Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

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Rob5TCP
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Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Rob5TCP » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:09 pm

We are planning 10-12 days in the Pacific NW. Our first stop will be 3-4 days in Seattle.
We plan to go to Pike Market, Underground Seattle, tour of the city, and whale watching (if good sightings) and then we will be checking out other points of interest.

Then 2-3 days in either Victoria or Vancouver. Victoria we would take a ferry from Seattle;
Vancouver I would drive.

Then 1-2 days in Mt. Ranier doing some mild hikes (Silver Falls and others). I don't want to push her beyond a few hundred feet elevation gain IN A DAY.

We were considering the Olympic National Forest but the HOH Valley is still closed. I was there about 20 years ago and it was a different world.

Finally back to Seattle for 2-3 days.

We would like to stay at a place I could keep a car, and not pay a fortune for parking (if that is possible). Additionally would like to be closed enough to mass transit; preferably rail so we could go downtown without spending an hour commuting each way. I've heard that Seattle traffic can be awful (though next to NY it might not be so bad). What neighborhoods are the "best" to stay in.

For lodging I would use AirBnB in Seattle, probably a hotel in Victoria or Vancouver and an AirBnb at Mr. Ranier.

You guys were great with Sacramento info last year -- please any suggestions would be appreciated. I've not been to Seattle in over 30 years.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:22 pm

FYI - I retitled your thread to add parentheses around (Victoria OR Vancouver). If you work with software, the interpretation would instead be "(Seattle and Victoria) OR Vancouver". :)
Rob5TCP wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:09 pm
I don't want to push her beyond a few hundred feet elevation gain IN A DAY.
Is this a limitation due to physical fitness, or due to the altitude? Getting headaches due to a drop in oxygen level at higher elevation can ruin an entire vacation.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Alexa9 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:28 pm

I would search on here for good past Seattle threads and tripadvisor. I'd do a coffee and brewery tour based on Yelp reviews. I find big cities fairly underwhelming (Victoria definitely more charming than Vancouver) so if it were me I would spend most of my time at Mt. Rainier or in Canada in the Whistler area. Google images: Sea to Sky Highway, Cheakamus lake (great day hike), Whistler Peak to Peak Gondola & mountain biking.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Rob5TCP » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:36 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:22 pm
FYI - I retitled your thread to add parentheses around (Victoria OR Vancouver). If you work with software, the interpretation would instead be "(Seattle and Victoria) OR Vancouver". :)
Rob5TCP wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:09 pm
I don't want to push her beyond a few hundred feet elevation gain IN A DAY.
Is this a limitation due to physical fitness, or due to the altitude? Getting headaches due to a drop in oxygen level at higher elevation can ruin an entire vacation.
When she visited NY earlier this year; she was dying when we went up a 5 story walkup in the East Village. So, I am keeping elevation gains to a minimum. As for distance, probably 2-3 miles per hike (otherwise she does get bored). We DEFINITIVELY are not going to do high elevation hiking.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Rob5TCP » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:39 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:28 pm
I would search on here for good past Seattle threads and tripadvisor. I'd do a coffee and brewery tour based on Yelp reviews. I find big cities fairly underwhelming (Victoria definitely more charming than Vancouver) so if it were me I would spend most of my time at Mt. Rainier or in Canada in the Whistler area. Google images: Sea to Sky Highway, Cheakamus lake (great day hike), Whistler Peak to Peak Gondola & mountain biking.
Good idea - will google prior posts.
We both enjoy both big cities and "wilder" areas.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by cmwahl » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:45 pm

I’d stay at Silver Cloud Inn Lake Union in Seattle. Free underground parking, a hotel shuttle on demand to 3 spots downtown Seattle or use the light rail right in front of the hotel. Great restaurants within a block. White Swan Public House is practically across the street, excellent and reasonably priced. There is a Museum of History and Industry at Lake Union. You don’t have to drive in Seattle, although traffic isn’t that bad at non rush hour times. The Chihuly Glass museum at the Seattle center is amazing. Jane Eyre is being performed. Watch the Lake Union boats. Seattle Art Museum is always good.
Last edited by cmwahl on Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by KyleAAA » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:47 pm

Rainer is starting to get iffy this time of year. If it's cloudy when you are there, you won't be able to see ANYTHING. It was surrounded by clouds today but most days last week were pretty good, so you might get lucky. Victoria is likely to have the reliably nicest weather. Traffic in Seattle isn't bad at all compared to many major cities but the light rail runs from the airport through downtown to the U District, so you can stay anywhere along the line and get downtown fairly easily. Four days might be a bit long for Seattle proper (it's a fairly small city) but you could get away to the Cascades for the day and maybe hit up Snoqualmie falls. But if you have a car, the sea to sky highway is nice. Not sure what visibility will be like this time of year. Most "Seattle" neighborhoods to stat in for me are Capitol Hill and Ballard, although Fremont is fine. On the south side, Columbia City or Georgetown cool areas, and West Seattle is under-rated.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by evestor » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:48 pm

Walking around downtown Seattle and trying to avoid elevation does not mix. Much of downtown has hills. It is easy to walk hundreds of vertical feet in mere hours and not even realize it.
If you are trying to avoid elevation you will need to think about the city in bands along vertical plains and either be highly efficient in how you move up/down or use Uber/lyft/... to get you up and down.

Staying downtown is always nice but it depends upon your budget.
If you find yourself on the east side you'll save a few bucks, in particular if you don't stay in downtown Bellevue. And there is good bus service going back and forth that is pretty reasonably priced. But it'll cost you real time (25-50 minutes depending upon time of day) and you'll need a bus pass (orca card) to use it efficiently.
Park and ride services by the bus stops on the east side are generally full after 8am so if you do this you'll want to either stay near a stop or plan to park early.
The big bus lines east-west tend to be the Sound Transit 545 and 550 (which go back and forth on 520 and 90, respectively). Google their paths and you'll get a sense of the runs.

If it were me I'd look at hotels on the west side. Avoiding the bridges saves you real time.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by freebeer » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:51 pm

I would skip Rainier this time of year and instead go to Bainbridge Island from Seattle and spend night there and/or Port Townsend then take car ferry to Victoria from PT. If weather nice go to Hurricane Ridge en route if not so great go to Dungeness spit. Lots of beautiful scenery, much less traffic/tourists than staying on I-5 corridor.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by fortfun » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:05 pm

Here's what I'd recommend:

2/3 Nights in Seattle. Space Needle, Chihuly Glass, Museums, Pikes Place Market, etc.
2 Nights in Olympic National Park. We camped along the beach between beach #2 and #3. Tide pools are amazing. Still worth a visit, even with Hoh Valley closed.
Ferry your vehicle to Victoria. Pretty reasonable. Whale watch on your way.
2 Nights in Victoria. Butchart gardens, explore the town.
Ferry vehicle across to Vancouver. Whale watch on your way across.
2 Nights in Vancouver. Rent bikes and ride around Stanley Park, explore downtown Vancouver.
Optional: Drive back down to Rainer and stay a few nights there.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:47 pm

freebeer wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:51 pm
I would skip Rainier this time of year and instead go to Bainbridge Island from Seattle and spend night there and/or Port Townsend then take car ferry to Victoria from PT. If weather nice go to Hurricane Ridge en route if not so great go to Dungeness spit. Lots of beautiful scenery, much less traffic/tourists than staying on I-5 corridor.
We are hoping to have at least a day at Ranier. I've not been there since I was in college, and she
has never seen Mt. Ranier. If weather is poor, we will forgo this.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:55 pm

evestor wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:48 pm
Walking around downtown Seattle and trying to avoid elevation does not mix. Much of downtown has hills. It is easy to walk hundreds of vertical feet in mere hours and not even realize it.
If you are trying to avoid elevation you will need to think about the city in bands along vertical plains and either be highly efficient in how you move up/down or use Uber/lyft/... to get you up and down.

Staying downtown is always nice but it depends upon your budget.
If you find yourself on the east side you'll save a few bucks, in particular if you don't stay in downtown Bellevue. And there is good bus service going back and forth that is pretty reasonably priced. But it'll cost you real time (25-50 minutes depending upon time of day) and you'll need a bus pass (orca card) to use it efficiently.
Park and ride services by the bus stops on the east side are generally full after 8am so if you do this you'll want to either stay near a stop or plan to park early.
The big bus lines east-west tend to be the Sound Transit 545 and 550 (which go back and forth on 520 and 90, respectively). Google their paths and you'll get a sense of the runs.

If it were me I'd look at hotels on the west side. Avoiding the bridges saves you real time.

Hope this helps.
Time is more important than saving $50 a night; so we will be looking at AirBNB or hotels near the downtown areas. As for the elevation, if it bothers her a lot; we will use Lyft at times.

As for location, I am looking at Lower Queens Anne, Capital Hill and Ballard. We are also looking at the Silver Cloud Inn, but may go with an AirBnb.

As for Victoria, she has cousins there not seen in many years. So, we may spend several days in and around Victoria.

Thank you for the suggestions.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:58 pm

Rob5TCP wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:09 pm
We are planning 10-12 days in the Pacific NW. Our first stop will be 3-4 days in Seattle.
We plan to go to Pike Market, Underground Seattle, tour of the city, and whale watching (if good sightings) and then we will be checking out other points of interest.

Then 2-3 days in either Victoria or Vancouver. Victoria we would take a ferry from Seattle;
Vancouver I would drive.

Then 1-2 days in Mt. Ranier doing some mild hikes (Silver Falls and others). I don't want to push her beyond a few hundred feet elevation gain IN A DAY.

We were considering the Olympic National Forest but the HOH Valley is still closed. I was there about 20 years ago and it was a different world.

Finally back to Seattle for 2-3 days.

We would like to stay at a place I could keep a car, and not pay a fortune for parking (if that is possible). Additionally would like to be closed enough to mass transit; preferably rail so we could go downtown without spending an hour commuting each way. I've heard that Seattle traffic can be awful (though next to NY it might not be so bad). What neighborhoods are the "best" to stay in.

For lodging I would use AirBnB in Seattle, probably a hotel in Victoria or Vancouver and an AirBnb at Mr. Ranier.

You guys were great with Sacramento info last year -- please any suggestions would be appreciated. I've not been to Seattle in over 30 years.
Traffic is horrendous. I'd rent a car only for the trips out of town, would not keep or attempt to use in town. Uber is your friend.

Vancouver is much more diverse and dynamic. Victoria is cutesy and charming. Take your pick. Vancouver is fantastic if you like to eat especially Asian food. Victoria has gardens and a great natural history museum. And tea. But not much else.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:00 pm

Easy Rainier hikes from Seattle are best out of the Northeast entrance. Go to sunrise and hike up to frozen lake and take your pick from there.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:04 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:58 pm

Traffic is horrendous. I'd rent a car only for the trips out of town, would not keep or attempt to use in town. Uber is your friend.

Vancouver is much more diverse and dynamic. Victoria is cutesy and charming. Take your pick. Vancouver is fantastic if you like to eat especially Asian food. Victoria has gardens and a great natural history museum. And tea. But not much else.
My choice is to spend more time in Vancouver, but she has a cousin in Victoria. So probably more time in Victoria. I love Asian food. Fortunately much is available in NYC, so not critical. But, would like to see different types of cuisine in Vancouver. Seattle we intend to "pig out" on seafood.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:23 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:00 pm
Easy Rainier hikes from Seattle are best out of the Northeast entrance. Go to sunrise and hike up to frozen lake and take your pick from there.
We will see about the weather, but I would love a couple of easy hikes on Ranier. Thank you.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:06 pm

right now we are having a true Indian summer. dry and sunny, highs late this week in the upper 70s in Seattle. Great time of year to visit.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by texasdiver » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:06 pm

cmwahl wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:45 pm
I’d stay at Silver Cloud Inn Lake Union in Seattle. Free underground parking, a hotel shuttle on demand to 3 spots downtown Seattle or use the light rail right in front of the hotel. Great restaurants within a block. White Swan Public House is practically across the street, excellent and reasonably priced. There is a Museum of History and Industry at Lake Union. You don’t have to drive in Seattle, although traffic isn’t that bad at non rush hour times. The Chihuly Glass museum at the Seattle center is amazing. Jane Eyre is being performed. Watch the Lake Union boats. Seattle Art Museum is always good.
Long-time Silver Cloud hotel fan from back in the day when I was working for NOAA in Alaska and would travel to Seattle on business at least a couple times a month. It is an awesome niche hotel chain in the Northwest, mostly WA but they have one in Portland. But they seem to be adding charges that they didn't used to. I was just at the Silver Cloud University District hotel last night and was supprised when they added a $15 parking charge to the bill. When I asked they said they said it was a policy change they started in January 2018. That said, it's still a good hotel chain and the Lake Union location is nice. It is a long walk to the Pike Place market from there but you can also shorten the walk by taking the little streetcar.

I lived in Seattle for years so its kind of familiar to me. I think Vancouver is the more interesting city from a tourist perspective. If you are a foodie, don't miss the Richmond Night Market: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/04/trav ... rants.html which is open weekend nights in the summer. I think they run until early October.
Last edited by texasdiver on Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by MP123 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:07 pm

Rob5TCP wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:04 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:58 pm

Traffic is horrendous. I'd rent a car only for the trips out of town, would not keep or attempt to use in town. Uber is your friend.

Vancouver is much more diverse and dynamic. Victoria is cutesy and charming. Take your pick. Vancouver is fantastic if you like to eat especially Asian food. Victoria has gardens and a great natural history museum. And tea. But not much else.
My choice is to spend more time in Vancouver, but she has a cousin in Victoria. So probably more time in Victoria. I love Asian food. Fortunately much is available in NYC, so not critical. But, would like to see different types of cuisine in Vancouver. Seattle we intend to "pig out" on seafood.
Vancouver's China Town is even better than San Francisco's (let alone Seattle's) for Asian food. Chicken feet, snakes, frogs, and all sorts of crazy things along with the usual. If you're a foodie it's a good time. Indian cuisine is also big there.

Granville Island is fun if you're in the downtown. Transportation is excellent, you don't want a car anywhere in downtown Van.

Buchart gardens in Victoria is very nice but maybe not in the fall. The Royal BC museum is good too. There's also a good maritime/boat museum. Frankly the best parts of Vancouver Island are outside of Victoria although it's a nice enough place.

All of these cities are very hilly and likely involve waaay more than a few hundred feet of climbing when walking around for the day, fyi.

Have fun!

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:24 am

Rob5TCP wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:36 pm
LadyGeek wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:22 pm
FYI - I retitled your thread to add parentheses around (Victoria OR Vancouver). If you work with software, the interpretation would instead be "(Seattle and Victoria) OR Vancouver". :)
Rob5TCP wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:09 pm
I don't want to push her beyond a few hundred feet elevation gain IN A DAY.
Is this a limitation due to physical fitness, or due to the altitude? Getting headaches due to a drop in oxygen level at higher elevation can ruin an entire vacation.
When she visited NY earlier this year; she was dying when we went up a 5 story walkup in the East Village. So, I am keeping elevation gains to a minimum. As for distance, probably 2-3 miles per hike (otherwise she does get bored). We DEFINITIVELY are not going to do high elevation hiking.
Re elevation.

Going up an elevator in NYC is several hundred feet? For a reasonably tall building.

So the problem is walking up hill? Rather than change in air pressure per se?

That change in air pressure would not be detectible.

However the actual elevation of the city itself would be an issue - Boulder CO for example. We holiday at 6,000 feet and live at roughly 250 feet above sea level, and the first day or two post arrival takes some adjusting.

Vancouver has hills, to be sure, but I don't remember the downtown area having any slope at all - seemed quite flat.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:27 am

Rob5TCP wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:39 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:28 pm
I would search on here for good past Seattle threads and tripadvisor. I'd do a coffee and brewery tour based on Yelp reviews. I find big cities fairly underwhelming (Victoria definitely more charming than Vancouver) so if it were me I would spend most of my time at Mt. Rainier or in Canada in the Whistler area. Google images: Sea to Sky Highway, Cheakamus lake (great day hike), Whistler Peak to Peak Gondola & mountain biking.
Good idea - will google prior posts.
We both enjoy both big cities and "wilder" areas.
Vancouver is really modern - the wave of condo construction has transformed the cityscape especially along the waterfront.

Hastings and Main is just east of downtown and is the centre of heroin addiction in Canada (Vancouver is a sea port). It's really depressing - a small area with so much human suffering. It's OK in the day, I think, I would not go there (except passing through via taxi) in the night.

The downtown is nice, and compact, and you can walk around Stanley Park for example. All pretty flat.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by texasdiver » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:42 am

There is no place in the Pacific Northwest that is 100% flat. You have to go to Dallas or Houston to find that. But my own perception is that Vancouver is quite a bit more flat than Seattle, at least in terms of the tourist areas in which you'd be walking around. The downtown area is reasonably flat as is the Granville Island area and the most common walking streets in the west end and Chinatown areas. By contrast, Seattle is extremely hilly. Some of the downtown streets are so steep they have stairs in place of sidewalks and the nearby neighborhoods of Queen Anne and Capital Hill are extremely hilly.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by rj49 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:24 pm

In Seattle, I'd actually look for something north of downtown, such as Fremont or the U District. The UW has a beautiful campus, plenty of eateries and nice neighborhoods, plus Green Lake has a nice 2.5-mile path around it. Look for the Fremont Troll crushing a real VW bug, and there's the Ballard Locks nearby with a fish viewing area, and Golden Gardens sandy beach near that. For getting around, get an Orca transit card and use day passes. Another innovative and possibly more convenient option would be Car2Go, which allows you to pick up a Smart car and drive and leave it wherever you want in the city, about $9 for half an hour. And Uber and Lyft are everywhere, and if you go on retailmenot.com you can usually find plenty of codes for free or reduced first rides. Another convenient option is the Rapid Ride bus and goes from Ballard to downtown and the Seattle Center, which has limited stops, and the U District has a light rail stop now that goes downtown and to Capitol Hill, another nice area. Consider a Seattle City Pass, which gives admission to the Space Needle and other attractions and includes a harbor cruise. The Seattle Center also has a nice Chihuly museum and a garish sci fi/music museum with some impressive memorabilia and exhibits.

The Victoria Clipper is the way to go for getting to Victoria, a high-speed boat. There's a nice hike along the coast, although I prefer to rent an electric bike and get around the city that way, and they also have a couple of long biking/hiking trails that go either north or west from downtown.

I'd actually take another boat from Victoria to Vancouver; this company recently started the only direct service between the cities: https://www.v2vvacations. Otherwise you have to go north from Victoria quite a ways and take a ferry, expensive and stressful if you plan to rent a car. Driving and parking in Vancouver is difficult at best, but they have an excellent combination of bus, skytrain (subway system), boats, and biking. My favorite way to explore is to biking the seawall, a nice level path that goes all around the edge of Vancouver, with beaches, Stanley Park, other beautiful parks, eateries, and maritime and science museums.

To get back to Seattle, the most scenic and pleasant option is Amtrak, which leaves at 5:45 pm daily. It has amazing views of the coast, especially at sunset, and food and drink in its dining car. It also has the least border hassles, since US customs just gets on the train at the border and checks passports. Then when you get to Seattle, take the light rail to the airport, overnight in a hotel there and pick up a car the next morning to go to Mt. Rainier.

In any case, you'll at least luck out on weather...mostly sun and warm weather for the coming week.

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Rob5TCP » Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:41 pm

Thanks you guys -- Our first 4 nights (in Seattle are at the Silver Cloud Inn.
Will probably go to Victoria on Tues and then Thurs to Vancouver and Sunday
back to Seattle.

Lots of good tips so far!!

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:48 am

texasdiver wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:42 am
There is no place in the Pacific Northwest that is 100% flat. You have to go to Dallas or Houston to find that. But my own perception is that Vancouver is quite a bit more flat than Seattle, at least in terms of the tourist areas in which you'd be walking around. The downtown area is reasonably flat as is the Granville Island area and the most common walking streets in the west end and Chinatown areas. By contrast, Seattle is extremely hilly. Some of the downtown streets are so steep they have stairs in place of sidewalks and the nearby neighborhoods of Queen Anne and Capital Hill are extremely hilly.
Don't know Seattle but my impression of Vancouver is that it was very flat. It's also more or less at sea level if elevation is a concern (it seems to be).

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Re: Seattle and (Victoria OR Vancouver) next week.

Post by Rob5TCP » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:51 am

Well tomorrow we are off -- Friday night dinner at Pike Market. There for the atmosphere
as much as the food. Then 3 days running around Seattle and excursions then off to Victoria.
Have looked at past posts and the suggestions here and have an outline on what we plan to do.
Thanks to the Bogleheads again.

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