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The great Northwest, USA
Old 04-03-2014, 02:12 PM   #1
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The great Northwest, USA

Thinking about a 2 week trip to the Northwest in May-June, or possibly later. Maybe fly to Portland, rent-a-car and drive up to Seattle, Vancouver, and other destinations. Any advice on things not-to-be-missed or the best month(s) to visit? Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:25 PM   #2
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Mount Saint Helens.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:27 PM   #3
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Grew up in Portland and explored the area extensively during my 23 years there. Oregon coast is not to be missed. Olympic forest in northern Washington as well. Crater Lake is cool but kind of out of the way.

Rain is possible at any time but would suggest August and September as best months.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:33 PM   #4
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I agree with RockyMtn, May and June are wet here. Mid July - Sept are typically wonderful (sunny, warm and no humidity). October is typically sunny too but cooler.

Portland is a great city to walk around in and it has good public transportation. The restaurants are good as are the food carts.

The Columbia River Gorge is less than 1/2 hour drive from downtown Portland, take the Historic Columbia River Highway, it is unbelievably beautiful. If you like to hike it is a playground. Otherwise, spend at least a half day driving and visiting the waterfalls.

Mount Hood is about a 2 hour drive from Portland. Timberline Lodge is worth a visit, it was built by the WPAs and is a work of art. Trillium Lake is a worthwhile stop, there is a 2 mile boardwalk around the lake.

The Oregon Coast is a must. Cannon Beach, Hug Point, and Ecola State Park are within 15 or so miles of each other and all within a 2 hour drive of Portland. You really can't go wrong with anywhere on the Oregon Coast.

If you like to hike let me know and I can recommend some awesome hikes.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:38 PM   #5
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There is a really neat fish hatchery going east in the Gorge, maybe 45 minutes out from Portland. The grounds there are beautiful.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:55 PM   #6
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Ape Cave is on the way to Mt St Helens

Might want to Kayak/or Ride Ferry through San Juan Islands.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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If you can, come after July 4. Statistically the most likely day to have sun in Seattle is July 31.

Some years there is a lot of nice weather, other years not so much.

Ha
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:02 PM   #8
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We flied to Portland. In two weeks, we drove all the way up to Benff/Jasper. And came down through Vancouver.

If you don't have kids, I would recommend do it in early September. At lease avoid July/August. There are lots of Chinese tourists hitting PNW that time.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimSF View Post
Thinking about a 2 week trip to the Northwest in May-June, or possibly later. Maybe fly to Portland, rent-a-car and drive up to Seattle, Vancouver, and other destinations. Any advice on things not-to-be-missed or the best month(s) to visit? Thanks.
Too much to see from Portland to BC in just two weeks, but give it a go anyway. May to June is a nice time of year to visit. But remember: it rains just too G-d darn awful around these parts that, even after visiting during what might be a 'rare' sunny day,' you will never, ever, never ever consider moving here to live.

And, oh yeah, we 'officially' call it "The Great Pacific Northwest"!
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:54 PM   #10
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Thinking about a 2 week trip to the Northwest in May-June, or possibly later. Maybe fly to Portland, rent-a-car and drive up to Seattle, Vancouver, and other destinations. Any advice on things not-to-be-missed or the best month(s) to visit? Thanks.
I will be doing the same trip in September - fly to Portland, drive to Seattle, and fly back. I am still working on the details so this thread is very timely.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:21 PM   #11
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In Portland, Powell's Books (at 10th and Burnside) is a pilgrimage for anyone who likes to read anything. World's largest independent bookstore. We call it the Mothership.

In Portland, Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the U.S. And there's no end of shopping, eating and people-watching.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:54 PM   #12
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If you can, come after July 4. Statistically the most likely day to have sun in Seattle is July 31.

Some years there is a lot of nice weather, other years not so much.

Ha
Heed Ha. Summer in WA begins on July 5. (Handy, as all the kids of all ages shoot Roman candles into the <wet> woods and onto the <wet> cedar shingle roofs on the 4th.)
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:23 PM   #13
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I heard that there are some great microbreweries in the northwest. I need to plan a trip there someday
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:29 PM   #14
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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."
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Old 04-05-2014, 05:36 PM   #15
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Another Duck here...

In Portland Washington Park with its Rose Garden and Japanese Garden are not to be missed. An easy way to do that is to take the MAX (our light rail) and get off at the Zoo stop. Then catch the bus at the Zoo stop to the Japanese Garden (keep your ticket and use it on the bus). From the Japanese Garden the Rose Garden is just on the other side of the tennis courts, down hill. Then catch the bus east to town or if you don't mind a gentle hike walk down the hill (and pass my home).

It is really easy to explore most of Portland's highlights by transit, buy a day pass for $5.00. TriMet: 1-Day Pass The NS (north-south) Street Car not only intersects the MAX but it will also take you to Powells' Bookstore and the OHSU Tram (a ride will cost you an additional $4) Hours & Fare €” Portland Aerial Tram

While you are in Seattle take a RT on the Bremerton Ferry. A great cruse, cheap. As you pass the fish farm look up the hill and see my former home. My icon is that ferry from the deck.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:05 PM   #16
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I heard that there are some great microbreweries in the northwest. I need to plan a trip there someday
Beer? What Beer?
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:45 PM   #17
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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.
"
I lived for many years in the northwest. When I first moved there, I noticed that it rarely rained hard, but seemed to lightly drizzle, most days from ~Sept through ~May. Indeed, I don't think I ever used an umbrella. For me, the downside was not the rain, but rather the gloomy, overcast sky, for most days for 8 months out of the year. And since it's further north (well, for me it was), it was dark later in the morning, and earlier in the evening, during the winter. The tradeoff, as you said, is the beautiful green everywhere. It was like living at summer camp. There was little snow, and wasn't bitter cold. I liked living there. However, depression can be aggravated, if you're susceptible.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:51 PM   #18
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Take a ferry through the San Juan Islands amazing and dry, whales, seals, fish and just a way of life that might keep you near by. Head to Victoria on the ferry spend a nite any where, the since of community is grate. The coffee isn't bad either. Just don't tell anyone about it the area. We like to keep it to our selfs. Enjoy
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:48 PM   #19
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If you do have a clear, sunny day, consider a scenic flight around the area:
Scenic Flight Tours - Seaplane Tours & Seattle Scenic Flight - Kenmore Air
or a round-trip flight to Gig Harbour for the day.
Around Portland, take a day trip up or down the Columbia River. Go west to Astoria or east to The Dalles. Either side of the river.
In Seattle, ride the ducks:
Seattle Duck Tour (Amphibious vehicle) from All Seattle Tours
See Pike Place Market:
Pike Place Market
The Museum of Flight is awesome. See a real SR-71 Blackbird:
The Museum of Flight Aviation History, Airplane and Spacecraft Collections, Aerospace Library, Education and Research Center | The Museum of Flight
Visit Bruce Lee's grave:
Lake View Cemetery
Do a doobie at the Blue Moon:
Blue Moon Tavern - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hear live music at The Tractor:
Tractor Tavern - Ballard, WA. Local iconic bar in Ballard.
And don't miss the ferry to Mt. Rainier or the submarine races.
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
If you do have a clear, sunny day, consider a scenic flight around the area:
Scenic Flight Tours - Seaplane Tours & Seattle Scenic Flight - Kenmore Air
or a round-trip flight to Gig Harbour for the day.
Around Portland, take a day trip up or down the Columbia River. Go west to Astoria or east to The Dalles. Either side of the river.
In Seattle, ride the ducks:
Seattle Duck Tour (Amphibious vehicle) from All Seattle Tours
See Pike Place Market:
Pike Place Market
The Museum of Flight is awesome. See a real SR-71 Blackbird:
The Museum of Flight Aviation History, Airplane and Spacecraft Collections, Aerospace Library, Education and Research Center | The Museum of Flight
Visit Bruce Lee's grave:
Lake View Cemetery
Do a doobie at the Blue Moon:
Blue Moon Tavern - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hear live music at The Tractor:
Tractor Tavern - Ballard, WA. Local iconic bar in Ballard.
And don't miss the ferry to Mt. Rainier or the submarine races.
A great list from someone who knows and loves Seattle.

Ha
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