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Planned trip to Washington State

Annapolis Md,
6 posts
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Planned trip to Washington State

My husband who is handicapped (walks slowly and not far with use of cane) and I are planning to visit Washington and Oregon end of August, first part of Sept. We have been to Seattle before but no where else. Interested mostly in scenery/animals, food, etc. Tentative plans as follow:

Day 1. Arrive Seatac, Rent car, Drive to Port Angeles

2. Visit Olympic Natl. Park All day

3. Take ferry to Victoria

4 Take ferry from Sidney to Friday Harbor

5. Stay overnight in Friday Harbor

6. Take ferry to Anacortes

7 Drive to Weinatchee

8 Drive to Portland

Is this too ambitious? Are we missing something we should see? Will we have problems finding places to stay that requires little walking and no stairs?

Thank you.

Amsterdam, The...
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for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
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1. Re: Planned trip to Washington State

Do you have a reason to go to Wenatchee? It's way out of the way and will be very hot.

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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2. Re: Planned trip to Washington State

I have to be honest this is a terrible itinerary. You are spending way too much time seeing some incredible things from the window of your car or a ferry. It is also going to cost you a lot of money with little return.

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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3. Re: Planned trip to Washington State

Yes, I agree with everyone. It might help if you explained why you chose what you did. I would reluctantly cross off ONP from your list, and I will try to explain why. It is a really disappointing park for someone who has trouble walking; lots of tedious driving and very limited handicapped accessibility. You say that you would spend that first day visiting the park, but the only things you could do would be to drive up to Hurricane Ridge and then, perhaps, drive by Lake Crescent and on to Rialto Beach. Your husband would not be able to do the hike at Hurricane Hill Trail, so after driving up to Hurricane Ridge, you basically could just stroll around the meadow at the parking lot. The views are lovely, but this seems rather frustrating. I might advise you differently in wildflower season, as the lupines in the meadow are gorgeous, but by the end of August, all the flowers will have dried up.

It is a 1 hour and 15 minute drive from the HR summit to the eastern shore of Lake Crescent, and then there is a beautiful 20 minute drive along the lake, but that is about the only scenic drive in this part of the park. Your husband could not do the Marymere Falls hike, and certainly not the Spruce Railroad Trail hike, so all you could do would be to marvel at the lake from one of the scenic pullouts.

You could then drive another hour to Rialto Beach, which is handicapped accessible, unlike some of the other beaches. Rialto Beach is wonderful, but the drive there is not scenic and does not reveal the ocean until the very last minute.

At least you would get glimpses of the majesty of the park, and if there were more scenic driving, I would urge you t go, but, unfortunately, ONP, unlike many other national parks, does not reward driving, only hiking. The road to the various park attractions runs outside the park and through scenery that is not ugly but dull.

Friday Harbor...
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for San Juan Islands
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4. Re: Planned trip to Washington State

For those with mobility issues there are still plenty of things to do and beautiful views to see on San Juan island. The ferry arrives right in the town of Friday Harbor where you will find many small attractive gift & boutique shops, a wide variety of restaurants, a movie theater, 3 museums, 3 book stores, art galleries, a bowling alley, and neither fast food chains nor traffic lights. There is a nice marina that you can walk around in (no locked gates here) right in town which is busy in the summer and holds many large yachts and sailing boats, and some commercial fishing boats. The museum most tourists visit in town is The Whale Museum. Info on that is at whalemuseum.org/museum/details/gallery.html This is a nice little museum for learning about whales and orcas in particular. The museum has full-size skeletons of a whale and a variety of other exhibits and interactive displays. You can find more suggestions for things to do in town at: visitsanjuans.com/the-islands/friday-harbor

With your car you could also take some drives on our scenic roads viewing our landscape of pastoral countryside and marine views and look for wildlife such as deer, rabbits, eagles, foxes, trumpeter swans, and raccoons. Some of the local ranches raise more than 'regular' cattle and have llamas, Scottish Highland cattle (the type with the large horns), and alpacas. Something unique for the Northwest is the island camel who lives in a field on Roche Harbor Road and often hangs around the fence there near a big barn. You could see views of much of the island stopping for awhile at places like Roche Harbor which has a nice marina (with more large yachts in the summer than Friday Harbor marina gets) as well as a few restaurants. In the summer it additionally has a small outdoor grouping of artist booths selling locally made art. Very nearby Roche Harbor resort is the outdoor Sculpture Garden at Westcott Bay where one can leisurely stroll around and view the many sculptures or just sit and look at the birds on the pond there. For more info on that see wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/westcott-bay-nature-…

Your best chance of seeing orca whales in season (which is considered May through mid Sept.) would be to take a motorized whale watch trip as the whales are more often seen off the west side of SJ Island and into the Canadian Gulf islands. From land orcas can sometimes be seen from a few parks on SJ island, Limekiln and American Camp, but then it’s really a matter of luck and timing. With a car or by shuttle van during their season you could go out to Lime Kiln Point State Park (also known as Whale Watch Park) and nearby the parking lot you could see the attractive lighthouse perhaps having a picnic at the nearby tables. This is a very scenic spot where orca whales can sometimes be seen along the coastline. There are also bald eagles, seals, porpoises, and the occasional minke or grey whale which can at times be seen as well from this park. However a motorized whale watch boat that can cover many dozens of miles in a short time span and has radio communication with all the other whale watch boats gives the best chance of one seeing orcas on a vacation visit. Information on Limekiln Park is at www.parks.wa.gov/parks/… and for whale watch boat tours see visitsanjuans.com/what-to-do/…A6

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Planned trip to Washington State

As a general rule, I find one night stops very unsatisfying. You spend the day getting to your destination, checking in to your hotel, figuring out where to have dinner, etc. Then the next morning, you get up, check out, load the car and drive to your next destination without having seen anything of the place you just left.

If you are going to take on the expense and inconvenience of traveling to Victoria, then you need to spend at least two nights there so you can see it. Vancouver Island as a destination deserves two weeks, so even with two nights, you are barely scratching the surface.

When accommodating disabilities, cities are often more practical.

Annapolis Md,
6 posts
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6. Re: Planned trip to Washington State

Thanks guys. You made me rethink the whole trip. We have been to Glacier and American/Canadian Rockies, so perhaps we should concentrate on the San Juan Islands. (Maybe include Puget Sound for Whidby??). So our current thinking is reversing the trip, excluding the Cascades Loop, and spending most of our time on the islands (Friday Harbor and Orcas) and two days in Victoria. So now it is Seatac to Anacortes (spend night), ferry to Orcas for 3 days, Friday Harbor for 2 days, Victoria for 2 days, Port Angeles for 1 day, then Portland. Questions: should we split time between the two islands? Is there anything else we really, really shouldn't miss?

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Planned trip to Washington State

That looks much better! You should be happy with that.

As you have a full day to travel from Seatac to Anacortes, why not look at come up via Whidbey Island? Take the ferry from Mukelteo (which is right beside Payne Field and the Boeing Plant if that interests you) and then driving up island. The road itself isn't all that scenic as it is mostly up the centre of the island, but there are several interesting stops to explore, including a couple of very nice state parks.

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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8. Re: Planned trip to Washington State

Much better, I think you will love this trip.

9. Re: Planned trip to Washington State

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