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Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

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Removed on: 05 June 2015, 08:11
seattle
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1. Re: Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

A couple of questions for you. Are you planning to do Mt Rainier then continue on to Lk Chelan that evening? There is a scenic route that goes down thru Yakima so its possible to do that. Are you leaving Chelan and driving to Ptld on I-84 because that would bring you into Ptld via the Columbia River Gorge. Also the Oregon Dunes is in Southern Oregon so I think I'd stick to the North part mainly Seaside to Newport.

2. Re: Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

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Port Angeles, WA
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3. Re: Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

By SEA do you mean Seattle or Sea-Tac Airport? That is, are you planning to spend your nights in the Seattle area in an airport hotel?

Can you tell us what sort of things you enjoy? Do you want to hike or kayak, or do you want to spend more time in the car with short stops to see the sights? Are you very interested in food or wine? Do you keep kosher? Are there any special interests like photography or American history we should know about?

4. Re: Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

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Seattle
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5. Re: Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

A few comments:

I don't think Bainbridge Island needs anywhere close to a full day...I'd just plan on spending time there on your way back from Port Angeles to Seattle at the end of your trip.

Personally I think Chelan is very skippable unless you're planning to go to Stehekin at the north end of the lake. I'd spend time in the mountains instead (e.g. Leavenworth), or skipping that area altogether in favor of 3 days in the San Juan Islands (which IMO is a major omission from your itinerary).

You've got too much time in Portland and not enough on the Oregon coast IMO. I'd add Cannon Beach into the itinerary for sure and personally I would substitute Yachats for Newport.

I'd stay out on the coast and complete the circle around the Olympic Peninsula from the west (so visit Mt St Helens before heading out to the coast).

Edited: 10 January 2010, 19:35
6. Re: Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

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Issaquah, Washington
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7. Re: Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

Flying into San Francisco is a good idea but would alter your trip because it adds even more distance. Would you want to spend time in the city? See the Redwoods? That takes a lot of driving. Our country is gigantic and the West Coast is much more vast in its distances than even our fellow countrymen and countrywomen from the East Coast can imagine.

I think that a trip to Crater Lake is well worth the time. It is so beautiful. It causes a logistics problem, however, because if you want to see the Redwoods you have to head inland from the CA coast and then back to the Oregon Coast at some point. It lengthens the already vast distances. Every time I go up there I am surprised by how long it takes.

I would skip Lake Chelan. It's nice but I haven't been there in years. It wouldn't be on my top 10 list of sites.I haven't taken a single out of town visitor there and have no plans to begin.

I agree with the plan to drive through Bainbridge Island on the way back to Seattle from Port Angeles. It's pretty (I grew up there) but mainly a commuting suburb for Seattle with lots of houses and little else of interest. I like the Bloedel Reserve if you are on the island when it is open.

I don't love the San Juans like others here do. I'm sure growing up on an island on the water influences my feelings. If you want to go, however, on the way back from Port Angeles you could take the Keystone Ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island. (Make a reservation!) and drive to Anacortes and take the ferry. I love Whidbey Island. Coupeville is such a fun town and the Deception Pass Bridge is so gorgeous. If you do this you won't miss skipping Bainbridge Island because you are replacing it with some more interesting islands. Even if you don't get out to the San Juans you might enjoy this side trip to Whidbey Island.

Seattle
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8. Re: Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

North Cascades NP is much more out of your way than the San Juans...in fact, the North Cascades Highway (Rt. 20) continues west to Anacortes, where the ferries leave from. So if you really want to include the North Cascades, stopping off for a couple days in the San Juans on the way would work with your itinerary.

But N Cascades NP is not really "on the way" to Chelan, that's for sure. It takes a good 4-5 hours to drive from Seattle to Mazama/Winthrop, and then at least another few hours from there to Chelan. So you'd be looking at a full day of driving without giving yourselves any time to stop and enjoy the views on the dirve over the North Cascades highway. If you're going to go to the N Cascades, stay in Mazama or Winthrop--much prettier than Chelan, IMO.

I suppose reasonable minds can differ but I don't find Lake Chelan to be appealing at all, except for the north end that you have to take a boat to (or fly or hike into). The southern end is hot, dry, brown and full of noisy motorboats and jet skis. Not my cup of tea.

Re the Oregon coast, yes, you can easily visit the dunes on a day trip from either Newport or Yachats. They are maybe an hour south of Yachats, a little further from Newport.

The drive from SF to Seattle is a very nice one, I've done it both ways, mainly sticking to the coast. If you do that hopefully you can figure out a way to include the redwoods on the CA coast.

Longview, Washington
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9. Re: Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

I would opt for staying in Yachats rather than Newport for a visit to the Oregon Dunes. Its a little less 'touristy' and has several good places to stay.

Suggest that you also post to the Oregon forums. There are a number of folks who post regularly there who can offer great suggestions to the must see places along the Oregon Coast, Portland and the Columbia Gorge.

Yes, Hood River is a good base for sightseeing in the Columbia Gorge, especially since you will be coming from Central Washington.

Good that you have given yourself a couple of options on visiting Mt. St. Helens. It's best visited on a reasonably clear day, be sure to drive all the way up to Johnston Ridge Observatory and take in the theater presentation. Even if the weather is too cloudy and/or rainy to drive all the way up to the mountain, at least drive up to the first visitor center at Silver Lake, just 5 miles from I-5.

Seattle, Washington
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10. Re: Help with itinerary - Trip to Washington and Oregon

Shalom,

I think the idea of making it a one-way trip between SF and Seattle is excellent. I've hosted a number of overseas visitors and friends (but as of yet none of our Israeli family members) on this route and variations, and inevitably they come away raving about the beauty and variety.

However given the time of year I'd strongly recommend doing the trip in the opposite direction (north to south) as by late September it can start getting rainy in the northwest.

With 20 days, I'd propose something like the following itinerary. Note infinitely variable, as with all such things.

Day

1 TLV-LHR-SEA

2 Seattle area

3 Seattle area

4 Seattle area

5 Seattle to Port Angeles via Bainbridge Island; visit Hurricane Ridge

6 Day trip to Victoria BC via passenger ferry

7 Day trip Olympic National Park - Hoh rain forest, beaches

8 Port Angeles - Seattle via Port Townsend, Whidbey Island

9 Seattle to Yakima via Mt Rainier

10 Yakima - Portland via Maryhill Museum, Columbia River Gorge

11 Portland area

12 Portland to Crater Lake

13 Crater Lake to Bandon

14 Bandon - tour coastal area (Dunes, beaches)

15 Bandon to Crescent City

16 Crescent City to Mendocino - tour Redwood groves

17 Mendocino - tour north coast

18 Mendicino to Napa Valley (alt - straight to SF)

19 Napa Valley to San Francisco

20 San Francisco

21 SFO-LHR-TLV

With this route, you will get to see some of the best coastal scenery on the west coast (the Olympic National Park Pacific strip, the southern Oregon coast, and the northern California coast) as well as spectacular mountain scenery, "old west" scenery between Yakima and the Columbia Gorge, and the coastal Redwoods in extreme northwestern California. These trees are, in my opinion (and our visitor friends') the highlight of the trip - remarkable organisms.

In (by now) late September you're also likely to be around the Napa Valley (also the Yakima Valley farther north - resembling IMO some of the Golan/Galilee vineyard areas) at harvest time - not only some good wines but gorgeous countryside and weather. In the Portland/Columbia Gorge area (Hood River etc.) you'll be there for the apple and other fruit harvests too.

Of course you'll also be visiting some of the most attractive cities in the US (and Canada if you spend the day in Victoria) so it's definitely a win-win scenario.

As for some of your original destinations, some thoughts -

Lake Chelan is very pretty but in my view the cost/benefit of the long drives to and from are not in your favor.

North Cascades NP is very scenic, but basically experienced either by fairly arduous hiking and off-road walks, or else from the car windows as you drive over SR 20. I think visiting places like Hurricane Ridge in Olympic NP, Mount Rainier NP, maybe a day visit to Mt. St. Helens from Portland, etc. - will give you plenty of mountain time.

The Oregon Dunes are interesting but easily seen in conjunction with other attractions on the central/southern Oregon coast. Combining the northern part of the Oregon coast (Cannon Beach etc.) with Crater Lake is very time-consuming, and I feel the southern Oregon coast, coupled with the N. Californian coast and Redwoods, is more than a fair trade-off. I personally am no great fan of Crater Lake (a "90 minute National Park" in my opinion) but of course others disagree.

Sorry to hijack your thread like this, and hope this doesn't just add to the confusion.