Searching for a wintertime side trip on my way to Montana...
October 28, 2019 12:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm traveling from the Southeast coast of the US--in the dead of winter--for a couple of weeks visiting family in Whitefish, MT.; and I want to front load my trip by going somewhere else for several days first. I've done Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula, but never in the winter.....Suggestions?

I'm single and in my late 60's, and I'm traveling from the southeast coast to Northern Montana to welcome my first grandchild. On previous trips, I have flown round-trip to Seattle and taken Amtrak to Whitefish, after a few days in the Seattle area first. I've grown to enjoy the Olympic Peninsula and have even briefly camped solo on a remote beach there and in the Rain Forest park there. I love hiking, ethnic food, live music, art, beer.... :)

But this time, it will be in the end of January when I head to the NORTHwest; and all I read about is the rain and gloom in Seattle that time of year, and snow to the west. I'll be traveling alone, and do not want to be bored; but I am easily entertained. I also love the Amtrak ride which I've done twice round-trip from Seattle to Whitefish (and back for my return, round-trip flight home). I am leery of driving in snow, as I have no experience with that; but I am generally competent.

So, I am thinking that maybe I should do something different this trip! I can turn my two weeks in Whitefish into 3 weeks on the road... and--although I'm on a budget--I am not afraid to be creative! I just hate to fly all the way to Montana without getting in a side trip! Suggestions or comments, anyone? Should I just go to Portland? Seattle again? Try the Peninsula? Go to California? Not enough time to justify Chicago... and expense seems to dictate just one round trip, then the train to Whitefish...
posted by swlabr to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
If you enjoy the train ride, you could fly to Chicago and take the train from Chicago to Whitefish.
posted by ilovewinter at 12:32 PM on October 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

How about the Twin Cities? It'll definitely be as wintry as you could want (probably a lot more than you'd want) and the Winter Carnival, among other things, starts on January 23rd and goes for 10 days. Lots of other things to do in the winter, and Amtrak goes through St. Paul.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:42 PM on October 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Portland is great, and there’s plenty to do all year long. It can be overcast and drizzly, so you need a good raincoat and a good attitude.

But how about Vancouver, BC? It’s a quick train ride there and it’s a fantastic city.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:09 PM on October 28, 2019

Response by poster: Still contemplating, and was sorry to see that I can't do Winter Carnival, as I have to be in Montana Jan 21 to Feb 4. I'll do some research on all these places....Thank you! :)
posted by swlabr at 4:31 PM on October 29, 2019

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