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Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

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Los Angeles area
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Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

What a great forum this is! After reading lots of posts, I think this is a good itinerary for our August vacation, but I'd love some feedback. We are a moderately active family, love scenery, fresh air, outdoors, with sons age 21 and 19.

I'm thinking fly to Seattle, explore it for a full day (we can return fairly easily with air miles another time). Day 3 Clipper to San Juan Island, overnight at Friday Harbor, return to Seattle next afternoon.

Day 5 take Amtrak to Vancouver, explore a little , then next day drive up to Whistler and stay one night. Then return to Vancouver, next day train back to Seattle, next day fly home for a total of 9 days which is about all we can swing as two self-employed people.

I think this sounds like a decent, fairly varied exploration of the area. Any thoughts?

Seattle
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1. Re: Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

dtmfcc: Looks good, but maybe you should fly home from Vancouver rather than taking the train back to Seattle. Just a thought.

seattle
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2. Re: Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

It would make way more sense to go to Victoria from the SJ Islands then go to Vancouver. You will see more and you won't be backtracking. Its easy to arrange and Victoria is quite different than Vancouver. Let me know if you have questions. I was in Vancouver thursday and grabbed a bunch of visitor info if you need answers.

Los Angeles area
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3. Re: Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

David, I would like to hear about that. My oldest son especially likes to go on trains, and it seemed like a very easy way to cross the border.

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

That sounds pretty agressive ... travelling all the time.

I think I'd cut out either San Juan or Whistler (though I love both). What do you and your sons like to do? Sightsee? Outdoors sports? Nightlife? Beaches Mountains? I'd let that determine.

Options:

1 fly to Seattle

2 sightsee seattle

3 clipper to San Juan

4 San Juan (play in water, or whale watch trip, or kayak, or lounge)

5 clipper to Seattle

6. Train to Victoria (one train a day, lv apx. 7AM, your son will like the train)

7. Vancouver (lots to do for 2 or more days ... sightsee in Stanley Park, great nightlife, Granville Island, hike in North Shore Mtns or drive or take skyride to great views over city, kayak in English Bay, visit Chinatown, see UBC and its Museum of Anthropology, visit Queenm Elizabeth Park, great shopping, walk or ride bikes around the Seawall (it now goes for MANY miles around almost the complete water edge)

8. Vancouver in AM, Train LVs 6PM

9. Fly

or

Cut out San Juans, shift the days, and substitute in Whisther, spending 2 nights 1 day there. Be sure to take the gondola/chair to the top for spectacular alpine views. Also nice Alpine hiking there too.

or

Cut out Seattle and San Juans. Fly into Vancouver. Take BC Ferries to Canadian Gulf Islands, and go to Whistler.

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

oops ... trains don't float

On day 6 I meant train to Vancouver, not Victoria

seattle
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6. Re: Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

the train goes north in the early morning and back each evening at 6 pm. The route follows the coast and is very scenic especially right out of Seattle and then around Bellingham to across the border. I think you would like it. They play movies so if you bring headphones the movies are free. They also ahve a full serve restarant so you could have a sit down meal. If you go business class you get on and off first and it does save some time as you can get on right before and head thru customs first. If you skipped Victoria you would have a great time in Vancouver, especially adding Whistler. There is skiing in August if you go high enough and that is the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics so your kids will be impressed they were there before the Olympics. Rocky Mountaineer is also doing a one day train trip to Whistler which would be spectacular but a little pricey. If you do decide to go to Whistler Amtrak can sell you a thru ticket which is very cheap compared to buying a ticket once in Vancouver.

Washington
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7. Re: Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

For some reason, I thought the glacier closed for skiing/riding in August. For summer I have skiing/riding June 5 - July 30, 2006, but I could be wrong.

In any event the Whistler mountain bike trails are awesome. Full body armour/dirt/sweat - boy nirvana. They have the gear/bikes/helmets there to rent. Expensive, yes. but according to my teens - oh so worth it! You can even rent a "helmet cam" to record your adventure. Go to the Whistler website, click on summer/teens and you can get the details.

Washington
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8. Re: Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

Forgot to mention. Whistler has a terrific summer outdoor concert series with top touring bands as well as local folks. Don't think the lineup is posted yet, but you might get lucky. Also good to know for your sons, the legal age in Canada is 20.

Nepean
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9. Re: Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

Island Girl - legal drinking age in Canada varies by province - it's 19 in BC. I'm also planning to travel Amtrak from Van to Seattle this summer with my 19yr old daughter so I'm enjoying the info provided.

Washington
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10. Re: Seattle / San Juan / Vancover / Whistler in August

My mistake! I just know that university students here (in Washington) frequently make the trek to Canada to "celebrate" prior to their 21st b-day. Thanks for correcting.