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October Visit

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Roanoke, VA
posts: 106
reviews: 10
October Visit

Hello,

We are a couple 55 & 65, love to sightsee! We are looking at a week at Weather looks iffy and it seems there will be alot of things closed. Have always wanted to travel to this part of the US! PS we are not very active! Thoughts?

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
1. Re: October Visit

"Weather looks iffy and it seems there will be alot of things closed."

Iffy I can understand, but what have you been reading about closed?

Have you checked the list of (many) things to do, see left hand column, and selected some? Need an idea of your interests.

Edited: 12:49 pm, January 06, 2013
Roanoke, VA
posts: 106
reviews: 10
2. Re: October Visit

Thanks for your reply voyaging. We are looking at flying in and out of Seattle and spending a night or two there. We can get a timeshare condo in Blaine-10/20-10/27. It seems the water tours (San Juan) close in Sept. We like to sightsee by car, shop and eat good seafood! Would like to visit Vancouver, some islands and see some beautiful scenery. October is late, I know, but need to use timeshare week. I have just begun what will be many hours of research so pardon my general questions! Think we will enjoy?

Washington - the...
posts: 330
reviews: 14
3. Re: October Visit

The things that may be closed is probably things associated with whale watching season which is over in Sept. The ferry terminal stays open year round - even in the off season.

Check out the season's schedule for the Mt. Baker Theatre because the season will be in full swing by then (the schedule comes out in the summer).

Fairhaven is a lovely little area to shop - esp. if you like bookstores! For seafood, the salmon at Mambo's is excellent! For fish and chips - Shrimp Shack downtown or the double decker bus in Fairhaven are both great choices.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 7,898
reviews: 52
4. Re: October Visit

You realize that Blaine is tiny and there is not a lot (read nothing) to do there...

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
5. Re: October Visit

You could visit the San Juan Islands, but that is a bit of a thrash, though IMO worth it. Alternatively, a very nice day trip would be Whidbey Island. In the following article, replace the word Seattle for Blaine, plot essentially the same circle trip.

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

If you decide to ferry to the San Juan Islands, w/o an overnight, catch a very early ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor, with car, and explore that island. This article lists the things to see/to do, on the major islands. Daylight hours will be dwindling by then, hence the need for an early ferry.

San Juan Islands (Specific information on the several major islands, with key websites. Best seen with at least one overnight.) tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58727-c102104/San-Ju…

If willing to lodge elsewhere on this trip, let us know, because there is much to see (e.g., Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, Victoria (on Vancouver Island), et al.

Edited: 10:17 pm, January 06, 2013
Bellingham, WA
posts: 392
reviews: 60
6. Re: October Visit

There are also the islands between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Salt Spring Island is very nice. See http://saltspringtourism.com/. The drive from Blaine to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal in BC is not very far and you could stop over on Salt Spring and then continue on to Vancouver Island to spend the night in Victoria if you want. For information on the BC ferries see http://www.bcferries.com/bcftravelcentre. There is a lot to do in BC and it's much closer to Blaine than going over to the Olympic Peninsula for example.

We often day trip up to Vancouver. Just across the border is a visitor center. You can drive all the way into the city, although wait until after morning rush hour and try to get back through the tunnel by 3 pm. Or often we will just drive into Surrey and park our car to take the Sky Train in and avoid the traffic and parking hassles. See translink.ca/en/…SkyTrain.aspx for Sky Train info. There is so much to do in town and plenty of buses to get around there.

Another day trip is to Harrison Hot Springs. You don't need to stay at the expensive lodge as there is a public hot springs pool right in town. Just bring your swim suit and towel; they will rent you a locker for the day.

Roanoke, VA
posts: 106
reviews: 10
7. Re: October Visit

Thanks for the replies and the good ideas. Whidby Island looks nice and certainly worth a visit. Being that close to BC, I would think we would day trip several days to BC. Harrison Hot Springs looks interesting. Not too worried about not being close to anything, not party animals (anymore!). A nice dinner and some TV work well. We are still debating the trip. Sure do wish we could go in September.. thanks for your replies, I may be back with some more questions.

Washington - the...
posts: 330
reviews: 14
8. Re: October Visit

Honestly, all you miss by going in Oct. vs Sept is the chance to see whales and depending on the season you may not see many in Sept anyway. Also in Sept it is not only the "end of season" but also people are going back to school so traffic / border crossings can be a pain.

The bonus on going in Oct is that the japanese gardens at Butchart are amazing in Oct - so you may want to check that out:

http://www.butchartgardens.com

Harrison Hot Springs is an excellent idea comcox! Depending on when in Oct you are going to be here you may get to see bald eagles! I think they still have boat tours in Oct if you want to get a boat tour fix in.

If you are staying in Blaine - you can also go up to White Rock for dinner easily - there are many good restaurants there.

Roanoke, VA
posts: 106
reviews: 10
9. Re: October Visit

Ok... I think you have talked me into it. October will be a good month to visit, it will be an adventure and I am sooooolooking forward to it AND the hours of research between now and then! Last year I researched Ireland for a two week trip in September--been jonesing for another trip to plan! Random thoughts and questions coming your way!

Tell me about the border crossing? Just a drive through with passport, ID? We will be in a rental car.

In looking at the flights, it lookks as if we will arrive 9 pm on 10/18. We can check into condo at Sandcastles Birch Bay on Sun. 10/20 and stay until 10/27. Flight out of Seattle 10 pm 10/27. We want to spend some time in Seattle. Is is feasible to stay airport the night of arrival and rent car on 10/19 and go to Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Rainier and spend the night somewhere (??). Suggestions? Or should we stay in Seattle?

Head to Blaine on 10/20... I see several trips to Vancouver, BC....Sky train....Victoria....Butchart.....Harrison Hot Springs...Whidby Island....Salt Spring...So, i think we will have enough things to do while in Blaine. We love day trips and scenic drives.

Leave Blaine Sun morning and head to Seattle and spend the day and evening until 10 pm flight. This is not much time in Seattle...so....we may need to spend another day.

Thanks a bunch for sharing your knowledge with this newbie to PNW!

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 7,898
reviews: 52
10. Re: October Visit

You need a passport to cross the border....expect waits at the border both ways. Depending on the day and the time of day, allow for a 15 to 30 minute wait each way.

As for day trips, quite a few of the ones you mentioned can't be accomplished in a day or if they can....it will be a VERY long day. Vancouver is a great day trip from Blaine, so is Whidbey Island.

Harrison Hot Springs is great in the summer...but it is empty, bordering on closed after the summer season....there will not be much to do in October.

Victoria is not a day trip. Depending on the border waits, it could take you an hour to get to the ferry terminal....45 minutes at least. You need to be at the ferry terminal at least 45 minutes in advance of the sailing. The trip is an hour and 45 minutes including unloading and it is a 30 minute drive into Victoria from the ferry terminal near Victoria. So about 4 hours of travel EACH way and the sun goes down around 6:00 pm at that time of year...so limited daylight. As Butchart Gardens is on the outskirts of Victoria, obviously the same applies there.

As for Saltspring Island...pretty much the same applies except the ferry is usually a 3 hour trip each way Monday through Friday...so about a 5 hour trip EACH way. And once again, Saltspring is vibrant in the summer but it gets pretty quiet by October.

All that being said, there is lots to see in Vancouver!