Please tell us what you are interested in so we can suggest appropriate things. Chuck...
Anything to sightsee (key places to visit), shopping, views, restaurants/cafes, museums, any of that sort. I would love to go for a hike, but we won't have time to fit that in.
Since you don't have time for a hike, please tell us how much time you DO have. Any time to do an alternate route through Deception Pass and Whidbey Island? Or are you looking simply for things to see as you shoot through Bellingham and Everett?
I think most of us would consider Vancouver to Seattle to be almost a commute rather than a "road trip," unless we looped off of the I-5 for an extra day or so. Do you have the time to do that?
I'm going to suggest that you get off I5 in Bellingham and take the Chuckanut Drive. You can then turn left towards Edson and then get on Highway 20 towards Anacortes. Turn down to LaConner for a cute little waterfront town with shops and restaurants. Nice for a little wander about. Then on to Deception Pass and Whitby Island. Definitely get out of the car at Deception Pass. There is a great walk that takes you around the beach to get under the bridge, but you need some time for this.
Then on down Whitby Island (Fort Casey and Fort Eby are both worth stops) and then take the Mukelteo ferry at the foot of the island to get through Everett and back on the I5.
Not sure that this would be doable all in one day, certainly not if you wanted to make any real stops on the way. If you did it as a straight drive it would be quite achievable and much nicer than gunning down the I5.
The only time I would avoid making a trip to Whidbey Island in September is towards the end of the month when Oyster Run happens. There are a LOT of motorcycles on the road and the drive has taken me twice as long on multiple occasions. Its the 23rd of Sept this year. Just something to keep in mind.
I agree with Vancouverite67, you need to take a drive down Chuckanut. If you do that, you could check out the Fairhaven historical district on your way. It's a great place to grab a quick bite to eat.
It is always better to take the Chuckanut from north to south, so the scenic pullouts are on your side of the road. Maybe pick up your bite to eat and stop for a picnic at Larrabee State Park. I think you would have time to walk around there. It isn't really very far from Vancouver to Seattle. Are you going back the same day?
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