We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Please comment on a two-week itinerary

Which Vancouver hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Please comment on a two-week itinerary

Hello! We (2 adults, 2 seniors, and 2 kids age 7 and 4) are going to visit Seattle, Vancouver and the 3 national parks nearby from June 8-21. We had done some homework as listed below:

6/8/2014: Chicago -> Seattle (arrive at 1:55PM) Do some grocery shopping at Costco. Drive to Mt. Rainier hotel. We had booked one night at Copper Creek Lodge.

6/9/2014: Visit Mt. Rainier NP: Paradise trail. Plan to leave in the afternoon for Olympia to stay for the night.

6/10/2014: Spend a couple hours at Olympia. Is Hand's On Children Museum worth the time? Then drive to Lake Quinault and try one trail there at Olympic National Forest. Plan to leave in the afternoon for Quillayute River Resort near Forks for the night.

6/11/2014 Visit Hoh rain forest, Ruby Beach, Rialto Beach for sunset (lowest tide: 5:58PM). Plan to stay at Quillayute River Resort for another night.

6/12/2014 Visit Sol Doc falls trail, take the walk to Marymere Falls at the Barnes Creek exit of Lake Crescent, drive to Hurricane Ridge to hike Hurricane Hill Trail. Plan to stay at Port Angeles for the night.

6/13/2014 Take ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria island. Visit the Royal Museum, and the Bug Museum. Plan to stay at Victoria for the night.

6/14/2014 Victoria Island: Butchart Gardens, relax. Ferry to Vancouver in the afternoon.

6/15/2014 Vancouver: Stanley Park, Vancouver Aquarium, Gastown. Need recommendation for the stay.

6/16/2014 Vancouver: Science World, Vancouver Art Gallery.

6/17/2014 Vancouver: Capilano Suspension bridge park; Grouse Mountain. Leave Vancouver later that day to head south to be closer to North Cascade NP. Need recommendation for the stay that night.

6/18/2014 Visit North Cascade NP. What would be best route and activity for one day visit to this NP? Leave later that day to drive further south approaching Seattle. Need recommendation for the stay that night.

6/19/2014 Boeing Tour. Drive down to Seattle: Pike Place Market, Museum of Flight. Need recommendation for the stay that night.

6/20/2014 Seattle: Pacific Science Center, Experience Music Project

6/21/2014 Seattle: Seattle Central Library, Relax. Go home.Seattle (6:25PM) -> Chicago

My goal for the trip is to be fun and educational for our parents and kids. There are a lot of driving which I am interested in cutting or spreading out the driving even if that means visiting fewer attractions. So far, I have only booked the lodge for the first night at Copper Creek Lodge, so I am open to suggestions on major changes and where to stay at nights.

Thanks in advance!

Bin.

Edited: 11:43 am, April 11, 2014
Seattle, Washington
3 posts
Save Reply
11. Re: Please comment on a two-week itinerary

WOW, Sounds like you are trying to pack too much into a two week period. It will be a lot of time in the car for the kids.

You should seriously consider doing the Washington State portion in one trip and the Canada portion in another. There are so many great locations on the Olympic Peninsula you are missing.

Consider going to Port Townsend and Fort Warden State Park. It is an old military fort with lots of batteries (gun firing locations) that are fun to explore. Bring flashlights. Look into going on a Whale watching tour. I believe they run out of both Port Angeles and Port Townsend.

Look into the Dungeness Spit. It is a unique feature.

North Cascades, make sure you have time for visiting the three damn (Ross, Gorge, and Diablo) I am not sure what tourist access is available. It has been years since I have been there. Look to stay around the Mount Vernon area. It is a long drive into North Cascades National Park. Really the only way in and out is Highway 20.

Edited: 12:03 am, April 17, 2014
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: Please comment on a two-week itinerary

Thank you very much for the suggestions to Lynn Canyon. I think we will do Lynn and Grouse on June 16. We will take MuftiMixandmatch's advice to start at Capilano River Regional Park trail on June 17 (do science world, Vancouver art gallery and Granville Island on June 15 to avoid the school activities.)

Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
13. Re: Please comment on a two-week itinerary

Thank you for your comment Roger W. For North Cascades NP, I was also suggested to take Rt. 542 and visit Mt. Baker. To what aspect do you mean the only way in and out is Highway 20? Sincere thanks!

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
25,484 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
14. Re: Please comment on a two-week itinerary

<<Visit North Cascade NP. What would be best route and activity for one day visit to this NP?>>

Highway 20 is your only option, and its a really beautiful drive across past the lakes and across the mountains. But this isn't really a "drive by on your way to Seattle" kind of option, its a destination in its own right. Its been years and years since I went up to Mt. Baker, but I don't remember the drive being particularly scenic, although my dad swore that South Pass Road in the autumn was one of the most beautiful sights anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Its an out and back day trip that is, again, a day trip onto itself.

If you are driving down from Vancouver and looking for one night before heading on to Seattle, you have a couple of options. This would be the ultimate "experience the North Cascades" destination if the dates work for you:

https:/…base-camp

Otherwise, I would recommend another plan entirely. I would suggest that you head down to Bellingham (the Fairhaven district is really quite nice and worth a stop) and then get on the Chuckanut Drive and head to the very charming little town of La Conner for that evening. Next day, head across towards Whidbey Island, stopping at Deception Pass State Park (which is quite spectacular) with other options at Fort Casey, Coopeville, Fort Eby (really lovely beachfront trails here) and I've heard the town of Langley is also very charming. Finish up with a ferry across to Mukilteo, which puts you right beside the Boeing Plant for their tour. There's also the Flying Heritage Collection at Payne Field.

http://www.flyingheritage.com

The next day looks much to full as well. If you are going to tour the Boeing plant (needs a couple of hours at least) and then drive through Seattle to visit the Museum of Flight (this place is amazing. Seriously, one of the best museums I've ever been to - fantastic curation and interpretation. If you don't allow a minimum of 3-5 hours for this place, you are cutting it short), then drive back into Seattle to check into your hotel and THEN try to go through Pike Place Market, I think your family will hate you. I really do. :)

Seattle, Washington
3 posts
Save Reply
15. Re: Please comment on a two-week itinerary

Just an FYI, Mount Baker and North Cascades Highway are two completely different routes. To get to Mount Baker, you head east from Bellingham. To get to the North Cascades, you head east (from I-5) at Burlington.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
56,957 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
16. Re: Please comment on a two-week itinerary

Here is the map showing the routes to both Mt Baker on Hwy 542 (Pin B) and N Cascades NP on Hwy 20 (Pin E).

http://goo.gl/maps/Ri0eo

Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
17. Re: Please comment on a two-week itinerary

Hi Vancouverite67, I really appreciate the alternative plan you suggested. What do you mean "your family will hate you"? Because they wouldn't want to go back to the completely flat Chicago after the trip?

Thanks MuftiMixandmatch and Roger W about the routes.Two things I am still not sure about North Cascade to decide which route is more worthy and doable for our one-day road trip? 1. How much of Rt 542 will be closed by mid June? 2. If we take Rt 20, how far we need to go to see the major sights?

Thanks.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
56,957 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
18. Re: Please comment on a two-week itinerary

Hi again, I think you probably have good information from the experts on the Seattle/WA State forum about Hwys 542 and 20.

Seattle, Washington
3 posts
Save Reply
19. Re: Please comment on a two-week itinerary

I have only driven over the North Cascades Highway (Hwy 20) a couple of times in my life. It is pretty scenery, but I do not remember much other than the dams.

I have only been to Mount Baker once. It was in August and there was still snow on the ground. There is a ski area at Mount Baker, so there is access to a certain point year round.

It is a long drive in to either location. Google Earth says about 90 minutes from Burlington to Ross Dam. I think that may be a little quick.

Edited: 2:37 am, April 18, 2014
20. Re: Please comment on a two-week itinerary

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:16 am, April 20, 2015