We are in the very early stages (year in advance) of planning a holiday in the PNW region, loosely as follows...
Fly from Sydney to Vancouver - end September - spend a couple of days in the city
We eventually want to get to Seattle and my main question is - should we go in the "wrong" direction up to Whistler to take in the sights there and then head back down to Seattle, OR is the North Cascades NP as good / similar to Whistler scenery-wise?
If we don't go to Whistler and instead head straight for Cascades and meander our way down to Seattle we'll save time and do less driving, but is it as scenic, or is it in fact better? Whistler has a big reputation to Australians because so many people ski there - I know we won't be doing that in October, but it has always been a place on our "bucket list".
Would really value your opinion on our options there.
We are heading to Seattle because my husband is a private pilot and keen aviator and No.1 on his bucket list is the Boeing factory! Other than that, how long should we spend in Seattle? We enjoy vibrant cities and have two girls aged 10 & 12 who like good shopping, cafes etc (normal stuff for pre-teens).
Our next question is whether we fly or drive down to San Francisco. The Oregon and northern California coastlines look beautiful but it is a loooong drive (coastal) and we'd have 5-6 days to do it - is it too far? We'd rather do 2-3 longish drives and spend 2 nights at a couple of places along the way (Eureka), than be packing up and moving on every single day - that gets very old very quickly.
Once we've done the Fleet Week airshow in SF (yep, those planes again), we're heading into Yosemite, Sequoia and down to LA (driving) to finish with Disney before we fly home (only need 2 days in Disney as we were there Jan 2012 - we're just going for the Halloween party really)!
Our time frame for the whole trip incl. flying time is about 22 days.
Any advice would be really welcome - clearly as we're planning so far ahead our itinerary is completely open to suggestion...