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Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

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Bellevue, Ohio
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Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

My wife and I will be vacationing in Seattle the 2nd week of September, 2014. We have plans to take a flight on a seaplane out of Lake Union for sightseeing. My question is; would we be better off to take a long sightseeing flight (at a cost of about $800) to say Mt. Ranier, or would our time and money be better served if we took a short 20 minute sightseeing flight around Seattle (at $100/ea), and spend our time and money sightseeing by car. We will have a rental car, and will be staying on the Sound, in the Burien locale. We want to take in as much as we can in our week stay. We plan on a day trip to Vancouver, BC, and want to take a drive to the coast, one of the larger mountain ranges, and possibly a trip to the Columbia river. Any suggestions are welcome, as this will be our first time in Seattle.

Thank you in advance, Jerry

seattle
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1. Re: Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

your trying to do too much in my opinion. A day trip to Canada isn't the best use of your time. You'll spend 8 hrs in driving and border wait and unless you know where your going you'll not see much. Parking in Vancouver can be very pricey. Meters downtown are at $4 an hr. The Washington coast can be a 5 hr drive and not very scenic vs Oregon's. The Columbia River is 3hrs south of Seattle.

Regarding the sightseeing. I work close to Lk Union and the Seaplanes used are very small. If your driving there is parking close by. Did you see if kenmore air runs sightseeing flights? Personally I wouldn't book something like that till you see what the weather is doing. There is a helicopter tour from Boeing field that I've seen on Groupon. You may want to subscribe to

goldstar.com

to get local sightseeing deals.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

You might consider a day trip via floatplane to Victoria BC - kill two birds with one stone, as it were. Vancouver is really hard to handle as a day trip - too long to get there and too much to see when you do, while Victoria is the opposite - plenty to do on foot in the Inner Harbour area (where the seaplanes land) and you could also throw in a visit to Butchart Gardens if you choose - many bus tours available from the Inner Harbour. The Kenmore flights take less than an hour, are exceptionally scenic, and very convenient.

Poulsbo, Washington
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3. Re: Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

I have to agree that I do not think Vancouver is a good idea as a daytrip. Just my opinion, but having seen Rainier from the air dozens of time (and it is spectacular) with visiting the National Park you get more for your money. In fact as crazy as it may sound, I would pick a good day and consider driving to Lake Quinault and using that money for spending a night there. That way you could see some of the most beautiful forests anywhwere and one of our beautiful wild beaches like Ruby Beach. Too much driving as a daytrip though.

Bellevue, Ohio
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4. Re: Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

Thank you for your input. I'll have to agree I've got too much on our plates for our vacation, but I wanted to get a feel from locals as to what would be feasable, and what might be a waste of time. Your feedback is much appreciated. I've been advised to skip the Columbia river trip by more that one source. The helicopter trip sounds attractive. The only reason a seaplane flight caught our interest, is because it would be something Seattle specific to remember our vacation by.

The Victoria trip was also suggested by another as well. Their suggestion was to take a hydrofoil there, which sounds like a unique experience that may be substituted for the Vancouver trip.

Again, thank you for your replies, and I welcome any more suggestions to make our Seattle vacation memorable!

Jerry

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

The high speed ferry to Victoria (Victoria Clipper) is okay (a bit long, potentially quite bumpy, and frankly, a bit boring) while the floatplane is a spectacular experience. By mid-September the days are getting short enough that the Clipper's 3-hour travel time in each direction really starts cutting into the time on the ground in Victoria, while the floatplane flight will get you there more comfortably and obviously more quickly.

Poulsbo, Washington
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6. Re: Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

I think ibgardyloo's descriptin of the Clipper very accurate. I would also add noisey. If you wanted to go all that way and your main reason was to see Victoria that is one thing. If it is mostly about the ride, then forget it. I can not personally afford the flights on Kenmore area. If you can, however, I would consider flying to Friday Harbor on the San Juan Islands. Something very unique to the NW and the flight if you get a reasonably clear day would be very memorable. Friday Harbor is a lovely small town. If you took an early enough flight, you might skipp walking around Friday Harbor and go on a whale watching cruise.

Port Angeles, WA
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7. Re: Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

Another option would be to take the 30 minute, very scenic, Kenmore Air flight from Boeing Field in Seattle to Fairchild Airport in Port Angeles. There you could pick up a rental car and take the 1 hour and 15 minute drive to Rialto Beach on the Pacific Coast. Rialto Beach is magnificent, and you can hike out to lovely tide pools and rock formations. The flight passes along the Olympic Mountains and over the Puget Sound, so you get gorgeous water and mountain views. On a sunny day, it is spectacular.

Seattle, Wa
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8. Re: Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

I would do the 20 minute Seattle sightseeing float plane ride and then drive to Mt Rainier. You want to be on the ground at Rainier to see flowers, wildlife, waterfalls, etc etc. It's an easy day trip from Seattle.

If you really want to do Vancouver, do it as an overnight, and take the train.

9. Re: Seaplanes, and drive to Columbia river

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