Good place to stay between Portland & Seattle?
July 23, 2014 10:40 PM   Subscribe

We (spouse, myself, and 2.5 year old toddler) are on a vacation in the Northwest US. What cool place can we stay this Saturday that is somewhere (more or less) on the way from Portland to Seattle?

Our original plan was to stay a few days in Portland, 1 night on the Olympic Peninsula, then head to Seattle for a few days. We knew the OP would be a lot of driving, but thought it would be OK/worth it. The 2.5 year old has recently made it clear that he will make this amount of driving unpleasant for all concerned. So, sadly, I think we're going to skip the Olympic Peninsula. We cold just extend our time in Portland or Seattle, but I'd love suggestions from the Green of interesting places to stay this Saturday night that are between Portland and Seattle.
posted by Betelgeuse to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just north of Portland is the Clark County Amphitheater. Motley Crue is playing their farewell tour on Saturday night, so if your 2.5 year old is very metal...

Are you just looking for a nifty hotel ? None better on that drive than the Olympic Club in Centralia, part of the McMenamins vintage hotel/brewery enterprise.

Unfortunately the rest of the middle I-5 isn't that interesting to most tourists.

If I was doing the drive, I'd make a day trip up to Mt. St. Helens to see the eruption aftermath (still impressive, especially if you're into geology) then stay at the Olympic Club overnight.
posted by Kakkerlak at 10:51 PM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

I hear the kids love Great Wolf Lodge. It is adjacent to I-5, a bit over halfway from Portland to Seattle.
posted by bruceo at 11:00 PM on July 23, 2014

You should visit Mt. Rainier! It's considerably closer to Seattle, but it will give you some of the natural beauty you would have gotten from the OP. Here are some lodging options.
posted by leitmotif at 8:42 AM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

As someone who drives it frequently, there is a lot of boredom on that stretch of I-5 between Seattle and PDX. Olympia is the capital, so it has interesting/historic capitol buildings, plenty of places to eat, and still has a cute smallish-town feel to me. The farmer's market is really incredible.

The drive isn't terrifically long, and honestly I would just extend my time in either place. Portland has a fun Saturday market and the weather is often more summery than Seattle summer weather. It's amazing what a 5 degree difference can make. Although, it is supposed to be 80 in SEA this weekend, so there's that.
posted by Lardmitten at 8:49 AM on July 24, 2014

Olympia is a lovely little city. You could also go to Lacey for the PNW mushroom fest!
posted by town of cats at 1:53 PM on July 24, 2014

We like stopping at The Olympic Club. Your toddler will love to wash his/her hands in the ladies restroom!
posted by vespabelle at 8:12 PM on July 24, 2014

Great suggestions all around. We loved the idea of the Great Wolf Lodge, but our little one is still a bit too little to really take advantage of all they have to offer.

Unfortunately, all of the Mt. Rainier lodging options were totally booked out (probably they had been booked out since, like, January). Otherwise, that would have been great.

We ended up staying, for no particularly reason, in Aberdeen, WA and wished that we had stayed in Olympia. We went to the Olympia Farmers' Market on the way up to Seattle and it was really excellent.
posted by Betelgeuse at 11:58 AM on August 4, 2014

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