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Old 04-06-2014, 09:05 AM   #21
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...and can't afford to live there anymore.

How could I have forgotten Underground Seattle? My bad.
https://www.undergroundtour.com/
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:55 AM   #22
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If you have the time, drive up to Anacortes (hang a right on state route 20 from I5 at Burlington) and take the Friday Harbor ferry to San Juan island. It is by far the best bang for your buck in ferry rides and you have a decent chance of seeing orcas. Fun to explore San Juan island too.

A side trip from 20 to Deception Pass might be interesting...very pretty view of the channel which has up to 8 knot currents at tide changes. I have sailed through it at slack.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:19 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Someone needs to point this out, just in the sense of full disclosure.

First, the people in the Pacific Northwest (which I absolutely love) are in the habit of exaggerating the amount of rain they get, simply to discourage others from coming out there and clogging their roads and raising their cost of living. Be aware of this, and discount all their moaning and groaning about the weather by at least 40%. Sure, they get a lot of rainy days, but it does NOT rain all day on those "rainy days." Only for a while. Sometimes only for a very short while.

Second, it's all about your perspective. The first time I went out there, I was visiting friends, and I commented on the rain. They immediately corrected me, saying "No, you shouldn't talk about the rain; rather, you should notice how green everything is."
Ah, but it does rain in the Pacific Northwest, sometimes seriously. We have occasional floods, sometimes really serious floods. The last big one I remember, a guy in a pickup truck actually drowned on I-5. Look up the Vanport Flood as well (Portland, 1947). And there are landslides in wet times, too. See Oso recently. Chuckanut Drive is known to wash out once in a while. A few years ago, there were serious mudslides in Portland, city of hills. I saw a video of a hillside sliding down an urban street in Portland, chasing a pickup, with a couple of kids shooting a video out the back, of trees coming down the hill after them. Seattle lost a number of high value houses a few years ago when a hillside slid into Puget Sound. The state capital, Olympia, gets about 50 inches of rain a year and there is a real rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula. (I lived in Olympia as a small boy. It was depressing.)

Visit in good weather. When it rains, go south.

Oh yeah. Eat Sunday brunch at Ivar's Salmon House:
Ivar's Salmon House - Wallingford - Seattle, WA | Yelp
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:46 AM   #24
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Another hidden gem I like to point out is the array of incredible bonsai trees at the Weyerhaeuser HQ.
Close to I-5, at 2525 S. 336th St., Federal Way.
I understand they are trying to get rid of it (donate it somewhere), so see these little wonders while you can.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:01 AM   #25
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Oh yeah. Eat Sunday brunch at Ivar's Salmon House:
Ivar's Salmon House - Wallingford - Seattle, WA | Yelp
This is absolutely the best salmon house, don't miss it. You don't need to limit your visit to Sunday.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:23 PM   #26
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If you enjoy wine, you could go to Woodinville. Tons of wine tasting opportunities. Most Washington wineries have a presence there.

I'd second the San Juan islands. Orcas is a nice option with a trip up Mount Constitution. Fabulous views. San Juan island is also nice and you can check out the English/American camps. You could then take the ferry over to Victoria BC, check out the Butchart Gardens and then head over to Vancouver.
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:40 PM   #27
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Hurricane Ridge in Washington is another spectacular place to see:

Visiting Hurricane Ridge - Olympic National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:04 PM   #28
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If you have the time, drive up to Anacortes (hang a right on state route 20 from I5 at Burlington) and take the Friday Harbor ferry to San Juan island. ....
Driving north from Portland to Seattle, then heading further north to beautiful Vancouver BC on Interstate 5, will take you to this crossroad. It's some 90 minutes drive north of Seattle.

However, it's a "hang a left," not a right, just north of Mount Vernon on SR 20. Between I5 and Anacortes, you might consider taking a short detour south to LaConner--a beautiful little community along the waterway (if you ignore the obvious tourist 'traps' there).

As mentioned by Fermion, the stunning and photogenic Deception Pass is nearby. Takes some 20 minutes or so from LaConner to get there.

The downtown Seattle Pike Place Market is an obvious tourist choice--with that too-much-seen throwing of the fish. Still it is a fun place to spend a couple of hours to visit and mingle among the crowd and have some good food to eat. (Recall that the original Starbucks is here at the Pike Place Market.) But there is so much else beyond those Pike Place/thrown fish/Starbucks stereotypes to enjoy in the greater Seattle area. Especially if you are traveling from Portland to Vancouver BC.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:31 PM   #29
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We could keep you busy for a month visiting the places we love to share with friends. Any wonder why it is difficult to pry us out of our Great Northwest?
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:04 AM   #30
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Thanks for all the great suggestions! And I am not deterred by overcast or soggy weather.
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