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Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

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Towson, Maryland
posts: 74
reviews: 61
Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

Hello!

We've just relocated to Seattle (Issaquah, actually) from Maryland and are planning our first weekend trip away.

I'm completely stuck even where to start and am hoping for some guidance.

Here are a few thoughts:

1. My husband has a stressful job, so we would like a home base that is tranquil, either in the mountains or perhaps on the water.

2. I like small towns with eclectic shopping and restaurants (it would be OK if this was a car drive from where we're staying).

3. My daughter is DYING to go to the WolfHaven place (Just outside Olympia) -- I started looking in that area, and couldn't find anything that matched up with bullet points 1 and 2, so it may need to wait for another trip.

Unless someone has a solution local to the Olympia area, I'm leaning towards the San Juan islands (sort of obvious) or perhaps up towards Conway.

We're really looking for a refreshing slice of the Northwest ... perhaps some seals and whales, maybe just scenic.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Melia

seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 15,773
reviews: 84
1. Re: Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

I would head towards La Conner and visit the shops there along the water. Then go across Deception Pass and visit Whidbey Island. Town of Coupeville and Langley are very cute. Then take Ferry home to Mukilteo. Nice drive and small shops.

You could also drive a bit more north and follow the signs to Chuckanut Drive and then stop in Fairhaven, a area niext to Bellingham with lots of small cute shops. I suppose you could do both but the first route will keep you busy all day. I have cousins in Baltimore and I was fascinated by Ocean City as we don't have those kind of places out west. Think you'll enjoy this day out.

San Diego...
posts: 17,864
2. Re: Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

Unless I missed it, I dont see when you are planning on going? The San Juans are great, that would be my choice if during the summer months.

Towson, Maryland
posts: 74
reviews: 61
3. Re: Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

This sounds great!!! We are thinking about staying away for two or three days ... is there a place up there that you would reccomend as "base" .... perhaps a place with a tranquil spot or cabins or some such?

Many thanks, again!

Melia

Towson, Maryland
posts: 74
reviews: 61
4. Re: Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

Ahh, that's just it. I'm not sure where to go. I don't know any of these areas so am not sure which direction would be best. My husband just wants to relax and get away and I would like to be able to have some nice meals and perhaps do a bit of shopping. We also LOVE nature (although are not big hikers) so would love a place where we could take nice strolls and see some of the famous Northwest sights.

The twist is that my daughter wants to go down to the Wolf Haven near Olympia and I don't think there's anything around there that fills the above bill.

Many thanks

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,764
reviews: 45
5. Re: Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

Either Whidbey or San Juan Island (or Orcas).

You still have not told us which weekend. If you want the San Juan Islands, plan at least one overnight and bring your car. But, you must plan for the ferry; see the article, below. Issaqhah to Anacortes Ferry Terminal, plan on at least 2 hour drive to be safe. Try to catch an early morning ferry, more time in the islands, more certainty of getting aboard. Be at the terminal at least one hour before your selected ferry, if an early one. We prefer 1.5 to 2 hours, except for the early ferry.

For routes, schedules, fares and more - http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/

Rain or shine, Whidbey Island is a great day or more getaway with many features of the Pacific NW; this article includes key websites, tours, maps. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58824-s2/Whidbey-Isl…

On Whidbey Island, Ebey’s Landing State Park Dramatic, easy, trail, farmland to the east, Puget Sound and the Olympics to the west. http://tinyurl.com/3c8zrnc

San Juan Islands This article provides specific information, not all but the highlights, on what to see and to do on the major islands, with key websites. Best seen by basing on one and visiting the others as day trips. Recommend at least two nights. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58727-c102104/San-Ju…

Edited: 8:35 pm, August 17, 2013
Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,764
reviews: 45
6. Re: Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

Make it easier for you. The first website is for the Anacortes - San Juan Islands route/schedule.

wsdot.com/ferries/…

The following website is for the Mukilteo - Clinton (Whidbey Island) route/schedule. This is a short ride, frequent, ferry, no need to be concerned about catching it, but on weekends you could have a two ferry wait unless arrive early.

wsdot.com/ferries/…

On each of these schedules pages, go to the right and select "Best Travel Times".

Edited: 8:39 pm, August 17, 2013
Seattle
posts: 2,566
reviews: 18
7. Re: Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

Spend a couple of nights in Anacortes. No ferries to deal with.

Very nice smaller town with good restaurants.

An interesting Old Town area.

Stunning views from Washington Park, Mount Erie, and Cap Sante.

posts: 1
reviews: 1
8. Re: Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

I would recommend staying at Beach Haven on Orcas Island. It is a collection of rustic cabins located a stones throw from a gorgeous beach. Also, only short drive from downtown (great food!) and Moran State Park!!

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 6,586
reviews: 6
9. Re: Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

I have been to Wolf Haven, a very moving experience, particularly when the wolves began to howl. It is fairly easy to combine a trip to WH with a trip to Mt. St. Helens, one of the wonders of the PNW. However, there are no cute towns, good shopping areas, and concentrations of good restaurants anywhere nearby. The best place to stay is probably Centralia, which has a very comfortable Best Western. Lacey, which is not too far from Wolf Haven, has a terrific taco truck.

Obviously, the above is not what you had in mind. Tell your daughter that you will plan a future trip to Wolf Haven, and spend an extra night on the road to enjoy Mt. St. Helens. For now, try renting a place on Whidbey Island or one of the San Juans; either choice will give you exactly what you want. Later on, you might consider a four night stay in Olympic National Park, or a a few nights at Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, a good base for exploring the North Cascades.

Fox Island...
posts: 612
reviews: 16
10. Re: Just moved to Seattle, 1st family weekend away - stuck!

Since your daughter likes wildlife a trip to Northwest Trek in Eatonville would be nice. It's a pretty drive and then you could continue up, stay the night just outside the park, and the next morning drive up to Paradise at Mt Rainier National Park.