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Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

simi valley, ca
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Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

Hi, we are taking an 8 day 7 night family vacation from CA to WA in June. Spending the first 2 nights in Seattle. Planning on driving the Cascade loop and perhaps forgoing the Islands. Just cant seem to get my mind wrapped around ferry rides and which ones are passenger only vs car transport. So Ive read that its best to travel East to West.

Can anyone share thier itineraries and how they worked out? Best places to eat and stay( Especially at the N. end, favorable drive times, favorite sites? Especially those with small children. We have 15, 4 and 2 yr old children with us. Trying to keep it simple but also keep everyone entertained. Should I plan on this loop consuming more than 4 days? Any opinions are appreciated.

Thanks alot!

Seattle
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1. Re: Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

The ferries really aren't that tough to figure out and it would be a shame to skip the San Juans if that's your only reason for doing so. We're more than happy to help answer questions.

But as far as the Cascade Loop goes, I'd suggest spending 2 nights in the Leavenworth area and 2 nights in the Winthrop/Mazama area. You could do it in less time but why rush? You could also enjoyably spend more time in each place.

What's your budget? For example, Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop is a great place for families with fun kids programs (cowboy dinners, etc). But it's pricey.

western WA
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2. Re: Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

I'd recommend Lake Chelan over Leavenworth for kids, but definitely stop in Leavenworth for a look around. Be sure to go out on the little island which adjoins downtown.

Lake Chelan gets booked up with locals (and their kids) so don't delay making a reservation there.

Winthrop is a lot of fun and I'm sure your kids would like it. Being based in Mazama would work well. That place is kinda spendy in my recollection, but check it out.

Wenatchee has hotels but is not exactly a scenic wonderland. Be sure to stop at some fruit stands because various tree fruits will be in season. Peaches, cherries, apples pears plums - depends on when you're here.

There's a hydroelectric dam just north of Wenatchee that kids enjoy touring.

Alta Lake near Pateros is a state park with a great swimming beach.

This is all eastern slope information, if you took Hwy 2 over Stevens Pass (or I-90 to Cle Elum). Did you want to do the Mountain Loop on the west side?

simi valley, ca
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3. Re: Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

Thanks Wanderer, For the advice of staying two nights in Leavenworth, I think I will do that. Looks like the Sun Mountain lodge might be the ONLY place to stay!.

simi valley, ca
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4. Re: Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

Thanks for the heads up on Lake Chelan and Alta lake, sounds like a great time, Ill be coming north from Cle Elum so T that I cross the mountains from west to east.

simi valley, ca
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5. Re: Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

If I follow the advice ive been givin Ill stay two nights each in Leavenworth area and winthrop area, based on the fact that my kids are so small, should I forgo trying to adventure too far in the upper loop (Ross dam, Diablo) and just drive straight through-enjoy the view, get back to Sedro Wooley rather than stay the night so close to next destination- Widbey Island? advice would be appreciated

Anacortes...
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6. Re: Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

Coming from Cle Elum I would backtrack a bit and take Hwy 2 over Stevens Pass into Leavenworth...(stop at the Espresso Chalet to take pictures with the Sasquatch from Harry and the Hendersons!) Overnight in Leavenworth (mini golf across from Gustavs restaurant is fun) but for the kids, two nights might be a bit much....I would do one night in Leavenworth, one night in Chelan at one of the lakeside resorts if you can get a room. THey have a fun waterslide park there....Between Leavenworth and Wenatchee there is a fruit stand with a petting zoo that my neices and nephews always love to stop at..can't remember the name right now....

Maybe an overnight in Winthrop but with the short attention span of kids it might be a bit of a strech....Consider overnighting in Anacortes and doing a whale watching trip...you get to see the islands without dealing with the ferries then overnight either in Anacortes or on Whidbey. Then head back to Seattle....

Seattle
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7. Re: Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

I think you do need a stop in Winthrop; otherwise you have too long a drive back with the kids. Winthrop is a cute little Western touwn and Sun Mountain is a very nice place to stay. The kids will enjoy the pool and hot tub.

Be sure and stop at Cascadian Farm along Highway 20 (right side, near Rockport). The berries won't be ripe yet, but they have the best ice cream around!

www.cascadianfarm.com/products/HomeFarm.aspx

western WA
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8. Re: Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

If you get out to Anacortes on the far end, you can have a lot of kid fun without a ferry. Going past the ferry terminal is Washington Park, which has a great swimming beach. The adults won't swim, because they have sense and realize the water is TOO cold, but the kids will.

It also has great rocky beaches and trees to climb and a scenic drive. It is a very nice campground if you're up for that. I'm sure there is other lodging in Anacortes, but I haven't stayed there (just camped).

Anacortes is a cute town with quite a few things to do. Going south from Anacortes, you go over Deception Pass which has a great State Park on the far side, then further south Fort Casey Park which the kids will love. Bring a kite if you can. Fort Casey has battlements and decomissioned artillery and is a fun place to explore. Then the Whidbey to Mukilteo ferry and on south to Seattle.

Going back to earlier in your trip, I think Leavenworth would be a fun place to eat and spend 4 or 5 hours, or one night, but Chelan would be more fun especially for the 15yo. Definitely have lunch in Leavenworth! We ate at Andreas Keller in the lower level with a group of teens recently and it is a fun spot. They have some cool built in booths and things -- I think kids would like it there. If there was somewhere with a band playing that would be even better I suppose!

9. Re: Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

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10. Re: Help with itinerary, Cascade Loop

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