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Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

sfo
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Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

HI,

My partner and I are struggling with how to best use our time. We will be taking our daughter to Seattle Univ. on Sept.16th (she'll be on a 2 day trip with the school) we want to help her move into her dorm on the 18th -- so we have 2 days in seattle and then have 7 days to explore - we need to be back in Berkeley, CA on Sept. 26th -- Need help figuring out what to do (9/16 - 9/26). We enjoy the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, also enjoy wine tasting and relaxing. We will have a car so we're trying to figure out the best way to ferry to Victoria as we hear that the gardens are a must see - also thought about going to Tofino, but now wondering if we should just go to ONP and/or Vancouver - soo many options - all reccomendations are welcome including hotels, dining, and must see attractions.

Thank you! (feeling overwhelmed - clearly need a vacation - empty nest hear we come).

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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1. Re: Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

Go to Olympic National Park. It is perfect for anyone who enjoys wine tasting, hiking, and kayaking. You will be able to experience three different ecosystems: alpine, marine, and rain forest, each one lovelier than the last. The kayaking is fantastic. If you go, you might contact Adventures Through Kayaking (888) 900-3015. They are wonderful people who know the area intimately, and they also have a winery, Harbinger Winery, right there at the kayaking HQ. There are several other wineries as well, the most striking of which is probably Camaraderie Cellars. Olympic Cellars, in a big barn of a place on Highway 101, is also worth a visit. You might want to look at www.kaleberg.com for pictures and descriptions of some spectacular day hikes.

If you base yourself in Port Angeles, you can easily ferry over to Victoria to see Butchardt Gardens. Try the Red Lion, within walking distance of the ferry. If you leave your car, you can take the fast (90 minutes) Victoria Express from Port Angeles and join a tour of the gardens leaving from downtown Victoria. Ask the Victoria Express people for packages. It's a great day trip.

Tofino is extraordinary, but it is hard to get to, evn from Victoria, let alone Seattle. It's also a little more limited in terms of hiking than is Olympic National Park, although the kayaking is probably some of the finest anywhere.

sfo
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2. Re: Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

Thank you - great suggestions!

Thoughts about where to stay in the moderate range?

Berea, Ohio
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3. Re: Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

Kaleberg's site was such a wonderful resource when we were planning the ONP segment of our own nine days(July 3-11) in Seattle/SJI/ONP. Even though I hestitate to disagree with any of his expert advice, let me suggest that if the splurge is within your budget, you consider staying at Colette's B&B in Port Angeles rather than Red Lion as your base for exploring ONP. It's the perfect place to launch the empty nest chapter of your life. See my review at tripadvisor.com/…CHECK_RATES_CONT

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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4. Re: Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

The problem is too real, so much to see here. Here are some websistes and Inside Pages that might help you plot a route on your map.

Victoria

If Victoria bound, this ferry leaves from Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula.

http://cohoferry.com/main/

Victoria

Buchart Gardens, sure, but advise an overnight and see the Inner Harbor, Parliament Buildings, Empress Hotel (Inside of latter two) and, absolutely, Royal Museum - truly interesting.

Victoria

For Victoria: hellobc.com/en-CA/RegionsCities/Victoria.htm…

Options for self drive itineraries in the Seattle Region, with websites.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60878-c112037/Seattl…

Whidbey Island (Great day or more getaway that is iconic of the Pacific NW, with key websites.)

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58824-s2/Whidbey-Isl…

San Juan Islands (Information on the several major islands, with key websites.)

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58727-c102104/San-Ju…

You would want an overnight, at least, to relax and enjoy the island(s). I'd choose one as a base, take the inter-island ferry to the other.

sfo
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5. Re: Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

arghhh..so many options. Thanks...anyone care to share there favorites out of the above reccomendations? Basically I'm in overwhelm mode and feel like I need a private trip planner - I'll rally and I much appreciate all your great suggestions!

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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6. Re: Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

What I suggested was, grab a map. Then, look at the Inside Page I provided. With a highlighter, mark the destinations noted, by me or others. Then, using those points, mark out a possible route.

For example only, you could go from Seattle north to Mukilteo to Whidbey Island, explore the southern/central portions, take ferry to Port Townsend (must make reservations on that ferry only), drive to Pt. Angeles for Hurricane Ridge. From PA, take Coho ferry to Victoria. (Reservations advised.) Return ferry from Vancouver Island via the San Juan Islands, with possible overnight stop, to Anacortes, then south on Whidbey Island and Deception Pass for comfortable drive to Clinton and ferry to mainland and to Seattle.

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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7. Re: Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

BTW, there are side trips to the above itinerary which can be provided after your general route is drawn. For example, Port Gamble, just north of the Hood Canal Bridge and Port Townsend is definitely worth some time.

Berea, Ohio
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8. Re: Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

<<Thoughts about where to stay in the moderate range?

>>

We saved on the Seattle segment of our vacation by booking "4-star hotel in Downtown - Pike Place" for $115/night on Hotwire. It was the Sheraton...just six blocks from the Market, actually walkable to wherever we wanted to go in our 48 hours in the city.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

Woodinville near Seattle has a lot of wineries, though most are open to the public only on the weekends.

Washington
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for Seattle, Family Travel
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10. Re: Itinerary Help: Seattle 2 days + 7 days to explore NW

Sheila66,

Congratulations on your daughter selecting SU. It is a wonderful school truly coming into it's own. I am packing up an 18 year old as we speak - obviously avoiding it - and totally understand!

Next to the campus I recommend Cafe Presse, on 12th. one of my favorites for Sunday morning/afternoon for their french eggs, pommes frites and perfect lattes.

Lark, across from campus on 12th is one of my all time favorite restaurants. They build their menu around small plates.

If you enjoy wineries, I would recommend Woodinville Wine Country, as it's an easy 20-25 minutes from downtown. It's different from the Calfornia areas, in that it is suburban, but with your daughter attending school here, you might as well start becoming an expert on our wines! The Barking Frog is a wonderful restaurant with a fabulous wine list. Attached to the Willows Lodge

www.willowslodge.com/culinary-barkingfrog.php

Check out the info on the Woodinville Wine Country site.

http://www.woodinvillewinecountry.com/

For a more laid-back meal, the Red Hook Alehouse next door is a terrific spot to enjoy local brews and a burger. http://www.redhook.com/Default.aspx?p=36

I could recommend bidding on a 4* downtown hotel. There are currently terrific prices out there. If you want to be closer to SU, The Silver Cloud on Broadway is across the street from SU.

As another option, assuming that you will make more than one trip to Seattle, and have other opportunities to see downtown. Whidbey Island is perfect for the two days your daughter is gone and would help get you some preliminary R & R.

Keep those questions coming.