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Seattle & Portland

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South Wales
posts: 3
reviews: 24
Seattle & Portland

My husband & I are lucky enough to soon be moving to NYC for a year. We want to make the most of being in closer proximity to some fantastic places so are thinking of a trip to take in Seattle & Portland in late July for a week. We like to spend time in the great outdoors as well as experience the vibe of a city in cafés and restaurants. I'd like to try quirky types of sightseeing & is there a public observatory (on my bucket list). What could you recommend for us to see & do?

12 replies to this topic
seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 14,244
reviews: 81
1. Re: Seattle & Portland

Hi,

I see this is your first post however your question is confusing. You say your moving to NY but your asking about Seattle and Portland which are over 3000 miles away. Is that what your mean or were you asking about Washington DC?

There is a link on top right to the District of Columbia forum

South Wales
posts: 3
reviews: 24
2. Re: Seattle & Portland

Sorry there was no need for me to mention our move to NYC aside from the fact that we are closer then we currently are (we live in the UK) to travel the states. I do mean Seattle, Washington & Portland, Oregon.

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 2,950
3. Re: Seattle & Portland

With a week you can spend a couple of days in each city and a couple more visiting some nearby natural attractions. I'd recommend planning an "open jaw" route, flying to either Portland or Seattle, then returning (presumably to NYC) from the other. The train between the two is affordable and scenic.

You'd have a wide, wide choice of things to do and see both within and outside the two cities - farmers markets, ferries, the Space Needle (your "observatory") in Seattle... the list is too long to itemize here; look at the "top questions" (to the right) on both the Seattle and Portland boards.

For outings, I'd recommend Puget Sound and Whidbey Island from Seattle (other excursions need more time) and the Columbia Gorge and Mount Hood from Portland. Both are visited either as day trips or with one overnight; a car will be needed.

Both towns are foodie meccas, but much depends on your personal tastes. Time to do your homework.

Edited: 2:35 pm, February 09, 2014
Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 5,671
reviews: 4
4. Re: Seattle & Portland

No public observatory of which I am aware, and the PNW is not a good place to build one; much of the year is cloudy. If you are truly interested in observatories, look into Arizona, which is home to several, and the Big Island of Hawaii, which really delivers the goods at Mauna Kea. You won't soon forget that one. There is also superb year round stargazing amid striking scenery in New Mexico.

I would try to help with the rest of your post, but, as the other posters have delicately hinted, your questions are premature. You need to do some research, both on TripAdvisor and elsewhere. Once you have more knowledge of what is to be found in this amazing region and can narrow things down a bit, post again.

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 4,649
reviews: 5
5. Re: Seattle & Portland

When you say observatory, do you mean for views of the surrounding area or do you mean planetary? The Columbia Gorge area has both along with some spectacular sites near Portland. I would not miss Mount Rainier. It is one of our countries most beautiful National Parks. Best to rent a car, but their are sightseeing excursions from Seattle.

South Wales
posts: 3
reviews: 24
6. Re: Seattle & Portland

Thanks all for your help, I shall investigate further just wanted to ask for your expert suggestions.

Oceanport, New...
posts: 17
reviews: 20
7. Re: Seattle & Portland

I have just planned a trip very much like you are requesting info about. We are flying into Portland, checking out the Columbia Gorge area for a day or two, and then driving up into Washington to the Lake Quinault area, the Forks area, and the Port Townsend area, spending a couple days in each place. Then we'll fly back to New Jersey via Seattle. I also suggest researching a lot first, and Tripadvisor has helped me tremendously!!

Oceanport, New...
posts: 17
reviews: 20
8. Re: Seattle & Portland

I have just planned a trip very much like you are requesting info about. We are flying into Portland, checking out the Columbia Gorge area for a day or two, and then driving up into Washington to the Lake Quinault area, the Forks area, and the Port Townsend area, spending a couple days in each place. Then we'll fly back to New Jersey via Seattle. I also suggest researching a lot first, and Tripadvisor has helped me tremendously!!

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 4,649
reviews: 5
9. Re: Seattle & Portland

There is a wonderful Observatory in Goldendale Wa.. The skies are much clearer there. Nearby is Maryhill Museum. Very interesting area if you have the time to visit that area from the Gorge.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 12,930
reviews: 35
10. Re: Seattle & Portland

I love it when I learn new things about my own backyard on TA. We have several observatories in southern BC, including one right in downtown Vancouver (I'm sure you don't see much from that one with all the ambient light), so i was surprised to read in post 4 that you don't have any.

www.parks.wa.gov/parks/…

This actually looks like a good one because not only do they have the observatory, but they also have control of the air quality and the ambient light. They don't even allow fires.

If you wanted to include the observatory, then you would be doing a loop into the area east of the Cascades, which is lovely and quite different to the coastal scenery and topography.

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