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First time visiting the northwest

NY, NY
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First time visiting the northwest

Hi Everyone

I'm not sure which forum to post on ...

My boyfiend and I have never been to the northwest. We are planning a trip for July, about 10-14 days long. Flying into Seattle as that seems the most economical from NYC. We would like to rent a house somewhere by the water for that time that is centrally located (1-2 hour drive from Seattle airport) so that we can take day trips to islands and to BC. Not looking for anything super crowded or overly touristy. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: First time visiting the northwest

Have a look around on here....

http://www.vrbo.com/search?q=seattle

NY, NY
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2. Re: First time visiting the northwest

Thank you. Just to clarify. I do not need recommendations for which home to rent but recommendations as to which area of washington by the water should we stay in that is centrally located to places of interest to drive to for day trips or an overnight trip.

Thanks again!

Newberg, Oregon
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3. Re: First time visiting the northwest

Probably some place along Puget Sound between Seattle and Anacortes, just NW of Mount Vernon. That will be close to the Washington ferries for trips to the San Juan Islands, I-5 to go to Vancouver, BC or Hwy 2 over the mountains to Leavenworth, Lake Chelan or other central Washington locations. You'll avoid Seattle traffic on your day trips by staying on the north side of the city.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: First time visiting the northwest

Edmonds might fit the bill for you....cute little town, not really touristy and central for what you have planned....

tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g58451-Edmonds_Washi…

Amsterdam, The...
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for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
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5. Re: First time visiting the northwest

Whidbey Island is perfect for this.

Washington
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for Seattle, Family Travel
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6. Re: First time visiting the northwest

Just wanted to add that in the Northwest distances are great and the geography - mountains, lakes, saltwater, and transportation (ferry travel) complicate things. Depending on your travel style and expectations, you could rent a waterfront or near-waterfront home/cabin, in the greater Seattle area and do day trips, but you would find yourself spending much of your time on the road traveling to and from - the metro Seattle is busy, and traffic can be a slog. I can think of plenty of recommendations, but It really matters if your goal is to see diverse things or just hunker down and explore one area (i.e.; Olympic National Park or the San Juan Islands). It is hard to recommend an area that is "centrally located" without knowing exactly what you plan to do. I think, for example that Whidbey Island has some good options, but, while doable for some, it would not be a practical option if you wanted to explore Mt. Rainier for the day. What are your July dates? Near the fourth or later? There are events throughout the region which can make travel more cumbersome, and accommodations expensive.

In my opinion, it would be better to research and come up with a plan of what you want to see and do, what you like to do, and then we can better guide you from there. Depending on your goals , it might make sense to have 2 or even three different locations.

Edited: 8:41 pm, February 03, 2013
Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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7. Re: First time visiting the northwest

I agree with Islandgirl. We often get asked a question about staying in a central location from which to make day trips. There is no such thing here. There is just too much ground to cover. If you want to see the San Juan Islands, rent a place on one of the islands. It can be very time consuming and tedious to drive to a ferry multiple days and then have to get back each night.

NY, NY
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8. Re: First time visiting the northwest

Hi again

Thank you all for your feedback!

I was considering Widbey Island as I read somewhere that this is somewhere that is less touristy and is where locals go for vacation. A better alternative to San Juan islands? Any other suggestions as to where the locals go to vacation?

Washington
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9. Re: First time visiting the northwest

Well...places are "touristy" because they are great places to visit. I love Whidbey Island and am a frequent visitor, but only you can decide if it is a "better alternative" for you than the San Juan Islands. Many people live on Whidbey Island and commute to jobs "on the mainland" because it is fairly convenient. Many people are full-time residents, and still others have weekend getaway homes on Whidbey. When we are on Whidbey - we don't do much, maybe go the farmer's market, have a picnic at the beach or go for a beach walk - that's the beauty of Whidbey.

The appeal of Whidbey Island is that it closer to Seattle, just 45 minutes north of the city, and a 15 minute ferry ride on the south end or you drive on to Whidbey Island from the north and Deception Pass. Whidbey has charming small towns, wonderful accommodations, and fabulous State and National Parks. The San Juan Islands have more spectacular scenery, and require more effort to get to, and are only accessed by ferry or plane. The ferry from Anacortes is longer and less frequent, thus making for potentially long waits on the weekends, summer and holidays.

While certainly you could stay on Whidbey Island, then figure out what to do from there, again, I think it would be more productive to decide what you would like to do on this vacation, then determine the best location to stay.

Port Angeles, WA
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10. Re: First time visiting the northwest

No, Whidbey is not where locals go for vacation, although they often go there for day trips. Whidbey is quite nice, but it is an also ran compared to Mt. Rainier, Olympic National Park, or the San Juans. Based on your posts, you would do well to read a few overall guides to this area. What, exactly do you want to see and do? You can kayak, sail, climb mountains, swim hike mountains, rain forests, and beaches, see wildlife, drink wine, etc....