Is it realistic to leave Astoria, OR in the a.m. to arrive at SEATAC for a 1:30 flight?
March 30, 2007 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Is it realistic to leave Astoria, OR in the a.m. to arrive at SEATAC for a 1:30 flight?

We are planning a west coast trip and will be in Newport on a Wed. morning. I want to drive up the Oregon coast on Wed, stay overnight and then catch a flight leaving Seattle on Thu @ 1:30...Trying to decide where to stay Wed. night. Enough time to make the airport staying in Astoria? or push through on Wed. to Olympia, WA?...any other nice, hidden places (prefer B&Bs) in between? Recommendations on places to stay are welcome too!
posted by unccivil to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (18 answers total)
Acording to google maps, this should take you a little over 3 hours, I'd allow 4 hours for any delays.
posted by yohko at 12:34 PM on March 30, 2007

I'd allow at least five hours for the trip, given the uncertainty of traffic and the initial secondary roads, weather, etc. If I5 is clear you can go pretty fast.

Even starting from Portland would eliminate a pretty big variable.
posted by docpops at 12:45 PM on March 30, 2007

When we visited, prior to moving here, we drove the coast from Lincoln City, north of Newport, and then when we got up near 26 drove into Portland over the coast range, which is a really beautiful city.
posted by docpops at 12:47 PM on March 30, 2007

If you want Hotel recs or Restaurant let us know. There's a bunch of good ones.
posted by docpops at 12:48 PM on March 30, 2007

Response by poster: I forgot to mention that were staying in Portland two nights before going to Newport. I was hoping to find a different route than going back through Portland.
posted by unccivil at 12:49 PM on March 30, 2007

Response by poster: Restaurant and bar / live local music club recs are very welcome!
posted by unccivil at 12:53 PM on March 30, 2007

Restaurants I like are:
Higgins, SouthPark, ClarkLewis, which are all in SW. So it depends on where you are staying. The Pearl district has a bunch, including the excellent Blue Hour, but there are new ones all the time.

I think Astoria would be a nice place to spend a night, fwiw.
posted by docpops at 1:00 PM on March 30, 2007

For a more attractive drive north, you could try going north on US 101 until you get to either US 12 or SR 8 and head east on those. US 12 will dump you back onto I5 a little south of Olympia, while SR 8 meets back up with 101 (now turned around and going south) which then terminates at I-5 in Olympia.

I'm not sure how much longer that would make the drive though, since I haven't been down that way in a long time. If you decide to stay in Olympia overnight, the Swantown Inn is a lovely B&B.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 1:11 PM on March 30, 2007

Response by poster: docpops...will be at the Hotel Lucia, Broadway on the east side...i've heard they have a great thai place called Typhoon in the hotel

Captain...the Swantown was my probable choice if we decided to go on to Olympia, thanks
posted by unccivil at 1:35 PM on March 30, 2007

I agree with Yokho - it takes three hours but budget four for the omnipresent mystery traffic in Chehalis. Just take Highway 30 to Rainer, OR and then cut over to 1-5 in Longview. You won't save more than 30 min if you decide to stay over in Portland instead.

If you stay in Astoria - the newly remodeled Hotel Elliot is quite swanky and cozy and the best place to eat, hands down, is the Columbian Cafe (cash only!) - go for the Chef's Mercy!

For Portland restaurant recommendations you can't go wrong here.
posted by rosebengal at 1:40 PM on March 30, 2007

Response by poster: ...sorry, SW Broadway...not east side
posted by unccivil at 1:42 PM on March 30, 2007

Astoria's not bad at all, although I like the Newport area better (hey, its what I'm familiar with.. ). I have no idea how the backroads are between Astoria & Seattle. I'd probably go on 30 and hit I5 at Kelso/Longview. From there it should be 4 hours or so to Seattle, conservatively (for some reason, that drive varies wildly for me... up to an hour depending on just random factors). I'd budget in an hour on 30 to be on the safe side, just because the roads to the coast tend to be slow and unpredictable.

If you're worried about time, 101 isn't the best. It can be fast, but it can also be painfully slow if you get behind someone hauling a boat. 101 is notoriously bad for passing opportunities, and people can sometimes be dicks about pulling off. This may be less true north of Newport, but I have a feeling its not.
posted by devilsbrigade at 1:42 PM on March 30, 2007

Oh, and if you stay in Oregon, you won't have to pay sales tax. This is obviously because Oregon is far superior to Washington ;)
posted by devilsbrigade at 1:46 PM on March 30, 2007

uncivil - Lucia is awesome. One of my top two favorites for a getaway. But skip Typhoon, seriously. The decor is dated and drab, and you are a walk/cab ride from far more amazing foods. The ones I mentioned above are all great, and Southpark has never served us a bad meal. The wine bar is sublime, they have great fresh oysters and seafood, and there's always a good cross-section of locals and theatre-goers and everyone in between. The only reason I would go to Typhoon is to sit in the bar and have a drink or three and still be within seconds of your bedroom.
posted by docpops at 1:51 PM on March 30, 2007

It sounds totally reasonable to me. devilsbrigade's driving advice is right on -- Highway 30 to Longview/Kelso to I-5 -- and give yourself four hours. Astoria is a great town.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 2:01 PM on March 30, 2007

Seconding Lucia, FWIW. Great little hotel.
posted by everichon at 2:03 PM on March 30, 2007

You would need to be leaving Astoria early, very early, to get to Seatac in time for your 1.30. Remember that you have to be at the airport at least at noon for check-in, and subtract even more time for parking etc.

Last summer I crossed the Astoria bridge from Illwaco WA to Astoria OR and had breakfast at the Pig'n'Pancake because the Cannery Inn's kitchen was not open

(Stay at the Cannery Inn, it's *beautiful*, check it out on Trip Advisor)

We decided to re-cross the bridge after breakfast. We followed Route 4 in WA state along the Columbia. It's a good thing we did that - there are nicer and more views of the Columbia, than following highway 30 along the Columbia from the OR side - it's a smaller two-lane highway on the OR side that goes in and out Swedish-named towns but offers scant views. Stick with Highway 4 in WA.

Anyways, I-5 alone can take upwards of 4 hours between Kelso and Seattle, because there are choke points. Olympia is one. Tacoma is another. Seatac area is yet another. If you have a real-time traffic map service, check it early and often. But goodness that was one of the longest drives to Seattle (from Kelso) that we have ever done.

So beware. And leave **early**
posted by seawallrunner at 3:16 PM on March 30, 2007

Just to back up seawallrunner's comments: a few years ago I got stuck just south of Seatac, in nearly dead-stop traffic, for a good two hours. On a Thursday afternoon, not a holiday weekend. That was the worst I've seen, but not the only bad delay. I-5 is unpredictable at best. I would be surprised if you could make it from Astoria to the airport even in four hours.

Olympia is an acquired taste, but it's a lot closer.
posted by medialyte at 11:14 AM on March 31, 2007

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