Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

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InvestoGuy
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Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by InvestoGuy » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:00 am

I have the opportunity to spend a weekend the first week of Feb in Seattle and/or Vancouver. I love to do outdoorsy things, but given the season, would you recommend anything outdoor? What recommendations do you have for outdoor / indoor things in either cities?

mark18068
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by mark18068 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:32 am

If you're into cars, the Lemay Auto Museum in Tacoma (1/2 hour south of Seattle) is supposed to be really great. I haven't had a chance to go yet, but I have only heard positive things about it.

Kuota Rider
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by Kuota Rider » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:36 am

I live in Bellingham (about 80 miles north of Seattle). Worst month to visit of course, but the San Juan Islands are beautiful (there are over 100 islands in Puget Sound Bay). You can take a ferry from Anacortes. Also the drive up Mt Baker is incredible right here in Bellingham. In Seattle downtown Pikes Place Market and Space Needle area are fun. Boeing offers tours of there manufacturing plant also is you like that.

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stratton
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by stratton » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:39 am

Ski Whistler in BC.

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InvestoGuy
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by InvestoGuy » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:40 am

Kuota Rider wrote:I live in Bellingham (about 80 miles north of Seattle). Worst month to visit of course, but the San Juan Islands are beautiful (there are over 100 islands in Puget Sound Bay). You can take a ferry from Anacortes. Also the drive up Mt Baker is incredible right here in Bellingham. In Seattle downtown Pikes Place Market and Space Needle area are fun. Boeing offers tours of there manufacturing plant also is you like that.


Will you recommend going to San Juan in Feb? How cold will it be?

campy2010
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by campy2010 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:10 pm

I was in Seattle over the holidays and was able to run outside most days, except on Christmas due to an inch or two of snow. It was about 40-50 degrees during the day and a bit of drizzly rain with some sun breaks most days. The weather in the San Juans and Vancouver would be similar.

My advice for what to do in Seattle in the winter is probably the same as the summer, except you need a rain jacket with a hood and a decent pair of shoes. Otherwise, go out and walk around the city, sneak into a cafe to get warm, and enjoy the quintessential Seattle drizzle.

I haven't been, but my co-worker really liked the new Chihuly glass museum at the Seattle Center. The Tacoma glass museum is also very interesting, although I think it is a little small. I love walking through the outdoor sculpture garden. The sculptures are interesting and it is fun to watch the ferries and boats go across the sound. Ride a ferry to Bainbridge island and walk around the town for a bit, have lunch, and ride the ferry back. Pike Place. Get a latte at Espresso Vivace (near REI) or Top Pot (5th Ave) and appreciate why Seattleites don't really drink Starbucks unless they have no other choice. Go to the Ballard locks and watch the boats go through.

As for outdoorsy, there's skiing and snowshoeing within 1.5-2 hours drive from Seattle and Vancouver. Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie, or Crystal Mountain near Seattle and Whistler near Vancouver. You could go snowshoeing at the Paradise visitor center at Mt Rainier. But obviously you need a car equipped to deal with mountain pass driving and the proper winter gear for these activities.

I'm not as familiar with Vancouver, but you could spent half a week in each city and have enough time to see the sights in both. Have fun.
Last edited by campy2010 on Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

campy2010
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by campy2010 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:13 pm

InvestoGuy wrote:
Kuota Rider wrote:I live in Bellingham (about 80 miles north of Seattle). Worst month to visit of course, but the San Juan Islands are beautiful (there are over 100 islands in Puget Sound Bay). You can take a ferry from Anacortes. Also the drive up Mt Baker is incredible right here in Bellingham. In Seattle downtown Pikes Place Market and Space Needle area are fun. Boeing offers tours of there manufacturing plant also is you like that.


Will you recommend going to San Juan in Feb? How cold will it be?


I would think the San Juans in February would be pretty dull, unless you really want to sit around and relax. The San Juans have beautiful views, but you are less likely to see them in the cloudy wintertime. It is great for biking, kayaking, boating, etc. All things better done in the summertime. Anyway, it wouldn't be my first choice.

chaz
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by chaz » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:04 pm

Visit Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island.
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freebeer
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by freebeer » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:25 pm

Early Feb is often prime for skiing/snowshoeing in both places. But lowland hiking can be fine in Feb, it totally depends on what weather system is in place. Today it's quite cold and the high won't hit 40 here in Seattle area: my son was out ice-sliding this morning. But next week it could be 60, who knows. So check right before you come and plan/pack accordingly. I concur that San Juans might be a bit boring in Feb. Microspikes have become widely used here for "snowline probing" hiking in the winter, for example in Feb lower Grouse Mtn in Van could feasibly be melted off making the Grind a great hike, but with a few icy patches microspikes may all the difference. Ditto Mt. Si down here. Bike rental in Van is nice there's great paths inc. around Stanley Park and out to UBC.

As far as indoor stuff there's tons. In Van go to Aberdeen Center in Richmond and have dim sum at Fisherman's Terrace. You will think you are in Hong King, seriously. EMP in Seattle. Theater in either.

Feb is off season & priceline seems to have a particularly large hotel inventory in both cities so if you haven't booked you might try lowballing to get a 4-star on the cheap.

letsgobobby
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:42 pm

you can hike all over SEA in February. Go up Snoqualmie and you can ski, probably snowshoe as well.

Come dressed in the proverbial layers and raingear, and if it's really stormy hit Pike's Place, the very cool Museum of Flight in south Seattle, and as many brewpubs or coffee shops as you can find. Top Pot doughnuts is a local chain, giant and seemingly good/fresh, though to me most fresh doughnuts are equally delicious.

skylar
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by skylar » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:42 pm

InvestoGuy wrote:I have the opportunity to spend a weekend the first week of Feb in Seattle and/or Vancouver. I love to do outdoorsy things, but given the season, would you recommend anything outdoor? What recommendations do you have for outdoor / indoor things in either cities?


Current weather in Seattle is about 35F and sunny, so not too bad. :)

There's plenty of indoor things to do if we get back to our usual rain. Indoor stuff:

1. Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) just opened their new location in South Lake Union in the old naval armory building. MOHAI has great exhibits showing the history of Seattle
2. Seattle Art Museum (downtown) and the related Seattle Asian Art Museum (Capitol Hill / Volunteer Park) both have great exhibits.
3. Burke Museum (University of Washington) has exhibits on the natural history of the Pacific Northwest
4. Underground Tour (Pioneer Square) - Takes you through the original streets of Seattle, which happen to be buried under the current streets

If weather is good, there's other options:

1. Columbia Tower observation deck (downtown, higher up than the Space Needle, less crowded, and cheaper)
2. Ferry ride over to Bainbridge - the ferry ride itself is pretty, plus there's shops, art and restauraunts on the island
3. Bellevue Botanical Gardens (not in Seattle, but close by)
4. Alki Point (West Seattle) - Good views of the Olympics and Puget Sound

skylar
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by skylar » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:57 pm

PS - Depending on where you decide to go in Seattle, you might want to look into taking the bus rather than driving. Bus service to most places is frequent even on weekends, and traffic and parking are notoriously difficult.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:12 pm

Drive over here and stay a couple of nights for a genuine Pacific Nortwest experience. If the weather is decent there are short hikes to take in the rainforest and it is a short drive to the rugged coast beaches. If you want to see more drive up to . If not, just enjoy the tranquil view, huge fireplace, good food and huge trees.
http://mapq.st/UV49Ci
http://www.olympicnationalparks.com/acc ... lodge.aspx

If you don't want to go as far then go here (but I'd highly recommend Lake Quinault above if you can spare the time and don't mind the drive)...
http://mapq.st/Xu4VGM
http://www.alderbrookresort.com/

Either property is very likely to have special rates available in February. Lake Quinault Lodge usually has two nights for the price of one at that time of year.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:04 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Valuethinker
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:47 am

InvestoGuy wrote:I have the opportunity to spend a weekend the first week of Feb in Seattle and/or Vancouver. I love to do outdoorsy things, but given the season, would you recommend anything outdoor? What recommendations do you have for outdoor / indoor things in either cities?


Prepare for rain-- Vancouver in February is rainsville. It is not a time I would choose to be in Vancouver (vs. May to September).

To do?

Vancouver in that weather is probably the Museum of Anthropology at University British Columbia-- famous for its depth on the native peoples. For touristy stuff Granville Island. Robson Street is fine for downtown shopping. BC Museum of Art. The only thing to be avoided in Vancouver is Hastings and Main (I don't know if it has changed, but you can walk through it in daytime (not pleasant) and best avoided at night unless in a cab). Chinatown I was pretty disappointed compared to Toronto or probably NYC/ SF (the real Chinese community in Vancouver, a hugely Asian city, is more Richmond/ the airport- -you probalby find the best Chinese restaurants *there*). Yaletown was kind of neat (warehouses converted to restaurants and lofts). Do stop and check out the housing prices-- Vancouver feels like the USA before the housing bubble popped. A walk around Stanley Park (West End) is always pleasant.

I don't know which, if any, of the islands are attractive (many are in the rainshadow and so get a fraction of the precipitation).

Whistler you could go skiing. What people do in winter in Vancouver is go ski (besides the usual running etc. in the rain). Public transport (at least where the Skytrain goes) is pretty good, and the downtown area is easily walkable. I imagine there are regular and good buses to Whistler.

You might be better focusing on *one* of the two cities, and there might be more to see in Seattle.

ScubaHogg
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Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

Post by ScubaHogg » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:55 pm

If you are in Vancouver, BC, eat at Tojos. http://www.tojos.com. Best sushi you'll ever have.

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