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Pacific NW itinerary help please!

Houston, Texas
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Pacific NW itinerary help please!

Our family will be traveling in early August and would appreciate any input on this itinerary from locals! We have up to 9 days and have a 10 and 13 year old daughter who have never been to this area before.

day 1 (Fri 8/1): fly into Portland (arrive at noon) rent car, see in town sights or drive to Canon Beach area

day 2 (Sat): drive to Columbia Gorge, picnic

day 3 (Sun): check out and drive to Mt. St. Helens - Johnston Ridge Center, etc. then on to Mt. Rainier check into Paradise Inn

day 4 (Mon): early morning hiking check out and drive into Seattle w/stop at Snoq. Falls or possibly tour Boeing - drop off car

day 5 (Tues): Pikes Place Mkt./Aquarium or Boeing if missed on day 4

day 6 (Wed): Space Needle if sunny/Exp Music Proj/Sci Fict Exp

day 7 (Thurs):morning train to Van - Chinatown-Sun Yat-sen garden/Storyeum (this is new since my last trip - is it worthwhile?)in Gastown

day 8 (Fri): Stanley Park/maybe aquarium - which one is better/more unique - Sea or Van - one is probably plenty on this trip!/Granville Is.

day 9 (Sat): Lynn Valley Canyon susp bridge home via Lonsdale Quai ferry (a friend recommended this as a nice way to see the harbor - ?)/Canada Place

day 10 (Sun): depart for home on noon flight

Questions: When is the best time to work in Museum of Flight, any hotel recommendations for Port, Sea and Van based on what we want to see would be great - nothing is booked except Paradise Inn (last trip to Van we stayed at Sutton Place and it was nice, but open to sugg), and would it be possible to do the Gorge and C. Beach both on day 2? I will post this in all 3 forums. Thanks to everyone in advance for your help!

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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1. Re: Pacific NW itinerary help please!

Storyeum is long gone-few people wanted to pay to sit inside a darkened basement when there's so much to see/do outside.

Day 8-you can rent bicycles to do the Seawall all the way around the park and around False Creek then right to Granville Island for lunch.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Pacific NW itinerary help please!

Day 3 - I was going to visit Mt. St. Helen's this summer and a friend told me that the visitor centre right at the lip of the crater has been permenently closed and you are no longer allowed right to the top. I think she's been burpin' and bubblin' too much! So check out their website for info before you go.

Seattle - my FAVOURITE Seattle destination is the Woodland Park Zoo. It's a bit out of downtown, but gives the San Deigo Zoo a run for it's money!

Vancouver - I just finished adding some detailed information and links in the Know Before You Go section in the Travel Itineraries Article. I'd suggest taking the pedestrian ferries around False Creek with stops at Science World, Granville Island and Vanier Park for the Maritime Museum and the HR McMillan Space Centre. Actually, you couldn't do all those in a day, so I'd recommend the Vanier Park destination and Granville Island.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Pacific NW itinerary help please!

Correction - in the Things to Do listing in the Suggested Itineraries article

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Pacific NW itinerary help please!

Thanks for the comments. I will take Storyeum off the list (!) and am looking into Mt. St. Helens visitor center's status. The Woodland Zoo in Sea sounds nice (it's reciprocal with our local zoo memb. an added plus). Any hotel sugg. for Van - Sutton Place, Westin Grand, Pan Pacific, etc? Is C still good? We ate there on our last trip and really enjoyed it.

Lake Placid, Florida
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5. Re: Pacific NW itinerary help please!

I will also be taking a day trip to Mt. St. Helens in July, and just checked their website regarding the closing. If I'm reading it correctly, it only refers to climbing during the winter because of avalanche danger because of all the snow this winter.

Mount St. Helens Climbing Update

[Last Updated: 14 April 2008]

Winter / Spring Climbing Access is Limited: Record snowpack has formed large unstable cornices (snow overhangs) on the crater rim (please see climbing page and scroll down to cornice photo). Heavy snowfall has closed Forest Road 83 and the Marble Mtn and Cougar Snoparks. The snowpack may delay reopening of the road to Climber's Bivouac trailhead until as late as mid to late June. Depending upon where the road is closed by snow this can add 3 to 6 miles one-way distance (2000 foot elevation) and require a multi-day climb. For the latest road and snopark information see winter recreation webpage.

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Pacific NW itinerary help please!

BroncoBill - thanks for the info on MSH. Please post a trip report after you get back.

Lake Placid, Florida
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7. Re: Pacific NW itinerary help please!

Sure will CristinaTx. Going July 15-25th.

If anyone else goes to Mt. St Helens before then, we'd BOTH be interested in your report. :-) Thanks.

Waterloo, Canada
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8. Re: Pacific NW itinerary help please!

I think the confusion about Mt. St. Helens may be because there are several visitor's centers. One did close (see http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2003967092_webhelensvisitorcenter22.html)

However, there are other visitor's centers there....I think the Silver Lake one is the main one currently? I really don't know....but am hoping to be there in late June or early July, so we'll see! :-)

Houston, Texas
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9. Re: Pacific NW itinerary help please!

Thanks for the article on MSH. It looks like all of the other centers are open. Update us after your trip please.

Lake Placid, Florida
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10. Re: Pacific NW itinerary help please!

It's a shame that the public has to pay for Washington funded projects that are totally biserk and benefit hardly anyone, but can't divert some of these funds to keep our national parks running. Thanks for that article. Very interesting.