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Seattle trip

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posts: 25
Seattle trip


My family of 5 is visiting relatives in Seattle . The trip is 2 weeks in total, and we also want to visit Vancouver and possibly Victoria, Whistler and Mt. Reinier. Allocating about a week to spend with family and take day trips from Seattle and a week for a longer trip (trips). Would like to spend about half the time in cities and half the time in nature. The kids are 16, 10, and 4. We are not very active so can only do short and easy/moderate hikes.

Any itinerary suggestions would be welcome. We are arriving next week (last minute trip), so need to plan ASAP.

9 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
posts: 5,524
reviews: 16
1. Re: Seattle trip

When is your trip? Where do you plan to stay? (with the relatives or in a hotel?) Do you plan to rent a car? What do you and the kids like to do? I assume you have passports for the Canada portion.

posts: 25
2. Re: Seattle trip

We are staying with my cousin in Bellevue for the Seattle portion of the trip. Getting there July 29th; renting a minivan for the duration of the trip. Booked a hotel in Vancouver 7/31-8/3 for now but can still change the dates. Cousin has a cabin near Levenworth; planning to spend a couple of days there. Would like to see either Whistler or Mt. Reinier.

Took a 2-week vacation in Colorado last year. We ended up traveling over a thousand miles in total, and while we saw a lot, including 4 national parks, it was very tiring. Hoping to have time to relax this year.

Do you think going to Victoria is to difficult/time consuming with a car? What about San Juan islands?

posts: 25
3. Re: Seattle trip

And yes, we do have passports.

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
4. Re: Seattle trip

Wow, that's a lot, too much, on your plate.

No offense to your cousin's cabin, of course, but I'd skip that and favor spending time at other sites.

I'd skip Vancouver (how many cities do you really need on your vacation, you have Boston at home, Seattle here). And you said you wanted to relax more.

You can use freed up time to see Seattle area major sights (I can provide a list or see Things to Do, top of page).

Victoria is charming and easy to get around w/o a car.

Mt. Rainier (note spelling): You can do this as a very full day RT, Seattle. You'd want to get up there before 9:00 AM to secure parking at Paradise and Sunrise.

BTW, you said you saw 4 national parks while in CO; you went to the S. Utah parks?

It's very late to get lodging in the San Juan Islands, but I've pasted an article below. Read carefully re: ferry travel to/from the islands. I'm editing to add a great website for lodging in the SJIs; paste in your possible dates, see what turns up, for either San Juan, our favorite and best for you and the kids, and Orcas Islands.

You can do a nice day trip to Whidbey Island, article below. Some folks drive up Whidbey Island to Anacortes en route to the San Juan Islands and/or to take the ferry to Sidney on Vancouver Island (for Victoria). Reservations needed for the latter ferry.


Whidbey Island is a scenic day or more getaway with many features of the Pacific NW; this article includes key websites, tours, maps. Note the loop route, Seattle, round trip.


On Whidbey Island, there are several dramatic state parks, including Fort Casey. Ebey’s Landing State Park provides a dramatic, easy, trail, farmland to the east, Puget Sound and the Olympics to the west.


San Juan Islands This article provides specific information re: what to see and to do on the major islands, with key websites. The islands are best seen by basing on one and visiting the others as day trips. Recommend at least two nights. I suggest a very early morning ferry from Anacortes.


Hiking in the San Juan Islands, WA On San Juan Island, easy hikes. http://tinyurl.com/2furs3


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

Edited: 9:12 am, July 25, 2014
posts: 25
5. Re: Seattle trip


Thank you so much for your detailed answer.

No, we do not cross into Utah at all; all the parks we visited were in Colorado: Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Great Sand Dunes National and also Colorado National Monument.

So to get to Victoria, we will need to leave the car behind, right?

If we go to Mt. Rainier overnight, where do you recommend to stay?

Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 2,651
6. Re: Seattle trip

My totally biased opinion on visiting Vancouver is that it really is worth checking out, its pretty unique as it has the most spectacular backdrop of any city on the continent ( up there with most in the world) but hey ymmv

Edited: 4:02 pm, July 25, 2014
posts: 25
7. Re: Seattle trip

Is Victoria a must-see? Between Victoria and San Juan, which one would you recommend?

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
8. Re: Seattle trip

Sorry, only you can decide which to see. Totally different. I like them both, but what do *you* want to experience? The kids will enjoy both though on their behalf I'd lean toward SJI.

After you read the websites provided to learn more about each location, and you draft an itinerary, post it so we can discuss how much time you have for either of the above.

For example, once you draft an itinerary, is there even lodging on San Juan Island(s) on the dates you might be there?

Edited: 6:24 pm, July 25, 2014
Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
9. Re: Seattle trip

BTW, you don't "need" to leave the car behind in going to Victoria. You don't need a car there. Save money, leave it near the selected ferry terminal. Public transportation, including cabs, are readily available in Victoria and can get you to Butchart Gardens.

Here again is the lodging website for SJI; when first posted, it's kinda lost in the verbiage lacking a title.

Lodging in the San Juan Islands http://www.visitsanjuans.com/accommodations

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