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Trip to Pacific NW-Seattle Vancouver Island, Whistler? Redux
Old 07-08-2017, 11:13 AM   #1
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Trip to Pacific NW-Seattle Vancouver Island, Whistler? Redux

Hi-

I had a prior thread on planning this trip, now too old to post to. But I wanted to update it as we now have selected an itinerary. The two of us (50's couple) are flying into Seattle (Vancouver might have been easier but we are flying on points on US airlines). Then to Port Angeles, reserved ferry to Victoria, 5 nights in Victoria, 2 nights in Nanaimo, reserved ferry to Horseshoe Bay, 5 nights Whistler, then back to Seattle area for 4 nights (including one at my sister's place further south) before flying back out of Seattle. We will have a car the whole time until last 3 days in Seattle. We usually enjoy outdoors adventures, exploring and sightseeing. We also like things like local theatre and live music. As far as restaurants we like more low-key spots favored by locals.

We did a similar trip before, many years ago but did not include Whistler and stay on Vancouver Island was much shorter. We stayed on San Juan Island then so skipping it now, but we welcome other island ideas as well. We were trying to work in a river rafting trip if we can find one that makes sense. We are planning to do a whale watching trip from Victoria and some kayaking. Of course Butchart Gardens is in our plans.

Vancouver did not fit into our plans as we were trying to avoid spending a large amount of the time in cities, and the logistics of visiting family dictated time in Seattle area. But we also like ideas for future trips as there is so very much to do in this region. Trip starts two weeks from Monday.

Everyone was so helpful before. Thankful for that, and ideas welcome.
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:00 PM   #2
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Well there are 100s of attractions on your route.
Here is a newer one
Squamish sea-to-sky gondola
there is also to Peak-to-peak gondola in Whistler.
Peak-to-peak
Restaurants are all expensive. Horseshoe Bay will be cheaper to eat if the timing works.

Shannon Falls is right on your way for a quick stop.

So many attractions. So little time!
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:52 PM   #3
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Definitely go to Port Townsend on the way from Seattle to Port Angeles.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:58 PM   #4
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I'm sure you've included a day at Butchart Gardens while in Victoria.

Also, don't miss having a meal at a wonderful brewpub in Victoria:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub and Guesthouses

Great food, and they do something unusual in making their own artisan vinegars from their various craft beers. Most unusual and excellent. I always pick up a few bottles when I visit.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:21 PM   #5
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Braumeister- thanks for that idea. Will check out.
Pullmyfinger-what should i not miss in Port Townsend?
KCowan-thanks for those ideas!
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:47 PM   #6
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what should i not miss in Port Townsend?
It's around 25 years since I was there, (went for a wooden boat festival), nice town...walk along the escarpment and see the old houses, for one thing.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:42 AM   #7
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We visited all the places on your list in 2015. I predict you are going to have a great time. We also had time to add 3 weeks in Vancouver which was amazing.

Since you like outdoors stuff I recommend that you buy the season pass in Whistler for the chair lifts/gondolas. (I think it is cheaper than 2 day passes). There are well marked walking trails all over the place that you get to by chair lifts. The views on those trails are just awesome with plenty of wildlife to loook out for. On one of the walks you are almost certain to see marmots which are the mammals that give Whistler its name.

We also did zip lining at Whistler, which uses automatic braking and was much, much easier than other zip lining that we have done. Again, the views are incredible.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:23 AM   #8
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Fort Worden Historical State Park in Port Townsend is an interesting stop. Lots of history, interesting military buildings and other structures, along with hiking trails and terrific views. It's also where the movie Officer and a Gentleman was filmed. (Note that you'll need a one-day or annual Discover Pass to visit state parks in Washington.)
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:34 AM   #9
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Canada's national parks are free to visit this year. Here is a list of those in BC.

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Old 07-12-2017, 09:07 AM   #10
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Canada's national parks are free to visit this year. Here is a list of those in BC.

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One heck of a good deal!

I just looked up my travel expenses, and in 2012 I paid US$136 for park pass at Banff NP.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:44 AM   #11
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I maintain a Google calendar of annual local/regional events that interest me. I'm not 100% sure when you'll be in Whistler but I have the Bulleit Bourbon Canadian National BBQ Championships happening Aug 4-6 and the Redbull 400 happening Aug 5. The Redbull 400 is a run up a ski jump ramp. While you might not be interested in the actual event, there might be some festivities going on in conjunction with it that might be interesting.

45 minutes south of Whistler in Squamish, Squamish Days Logger Sports Festival is running from Aug 3 to 7. It's a mishmash of logger sports, wacky competitions, food, a parade, etc.

While I know you're not making it to Vancouver, just wanted to mention the "big" event is the Celebration of Light fireworks event that is happening on July 29, Aug 2, and Aug 5 in case it tempts you to stop on the way to Seattle. It's a bit of a gong show in terms of the mass of people at all viewing locations but if you like fireworks it's a good show.


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Old 07-12-2017, 11:47 AM   #12
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Canada's national parks are free to visit this year. Here is a list of those in BC.

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I got the free park already, but I don't have a car in Vancouver. Maybe I should get one.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:48 AM   #13
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One heck of a good deal!

I just looked up my travel expenses, and in 2012 I paid US$136 for park pass at Banff NP.
I'm going to Banff this year. I didn't know it costs US $136. Good thing I got a free park.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:27 PM   #14
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A day pass is not as expensive. As I recall, we were there for a week, plus wanted to go to other parks, so that was for an annual pass. Still expensive compared to US NP Annual Pass at $80.
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:48 PM   #15
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This isn't completely low key, locals place as mentioned by the OP but I came across an article reviewing this weekly casual BBQ at Sidecut, a restaurant at the Four Seasons in Whister.
They hold a backyard BBQ buffet every Thursdays from 5-9pm. Sounds very reasonable at $34/person.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:42 PM   #16
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thanks, ideas always welcome!
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