Seattle/Vancouver Itinerary

Mar 27th, 2006, 03:43 AM
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Seattle/Vancouver Itinerary

Hi there. I'm planning a trip to Seattle and Vancouver in early June. Currently I have the following itinerary: Friday & Sat - Seattle. Sunday and Monday - Olympic Nat Park. Tuesday take ferry to Victoria & stay overnight. Wed, Thurs, Fri - Vancouver. Saturday - back to Seattle, flight out on Sunday am. I'm wondering if I'm trying to do too much, especially trying to fit Victoria into the mix (or maybe I should remove ONP?) Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks!
DC_Traveler is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 04:19 AM
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Looks like we are taking a virtually identical trip to yours, also in June. (It was mapped out by my brother, a tour leader, who says we are in for a treat.) The only differences for us are that we are staying two nights in Victoria and two nights in Vancouver (we like to have at least a full day every place we go) and then we are spending two nights in the Cascades before heading back to Seattle. (In Victoria we wanted enough time to see the BC museum and Butchart Gardens, wander around the city, and have high tea, so needed two nights.) For us it will be ideal, because we enjoy seeing the variety (rain forest to coast to mountain and several different cities). Perhaps for a second trip to the area we'll be more interested in staying longer in one or two places, but for a first time, seeing the variety seems more important. My brother swears that this trip will be not only doable but memorable. (He's mapped out two other vacations for us--to Bryce/Zion/Grand Canyon and to Alaska--and they were spot on.) Good luck, and see you on a road or ferry.
PortiaLucy is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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It's certainly a doable itinerary - although it's a bit rushed and you're hitting all the tourist chokepoints at peak periods.

It really depends on what you want out of the trip. Both Seattle and Vancouver are world-class cities with enough things to see - both in the city itself and within driving range outside - to fill any vacation schedule.

Olympic NP is very big and as a visitor one is required to stay on the periphery. In two days you can see Hurricane Ridge (near Port Angeles) and spend some, but not a lot of time out on the coast or in the rainforest valleys (Hoh, Quinault), but you'll be driving a lot.

Victoria is very cute but if it were me I'd not spend the (spendy) night there. If you leave your car in Port Angeles, you can take the (higher-speed) passenger-only ferry across in the morning, or even ride the Coho as a walkaboard, saving not only substantial money, but also saving tons of time, since you don't have to line up hours ahead with your car for the Coho and risk the chance of missing the (infrequent) boat. In a day trip to Victoria you can see the cuteness around the Inner Harbour, go out to Butchart Gardens if you must (*see below) even have Afternoon (not "High") Tea at the Empress, and still get back to PA for the night. Then from PA you can travel via Port Townsend (cute Victorian town close to PA) then ferry over to Whidbey Island, drive up SR 20 to I-5, and into Vancouver. Way cheaper than car ferry to Vancouver Island and then back to the mainland.

(* Re Butchart Gardens: they're very nice, but people overlook the Queen Elizabeth Park gardens and Van Dusen gardens right in Vancouver city - IMO close rivals to Butchart, but without the hype and tour bus crowds.)

This might not save nights, but it will save hassle, which is worth something given your general plan.
Gardyloo is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 08:41 AM
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I too think it's doable, and like Gardyloo said, just keep your ONP visits limited to Hurricane Ridge and either the rainforest or the coast. I'd skip Victoria rather than ONP, if you want to cut back-it's the natural areas that make the PNW a great vacation spot, IMO, and you aren't visiting any others.

I agree that there is so much near both Seattle and Vancouver, you really miss out combining the 2 cities into one trip. It's a shame to visit to the Seattle area without stops at Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens, for example, or Vancouver without visiting the Gulf Islands or the nearby mountains.
christy1 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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I think it's "too much" by a little bit. I'd skip Victoria, if you need to drop something, it's cute and all but not a must-do in my book.
suze is online now  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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A big thanks to everyone who responded so far! I agree that combining Seattle & Vancouver leaves out Mt. Ranier & Mt. St. Helens...I'm planning on a trip to Portland, coast, mountains, etc, in the future. We love cities (even more than nature....argh...did I just say that?)
Thanks so much for the advice about Victoria.
DC_Traveler is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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If you really need a mountain fix, spend a day (and/or a night) up at Whistler, a couple hours up BC 99 from Vancouver. The "Sea to Sky" highway is one of the most beautiful routes in North America, although it's going to be subject to construction delays for some time, in preparation for the next Winter Olympics.
Gardyloo is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:59 PM
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ny other recommendations to a first timer would be greatly appreciated
educkie2 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 03:03 PM
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This is my first time and obviously did not get my whole message posted. Let me try again...We are traveling to Seattle for Easter week and I was wondering if a day trip by ferry to Vancouver was practical and/or a good thing to do? Any other suggestions for first timers would be greatly appreciated
educkie2 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 03:09 PM
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Vancouver is on the mainland and requires no ferry. Victoria is on Vancouver Island (source of frequent confusion) and is accessible only by ferry or plane. Vancouver City is about a 3-hour drive from Seattle, and is a fine destination, but in a day trip you won't see much - overnight is much better.

IMO it's too early to take the high speed boat from Seattle, the Victoria Clipper (big water - urp) and the (slow) ferries from the Canadian side of the border, or via the San Juans, or via Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula, all would need more than a day. Kenmore Air ( from Seattle is an option, and a fun one, but more costly than the Clipper.

If it were me I'd hang out around the Seattle area - plenty to do, with maybe a day trip (not a weekend day) to the tulip fields around La Conner, an hour or so north of Seattle. They're in full swing any day now, and quite a sight.
Gardyloo is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 03:27 PM
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Thank you for the swift reply! We will take your recommendation and see the tulips and enjoy the city.
educkie2 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 04:37 PM
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Look for tulips in April, but not in June.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
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