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Seattle/San Juan Islands/Victoria

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Jun 12th, 2011, 08:33 AM
  #1
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Seattle/San Juan Islands/Victoria

I am flying in to Seattle the first week of Sept. and will have 4 nights/3 days for touring. I originally wanted to go to Victoria, but am overwhelmed with all the possibilities of the area. Olympic Nat'l Park, the San Juan Islands, and Victoria are all appealing. It appears that getting from one location to another can be a challenge with ferry schedules, etc. Open to suggestions as to how to best utilize my short touring time. I'd enjoy easy hikes, whale watching, walking tours, sightseeing along coastlines and getting a taste of the local flavor of quaint shops, restaurants, etc. I guess I'm wanting a good sampling of the area without being too rushed to enjoy it.
bellesouth22 is offline  
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Jun 12th, 2011, 09:35 AM
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If you only have 4 days total, I would suggest that you stay in Seattle and, perhaps, rent a car for a day or two and travel to to the Olympic peninsula and/or Mount Rainier.
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Jun 12th, 2011, 02:37 PM
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RainyDay09 makes good points. If you want a day out of town, consider renting a car, taking the Bainbridge Island Ferry the driving the Olympic Peninsula to Port Townsend, have lunch, take the ferry of Whidbey Island see Coupeville and Langly, then ferry back to the mainland and return to Seattle.

Or spend 1 full day in Seattle see the key sights, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, Space Needle.
Then pick a place. Port Townsend,Langly, Olympic Nat. Park, Mt. Rainer, etc and spend the rest of the time within very short driving distance.
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Jun 12th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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Here is another possibility.

Following is a description of how to have a really good day on San Juan Island. You may have to stay overnight to have time for a whale watching tour.


"On Tuesday, August 17, we parked our car at the Anacortes Ferry terminal ($10) and went to Friday Harbor as foot passengers on the ferry ($12.15 each, round trip).

We walked around Friday Harbor and had a good lunch on the deck of the Downrigger, overlooking the harbor ($40).

After lunch we took the bus to Roche Harbor ($10 each, round trip).

The trip to Roche Harbor included an excellent narration about the island and drop-off points on the route such as a lavender farm and the Limekiln Whale Watch Park.

Roche Harbor is a delightful up-scale resort with two restaurants and a huge yacht harbor. We enjoyed the historic buildings, the gardens, and the yachts. We bought ice cream at a kiosk and ate it at an outside table with harbor view ($7).

We took the direct bus back to Friday Harbor, purchased food at King’s Market on Spring Street ($18), and enjoyed a delicious picnic on the evening ferry back to Anacortes.

It was a delightful day—hassle free and inexpensive (about $120 for the two of us)."


You could return to Seattle via Whidbey Island: Deception Pass, Coupeville (charming town), Langley, and ferry to Mukilteo

HTTY
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Jun 12th, 2011, 04:13 PM
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My husband loved Victoria and normally he detests cities. It was very enjoyable!
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Jun 12th, 2011, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. @Happytrails--appreciate the detailed outline for having a great day on San Juan Island. Certainly seems doable. Open to any further thoughts from all.
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Jun 12th, 2011, 08:22 PM
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If you are into food, here is an interesting article: http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/06/12...d-seattle.html.
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Jun 12th, 2011, 09:31 PM
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Hello bellesouth22,

Have you been to Seattle before? I spent 4 days in Seattle area alone (!) (some terrific parks & beaches; so much beauty right there!) and never was bored. With 3 days, Rainy Day & boomboom's plan look most appealing to me, as it doesn't sell Seattle itself short and I like the idea of reasonably close-by Olympic Peninsula/Mount Rainier as side trip ideas.

Victoria is a particularly beautiful Canadian city that I enjoyed. While some Fodorites have made a long day trip travelling from Seattle to Victoria, Victoria is a place I personally feels deserves more than that, so would choose to savour and make a longer visit on a later occasion.

Best wishes and have fun whatever you decide! Daniel
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Jun 13th, 2011, 06:17 AM
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Thanks, Daniel....No, I've never been to Seattle, so the whole area will be new to me.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 09:42 AM
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I would stay in Seattle for this trip but plan a future trip (maybe 7 or 8 nights?) when you can visit Olympic National Park (2 nights), the San Juan Islands (2 nights), and Victoria (2 nights) with the extra nights (first and last) in Seattle if that is where you fly into/out of.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 01:11 PM
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Another option would be to take the Victoria Clipper and spend a night in Victoria. Or better yet, if your bank account is flush, take a float plane from Lake Union.

I like happytrails' suggestion too, but the problem with that or the Victoria Clipper is the 6 +/- hours of your precious little time that you'd be spending in a car, on the ferry, and/or waiting in lines.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 04:08 PM
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I really like Seattle and your trip is not that long so staying the whole time in the city would be fine. And if you've never been before that is probably what I'd do.

But just to give you some more to think about - here is my trip report of a few days in Victoria

http://www.fodors.com/community/cana...n-victoria.cfm
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Jun 13th, 2011, 07:20 PM
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check out this website: www.stayinwashington.com for more information.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 05:41 PM
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Stay downtown: do one day at the Pike Place Market and waterfront
one day take a 'walk on ferry: to Bainbridge
One day rent a car and drive to Mt. Rainer (if it's clear), if not, do the arboreatum, the SAM and maybe the locks. just don't rush around or you miss it. Or even an Argosy cruise...that's fun. That should give you a flavor of why we love it here.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 07:18 PM
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Thanks, justwishin.....Wish I had about 2 weeks, but those sound like great suggestions for my short visit!
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Jun 15th, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Justwishin....what would be the "don't miss" things to do on Bainbridge Island?
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Jun 15th, 2011, 06:35 PM
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Bainbridge Island - Paradise just a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle. ... plenty to see in the town of Winslow, just up the hill from the ferry dock. It is a great day trip, the ferry is about 45 minutes, can see Seattle waterfront, then walk up into the charming little town, have a sea food dinner, shop a little and return back. Very stress less, and a chance to see Seattle and Puget Sound at it's best.
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