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Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

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Gainesville, Florida
posts: 16
Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

Need some "must see" spots in Seattle. Want to mayb go to Portland for a day or two. Also wouldn't mind heading to canada for some snow. I'm a Miami guy. Going the first week of November

11 replies to this topic
Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
1. Re: Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

Ryan, have you looked at Google Maps to better understand what you are saying. Where in Canada were you thinking of snow?

The best way to start is to select Things to Do, for both Portland and Seattle, on their respective Trip Advisor pages. Decide what appeals to you in each city. You don't express your interests, so you are asking us to throw lists of things, ideas, that may be of no interest.

Read other TA strings to see what others seek and our responses. It will help you (and us) to focus responses.

Does your trip to the Pacific NW have to be in November; it's a dreary month with very short days. If possible, you'd be better off June through September.

If snow is important, and you have a passport, check Whistler, BC climate charts. Do you ski/snowboard?

Edited: 10:21 pm, July 25, 2014
Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
2. Re: Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

BTW, you could spend 3 days Seattle, 2 in Portland. They are about 3 hours apart. You can use Google Maps to figure other destinations and their distance from, say, Seattle. In general, I'd stick with the two cities, there are many fascinating things to see.

Tacoma, Washington
posts: 2,182
3. Re: Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

Its a stretch to try to do Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver in a week. You can do 2 of the cities.

Doing this in the early November ---it will likely be very wet and strong storms.

What do you want the snow for? You will be able to get the snow outside Seattle by driving up to the mountain passes.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 32,645
reviews: 52
4. Re: Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

No snow in Canada until Christmas at the earliest. Banff/Lake Louise would be worth a look for Christmas, but not Whistler.

Gainesville, Florida
posts: 16
5. Re: Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

I love site seeing and doing all kinds of activities. Im going the first week of November based on schedule and everything. I did some research and i can see that the days are short which i will admit does stink, but hopefully it doesn't ruin it for me? "crosses fingers". Ive never seen snow before so honestly i just want to play in it. Im 25 years old btw. Whistler, BC i heard gets a good amount of snow. In terms of doing multiple cities, your talking to a guy who doesn't mind waking up at 2am. to drive 6 hours to get somewhere at 8am.

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 820
reviews: 66
6. Re: Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

Ironically, November may be the worst month to visit the snow bearing areas. It is the traditional start of the winter storm season in the Northwest, with strong winds and rain from leaden skies, but usually too early to snow.

Earlier in the year (summer, for example) you can visit the permanent snow fields on major massifs like Mt. Rainier, but going in November to such places puts you at risk of getting caught in a storm you won't want to be in the middle of.

Cold, wet, short days, ski enthusiasts praying for miserable Pacific storms to dump on thr mountains. Its really the time of the year to visit with an idea of persuing indoor activities.

That being said, we can still get decent weather, but odds are against it.

One small benefit to visiting at that time of the year - you'll have the place to yourself. Pretty much every traveler, and half the residents will be heading to places like Miami!

Edited: 7:32 pm, August 22, 2014
Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
posts: 5,459
reviews: 16
7. Re: Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

Yes, indeed Ryan, Whistler does get a ton of snow, and there will be snow on the mountaintops, though it's highly unlikely to have snow at the lower elevations or in Whistler village early in November - but you never know! I have been in Whistler in early November and hiked along Lost Lake with decent snow coverage - but then other years, absolutely nothing.

Ray is right, November is one of those months where many things are closed in anticipation of the winter activities. Remember the area is built around Blackcomb and Horstman Glacier, so there is snow year round on the Peaks. Whistler Village's elevation is just 2,214 ft, but the top of Blackcomb is at 7,494 feet. Unfortunately the Peak to Peak Gondola closes late September and doesn't open again until skiing starts. Opening day of skiing for the last few years; November 18, 2011, November 17, 2012, November 16, 2013 - you get the idea. November 6-16, is Cornucopia in Whistler, a very busy food and wine event.

Ziptrek, I believe, is open year 'round, and you may very much enjoy that in the off season. Other activities too - depending on your interests and budget.

If you decide to visit Vancouver, you may very much enjoy taking the Skyride up to the top of Grouse Mountain, then hiking down. It is open every day of the year.

https://www.grousemountain.com

https://www.grousemountain.com/skyride

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 14,542
reviews: 42
8. Re: Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

<<If you decide to visit Vancouver, you may very much enjoy taking the Skyride up to the top of Grouse Mountain, then hiking down. It is open every day of the year.>>

Some correction needed here. You can only hike up the Grouse Grind, not down, you have to take the Skyride down again, and the Grind does get closed when weather conditions result in bad erosion on the trail. The Skyride (which you can take up and down, is open every day)

metrovancouver.org/region/…default.aspx

Overall, I have to agree that you would have as good a chance of getting snow in the mountains east of Seattle. Mt. Rainier or Mt. Baker would give you better odds than anything around Vancouver (am I right?). And then you don't need to deal with the border and bringing along your passport.

November can be miserable, but if you like the drama of storms, maybe you might enjoy the coast, or the rainforests around the Olympic Peninsula?

Gainesville, Florida
posts: 16
9. Re: Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

I defiantly plan on going to Mt. Rainer there HAS to be some parts of the mountain with snow in early November right? The days are short, which like i stated before stinks. The rain isn't a big deal for me, people from other places don't realize that use Floridans get our fair share of storms and rain.

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 820
reviews: 66
10. Re: Week long vacation seattle/Portland/canada?

Most rain I ever saw was on a sailing trip in the Florida Keys. We were anchored at Deer Key and watched 5 storms dump 7 inches (!) of rain overnight. I thought we were going to drown without even getting in the water.

If you do go to Mt. Rainier in quest of snow you will be able to find it, there are permanent snow fields on the mountain, but be very careful and mindful of the weather conditions. Experienced mountaineers well prepared for the conditions have died on the mountain in November. Even the well marked and paved trails above Paradise can become impassible before your very eyes. Before heading out into any area of the park, check with a ranger, tell them where you are going, where you parked your car, and when you expect to return.

I have been in the Cascade mountains my entire life every month of the year in pretty much all conditions, and I'm not trying to sound alarmist, but we do want you to go there and come back safely.

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