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Seattle-Victoria trip in July, suggestions?
Old 03-20-2016, 06:21 PM   #1
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Seattle-Victoria trip in July, suggestions?

Trying to plan this out. We've in the areas before but last was 10 years ago. I'm not sure about Buchart Gardens as we've visited maybe 4 times since the 1970's and it was pretty crowded the last visit 10 years ago.

Here is an outline of our current mid-July itinerary:

Quote:
4 days: Fly into Seatac, take transportation to hotel in Seattle (Mayflower Park Hotel)
..........Seattle: Pike Place Market, tour of Elliot Bay, Chihuly Glass Museum, undergroud tour, etc.

2 days: Pick up rental car, ferry to Bainbridge Island to see Bloedel Reserve, end up in Port Angeles
..........Hurricane Ridge scenic hike near visitor center in Olympic National Park

4 days: Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria
.........See BC Museum, inner harbor, day trip to Sooke, Craigdarrock Castle

1 day: drive to Buchart Gardens and stay in Sidney (near ferry terminal)

2 days: Ferry through San Juan Islands to Whidbey Island, 2 nights
............Deception Pass State Park, etc.

Fly out of Seatac to home
Suggestions for changes or additions? I know there are a lot of things to see up that way.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:41 PM   #2
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When you are in the pike place area the outdoor sculpture park is a nice 30 minute activity

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_Sculpture_Park


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Old 03-20-2016, 07:07 PM   #3
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We did a similar trip last year and when driving from Seattle to Port Angeles, we stopped in Port Townsend for a bit. It's a funky little town with a nice, small downtown. Might be worth a stop.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:10 PM   #4
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For something different, one of my favorite places out there is the Pacific Bonsai Museum

It used to be owned and operated by the Weyerhaeuser lumber company, but they decided they couldn't afford it any more a few years ago. Pretty amazing exhibits IMHO, but not to everyone's liking.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
We did a similar trip last year and when driving from Seattle to Port Angeles, we stopped in Port Townsend for a bit. It's a funky little town with a nice, small downtown. Might be worth a stop.
I also recommend Port Townsend. Whidbey Island is very nice, I especially like Langley.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:47 PM   #6
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What a shame to be so close to Vancouver and miss such a great city. It looks like you've figured out your trip.
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:25 PM   #7
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My two cents:

I agree. Don't write off Vancouver. I would move there in a heartbeat. It's a clean and beautiful version of San Francisco. Stanley park in Vancouver is gorgeous. It has old growth forest, meadows, wetlands, and beach. Great walking trails all over. One of our best days on our Alaskan cruise/Canadian Rockies vacation in 2014 was the day we spent at Stanley Park.

Sea to sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler. Gorgeous waterfall along the way. You don't need to go all the way to Whistler either. There is one bend where you turn right just north of Vancouver that will take your breath away--the juxtaposition of the sea and the mountains is stunning. That view is not far along the highway from Vancouver.

In Seattle:

Near Pikes place, Pennsy spice store. A beautiful elegant place, order spices and have them shipped to foody friends. Heavenly scented 30 minute visit.

I've been to Pikes Place many times, as my sister has lived near Seattle for 35 years. It's just a great farmer's market and a bunch of other stores which I find mostly boring. I bought seafood at the market where you put your money in a tennis ball and they throw your change back at you the same way. That was fun. Pikes Place does not have great restaurants.

Do lunch at the space needle restaurant, which rotates. Unbelieveable view of the area from 500+ feet up. OK food, not outrageous price for lunch. Way better than Pikes Place area.

Bainbridge island has a number of wineries. Years ago I went to one that made fruit wine from fruit grown on the island. Very cool. Great garden, beautiful place. Many wineries have changed hands though; do some research.


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Butchart Gardens for mobility impaired.
Old 03-20-2016, 09:35 PM   #8
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Butchart Gardens for mobility impaired.

I discovered that you can book a scooter through the Garden's website. It made seeing the entire garden easy for us. I believe the cost was about $60, which included rental, pickup and delivery, and well worth it.
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:43 PM   #9
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We were in the area last September.

If you don't want to go to Butchart, how about another day on the Olympic peninsula? The rain forests are spectacular as are the beaches on the pacific (Rialto beach comes to mind). We spent a night in Forks. Not much to do there but it makes it easy to explore Sol Duc, Hoh and the beaches.

We visited Butchart on our visit and loved it, but don't think we'd want to go back. We haven't been to the other two places you mentioned. We took a tour of the BC parliament - just an hour or so - and loved it. I would have liked another day to explore Victoria - to just poke around. The water taxis are cute. We did get on a few in Vancouver.
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:44 PM   #10
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I've done a similar trip - but did it more as a loop. I'd drive up to Vancouver - spend a few days there, then take the Port Richmond Ferry over to Sidney, then either the Coho to Port Angeles or the WA state ferry to Anacortes. If you do the latter... From Anacortese drive down through Deception pass - then ferry from Whidby to Port Townsend... hook down to Bainbridge, and ferry back to Seattle.

Another option to get to the Coho ferry/Olympic park is to drive south to the Tacoma Narrows bridge - It's kind of freaky (to me) to cross there if you've ever seen how the original bridge hit a harmonic frequency and blew apart.
(I lived in Bellingham and my best friend lived in Port Orchard so I've done all these routes in the past.)
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:14 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the replies. There were several good suggestions which I'll try to weave into our trip.

We have been up to Whistler and Vancouver back in 2006 when we did a loop that took us up into Canada and the around to Whistler. I really liked the ferry ride from (above Vancouver, I think) to Victoria.

Port Townsend could be interesting and is not too far off our intended direction.

What I've tried to do is avoid too many one night stops. We seem to do better with core and explore.

Rodi, I saw that Tacoma Narrows bridge video in my college physics class way back in ancient times. I can't believe those people just walking off the bridge, I'd be running real fast.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:46 PM   #12
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Another vote for Port Townsend (Hotel) and then drive to Port Angeles for the ferry. Plus it is easy to make the Butcharts trip from Victoria and avoid a hotel in Sydney. (Expand core and explore!)
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:13 PM   #13
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After looking at this a bit more we could substitute Port Townsend for Port Angeles and just do a day trip up to Hurricane Ridge state park.

Then cross over to Whidbey Island via ferry. After Whidbey we would take the ferry from Anacortes to Sidney which is more scenic, before driving down to Victoria.

Would then drive back up to Sidney for the ferry and return to SeaTac airport.

I found this loop trip for Vancouver Island which looks interesting and new to us. Might do it in 2 days with an overnight in Port Renfrew: Pacific Marine Circle Route

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Old 03-21-2016, 03:32 PM   #14
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When in Victoria, there is a really nice brewpub called Spinnaker's.
Even if you aren't in the mood for a good beer (although they have really good food as well), an unusual feature is that they make their own artisan vinegars from their beers. Packaged in cool tall narrow corked bottles, they are absolutely some of the best malt vinegars I've ever tasted.

I've been there a number of times, but not since 2013. Still, I suspect it's still worth a visit if you're in town.

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses
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Old 03-21-2016, 04:10 PM   #15
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We really enjoy brewpubs for casual dining. Thanks.
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Old 03-21-2016, 05:21 PM   #16
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In Victoria, I really like John's place for breakfast / brunch.
John's Place - Victoria Restaurant

Taking a water taxi (or walking) to / from fishermans wharf is fun to watch the seals and grab a bite to eat.
Victoria Fisherman's Wharf

If you have money to spare, afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel might be nice.
I stayed at the empress once, and went on an interesting tour. Not sure if it is still offered though.

The Inner Harbour is of course fantastic to catch some entertainment / music for tip money. An easy relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

If you enjoy whale watching, there are a lot of Orca tours (Don't forget the Bonine / Gravol / ginger pills).

If you are looking for some physical activity, you can rent kayaks near the inner harbour. I bet there's a lot of amazing hiking options as well.

For Butchart Gardens, I really enjoy it, and of course it changes depending on the time of year.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
When in Victoria, there is a really nice brewpub called Spinnaker's.
Even if you aren't in the mood for a good beer (although they have really good food as well), an unusual feature is that they make their own artisan vinegars from their beers. Packaged in cool tall narrow corked bottles, they are absolutely some of the best malt vinegars I've ever tasted.

I've been there a number of times, but not since 2013. Still, I suspect it's still worth a visit if you're in town.

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses

Yes! +1 -- Spinnakers is one of the better brewpubs I've been to.


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Old 03-21-2016, 09:40 PM   #18
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Other places to look at on Vancouver Island, are Uculet and Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park. One different way to see this area would be to drive to Port Alberni and take the tour boat the Lady Rose thru the Islands. Or you could take the highway over depending on how time goes. The boat ride is perhaps more scenic, but does take all day. Another possiblity would be to go to the canadian gulf islands in particular Salt Spring Island.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:55 PM   #19
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Butchart Gardens afternoon tea was a lot less expensive than the Empress Hotel, and very nice.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:08 PM   #20
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Butchart Gardens afternoon tea was a lot less expensive than the Empress Hotel, and very nice.
We actually did that the last time we were in the Butchart. I'm not a big fan of such things but DW loves that stuff. I'm fine with a good scone at a fair price.

Found this Yelp listing for teas in Victoria:
Best Afternoon tea in Victoria, BC, Canada
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