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.

Good location to rent a place for a week

PA
Level Contributor
375 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Good location to rent a place for a week

So we are coming for a week in late July or early August. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to rent a house for a week from VRBO . I was thinking somewhere wherever could see seattle but also do day trips to places like Mt. Rainier, San Juan islands etc.

Hate moving every couple days. Does this sound like its doable? If so where is a good location to look? Or should we just hotel it?

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
9,697 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Good location to rent a place for a week

We get this question frequently. People want a central location from which to make day trips to the wonders of the PNW. Unfortunately, this region is so big that there is no such place. You could base yourself in Seattle and easily do a day trip to Mt. Rainier, but the San Juans are really too far for a day trip, especially during the crowded summer season when the ferries fill up. You could pick a pleasant place like Whidbey Island or rent a place on one of the San Juans, or you could rent a place in or near Olympic National Park. None of these locations will afford access to all of the things you might want to see. Read up on the area, decide what your must-sees are, and then write back for come specific suggestions.

PA
Level Contributor
375 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Good location to rent a place for a week

that's what I was afraid of. It's hard to tell how far things are.

our must do list so far

1. Seattle- for a day or 2

2. Mt Rainier

3. San Juan Islands

and possibly Mt St Helens and Olympic National Park

anything I am missing that is a must see? dont want to over do it either

Maybe rent a place for a week then head to San Juan island for 2- 3 days then go home?

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
9,697 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Good location to rent a place for a week

That is too much for a week, and the San Juans and ONP are too far for a day trip from Seattle. I would say that Mt. St. Helens is possible for a day trip, but it would be a long day.

Just to give you an idea of what you are facing: the closest popular attraction in ONP is Hurricane Ridge, a ovely site. It is 3 hours and 45 minutes from downtown Seattle. The Hor Rain Forest is over 5 hours from Seattle. The lovely beaches at LaPush, which include Rialto Beach and Second Beach, are about 4 hours and 30 minutes from Seattle. It is best to budget at lest 3 nights for ONP in the summer.

The San Juans deserve at least 2 nights, and more would be better. An overnight at Mt. R and Mt. St. Helens is a good idea.

This really is an enormous region, and, to top it off, there are many bodies of water here that must be crossed by bridges or ferries that can become bottlenecks, especially in summer. Mountain roads such as those in Mt. St. H and Mt. R can get crowded in the summer, and you cannot always drive as quickly as you would like.

The good news is that the area is so beautiful and so varied that even if you cut out several items on your list you will still be thrilled by what you can see and do.

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
2,798 posts
178 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Good location to rent a place for a week

You are going to have a tough time doing all of that in a week.

You could do a day trip to Mt. Rainier. It is 2 hours to the park entrance. Most first time visitors I would guess focus on the area between Longmire and Paradise and perhaps the Grove of the Patriarchs. You should count on at least 8-10 hours to stop at Longmire, a couple of the waterfalls, the visitor center and a short walk at Paradise, and maybe to the Grove of the Patriarchs trails (old growth forest with massive trees).

A day trip to Mt. St. Helens is also going to be a full day. I would count on another 8-10 hours. It is further south but you have more time on the open highway south of Tacoma so the travel times aren't that much longer. There is an excellent visitor center which will could take a couple of hours. There are some light hikes around the visitor center which a lot of people like to do.

You need to spend at least an overnight and two full days to get a whirlwind tour of ONP. I have done that before. You take off at the crack of dawn. You can either go south or north. It is essentially a loop. I think you can get to the coast faster via the southern route. You drive to Olympia and then west and you enter the park from the south. We stopped for one night at Lake Quinault but you could go further north the first day. Count on about a three hour drive to the lake from Seattle assuming full highway speeds. There is great forest there around the lake including some of the biggest tree specimens on the park. If you leave Seattle early like 6-7am you could get to the lake early like 9-10am. Drive up the lake, see a few of the big trees. If you are casual hikers there are a couple short trails. You could be done mid-afternoon. You could drive north staying at Kalaloch or Forks. I would count on an hour and a half to Forks. The road can be congested during the summers. The next day I would get up early and stop at Rialto beach and then go to the Hoh rainforest when the visitor center opens or vice versa. Return to Seattle via the northern route, passing Lake Crescent. You can take a ferry at Kingston or Bainbridge Island. Don't get me wrong; that leaves you with a long day. You will have over 6 hours of driving and ferry time. I would count on 10-12 hours on that second day with a couple hours at the Hoh (visitor center and easy forest trail) and a couple hours walking on the beach. You would be better off with two nights.

The San Juans can be done as an overnight. I did that on my first trip to the San Juans. If you leave early and catch an early ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island you could explore the island during the day, eat dinner, walk around Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor and come back the next day. You would be better off with two nights -- particularly if you wanted to do some biking or kayaking, catch a whale watching tour etc. On your first trip with a limited amount of time I would start just with San Juan Island.

So that is Mt Rainier 1 day, Mt. St. Helens 1 day, San Juan Island 2 days minimum, ONP whirlwind 2 days minimum. That's six days. As you can see to cover that amount of ground you are going to be going hard all day every day. Also the concerns expressed before about ferry times, road congestion, etc are all valid.

PA
Level Contributor
375 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Good location to rent a place for a week

thanks for the info. Need to rethink my plan :)

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
Level Contributor
6,141 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Good location to rent a place for a week

VacationJen,

A couple of things to piggyback on other's comments. It is certainly *possible* to rent a home in the greater Seattle area, and do day trips to some, though not all, of the places you mention. For example, as a family, we visit Mt. Rainier for the day, regularly from our home in the Seattle area. I have driven up to Whidbey Island for a quick meeting. I have been to Mt. St. Helens and Hurricane Ridge, for the day. We drive over to Eastern Washington and the Yakima Valley for the day. I have taken the train to Vancouver, had lunch with a friend, then turned around and took the evening train home. But those trips are long, long exhausting days. I am not turning around the next day and doing it all over again.

For most people, because of our geography and distances, it is far preferable, more efficient, and certainly more relaxing, to stay in a couple different places.

If you are traveler who would like just one base, then I would consider adapting the sights you visit - for example, instead of the San Juans, a day trip to Whidbey Island is far more doable.

Or, your idea of several days or a week in the Seattle area, followed by multiple days in the San Juans is a good option. The last week in July, first week in August is typically ideal for our Seattle summer, and lots will be happening. Note that because of that, accommodations are in high demand at high prices. In Seattle, Seafair week is July 27 - August 4. The Torchlight Parade is July 27, Blue Angels/Hydro races Aug1-4. The Bellevue Arts Fair is July 26,27, 28. The Olympic Music Festival runs every weekend from the end of June to Labor Day in Quilcene. There is plenty to do!

7. Re: Good location to rent a place for a week

-:- 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: 2:16 am, February 27, 2014