Tacoma motels

Old Jun 26th, 2003, 09:14 AM
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Tacoma motels

Our son is graduating from a military program at Ft. Lewis and we are flying in to attend the ceremony. We can get good rates on Best Western Tacoma Inn and Holiday Inn Express suites--both are on Hosmer. How convenient will these be to Ft. Lewis and to the Sea-Tac airport? How much time to allow to drive to airport on a weekday morning?
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Old Jun 26th, 2003, 09:41 AM
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They'll be more convenient to the base than the airport - pretty typical side-of-the-freeway settings.

I'd allow a good 45 min. on a weekday morning, maybe more if your flight leaves at a time when you'd be competing with numerous commuters on that stretch. And for what it's worth, the morning delays at Sea-Tac for departing flights, especially those leaving between 7 AM and 10 AM (i.e. all the midwest/east coast nonstops) have been awesome - up to three hours in line for security lately. Many missed flights, angry pax, apologizing TSA types. Ah, the joys of 21st century travel...

You might think about staying closer to the airport, maybe drop the car (I presume you're renting) the night before, and use the hotel shuttle to get to the airport. The evening drive back to the airport from Tacoma would be under half an hour, and you'd probably be happier in the morning.
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Old Jun 26th, 2003, 05:12 PM
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I'd give yourself at least an hour to get to the airport from Hosmer. I grew up about 5 miles away, and went to Bryman College when it was right across the street from SeaTac. It usually took about an hour to get there during morning rush hour, longer if there were accidents.

I hope you'll have time to explore while you're here. There are tons of great places to see. Let us know, and I'm sure between Gardyloo, the Giswalds and myslef we can steer you in the right direction.

One other question, where are you coming from?
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 09:45 AM
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We are coming from Connecticut. Would we be better off staying in Federal Way? Would that alleviate some of the traffic?
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 09:58 AM
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Actually, now that I'm thinking more about the delays, maybe we should book something closer to the airport. Any opinions? What else is there to do around there?
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Old Jun 28th, 2003, 09:40 AM
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ttt
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Old Jun 29th, 2003, 04:34 PM
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Federal Way is about 15 minutes to the airport, maybe 20-25 between 6 and 8. Back ups have been less with the lax economy. Use Highway 99 if I-5 is too backed up. We're about 35 minutes to the Fort Lewis main gate except between 4 and 6pm. The Marriot in Federal Way is small but only a couple of years old, so little wear.

Staying at SeaTac will add time to Ft. Lewis, but is closer to Downtown Seattle if you want to go there, and you should go Downtown at least once. Most SeaTac hotels are pretty well used. The Marriot and the Hilton are the better two. There's precious little to do nearby SeaTac. Federal Way doesn't offer a whole lot more, but if you like Thai food, Indochine is one of the best. Also try Vietnamese Pho noodle soup, it's like tasty medicine because you feel so good afterward. There's a good place called Pho Houng right across from the Marriot. Federal Way also offers the Bonzai garden at Weyerhauser campus. I like an evening walk through Hylebos wetlands state park.

Downtown Tacoma attractions have improved in recent years. Glass museum and State History museum are two examples. Pt. Defiance Zoo is a great small zoo (love the walrus and Beluga whales) and the setting on Commencement Bay is splendid. A walk on the Tacoma waterfront when the Mountain is clearly visible is a do not miss. If you decide to stay in Tacoma, do check rates at the Silver Cloud. It sits on a pier over the Bay. It would be as budget as the Hosmer sites, but you'd enjoy the location more.

To help you decide: Freeway bottlenecks are northbound in the morning in the Tacoma Mall to Tacoma Dome vicinity, again up the hill into Federal Way, and again from about the 272nd street interchange to Southcenter. So you have three congestion hot spots between you and airport if you stay on Hosmer. Two if you stay at the Silver Cloud and one if in Federal Way. Southbound in the evening your biggest challenges are back down the hill (for some unknown reason) from Federal Way into Fife, up the Tacoma Dome hill, and often approaching Highway 512 in Lakewood.

If your flight is early, stay in Federal Way or SeaTac at least that last night.

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Old Jun 29th, 2003, 04:37 PM
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Correction: I meant to say Silver Cloud would NOT be as budget as the Hosmer sites. My last check there it was about $109/night.
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