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Vancouver to Seattle or not?

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180 posts
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Vancouver to Seattle or not?


We are a family of 4 adults and 2 kids 2yr&5yr. We are flying to Vancouver for 14 nights mid July. We are staying in Vancouver 5 nts all up, 2 nt when arrive and last 3 nt before we leave. We are visiting Victoria, parksville and whistler.

We are wondering whether we should drive down to Seattle for maybe 2 nights after whistler? Not sure if much to see but perhaps visit the premium shopping outlet?

We don't know how difficult it is to cross the border and how is traffic. Seems like it will take 2.5hrs from Vancouver. Is it an easy drive?

Thanks for your help.

Nanaimo, Canada
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1. Re: Vancouver to Seattle or not?

It is an easy drive.... until you get to Seattle outskirts! 12 lane highways, and you have to concentrate so carefully to get the right exits! Okay, I live in a city of 86,000 people, and I don't like driving in Vancouver, although I do it.

But the other thing is that border crossing. Depending on the day, the time, you can be sitting there for up to two hours, inching closer and closer to the "gatekeeper". Not my idea of a great time. Then you have to do it again coming back north. There are no stat holidays in mid July, so that will ease the traffic somewhat, but July is still summertime, and busy.

LOTS to see in Seattle though. There is the Space Needle, Pike Market, and Bainbridge Island. Have you hopped over to the Seattle forum to check out their links on the side of the page?

If it was just for shopping outlets, you wouldn't have to go as far as Seattle.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Vancouver to Seattle or not?

The only other thing I would consider is whether you need a visa to enter the United States since you are from New Zealand?? That may factor in the decision making process...

Destination Expert
for Seattle
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3. Re: Vancouver to Seattle or not?

Since you have a lot of time yes I think it would be worth it. Consider taking a boat from Victoria and returning by train or do a round trip on amtrak.com to Seattle

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Vancouver to Seattle or not?

If you have the time I would say it is worth it. Seattle has a different vibe than Vancouver. Shopping there is fun and no shortage of good restaurants.

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5. Re: Vancouver to Seattle or not?

Thank you all for your suggestions. I think we are now keen to visit Seattle.

tdsuperstar - We already applied for a visa waiver thing to enter the USA as we are stopping in Hawaii before we get to Vancouver so should be ok.

davidgmg- that is a good idea taking a boat from Victoria to Seattle. Didn't know that option or the train.

Just wonder, bearing in mind we have pensioners and young children in our group, is it quite comfortable to travel on ferry and train?

Will post another question for help on itinerary.


6. Re: Vancouver to Seattle or not?

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