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First time seattle

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miami
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95 posts
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First time seattle

Hey guys, I am using my miles to take a trip to seattle (from miami) with my wife and have a few questions for anybody with knowledge of the area.

1-weather-is there a great difference between august (the earliest I can go with my miles) and october (the wife's birthday!)? It seems that it would be a bit cooler and more likely to rain based on my research. But how significantly different is it "on average"?

2-Currently, I am looking at 3.75 days in seattle. If we exclude all museums and aquariums (not our favorite) what would be the best way to spend those days? We like outdoors stuff, ie strolling though downtown, exploring islands, bar hopping, unique restaurants, etc. I've been told that 2 days is enough for seattle proper, which leads me to my next question...

3-What are the realistic and exciting day trips? For example, Portland is only 2.5 hours away on the google maps, and vancouver only 4 hours by train, but are those even worth considering? I would think those cities deserve at least a night or two. If so, then what do most people do? Victoria, San Juan islands, Mt Rainier etc?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: First time seattle

Awesome! I've lived in Seattle for 8 years now and love it! I'm excited that you're coming up for a visit!

1. August is definitely nicer than October. October has a pretty good chance of rain but August and September are actually generally very dry months here in Seattle (although of course, always the CHANCE for rain..) Although if you want to see the infamous Seattle rain, October would be a better month for that.

2. Certainly lots of stuff to do in the city... you can easily spend a 1/2 day in Pike's Place Market and around downtown, then another 1/2 day around the Seattle Center and Space Needle, then another full day exploring some of the neighborhoods like the Ballard (for the Locks), Fremont eclectic-ness, and Capital Hill hipster world. Lots of great restaurants (Ivars for Seafood, Serafina, the Unicorn for a unique bar, Skillet Diner for a full tasty menu in Capital Hill, Tavern Law for the speakeasy atmosphere and tasty food, etc)

3. As far as day trips, Portland and Vancouver are a bit far for just a day trip. I would definitely recommend a day trip down to Mt. Rainier though - lots of cool things to see if you start at one of the visitor centers - like Paradise. Otherwise take the ferry (which is a beautiful ride) over to Bainbridge Island and explore some of the Olympic Peninsula and the rainforests there.

Have fun!

Edited: 4:46 pm, March 21, 2013
miami
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95 posts
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2. Re: First time seattle

Thanks traveler_alb. I think I will book the flight for august and 3.75 days! Spending 2 in the city and 1.75 outside the city. What do you think? Also do you mind if I pick your brain from time to time about our trip? I am sure I will have lots to ask from now till then, and it would be great to have a local to advise us!

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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3. Re: First time seattle

No, you cannot visit "the Olympic Peninsula and the rain forests there" on a day trip. The Hoh RF is a 5 hour drive from Seattle, each way. You could do a day trip to Hurricane Ridge, a 3 hour and 45 minute drive each way. I do not recommend it because roads to the Olympic Peninsula get crowded in August, especially on weekends, but it is possible. If you would like to see something of Olympic National Park, plan to stay overnight, and even that is pushing it.

Instead of going all that way, however, I second the suggestion to spend time in some of Seattle's more interesting neighborhoods. You said you liked bar hopping and unique restaurants. Ballard would be perfect for you. Not only is it full of fascinatingly individual bars and restaurants, it also has great outdoor walks to places like the Ballard Locks. Look up posts by Klsalas, a Ballard resident who know a lot about restaurants.

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: First time seattle

1) August is much nicer than October. October isn't horrible, but Summer is better than Fall.

2) There is plenty to do in Seattle, although not all of it is touristy stuff. There are enough restaurants and bars here to keep you busy for a long, long time and there are neighborhood centers that are far enough out of the way that you can't do them without having more time. That said, you'll want to focus on the highlights: The Pike Place Market. The Seattle Center and Space Needle. The Olympic Sculpture Park. Capitol Hill (Pike and Pine to about 14th). A Sounders Game (if you can). The International District. Ballard Locks. These are destinations to check out. As for what to eat, there is just too much good stuff. What do you like?

3) Portland and Vancouver are overnight trips. You need a half day to get there, and then leave late the next day. Mt. Rainier is a great destination for a day trip and well worth the time to get up there. Rent a car for this day.

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: First time seattle

Glad to hear you're booking August, it's my favorite month in Seattle! While I think there's more than enough to fill 2 days in the city, here are a couple other ideas for getting out a bit: wine tasting in Woodinville (about a half hour north of the city, you can rent a car and go on your own or there are organized tours); getting out on the water (ferry ride to Bainbridge, an Argosy cruise, or a short sailing excursion from the waterfront with Let's Go Sailing); a day trip to Victoria BC on the Victoria Clipper (bring your passports; overnight is better but it can be a good full 1-day excursion).

vancouver
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for Vancouver
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6. Re: First time seattle

My $.02 on Portland is that if you like cities with a small town feel ( personally I don't) then you might enjoy Portland, Seattle and Vancouver are imo much more cosmopolitan feeling cities

vancouver
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for Vancouver
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7. Re: First time seattle

My $.02 on Portland is that if you like cities with a small town feel ( personally I don't) then you might enjoy Portland, Seattle and Vancouver are imo much more cosmopolitan feeling cities

Singapore
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8. Re: First time seattle

HI,

We went to Seattle 2 yrs ago and we really enjoyed walking around Pike Place Market, going to great cosy restaurants around the area, trying out different breakfast places, sampling the cheese at Beechers Cheese, and taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island - this is a really nice 3-4 hr side trip that you can take via the ferry. You can see the pictures if you like, from my blog. I really enjoyed Seattle and our trip there.

We also went to Whidbey Island (after La Conner) but it is more of a 2 day trip kinda thing. So i think it will be tight to squeeze it in in 3.75 days.

Have a good trip!

baconandjackrussells.com

PARIS
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9. Re: First time seattle

Really helpful thread. Thanks.

10. Re: First time seattle

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