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View Full Version : Seattle? Vancouver? Victoria? NW trip help


Dylan
06-03-2013, 04:02 PM
Hi Guys,
A few months ago I booked an Alaska cruise out of Seattle for my wife and I in July. We are fairly excited, never have been to AK and was on our bucket list. I'm terrible at planning vacations, and now yours truly is planning the rest of the trip. I know there are several people from that area and could really use some advice.

The plan is to fly into Seattle two days before the trip, and explore the local area. We're planning on staying downtown without a car (still unsure where, recommendations please!). I haven't been to Seattle in 10 years and I was much younger. Besides the Needle, what else should I see?

After the cruise we have 3-5 days to kill either in Seattle, or travelling to another place around there. I have been looking into Victoria, Vancouver, and just staying around Seattle. If we do Vancouver, I was thinking of taking the train out of Seattle there then flying back from the airport there. I have read several online travel posts for months, and I am stumped. Basically, help me plan my trip :-)

Thanks in advance!
Dylan

mramerman@gmail.com
06-03-2013, 04:37 PM
Hi Guys,
A few months ago I booked an Alaska cruise out of Seattle for my wife and I in July. We are fairly excited, never have been to AK and was on our bucket list. I'm terrible at planning vacations, and now yours truly is planning the rest of the trip. I know there are several people from that area and could really use some advice.

The plan is to fly into Seattle two days before the trip, and explore the local area. We're planning on staying downtown without a car (still unsure where, recommendations please!). I haven't been to Seattle in 10 years and I was much younger. Besides the Needle, what else should I see?

After the cruise we have 3-5 days to kill either in Seattle, or travelling to another place around there. I have been looking into Victoria, Vancouver, and just staying around Seattle. If we do Vancouver, I was thinking of taking the train out of Seattle there then flying back from the airport there. I have read several online travel posts for months, and I am stumped. Basically, help me plan my trip :-)

Thanks in advance!
Dylan

Dylan - your trip sounds wonderful. Staying downtown Seattle is a great choice. There are many hotels with range of prices etc. Seattle is a great walking city with much to see. You could easily fill two days checking out the downtown area (underground Seattle, Pike Market, Waterfront, SouthLake Union, Wooden Boat Museum etc).

In terms of your return trip. Assuming you disembark in Seattle, the easiest thing to do would be to catch the fast boat (Victoria Clipper) to Victoria. While both Vancouver and Victoria are wonderful, Victoria is truly unbelievable. It feels like Europe and has so, so much to do. If you can stand another boat ride (post Alaska Cruise), I would highly recommend this option. I would also recommend staying close the Harbor in Victoria. Another awesome walking city with tons to do and see. You will not regret.

Best of luck

pmkkdx
06-03-2013, 04:43 PM
My wife and I did a NW vacation back in the late summer '09. Spent a couple days in Seattle, did the downtown walking tour and the historic underground tour that gave the history of how Seattle was built, pretty interesting. Also walked up to the fish market and watched the guys throwing fish across the market to fill the orders, pretty entertaining. Lots of shops to walk thru on the way between. We had a rental car and drove north to catch caught a ferry out to San Juan Island, stayed in a nice bed & breakfast, saw the light houses, watched for whales, dinner in Friday Harbor. Very quiet and relaxing.

or could drive south to Longview, cross over into Rainier and take 30 west thru Clatskanie and over to Astoria and do a B&B there also overlooking the Columbia river. We did that last summer following a church missionary trip for a few added days of vacation.

ncsone
06-03-2013, 04:54 PM
Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle is cool, especially if you are into music. Downtown area is great for walking around w/o a car.

Vancouver is incredible. Best city in North America. Well worth the 2 hour drive. Get to Vancouver and take a seaplane tour of the area if you can.

BARE5
06-03-2013, 04:56 PM
Lives up there for 12 yrs. go to Victoria, Vancouver, rent a car an go out to San Juan Islands, Bellingham, mt Baker, whistler , Seattle is great for a day,

Dylan
06-03-2013, 05:06 PM
I'm really loving these options, you guys are great.

gocougs
06-03-2013, 05:29 PM
Pike Place and waterfront great walking tours along with the new stuff around the Space Needle like the Music Experience and Chihuly Glass Museum which is amazing! There is also the Mariners baseball which by that time you may be going for the garlic fries and micro brew but Safeco Field is a great place to watch a baseball game.

TxsRiverRat
06-03-2013, 06:13 PM
My faves list in Sea/Tac in no particular order:

Sites:

1. Snoqualmie Falls
2. Space Needle (avoid walking there at night)
3. Pikes Market (avoid walking there at night)
4. Fremont Bridge Troll
5. Bainsbridge Island
6. Port Orchard Island


Restaurants:

1. Greenlake Bar and Grill (get the pizza and micro beer sampler)
2. Crab Cracker (kirkland)
3. Original Red Robin
4. Palisade ($$$)

shepherd
06-04-2013, 10:51 AM
I only visited Seattle once for a few days about 5 years ago.

We stayed at the Westin Hotel on 5th Ave. in downtown Seattle. Nice place. We had a room on an upper floor and had an awesome view of downtown Seattle and the harbor/sound. It was about a 15 minute walk to Pike Place market, which is a must-see.

We didn't do the Space Needle, but opted instead for a 30 minute seaplane ride around the city. It was a bit more expensive, but I've always wanted to fly in a seaplane and we already had a hotel room with a view which was probably similar to the Needle view.

The Chihuly mueum in Tacoma is great if you like that sort of thing. My wife loves Chihuly, me... not so much, though I must say it is impressive. I enjoyed the Red Hook brewery much more, and there's also a winery around the corner from the brewery. Also, if you're into beer, the Taphouse Grill in downtown Seattle is a must: http://www.taphousegrill.com/ . 160 beers on tap. I think it's the only place we visited more than once when in Seattle. :D

Dylan
06-04-2013, 06:22 PM
You guys gave me some great ideas, I am very thankful to you all!

I discussed it with the boss and believe that we are going to do a variety of things you guys listed. I was completely sold on spending a few days on Victoria, but found out that we are already travelling there with the ship (albeit only a day). So, I think our plan is to head up to Vancouver right off the plane, and spend a few days there. Does anyone have a hotel recommendation outside of seattle, but short of Vancouver? We are getting off the plane in the evening, and want something away from the city for the first leg. Whistler looks incredible, so I really want to see that. My coworker also recommended the Grouse Grind hike, and I think we'll try and visit that as well. On the way back I'm going to try and hit the Crab Cracker for dinner since that looks incredible.

After the cruise we plan on enjoying the sights of Seattle for two days, and definitely seeing a Mariners game! The taproom looks like a good time, along with the usual attractions around Seattle. Of course all this is tentative, so I'm all ears on suggestions. You guys have already loaded me with ideas and I am very appreciative! I can't wait!

TxsRiverRat
06-04-2013, 07:03 PM
Personally, although the crab cracker in kirkland is awesome, i'd pick the greenlake bar and grill over it.

While you're near Kirkland, be sure you cross over the floating bridge over Lake Washington - (520) just for sh*ts n giggles

the fremont bridge troll is a quick, easy free thing to see also.

IIRC, it was a little pricey to go to the top of the space needle.

oh and a special tip for you: BEWARE of the MONKFISH @ Pikes Market... Don't tell your wife tho, but when they yank on the string attached to that ugly fish, she'll jump out of her pants! :D :D :D

The furthest north I've worked there was in Redmond, furthest south was Renton. Note: during rush hour, the 15 minute drive from Renton to Redmond took me 1:15!

Dylan
07-30-2013, 12:45 PM
We just returned from the trip last week, and wanted to thank everyone for their great ideas! We has a blast visiting a lot of the places suggested, especially Whistler. The drive from Vancouver to Whistler was particularly amazing! We did the Grouse Grind in Vancouver too and about died. However, I'm glad we did it. Alaska was great too. Spent some time in Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan. Thanks again everyone!