Where should I go on a three-day trip, leaving from Seattle?
July 7, 2007 7:23 PM   Subscribe

Where should I go on a three-day trip, leaving from Seattle?

I can go on a two-to-four day trip this August, traveling by myself. I'm leaving from Seattle. I want to: walk a lot, see interesting things, eat good food, sleep in a clean and pleasant hotel (not a B&B), walk more, and generally enjoy a break from my lovely-but-exhausting small children.

I have a passport, but don't want to spend a lot of time in the airport for such a short vacation. I don't want to go to Portland or San Francisco, as much as I like them both, because I've been there so often. I want to feel like I've been somewhere new and seen new things.

Don't worry too much about budgets -- help me brainstorm, and I'll figure out what's realistic. (Private jets are not possible. Plane or ferry tickets are.) Alaska? Victoria? Where?
posted by The corpse in the library to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
What about Vancouver? I travelled to Vancouver (BC) last summer with Amtrak (from Seattle), and it was great -- the train ride took a morning, and it was inexpensive and comfortable. Less hassle at the border, too, than if I had driven (although driving isn't too bad).
posted by rossination at 7:28 PM on July 7, 2007

Victoria's quite nice. (I live there.) The downtown is walkable and interesting (if not quite as safe and pleasant as it was 12 or so years ago). There are lots of things to see and do. We're a tourist town, and August should have nice weather.

I'd also vote Alaska, but you'd want to budget way more time for that.
posted by Savannah at 7:28 PM on July 7, 2007

Response by poster: Vancouver is an option. I've been there before, but only twice, so it would still feel new.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:29 PM on July 7, 2007

Response by poster: Savannah -- I wouldn't need a car, right? Take the ferry to Victoria, and stay in a hotel within walking distance of the ferry?
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:31 PM on July 7, 2007

Yellowstone!!! (Disclaimer: One of my friends is working there over the summer and she's got my psyched about it.)
posted by anaelith at 8:10 PM on July 7, 2007

Seconding Savannah - Alaska is not the kind of place you can do in three days.

Boise is pretty fun, but it might be too small for you.
posted by Nabubrush at 8:26 PM on July 7, 2007

Whitefish, Montana.

There are flights to Kallispel from Seattle. Rent a car, and it's another 20 minutes to Whitefish. Whitefish has a cute downtown with a couple of good, local-farm oriented restaurants and really delicious food at the farmers market, including an incredible crepe stand. There's a so-so community theater group that can be entertaining to watch for a change of pace. A cute bookstore. A good coffee shop offers a place to read for hours or surf the web.

You're a 10-minute drive from Big Mountain, where you can hike up a tall mountain and take a gondola down, or if you want a more leisurely experience you can gondola up and walk down. You're 20 minutes from Glacier National Park. You can see what's left of the glaciers before they all melt.

We spent our honeymoon there in the first week of last August, and alternated between leisurely reading, eating and outdoorsy adventures. I can't recommend it enough.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:36 PM on July 7, 2007

I will biasedly (I made up that word) second Yellowstone, if you haven't gone yet. It's unlike any other place on earth, literally and geologically. Numerous good places to eat. A variety of accommodations in and near the park.
posted by The Deej at 10:07 PM on July 7, 2007

I was going to suggest Vancouver -- it's a lot of fun. croutonsupafreak mentioned Whitefish, and you might want to consider taking the train if you go there. It's a lovely trip and you get to see some scenery you wouldn't otherwise see.
posted by litlnemo at 11:23 PM on July 7, 2007

The Oregon coast. The state owns the whole dang coastline.

Or Washington's smaller version of the same, the Long Beach peninsula. There's camping at Cape Disappointment State Park. I know you said you wanted to stay in a hotel, but consider it?

If it's walking you're after, you can go up to the top of the Olympic peninsula and hike the Dungeness Spit. Five miles each way, longest natural sand spit in the U.S., lighthouse and I recall a fresh (OK, brackish) water source at the far end (info is eight years old). It's a wildlife refuge, so no camping or fires, and keep your distance from the seals. Check the tides before you go.

I'm certain there are decent hotels somewhere close to Mt. Rainier. Whether close enough to get to good hiking without a car, I can't say.
posted by eritain at 11:57 PM on July 7, 2007

Victoria! Take the Clipper...no car needed.
You can go whale watching, deep sea fishing, see the wax museum, do high tea at the Empress hotel, go to the Parliament building...and the island itself is gorgeous, as well. Victoria is easily my favorite place to vacation...I've been there half a dozen times and would still go again.
posted by messylissa at 12:33 AM on July 8, 2007

Big Sky Country: Montana! You can check out Glacier National Park - the "Crown Of The Continent!" - and see some of the most spectacular scenery you can imagine.
posted by davidmsc at 3:45 AM on July 8, 2007

You'd also need a car if you were going to Alaska; especially if you want to get away from downtown Anchorage. Which you would want to do.
posted by rhapsodie at 10:44 AM on July 8, 2007

I live in Vancouver and I think it's a great place to visit (and live). You'll find that there's a wide variety of restaurants here and that even the top restaurants are cheaper than in many US cities. You may have been to Vancouver before, but there's a lot to see and do here. I've lived here for almost 15 years and I'm still discovering new parts of Stanley Park!

As for Victoria, it's a lovely city. But you will have to pay a little extra for the ferry (which is a trip in and of itself) and you'll spend time in ferry line-ups. Of course, this might be worth saving money on hotels, as they are cheaper than in Vancouver. However, you wouldn't want to stay at a hotel near the ferry to Victoria, as the ferry lands in Sidney.
posted by acoutu at 2:06 PM on July 8, 2007

Response by poster: Many good answers -- thank you all. I'll have to work through them all over the next few years.

acoutu -- wait a sec. The ferry lands in Sidney? Doesn't the Clipper go to Victoria's inner harbor?
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:22 PM on July 8, 2007

Ah, sorry! I thought you meant the Annacortes ferry. I totally forgot about the Clipper. Yes, that goes to the Inner Harbour.
posted by acoutu at 2:58 PM on July 8, 2007

Oh, god, Oregon coast (specifically, Cannon Beach, but that's only b/c that's what I know). Short drive, and you can literally walk all day every day and be perfectly happy. Beautiful places to stay, great food, cute shops, and BEACH FOR MILES.
posted by tristeza at 5:31 PM on July 8, 2007

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