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trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

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Texas
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39 posts
11 reviews
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trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

Hey Y'all, we're very excited to be visiting Seattle and the surrounding area. I've read enough to get me a little dizzy from all the choices so I thought I'd ask a few questions. We are a couple with an 8yr old son, we like nature but kiddo will probably be bored if all we do is look at the beautiful scenery so we'd like some kid activities too. And, we love to eat good food! We're coming in August for 7 days.

We're looking at arriving Seattle and driving directly to the Mount Olympic area and the rainforest and staying a night or 2 around there.

Then, going to Seattle for a couple days, check in and, while there, do a day trip to Victoria and whale watching, flight museum, the market, etc.

Then, we'd also like to go to Vancouver and here's where I get stuck. I can't decide if we should fly out of Vancouver (very pricey) or go there, spend a couple nights and then go back to Seattle to fly home. Any advice? Am I trying to fit too much in? thanks in advance

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
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1. Re: trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

Whoa, there! You need to do some more reading. First of all, it's Mt. Olympus, not Olympic, and you aren't going to get anywhere near it. The only way to reach Mt. Olympus is to take an arduous and demanding three day hike that requires the use of an ice axe towards the end. You won't be doing that. Also, the Hoh Rain Forest is 5 hours from Seattle. I don't think you are wise in trying to do that drive the day you fly in to Seattle. The fact that you wrote about spending "a night or 2" in Olympic National Park tells us all that you don't grasp the scale of the area. ONP is really not close to Seattle. It's also a huge park that is spread out all over the Olympic Peninsula. This means that you have to drive considerable distances to get from one site to another. For example, Hurricane Ridge, which is lovely in August, is a three hour and 45 minute drive from Seattle. The Hoh RF is 2 hours and 45 minutes from Hurricane Ridge. You probably would want to see the beaches, too, and they are almost an hour and a half from the Hoh RF. Finally, August is the most visited month in the Pacific Northwest. Olympic National Park has a rather limited tourism infrastructure, with fewer places to stay than you would expect. Make sure you have lodging booked before you come.

If you are serious about visiting Olympic National Park, plan to spend at least two nights, preferably three, and allow for lots of driving time. I do think you are trying to fit too much into 7 days. Not only are the places you want to see far apart, but the roads and ferries in August get very crowded and slow. To make matters worse, travelers out here frequently need to cross bodies of water, and the bridges and ferries can become real choke points. Some of the highways in the Olympic Peninsula barely merit the name.

August is very beautiful here, and you will have a wonderful time, but plan carefully, know your distances, and don't try to do too much.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

Yes, way too much to cover in 7 days. You will spend most of your week traveling between points. The first part of your itinerary is not reasonable, as Kaleberg has pointed out. Staying a couple of nights in Seattle, and trying to fit in a day trip to Victoria plus whale watching during that time, basically means not seeing Seattle at all. Victoria is fun and can be a day trip from Seattle or Vancouver. Seattle and Vancouver are places that you could easily fill 3+ days in each. There are easier day trips out of Seattle to see some mountain scenery if you aren't really wanting to invest the time and effort to see ONP.

One possible itinerary would be to start with 3 nights in Seattle, go to Victoria, spend the night, and then go to Vancouver for your last 3 nights.

Texas
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3. Re: trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

That's what I needed to hear, thank you very much! Our priorities are rainforest, whale watching, Seattle and Vancouver. I'll go look some more. I am getting a little nervous, as I've noticed lots of the better choices in lodging are booked. So, I'll slow down and do more reading about it

Edited: 17 December 2012, 12:46
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4. Re: trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

Your son may enjoy the Ride The Ducks Tour that goes around Seattle. It's lots of fun! :)

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
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8,307 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

As you plan this further, keep in mind you do not have to use your time to travel to Victoria for whale whatching if that is a big reason for traveling there. You can go whale whatching out of lovely Port Townsend, which happens to be on the Olympic Penninsula. I will tell you this, there is far more to experience on the Olympic Penninsula than just its magnificent rainforests. If you love the outdoors do not rush your visit. River valleys, mountain vistas and wild ocean beaches are also to not ber missed. It all depends on your priorities and how much time you want to invest. That is a long drive to the Hoh Rainforest just to experience one facet of what this National Park has to offer.

Forks, Washington
4 posts
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6. Re: trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

You could fly into Seattle, head to the Hoh Rainforest, go kayaking or rafting, enjoy the Pacific Ocean beaches, then head to Port Angeles and take the Coho Ferry to Victoria then do Seattle for a couple of days. I think where you hit the glitch is going to Vancouver. If you would like to talk to a live person, call me at the Forks Chamber of Commerce.

360-374-2531 or 800-443-6757

SEATTLE
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4 posts
141 reviews
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7. Re: trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

Take a seaplane tour out of Lake Union. You'll see water, mountains, and the city all in one!

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

I'm going to put a couple of maps together for you to consider.

Option 1 includes all your points (although I short changed ONP by just putting Port Angeles on the map. You would tour beyond there to see the park depending on your priorities and how you allot your time.

http://goo.gl/maps/dtP2N

As mentioned, this isn't really a realistic plan with the time you have, but it gives you something to look at.

Option 2 cuts out Vancouver:

http://goo.gl/maps/iXOKP

This is a more realistic plan. Keep in mind that you would tour beyond Port Angeles as shown on the map in order to see ONP.

Option 3 gives you more time in ONP and stays in the US

http://goo.gl/maps/eZ5ev

Texas
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39 posts
11 reviews
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9. Re: trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

Wow, thank you so much! Yes, after more research on ONP, we've definitely decided to spend more time there. I still don't know if it will be enough because it does look amazing. I love option 3, with a day trip to victoria, if time allows, from PA. I think we'll stay there, then travel to the south end, stay somewhere around there, then go to Seattle to finish off the trip. My days at each are still TBD. It's really going to be a combination of all your suggestions, Now, off to look up the duck tours and the seaplane and hope to find somewhere to stay.

I also found the ONP forum, which is very helpful.

10. Re: trying to come up with itinerary for couple and young child

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