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washington state vacation

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Winter Garden...
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washington state vacation

This will be my second time in washington and I pretty much did the space needle and aquarium thing.

I wanted to make this trip more about the beautiful parks. We were planning a 3 day vacation near in Olympia and Bellevue and was interested in either Olympic National park or Mt. Rainier. My husband and I love hiking-but we will also be with my parents who are somewhat active. Which has more fun things to do for all of us?

Also, we were planning to take a scenic drive down to Oregon but don't care to go into Portland. Any suggestions? How about the location Goonies was filmed in?

Thanks for any help you can give:)

Davie, Florida
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1. Re: washington state vacation

Olympia and Bellevue are pretty generic suburbs, you might consider another base.

Winter Garden...
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2. Re: washington state vacation

well, we chose those as my father is working in Olympia and Bellevue was bit outside the city as we didn't want to to too much in the center of it all. We will have a rental car:)

Everett, Washington
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3. Re: washington state vacation

Olympia would be a better base for Mt. Rainier than Olympic NP. It would also be fairly convenient to Mt. St. Helens. Both places offer a good variety of hiking from very easy to very hard and both have visitor centers for less active interests.

Bellevue, as noted, is pretty much just an urban area. Getting to be a bit of a rival as far as build-up to Seattle across the lake but less to offer for things to do. A near Seattle alternative in a more rural setting might be the Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls - made famous in the TV show "Twin Peaks". Also would be good for a drive to to Snoqualmie Pass...very pretty if not raining.

As far was going to the OR coast, especially if leaving from Olympia, consider catching 101 south from Aberdeen and on down to Astoria. If weather is nice catch the view from the Column. Much of Goonies was filmed around Astoria (as were "Kindergarten Cop" and "Short Circuit"). Be sure to check out nearby Fort Clatsop. Depending on time available stay a night there or down the coast at Seaside and then swing back inland to I-5 if needing to head back to Seattle. Perhaps a St. Helens stop instead on that drive.

Longview, Washington
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for Mount Rainier National Park
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4. Re: washington state vacation

Great suggestions, Sequim. Like your new pic--does he have a name?

You might also want to climb the Astor Column in Astoria. Great views of the river, Columbia Bar, and Pacific Ocean.

With only three days, you won't be able to do all three. From Olympia, it's an easy day trip to either Mt. Rainier or Mt. St. Helens. Lots of easy hiking opportunities at both places.

You could do the Olympia National Park loop from Olympia and back, but if you really want to see anything in ONP, it will take the entire 3 days.

Winter Garden...
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5. Re: washington state vacation

great suggestions. thank you all:) has anyone been to Cannon beach? looks very pretty as well.

seattle
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6. Re: washington state vacation

Cannon Beach is wonderful. Very artsy with great scenery. If you only have a small time Astoria to Cannon Beach will give you a good 'taste' of the Oregon coast.

Winter Garden...
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7. Re: washington state vacation

do you think it is do-able in a day from bellevue?

Longview, Washington
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8. Re: washington state vacation

Bellevue to Astoria to Cannon Beach and return is doable, but it will be a long day--

It will take 2 1/2 hours (or more depending on the traffic) to get from Bellevue to the Longview Exit on I-5 where you turn off to reach Hwy 30 to Astoria.

From Longview to Astoria, about 45 minutes.

Astoria to Cannon Beach, another 30 to 40 minutes.

Round trip--that's a minimum of 7-8 hrs driving time.

You can easily spend half a day sightseeing in Astoria and several hours in Cannon Beach.

Washington
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9. Re: washington state vacation

When are you coming?

I am having trouble following the thread. Do you have just three days for the vacation? Or three days + more time for Oregon? Cannon Beach is just wonderful, but with just three days, I can't imagine schleping down for the day. There are plenty of rewarding day trips within Washington with far less travel time.

Everett, Washington
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10. Re: washington state vacation

I agree with Kitters....if trying to do it all as a day trip, especially form Bellevue, don't go via 101 to Astoria. Make more use of I-5. You could take 4 at Kelso going and return to I-5 via 30 to avoid back tracking. Very pretty along Columbia river. From Olympia it would save a fair bit of time (maybe an hour). If weekday from Bellevue (via I-405 to I-5) leave very early to avoid rush hour traffic even if heading away from Seattle. It's all busy around there.

[Pic is not my cat (Smokey) but almost his twin. I call him Catitude. Had to change avatar due to people at work finding TA. Old pic was too identifiable.]

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