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The Pacific NW is a fascinating, beautiful and diverse area. For Seattle area visitors, here is a sample itinerary. It is hardly all encompassing, just one idea. With this route, you will get spectacular views and interesting places evocative of the PNW.
The number of days and route depends on your time, schedule and interests. This is a circle route, if wished, which can be taken in either direction. Seattle: 2 or more days (Seattle = surrounding areas, not just downtown sights.)
Whidbey Island: 1 full day is sufficient, plenty to enjoy, perhaps an overnight. Take Mukilteo Ferry to Cllinton. You can spend several days here to see everything. See Inside Page, Whidbey Island:Background.
Alternative: Drive I-5 north to WA 20, turn west. Drive south on Whidbey Island.
Olympic Peninsula - A ferry ride from Keystone on Whidbey Island to to Port Townsend. Very interesting town and history. (Note: Reservations are required for this Ferry.)
Drive to Port Angeles. The Olympic National Park entrance for Hurricane Ridge area only, is located just outside Port Angeles. Drive a very good and scenic road 17 miles from sea level to the mile high visitor center Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. (Note: The main Visitor Center is at the Park entrance, on the right.) The Ridge provides fabulous views of the Straits and mountains. Very nice walks and trails. Watch for Deer, Olympic Marmots, Bear possibly, Coyote, etc. Plan up to 1 full day for this area if you enjoy these trails or relaxing. Otherwise, 1/2 day.
Do drive to see Lake Crescent, Marymere Falls, Sol Duc Hot Springs, et al. As time and schedule permit, drive around the Park perimeter to see the fascinating Rain Forests.
Search for Kaleberg on TA Forum for detailed advice.
Port Angeles is the terminal for the Coho Ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. You can either drive or walk on this ferry. Advisable to make auto reservations. Victoria does not require a car. 1 day, but rushed; overnight is better. See especially Buchart Gardens (beautiful, with evening shows in season), Royal Museum (kids and adults will find it fascinating), Parliament Buildings, Inner Harbour, Chinatown and environs, Sooke, and, quite far west, Tofino (a long drive).
Coho Ferry : http://cohoferry.com/main/
Take the ferry from Victoria (actually the Sidney Terminal, a short drive north of Victoria) through San Juan Islands to Anacortes and then either drive to Seattle or use that day to head south down Whidbey Island; 1 or 2 days, depending on choices you make.
Note: You could get off the ferry at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island (my favorite) or Orcas Island. Worth 1 full day, at least for either. See this and other Inside Pages.
If you wish to see the San Juan Islands or Victoria with no car by walking on a fast boat, see this: www.clippervacations.com.
WA State Highway Map: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/publications/...
Washington State Ferry Home Page: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/
Other sightseeing options include:
Mount St. Helens National Monument http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/mshnvm/
Mount Rainier National Park http://www.nps.gov/mora/
North Cascades National Park http://www.nps.gov/noca/ (This would require a very different itinerary including "east of the mountains" landforms and climate.)