in the Pioneer Square district, went to Pike Place Market, did a city tour, rode the trolleys and walked around the pier, visited the great art museum (had lunch there) and spent an evening at The Alley for jazz.

In Victoria we visited the Parliament Building, did a city tour, went to Butchart Gardens, had a drink in a lounge at the Empress Hotel, toured the fabulous Royal British Columbia museum, did a whale watch, had some excellent meals and again enjoyed jazz at a couple places. Took the ferry from Victoria to Seattle.

We didn't rent a car. We haven't been to Vancouver yet.
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 07:44 PM
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We absolutely loved our trip booked through the Victoria Clipper (the walk-on ferry mentioned above), although we went in July. How many nights would you have available? Our trip was Seattle/San Juan Islands/Victoria/Vancouver then back to Seattle, and was all public transportation booked through Victoria Clipper Vacations. You can look at their website to get an idea of the various options, then call them to tailor it to your needs. We flew to Seattle, took the Victoria Clipper ferry to San Juan Island (spent a few days in the islands), then ferry to Victoria. Bus/ferry combo to Vancouver. Then the train (Amtrak) back to Seattle. I think you could do the same (without the islands) with only a week, but longer is much better. We only allowed 2 nights in Victoria (based on what some Fodorites suggested) and were disappointed we hadn't planned more. It depends what you enjoy doing. You could start in Seattle, take the Clipper to Victoria, then Vancouver, then take the bus or train back to Seattle. Or do the reverse. You could also just choose either Victoria OR Vancouver.
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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I can't tell where you're FROM... and how far you will come to get here, or even whether you're used to mountains, water, or dry, hot, midwestern weather.

IF you are coming a long way to get here, with 6 or 7 days to spend... I think you should fly into Seattle, spend perhaps the first two nights in the Seattle area, and then drive to Vancouver, Canada for 3 nights, before returning to Seattle for the last couple of days.

Victoria's great for those who for some reason have their heart set on the laid-back, isolated-by-an-island style, and the tradition there. The place is just too awkward to get to comfortably and inexpensively. (I've been there once in 35+ years, having lived less than 100 miles away the whole time!)

Vancouver is routinely listed as "the most livable city in North America" and its combination of diversity, water and mountain scenery and activities, and '(mildly) foreign' allure make it worth a visit.

By staying on dry (er, maybe wet) land the entire time, you can time your drive north (150 miles) so that you miss traffic and arrive conveniently.

Central Vancouver is great because it is limited in its ability to sprawl, given the water which surrounds it. Much of the downtown area is reasonably flat and the scenery is grand from most anywhere. The whole area is jam-packed with things to do and "normal" people walk the streets at all hours making it among the safest cities you'll find for its size.

Two days in Seattle at the start of such a trip would let you ponder various things you'd like to see in the Seattle area upon your return from Vancouver. You'd know how the land lies in Seattle by then and would be ready to cap off a very pleasant and enjoyable trip.
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 03:37 PM
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From Florida so will have a lenghty flight to and from. Thanks for the help.
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