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June trip to Seattle with side trip to Oregon

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Cristy, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. Cristy

    Cristy Ferdinand the Bull philosophy major

    We're cruising to Alaska from Seattle in June and have an extra 4 1/2 days prior to the cruise to enjoy the Northwest part of the country. Since this is probably the only trip to the Northwest I'll take, I thought about splitting the days by taking an overnight trip Monday and Tuesday in Oregon to get the flavor of that state, then the next two 2 1/2 days in and around Seattle. We'll still have the day we come back to enjoy Seattle, too. I'm looking for any recommendations for memorable (but reasonable cost) things to do and places to stay in and around Seattle and Oregon. We're renting a car to go to Oregon, but wanted to stay away from the overnight parking fees at Seattle hotels. How is the mass transit? Please help me plan this. Taking DH, DS34 is meeting us there. DS 28 and girlfriend are coming in the day b4 the cruise. TIA
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  3. mrudman

    mrudman Mouseketeer

    We also took a cruise out of Seattle to Alaska last year, and flew in 4 days early to sightsee (thinking this was also going to be my only chance to see that area)

    Thinking back, probably my 2 most vivid memories are:

    1) Seeing the Ballard locks and just spending the entire day there, walking around... was amazing! And during the time we went (July, so will be similar for you in June).. we got to see tons of salmon navigate the fish ladders, and even saw a few seals trying to catch the salmon.

    2) Took a day going to the Seattle center and downtown.. went to the space needle, walked around downtown, walked down to pike place market and all along that area... was really awesome just seeing all the sights, and those 2 places are 2 places i'd always wanted to see.

    We didn't venture into Oregon at all.. there was plenty to see just around Seattle area.... had thought about driving up to see Mt Rainier, but just ran out of time.. luckily we had absolutely gorgeous weather the entire time we were there, and could see the mountain perfectly from that far away.

    But anyway, whatever you decide, you will have a blast!! I envy you.. wish I could go back so bad... that whole trip (Seattle, then definitely the cruise), was the best time of my life!!
  4. mrudman

    mrudman Mouseketeer

    Forgot to comment on the transportation...

    We never did rent a car the entire time we were there, and still saw everything we wanted to see..

    Of course, sometimes it took us a while to get to where we want.. such as the Seattle zoo, ended up (if i remember right) having to take city bus transportation for that part of it.

    But all of the downtown area.. and Seattle center (where the space needle is).. can be gotten to by monorail.

    We ended up taking monorail, train, bus, boat (did an Argosy cruise around the bay).. but never did need a car, :)

    And it really was pretty enjoyable anway.. we had my (then) 9 and 7 yo dd's with us the entire time.. never felt un-safe (even on the city bus).. and they never complained about how long anything was taking, lol.. going downtown, the monorail/train usually took 30 minutes from airport to downtown (we'd always catch our hotel bus for a quick jaunt to the airport and take it from there).... was really impressed with the public transportation Seattle offered... and being that we had NEVER taken public transportation before and didn't get lost ever, says something I guess, lol.
  5. juliebean

    juliebean Member

    We are originally from the Seattle area and visit Washington regularly, we are going to spend a week in Depoe Bay on the Oregon Coast in August. Although I love the Oregon Coast, I don't know if I'd recommend going all that distance for two nights. Even 3 or 4 nights would be iffy for us, for that distance. Typically for us to drive from Tacoma, about 45 minutes south of Seattle (on a good traffic day - the traffic is awful), to the very beginning of the Oregon Coast - Astoria - would be around 5 hours. To go further to areas like Cannon Beach or Lincoln City, it's going to be around 8 hours, particularly in June when Highway 101 can slow to a crawl on some days. So, I think that's the first thing you have to figure out - do you want to spend that much time traveling? You could take the Amtrak or fly to Portland, but you would still need to rent a car to get to the coast and it would still be a couple of hours of driving.

    If you do want to go to the southern Washington Coast, that can be driven to in maybe 3 hours. And they are similar in geographical makeup. There is Ocean Shores, with lots of hotels and a beautiful open beach. If you want something more secluded, we rented a nice house from www.pacificbeachandbeyond.com in a remote, less developed area on the pacific side of the Olympic Mountains. They rent for 2 nights.

    Parking is a problem in Seattle, but some hotels do include parking. If you just want to stay in Seattle it can be done via public trans and walking, but to see most things outside of Seattle you'll need a car.

    Another option is to taken the ferry to the San Juans and stay for a couple of nights - they are gorgeous and actually very close to Seattle. There are lots of beaches, artists, farms, parks and places to hike. LaConner or Anacortes are also good option for a weekend, very cute, B&B sort of towns on the coast - they are on the coast too but they are protected by the islands, so it's a different feel than the southern Wa or Oregon coast that are more open to the Pacific's power. Or visit the cascades if you enjoy the mountains and hiking. Too many things to really pick one, but that's probably the best plan for a couple of days.

    Have a wonderful time, we are hoping to do a cruise to Alaska next summer for our 20th anniversary! If you can get more than a couple of days to visit Washington or Oregon, I'd really recommend it. It's a great place to visit, but because it's a large state it takes some travel time to get places.
  6. leadfootlevi

    leadfootlevi Mouseketeer

    I don't think I'd drive to Oregon from Seattle for a couple of days. Oregon is beautiful, but you'll get the same feel from the Seattle area.

    You could venture north to Vancouver, BC - it's a beautiful town and would be a nice day trip (or two) from Seattle.
  7. Swimalie

    Swimalie Mouseketeer

    The drive from Seattle to Portland, OR is only 3 hours. Portland will give you plenty to do for 2 days if you want to make the drive. I moved from there 5 long years ago and am counting down the days until I can go back. In Portland you can experience Vodoo Donuts http://voodoodoughnut.com/ It's a classic in Portland. There are a lot of festivals in the waterfront park in downtown http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2850949-grand_isle_marina_grand_haven-i. If you want to see the Oregon Coast, from Portland Cannon Beach is a little over an hour west. It has a great high view of the ocean and Haystack Rock. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haystack_Rock Plus the town of Cannon Beach, which is right there on the beach, is very cute and has a lot of neat shopping and restaurants. It was one of our favorite day-trip escapes. On the way to and from Cannon Beach is a wonderful restaurant http://www.camp18restaurant.com/ A bit farther from Portland is Astoria. It's about 90 min. There you can see Washington State just over the Columbia River. Astoria is where Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy and Goonies were filmed among others. They have a great area where you can see sea lions.

    If you are in to seeing mountains, Mt Hood is about 60 min east of Portland. Timberline Ski Resort is open year round and you can take the Magic Mile chair lift up a mile and see great views of more of beautiful Oregon.

    I hope that helps a little. Again, to me it would be well worth the 3 hour drive to Portland just to explore downtown Portland. It is totally different than Seattle (less rain, smaller city and just a different feel). Have fun!
  8. Cristy

    Cristy Ferdinand the Bull philosophy major

    Thank you so much for the ideas. They're great! Looking for more choices and input if you have any.

    BTW, Oregon, somewhere' is a must. I actually thought the coast was farther away than you indicate. My quest is to have visited all 50 states... Alaska, Washington and Oregon are three of the final five...looking for an overall great memory.

    The details are wonderful. Any recommendations for hotels, etc? Thanks.
  9. juliebean

    juliebean Member

    Oh, okay then I'd probably try to go to Astoria or Cannon beach or somewhere in there, just to keep the driving to a minimum. If you can avoid the traffic between Seattle and Olympia, you might be able to get to these northern spots in 4 or 5 hours. We usually rent houses, so I can't recommend any hotels. There are a ton of B&B's all along the coast also. I would book soon though, it is very busy mid June to Sept. I personally am happy walking on the beach and looking for shells, but there are also lots of art shops, boutiques, seafood places, etc along the whole coast. I do love the Tillamook & Blue Heron Cheese factories in Tillamook, but not sure that's everyone's idea of fun! Nothing against Portland, but I'd pick the coast over the city any day. Oregon is a state - like Washington - that is distinctly different geographically and culturally west to east - most people never see the high desert farming and ranching country of the eastern sides and it is really a whole other beautiful area in it's own right, but since you have limited time, I'd go to the coast.

    Have a great time!
  10. mariacj

    mariacj Member

    Live and Love Seattle. City pass is great gets you to all the sites including space needle which has the best views of Seattle, UW has some beautiful buildings... Pike place, the Pier, and the sculpture park is free.

    Buses will get you everywhere... seattle charges you for parking everywhere.
  11. Swimalie

    Swimalie Mouseketeer

    I'll make you a deal. I'll come along as your tour guide and I won't eat much :lmao:

    I wish I could recommend a hotel but we never stayed out there. We just did day trips.

    One other thing I thought about is in Astoria. It is where Lewis and Clark spent their winter on the coast. They have several historic areas dedicated to that. Here is the National Park http://www.nps.gov/lewi/planyourvisit/fortclatsop.htm It's a really neat place to see. And the Astoria Column is amazing to climb and see the 360ยบ view from http://www.astoriacolumn.org/
  12. 2boysnme

    2boysnme Earning My Ears

    This trip is on my bucket list!! I have priced it out and can't swing it unless we can convince grandparents to come along. We are a family of 5 and cruising with 5 instead of 4 upped the price a couple thousand. So we are planning to fly out to Seattle and rent a car and spend about 10 days. We only have 4 states to hit all 50 so we will drive to Portland just like the OP mentioned. Since I am traveling with 3 kids we will probably be doing different things that you will.
    Tips we have heard: Stay near the airport in a place with free airport shuttles. Then use public transport. The prices seemed a lot more reasonable.
    Definitely see Pike Market and Space Needle.
    We will do things like the zoo and science museum especially since they have free reciprocity from our local ones.
    We plan to ferry over to Victoria and I also want to spend sometime seeing the Rainforest.
  13. ceiligh1

    ceiligh1 Mouseketeer<br><font color=9966ff>Misses being cal

    I grew up in Oregon and moved to the Seattle area a few years ago. They are very different places and as a previous poster stated I too cannot wait to move back to Portland. I return often and it usually takes me around 3.5 hours to Portland driving from a Seattle suburb.
    If you make it to the Oregon coast one interesting place for you to stay would be the http://www.sylviabeachhotel.com/. THe hotel is in Newport so it is a little further south than you might be looking but it is a lot of fun. The rooms are themed after authors and have wonderful views of the ocean. There are journals in every room that you can read and leave an entry in and the food is amazing. You could also stop by the http://aquarium.org/ , eat at Mo's chowder and sample some of the best salt water taffy on the coast. Personally I would stay away from Seaside, all the tourists go there and for the life of me I have no idea why as there are much more interesting places on the coast.
    As for Portland in June the rose festival is ongoing with parades and a dragon boat race that can make for fun viewing. It has a great transit system so you could take the train from Seattle to Portland and look around the city without needing to rent a car. THe Japanese gardens, Chinese gardens, and rose gardens are a wonderful way to pass the day.
    Seattle might or might not have good weather in June. Usually we start to have summer weather after july 4th. Ballard locks, visiting the troll under the bridge http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2236 and the usual space needle, pikes place ect are all good activities for a day trip.
    I hope you have a great time.
  14. juliebean

    juliebean Member

    We love the Pacific Science Center - it is really one of the best science centers we've been to. It has a really neat butterfly room and a naked mole rat exhibit and a neat circus exhibit, although I think that was temporary. The zoo is ehh - not really that many animals, but lots of walking. Ironically enough, when we visited last time there was a wild cougar roaming around the day we visited (we never saw him, just heard warnings) - seemed like he was looking for a friend, lol.

    Totally understand the 5 person issue with cruises, we are hoping to go on a second honeymoon by ourselves for that cruise, for our 20th anniversary. Don't know if that's an option for you? Our kids went on a cruise a couple of years ago with us and two didn't really enjoy it, which makes it even harder to justify paying for a 2nd cabin. Some of the cruises stop in Victoria, but the Olympic Rainforest area is incredible if you turn out to have extra time.
  15. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    I think you'd waste quite a bit of your time getting to and from places by doing this. And the airport hotels aren't...the most fabulous. We stayed at a nice-ish Ramada before a flight, but I wouldn't want to stay there and bus it up to Seattle or down to Tacoma every single day.

    The buses are decent, and mainly used by commuters. And right in the Seattle downtown core the Metro bus is free (just make sure you know where the free core starts and stops).

    Getting a flavor of Oregon...Portland is pretty different from the central and eastern parts of the state (same can be said of western WA vs the middle of the state)...heavy farming out away from the western parts...so if you're just doing the west, you're getting the flavor of that part.

    Remember, the states are enormous! :) (I've been to Philadelphia, but I have NO idea what western PA might be like...I'm sure they are quite different! just going by your stated location to give you an idea of the difference across the state)

    If you guys like beer, check out a McMenamins property while you're here. They have a few in the Seattle area and scads of them in the Portland area. Kids are allowed in the restaurant part of the properties, and their food is pretty tasty.

    A surprisingly fun tourist thing I did a few years back in Seattle was the Duck Tour. It's a tour in an amphibious vehicle. I would have absolutely died to do this tour in my 20s, but it was actually VERY fun! And you get to see a ton of the city that you just don't see on a normal basis. It costs a few bucks (lots of bucks) but it ended up feeling very worth it.
  16. melancholywings

    melancholywings <font color=royalblue>How do you prepare for a ban

    For my birthday we did Ride the Ducks and it was a lot of fun and great way to see the city. There's also the Pacific Science Center and the under ground tour (which I've never been on because I don't like going under ground).

    If driving you could take a one way ferry to Whidbey island, drive around and visit Fort Casey state park then drive back a crossed on Deception Pass. There's also a hiking trail by Deception Pass that you can take down to the beach. I can't wait till my nephews visit so we can do this with them.
  17. VirataMama4

    VirataMama4 Mouseketeer

    When in June are you going? The Portland Rose Festival is a big deal in Portland end of May to mid June. There are events almost every weekend and a couple of parades. http://www.rosefestival.org/ You can hit the aquarium as a PP stated, its in Newport, Or and is about 5 hours from Seattle. If you remember the movie "Free Willy" the whale, Keiko, was housed there for a few years.
  18. crjack

    crjack Mouseketeer

    We spent 3 days total in Seattle last August in conjunction with our Alaskan cruise and we loved the city! We were traveling with 2 young teens so that influenced our itinerary. A few of our favorite things were:

    1) Underground City Tour - great guide, very funny and informative.
    2) Experience Music Project Museum
    3) Duck Tours - Actually had a great time
    4) Pikes Market - although very crowded

    We did the Space Needle while we were there too. We stayed in a Residence Inn because we had Marriott points and we really wanted a 2-bdrm suite. The location was fine for the Space Needle area but not really close to other major points of interest.

    Our cruise stopped in Victoria, BC and we really enjoyed the Butchart Gardens.

    Enjoy your trip. Alaska was my all time favorite place to visit!
  19. disneycruising

    disneycruising Mouseketeer

    I grew up in Oregon & have lived in Seattle area.

    You have had some great suggestions! I am not sure if I can add anything more.

    I would second Cannon Beach as the place to go in Oregon. It is a nice quite beach in a great town. While you are there you have to eat a Mo's! They are famous for there chowder. :thumbsup2 The Oregon Coast is beautiful!

    There is so much to see in Seattle. We have done the Music experience, Pike place Market, Space Needle, Seattle Zoo. I personally love the Waterfront area. They have some little seafood places, aquarium, shopping, from here you can also get on the ferry. You can also walk to Pike's place market from here.

    I do not have any recomendations for hotel for either one. We lived in the areas so we always made a day trip.
  20. soonerfan2008

    soonerfan2008 Member

    If you want to do the Space Needle, you should make a reservation for lunch at Sky City. Once you consider the price of the ticket for each person to the observation deck (which is included with a meal at Sky City), the menu prices are very reasonable.
  21. Swimalie

    Swimalie Mouseketeer

    As someone else said, Mo's is in Cannon Beach as well, now. I ate there last time I was there and it was so yummy.

    The dragon boat races in downtown as part of the Rose Festival is awesome to watch.

    Oh and I second a McMenamins. each property is unique with my favorite being Rock Creek http://www.mcmenamins.com/243-rock-creek-tavern-home. They mention the fire in 2002 on their page. I was there the day before the fire. And since then, they built it to look the same as before but better. They use reclaimed wood and decorations. The place is really neat. But one right off the main Hwy (Hwy 26 aka Sunset Hwy) is http://www.mcmenamins.com/200-cornelius-pass-roadhouse-home. This is also right near where "Little People, Big World" house is. It is a few miles up the road. They lived right near me and my old house is just a few miles down from Cornelius Pass Roadhouse. They have a great outdoor seating area. Check out their home brews, too.

    You are making me want to go home thinking about all these places. Luckily, I get to go "home" in a little over a year for a wedding.

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