Trip With Teenager

Dec 25th, 2011, 09:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 52
Trip With Teenager

My husband and I would like to take our 16-year-old grandson on a trip this summer in either June or July. We are looking at options, so I thought I'd put out the question to the rest of you. We had thought of flying into Seattle, taking the ferry over to Victoria, the ferry from there to Vancouver and then drive back to Seattle for our flight home. We would be flying from Louisville, Kentucky to Seattle.
We've taken two other grandchildren on trips, one to Yellowstone and the other to Glacier. We want to do something different with this grandson.
As I look at this possible itinerary, it seems to me that since we have only a Thursday to a Thursday, most of the days will be travel days (two flight days, two ferry trips and a drive back to Seattle) with only one full day each in Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver.
What do you think about this itinerary? Any other suggestions? We are just in the planning stages now, so we can make minor or major changes. We are open to anywhere in the U. S. and Canada, but we'd prefer North rather than South during the summer months.
Nanafischer is offline  
Dec 25th, 2011, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I think your proposed itinerary looks like fun, but I have a suggestion. Consider driving from Seattle to Anacortes (90 minutes) and catching the ferry to Friday Harbor, which is on San Juan Island. Stay one or two nights at the historic Hotel De Haro, which is located an a beautiful harbor frequented by boaters. Lots of character here and plenty of history. You could spend the whole morning wandering on the docks looking at the beautiful boats, and go whale watching in the afternoon. Then catch the ferry from Friday Harbor to Sidney, BC, which is close to Victoria. After a day (and night) in Victoria, catch the ferry to Vancouver and drive back to Seattle (3 hours).
roundthebend is offline  
Dec 25th, 2011, 12:04 PM
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Hi Nana - only you can decide whether you want to spend the time flying and driving, but in terms of "sights", each of those cities can be seen in a full day (as long as you don't linger too long in museums, for example) . All of them have a great "vibe".
sf7307 is online now  
Dec 25th, 2011, 04:06 PM
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Well, I think this grandson might feel a bit cheated(I can't imagine anyone not liking Yellowstone or Glacier). It sounds like you want more of a city trip than the great outdoors. Is this what he wants to do also? Just making sure.

I would be more tempted to do Seattle and leave out VC and VIC. Maybe spend 2-3 days at Olympic National Park and then a couple at Mt. Rainier. San Juan islands would be great too.

You could fly into Portland. We love Portland. Don't Miss Powell Bookstore and Rose Gardn. Do the Columbia River Gorge a couple of days on the coast, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, Fruit Loop. Maybe even take time to see Crater Lake. Silver Falls State Park is a great option. Our all time favorite adventure is with Totally amazing and very safe. He would need to be adventurous. My daughter(age 17) and I have been with them twice.

Colorado is a great place too. Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes, Duragno, Mesa Verde. All great places to experience.

Main--Perhaps a bit of time in Boston then up the coast to Acadia.

We like trips where we are exposed to a city for a couple of days and then a longer period in a National Park type setting. All of these ideas have a bit of both.
spirobulldog is offline  
Dec 25th, 2011, 05:38 PM
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I like spiros idea of mixing it up, too, city and scenic beauty. There is no shortage of scenery in the Pacific Northwest. June may be early in the mountains, though - lots of snow. We've got sparkling waters, lovely islands, and magnificent mountains. Victoria is very nice to visit, Vancouver is a wonderful city, and Seattle is also nice - each is different, but seeing just the 3 cities in one week limits the opportunity for the scenic splendor.

There is no car ferry from Seattle to Victoria, unfortunately. The closest route is from Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula, or from Anacortes, through the San Juan Islands. Either way, you are awfully close to some cool sites, so I'd suggest you spend some time in the natural world while here, esp if you are including Victoria.

On the Olympic Peninsula is the specular Olympic National Park. Snow may limit some mountain roads but the mts are great. Also there is a rain forest on the OP and some beatiful beaches. The islands would be great in June July - Lots of choices.
Orcas is offline  
Dec 25th, 2011, 11:31 PM
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Writing from Seattle here.

The idea of utilizing all of that travel time to go to and from Victoria is beyond necessary.

VanCOUVER is awesome by itself, and by cutting your intended spots, you can afford yourself a nice representation of both Seattle and Vancouver that will please your grandson a great deal.

Vancouver is surely the urban equal to Yellowstone or Glacier and anybody in need of nature is very nearby to same when visiting Vancouver.

With a Thursday-to-Thursday trip, I'd surely suggest plotting the Vancouver trip in the 'middle' of your travel window straddled by what are effectively a pair of Seattle visits on either end.

IF, SAY, you were flying into Seattle @ 6pm on a Thursday and flying out of Seattle @ 10am on the following Thursday, maybe something like the following:

Arrive SeaTac airport @ 6pm

Take the Link light rail into central Seattle (it goes directly from the airport into the center of town, for about $2.75 per person).

Spend the night at a random-at-this-time hotel.

Obtain a rental vehicle at some point early on Friday, to coincide with a departure by 11:00am for Vancouver (150 miles to the north)

Hit the road early so as to avoid much of the weekend/rush hour border traffic, maaaaaaaaaaaaybe stopping to visit the Space Needle on the way out of Seattle. (note: IF the flight arrived earlier on Thursday - then arrange your Space Needle visit for Thursday evening, perhaps straddling sunset up there)

(you'll have taken some notes, and grabbed some touristy brochures for use in considering how to spend your later Seattle days)

Arrive in Vancouver, Canada in the 3pm-4pm range... coinciding with local rush hour, but hopefully you'll be driving TOWARD town, and m-m-m-m-m-MOST of the traffic will be heading away from town.

STAY DOWNTOWN in central Vancouver (unfortunately the overnight parking charges can be $40 per NIGHT, added onto your hotel bill, and parking on the street gets to be a pain, requiring LOTS of $1 and $2 meter feeding early in the mornings)

Spend Friday evening, all day Saturday, Sunday, and most of Monday exploring Vancouver.

Leave for Seattle rather LATE on Monday evening - I'm talking AFTER 6pm (and were it me, I'd leave mid-town Vancouver nearer to 8pm - no use spending possibly an HOUR in the border line, when you can use that time to see more of Vancouver)

Arrive to a pre-reserved central Seattle hotel LATE on that Monday night (midnight, possibly??).

On Tuesday you cover places you could only visit by CAR... IF there are such things among your Seattle area interests.

You can turn the car in EITHER on Tuesday OR on Wednesday (*** note, if on Wednesday, look into "weekly" rental rates, which are typically good for 5 to 7 days)

Generally, though, I'd say that with just a couple of more days in central Seattle, you really wouldn't need to reach a point where you visit spots that require a car, unless you have something special in mind.

Were it me, and were I by chance renting from Alamo or National in downtown Seattle, I would arrive back LATE on Monday night, drop the family and luggage off at the downtown hotel, and then return the car in the middle of the night, at the Hilton Hotel (parking garage) on 6th and University, and then (hopefully-walk) back to the hotel of choice. (this would save the staggering overnight hotel parking charge.)

Perhaps if leaving EARLY on Thursday morning, you might consider taking the light rail to the airport and staying nearby, on Wednesday evening.

If you caught the light rail (in a tunnel that runs under 3rd avenue) DOWNTOWN by 8am at the latest on Thursday, you'd likely get to the airport in time to make a 10:00am flight.

Hope this stirs your thoughts.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Dec 26th, 2011, 03:55 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
I might inventory your grandsons likes and dislikes.I did
this a few years ago in more like a weeks it seems quite crammed to me.Victoria is pretty nice gardens high tea
history decent museums not really too much of a teen place.
Seattle around the needle has lots of good teen stuff.Lots
of rain up that way too when I go.

In such a short time might consider something closer to where
you are Rocky Mountain Estes Park or perhaps San Francisco with a visit to like the Ahwanee there it is awesome. A little closer on the coast is nice that time
of year less rain risk.

Happy deciding!
qwovadis is offline  
Dec 26th, 2011, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
I never truly get your posts. How is it you always manage to plug The Awahnee and Treebones, when the OP didn't even mention California. I'm not saying those aren't cool place though. Treebones certainly wouldn't be for everybody though. I don't think San Francisco or Seattle is going to be any closer Kentucky. Certainly flying there will not really make much difference. I suppose that flying into Denver might be a bit shorter, but that would depend on connections. I know people, I don't expect qwo to reply.
spirobulldog is offline  
Dec 26th, 2011, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,712
Nana, I agree with a few others that you may want to ask your grandson if this interests him. Of course if this your vacation and you are just taking him along, then it's not necessary. Perhaps asking him to research Seattle, Vancouver, etc to get him involved and excited about the trip?
Austin is offline  
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