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Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

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Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

Heading out to Washington the first two weeks of August. We're flying to Portland because it was a lot cheaper (non-stop) than Seattle, plus we did not get to see the city on our trip to Oregon two years ago because of a rental car issue.

I would like to visit Vancouver and maybe do a day trip to Whistler. After our Canadian Rockies trip last summer, I'm wondering if Whistler would be worth the time in terms of scenery.

I want to make sure my time is allocated in terms of driving and getting to see the three national parks in Washington. Obviously I'm willing to tweak this itinerary. For example, I put Olympic last because that's the only time the Lake Crescent Lodge is available.

We're in our early 50's and enjoy hiking and the outdoors. We have visited many national parks in the west and this trip has been on my bucket list. We also like checking out big cities, but don't need to spend a lot of time there.

We did visit Mt Saint Helens 2 years ago and it was remarkable.

Night 1: Portland (late flight)

Nights 2-3: Mt Rainier

Nights 3-5: Cascades Loop

Nights 6-7: Vancouver

Night 8-9: Seattle (day trip to Whidbey?)

Nights 10-13: Olympic NP

Night 14: Portland

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1. Re: Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

Looks fine to me. Did you have any specific question?

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2. Re: Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

relayer,

I remember you from your Yellowstone and Glacier trip in 2010. We are planning to come to Oregon and Washington the last week of June. Where are you staying in Mt. Ranier? Seattle?

Thanks!! Enjoy your trip.

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3. Re: Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

The Pacific Northwest is its finest in August so no matter what you should have a wonderful vacation. My suggestion is that you should consider visiting the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge (Hood River/The Dalles area) on days 2 and 3. The scenery is spectacular and, although I am not a hiker, there should be plenty of opportunities for you. You can even try windsurfing! Then you can go to Mt. Rainier either by returning to the I-5 corridor or go up by Route 97 to I-82 to Routes12 or 14. That will give you an interesting drive and it may not be too much longer. I'm not positive about this so do your own research. Obviously you will have to cut something else out. Vancouver and Whistler come to mind. They are both great, but why not save that for another trip?

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4. Re: Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

Thanks for the quick replies.

2_gemini, we spent a couple weeks in Oregon two years ago and did the Columbia River Gorge. We got as far north as Mt St Helens on that trip. You can scroll down and see pics of that trip.

https://picasaweb.google.com/Relayer51

Peach, good to cross paths again. I have just started looking at all the lodging options. Not sure about any of our nights at this point.

Pala32, I want to make sure the days are spread out evenly. If I need to add or drop a day in a certain location I'm flexible as we haven't booked any lodging yet.

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5. Re: Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

Sounds like an excellent trip. Maybe a bit more time down the coast, Cannon Beach etc?

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6. Re: Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

I would probably take a day or 2 from Rainier and the North Cascades Loop and add it into a possible Vancouver Island loop ...

Maybe Consider ....

Mt Rainier (look into staying at one of the lodges recently opened - I've not stayed there but have heard they are a lot of fun because of proximity to the hiking). I agree with the other post that you consider driving to North via I-90 to Hwy 97 (Blewett Pass) and stop on the way in Leavenworth for a few hours (fun Bavarian Themed village) before making your way over to the North Cascades Road).

I love Vancouver but I love Victoria more. So if I were planning a trip to the NW, my trip would not be complete without a ferry ride through the San Juan Islands. I would either go up to Vancouver and take the BC Ferry over to Vancouver Island and stay at the Empress Hotel (why not!) or another of the wonderful hotel on the harbor or skip Vancouver and take the Ferry out of Anacortes through the San Juans and over to Victoria. You could choose to stop off in Friday Harbor on Orcas Island for a bit or a night or just enjoy the amazing views of the ferry ride over (I could dedicate 2 weeks to the San Juan Islands and LOVE Salt Spring Island as well). Then you can choose to loop back to Anacortes and Seattle. Or decide to skip Seattle and take the Ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula (make reservation ahead of time) - 90 minute crossing and you've saved yourself alot of driving time. From there you can stop at Hurricane Ridge in under 30 minutes, take a dip at Sol Duc Hot Springs and be at the Lake Crescent Lodge a few hours later.

If you have a time after that .... I absolutely love Cannon Beach OR - another 4 hours drive south but then only 90 minutes to the Portland airport from there (not a bad last night if you want to stay at the beach before heading home).

Enjoy your trip!

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7. Re: Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

Hurricane Ridge summit is at least 45 minutes from the Port Angeles ferry dock, not less than 30 minutes. Also, Sol Duc Hot Springs is west of Lake Crescent, which is between the Sol Duc Valley and Hurricane Ridge. Sol Duc Hot Springs is roughly 40 minutes from Lake Crescent Lodge.

Tastes differ. I far prefer Vancouver to Victoria. The former is a big, sophisticated, exciting city with an unusual ethnic mix and world class food. I regard the latter as a pretty but very limited tourist town, and I regard the Empress as a tourist trap. As I said, tastes differ.

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8. Re: Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

You might play with this route and sights; it includes some of what you have posted.

Options for self drive itineraries in the Seattle region, with websites. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60878-c112037/Seattl…

I know you like hiking, exploring, and have done a lot, so wonder if you are putting too much time into the Cascade Loop. Beautiful though it can be in parts, it is not as spectacular as other places you have visited. Personal taste, I'd drop it in favor of other possibilities.

With "saved days" you could visit both Vancouver and Victoria, BC, as part of the route proposed in the article.

Edited: 12 February 2013, 15:03
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9. Re: Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

These are some great suggestions. No need to add Cannon Beach as we covered the entire Oregon Coast 2 years ago. Voyaging knows my tastes fairly well and I have no problem tweaking this itinerary.

How about driving from Rainier and spend one night in Winthrop, then drive to Vancouver the next day via N. Cascades. We have done plenty of driving like this on past trips. We could also limit Seattle to one night and this would give us 4 nights in Vancouver and maybe Victoria. Thoughts?

Night 1: Portland (late flight)

Nights 2-3: Mt Rainier

Nights 4: Winthrop

Nights 5-8: Vancouver/Victoria

Night 9: Seattle

Nights 10-13: Olympic NP

Night 14: Portland

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10. Re: Just booked, need help with a 2 week itinerary

Certainly Winthrop to Vancouver in one day is doable. I like that side of the Cascades, and also think the drive from Winthrop along highway 20 is very beautiful and worth taking some time to stop enroute. Once you get to I5, just turn north and drive to the border.

From Victoria, head to Olympic NP first via the ferry to Port Angeles, then Seattle, taking a ferry across Puget Sound if you like, and on down to Portland from there. Looks like 2 nights Vancouver, 1 night Victoria? Its rushed, but it will give you a taste.

I'm temped to say just stay in WA for this trip - San Juan Islands, Whidbey Island and the Olympic Peninsula will take your days, and just save Vancouver, Whistler and Vancouver Island for a separate two week trip. Vancouver Island needs at least 10 days explore properly and is just gorgeous, esp. up the north end. You'll be back....

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