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Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

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Tucson
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Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

Hi, We are flying to Seattle for four days, then taking the Amtrak to Vancouver for four days. We have about four days left before we need to leave. Because of prices and because we have friends we'd like to see, we are planning to fly out of Seattle, although that's not mandatory.

My question is: How to spend those last few days? We are from the desert southwest and severely nature-deprived and water-deprived. After eight days in cities, a slower pace sounds good. Our options seem to be: Stay in Vancouver for the additional time, then take the train back to Seattle, see our friends, and fly home; or, drive north up toward Whistler for a few days, come back to Vancouver, take the train back to Seattle, fly home; OR, take the train south to Bellingham (or somewhere), explore for a few days, then get back to Seattle for our flight home.

Which of the three would give us the most nature, plus have fun things for 13 and 15-year-olds to do. (Whistler area would have zip lining and whitewater rafting.... I might have just answered my own question.)

We are finding the cost of one-way car rentals surprisingly prohibitive. so are having to piece together cars, trains, and busses for the last part of the trip. Much thanks.

Seattle, Wa
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1. Re: Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

I wouldn't do any of the 3 options. If you are water and nature deprived, why not go somewhere watery with good nature options? Whistler has some lakes, but it's not the obvious pick for your criteria, unless you really want that level of development, want the things like ziplining, and don't mind the fact that you just have small lakes. The San Juan Islands is a good choice, or one of our national parks. Or if you want to stay in BC, the Gulf Islands or Vancouver Island.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

What month are you traveling?

Tucson
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3. Re: Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

Vancouver Island sounds like a good idea. We are traveling in July. So, we'd check out of our Vancouver hotel on Sunday, July 13.

If we chose the Vancouver Island, what do you recommend in terms of getting there and then back to Seattle? We haven't rented a car, but could. Do we go from Vancouver to V.I., then back to Vancouver and back to Seattle by train, OR from Vancouver to V.I. then somehow get to Seattle from there? Is a car recommended and/or necessary?

Another alternative would be to get back to Seattle and then rent a car from there and go somewhere not too far. We'd like a smaller town on a coast or near a lake. Bellingham?

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

3-4 days is a bit tight for Vancouver Island, it really needs a couple of weeks. You might want to read these to get some ideas:

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g154944-i206-k75125…

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g154945-i207-k75172…

With only 3-4 days, I think you really just have to choose one place and see that. You could do Victoria without a car (as per the second link, only do the trip in reverse and have a couple of nights in Victoria), or if you wanted to go to Tofino, then you'd need to take a car, but you could just do a rental from Nanaimo and drop it in Victoria and use the Clipper to get to Seattle from there.

Edited: 05 June 2014, 19:25
Tucson
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5. Re: Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

I think we're going to play it by ear and decide once we're in Vancouver. We used to do that in the old days...feels scary now!

Green Valley...
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6. Re: Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

I'd take the bus, via the BC Ferries, to Victoria for at least one night (lots to see there), then Victoria Clipper back to Seattle. Vancouverite and others can be more specific re: the bus service. It's really quite easy and well worth it; beautiful ferry/Clipper rides.

You won't need a car in Victoria, a lovely walking city. You can take bus/cab to Butchart Gardens, a "must see". If there in the afternoon, tour, dine there, watch the show, then see the gardens at night.

Victoria Clipper (passenger only) )http://www.clippervacations.com/

BC Ferries: http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/

Victoria and Vancouver Island Information http://www.hellobc.com/vancouver-island.aspx

Edited: 06 June 2014, 16:29
Tucson
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7. Re: Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

Perfect information about the ferries/Clipper - thanks so much!

Green Valley...
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8. Re: Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

You might have your list of what to do/to see in Seattle, but here is mine, and it's only a "partial"... Also, in the Top Questions, find the article of one day in Seattle w/o a car.

SEATTLE AREA “MUST SEES” (EXCLUDES REGIONAL SIGHTS)

Ballard/Chittenden Locks www.myballard.com/ballard-locks-seattle/

Pike Place Market www.pikeplacemarket.org/frameset.asp…

Ferry Ride (walk on/walk off, both ends; short and scenic, then walk the nice little downtown of BI; great views)

Pioneer Square http://www.pioneersquare.org/ http://goo.gl/maps/wflb

Museum of Flight A world class museum, for all ages. http://www.museumofflight.org/

Seattle Center (site of the 1962 World's Fair) and Space Needle

Woodland Park Zoo http://www.zoo.org/

Seattle Aquarium http://www.seattleaquarium.org/

Argosy Cruises (Tillicum Village) argosycruises.com/publiccruises/tillicum.cfm

Future of Flight and Boeing Plant Tour, Everett, WA

And for humor...

Archie McPhee Store http://www.mcphee.com/shop/

Edited: 06 June 2014, 17:33
Tucson
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9. Re: Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

Thank you for the ideas! My kids would love Archie's.

10. Re: Need help with last 3-4 days of trip itinerary

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