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what season is best to visit washington state?

Plymouth...
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what season is best to visit washington state?

Hi, we are from the east coast and are planning a trip to Washington State. We would like to spend time in Seattle, visit Olympic National Park and Mt. Rainer...also tour a few wineries. When is the best time to visit. I understand it rains much of the year. We would appreciate any info or suggestions. Thanks.

Port Townsend...
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for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
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1. Re: what season is best to visit washington state?

Hands down, September.

Plymouth...
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2. Re: what season is best to visit washington state?

Thanks, we will shoot for September. Would you recommend lodging inside the parks. we just did GCNP in June and scored a room inside the park. It made all the difference because we wanted to observe sunrise and sunset.

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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3. Re: what season is best to visit washington state?

Try to get a room at Lake Crescent Lodge. ONP does not have the grand lodges that places like Yellowstone or Yosemite have. There are only a few places to stay inside the park. Most people stay in Port Angeles, Forks, or Lake Quinault and drive from park site to park site on a highway that runs outside the park boundaries. ONP is beautiful, but it is huge and spread out over an enormous area, so matter where you stay you will have to drive a lot every day. You would probably enjoy Lake Crescent Lodge. It's centrally located in the northern half of the park, and it is in a spectacular setting with great sunsets and sunrises. Watching the morning mists lift off the lake is a joy.

By the way, it is not true that rains most of the year here. Much of the northern half of the Olympic Peninsula is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. The southern half of the park is considerably wetter. Even in the south, July into mid-October is usually very dry indeed, and January and February are surprisingly low on rain, although, of course, there is snow in the mountains. March, November, and December are the worst months to visit in terms of weather, and November and December also have very short days. September is usually perfect, with sunny days and clear, cool nights.

Newberg, Oregon
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4. Re: what season is best to visit washington state?

Good point about the "rain myth" -- Here in Oregon, Salem's annual rainfall is about 44 inches -- less than Atlanta, Nashville and probably most places in the eastern third of the country.

Port Townsend...
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for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
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5. Re: what season is best to visit washington state?

I agree, Lake Crescent Lodge sounds like what you're after. Book early.

Longview, Washington
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for Mount Rainier National Park
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6. Re: what season is best to visit washington state?

September, definitely. Earlier rather than later. Try to book a room at Paradise Inn on Mt. Rainier, you can't get any closer to the mountain.

Rain myth: We don't have a lot of rain, just many gray, cloudy days with an occasional drizzle. For example, Mt. Rainier is just an hour drive from Seattle and on clear days it looms large along the Seattle skyline. However, it is clearly visible only about 90 days a year.

Renton, WA
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7. Re: what season is best to visit washington state?

We had .04 inch of rain on July 22nd in the Seattle area and are looking forward to some rain. Go to www.weatherbase.com for historical data.

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: what season is best to visit washington state?

Another vote for September. Spring in late April or May can be nice as well with the Cherry Blossoms, but the weather is nowhere as consistent.

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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9. Re: what season is best to visit washington state?

Where to stay in Olympic National Park depends on how much you want to see and for how many days. If you stayed for say four nights I would base myself in at least two locations. Lake Quinault has a terrific Lodge with a good restaurant overlooking the Lake and surrounded by rainforest. It is a pretty easy drive from Rainier. You could stay acouple of nights there and a couple of nights at Lake Crecent. Google Quinault Rainforest, and you can get an idea of what the Quinault Valley has to offer. Weather here is never a given, but I agree generally early September is a little more reliable as far as sun goes.

Edited: 17 August 2012, 18:25
10. Re: what season is best to visit washington state?

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