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What to do??

PA
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What to do??

I started another thread asking for suggestions on where to stay, but I thought I'd broach a whole new topic and ask for your suggestions on things to do. I imagine this will also help us narrow down where we want to stay.

I will need to spend a few hours one morning in Kent and a few hours another morning in Seattle for work. The rest of the week will be vacation time for me, my husband and our two children - ages 9 and 13. We're really not much into the city, but of course would like to the kids to see the obligatory tourist spots. I'm hoping to only spend one day in the city - possibly even the day I have to work in the morning.

We're hoping to ultimately find a nice vacation rental within an hour or so of the airport ideally along the water. That being said, what day trips/activities would you plan on? I've been thinking we'll probably take the kids to Mt. Rainier for a day. Should we put Olympic National Park on our list? I don't know that the kids would be into a lot of hiking just for the sake of hiking. Thoughts on doing both Mt. Rainier and ONP - or in the interst of time should we just choose one? If so, what would be your preference?

Where would be the closest whale watching opportunity? Is August a good time for that?

I definitely want to have at least a few days to just relax, so I don't want to plan a long day trip each day of our week.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!!

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1. Re: What to do??

Having a single vacation rental doesn't work that well around here, because distances are great and water crossings take time. Port Townsend might be a good fit for a few days, but it isn't convenient to Mt. Rainier.

How long do you have exactly? 7 days?

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Washington
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2. Re: What to do??

Hi livetotravelandeat,

I think this plan, with perhaps 2 days in Seattle, then a longer vacation rental works better IF, you can find a rental in a good location that wrks for the day trips you are interested in. That way your spouse and kids can be tourists while you work, then you will easily be able to meet up later.

You have been to Seattle before, so you understand a little our area. I still think you need to narrow down what your family would like to do on this vacation. There are plenty of great day trips - it really depends on your interests. Our family likes to visit national and state parks - Mt. Rainier, ONP, Mt. St. Helens, etc, but that is what we enjoy.

Travel is good because it can stretch your comfort zone, but I worry a little when travelers ask about doing things just because it's on a list or they think that's what they should do.

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3. Re: What to do??

To get the most helpful replies, it would be good to know how long you plan to stay in the area. If you have a couple of weeks, I'd say do both ONP and Mt Rainier. If you only have one week, pick one and skip the other. From almost anywhere on the Seattle side of Puget Sound, Rainier is the easier of the two, logistically-speaking. The park itself is also perfectly drive-able, whereas ONP has a lot of places that you'd have to hike to see.

This may not interest you but as a personal recommendation, consider driving to Tipsoo Lake(just east of Mt Rainier) for beautiful views, then head to Yakima and possibly returning through Wenatchee and Leavenworth(a little contrived for my taste but an interesting stop for a meal and a beautiful location). The best part about this route-besides the amazing alpine-like scenery, you'll also get to see the rapid and striking transition from forested mountain to sage-riddled high desert-all in the span of about 45 minutes.

Edited: 19 June 2013, 18:23
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4. Re: What to do??

YankeeCarl, I don't see a route as proposed that would be done within 45 minutes; please clarify.

If you mean Tipsoo Lake to Yakima, GM says 1.5 hours; to Leavenworth, 2 hours, totaling 3.5 hours.

Edited: 19 June 2013, 23:01
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5. Re: What to do??

It's not 45 minutes from Tipsoo Lake to Yakima, however, the drive down from about Rimrock Lake on Hwy 12 is about a 45 minute drive through the foothills into the desert-like plateau.

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6. Re: What to do??

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