Seattle/Vancouver Trip - Need ideas

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Hello. We are flying into Seattle on 23rd Jan and plan to stay the night in the Seattle area. We want to drive to Vancouver on Thu, come back Sat evening as my wife as a CE course and then fly back on Sunday morning. Any suggestions on -

1. Wed. night stay, I would prefer something along the way maybe Lynnwood so that we can hit the highway in the morning after breakfast.
2. Thu/Fri night stay in Vancouver
3. Sat night stay near SEA airport.

Of course, things to do and places to visit would be appreciated as well. I already have my air tickets, looking for hotel, car & sightseeing options now. Thanks.

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Thanks very much for everyone who posted. We had a great time in Seattle/Vancouver two weekends ago. Pike Place was re... (more)

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Make sure your passport is not expired.


We enjoyed staying at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver. Not to miss sightseeing - Stanley Park and the gaslight district.

tripadvisor.com; AAA Tourbook and map. Enjoy.

I'm from the area and have lived in bothe cities (Seattle and Vancouver). Lynnwood is an easy place to stay, but it's also pretty boring. So if you're hanging out in Seattle during the day and just staying the night outside the city, it's a good choice, but don't expect much to do there (besides retail). Also, stay closer to the freeway (I-5) than Hwy 99 (it doesn't matter how good the deal is, don't stay on 99. Just trust me.

Plan on the weather being cold and rainy in both places. It may not be, but plan for it. There's lots of great stuff to do inside at least.

In Seattle: Pike Place Market is the classic place to visit w/ the first Starbucks and people throwing fish, etc. If you like coffee, I can recommend some coffee shops that are infinitely better than Starbucks though. Seattle Symphony is quite good if they're playing while you're in town and into that kind of thing. Actually, most of the major arts in Seattle are quite good. Seattle Center has lots of great attractions: Space Needle, science center w/ IMAX and laser show, but I really like the EMP (experience music project) which is also a sci fi museum. Fremont is an eclectic, kinda artsy neighborhood with lots of fun shops, cafes, etc. Those are probably my favorite places in Seattle.

In Vancouver: North Vancouver is quite nice, upscale. Downtown is a lot of fun too (just know where you're going, the eastside of the city is rough). I suggest starting at the Library. University of British Columbia (UBC) has a beautiful campus that goes right on the water. Stanley Park is beautiful and a lot of fun. It's very big with lots of options for walking around. There's also a nice aquarium there too. Too bad NHL is on lockout, otherwise I'd say pickup a Canuck's game. There's plenty of college, semi-pro hockey going on though. One last thing: use a GPS. Vancouver Roads are insane. Street numbers don't match house/building numbers, and some of the major roads go diagonal across the city.

Hope that helps!

I'm also going to Seattle soon, thanks christhescientist for the recommendations!

Seems like Seattle has a CityPASS, might try looking into that if you think you can fit all of it into your trip. I got one in Chicago and loved it! Much cheaper than buying everything separately but the nicest part was skipping the sometimes HUGE lines..

Thanks for the suggestions folks. CityPass is a no go because I am not in Seattle long enough. I thought of Lynnwood because it is on the way to the border. Now I am thinking we will stay close to the airport, spend a few hours in Seattle in the morning and then head to the border.

Do regular GPS's work or I should consider renting one from the car company. Any places to eat on Sat. night in either place ?

Museum of Flightat the Boeing field is worth a look too

I second that. I was just there on New Years and the new Shuttle Exhibit its pretty cool.

OP if you don't really need a car, Amtrak is a great way to get to Vancouver. You can take Link Light Rail from SeaTac to King Street Station and transfer to Amtrak from there.

Also if you are looking for something a little lower key, head over to Victoria from Vancouver.

I look forward to my next trip to the Pacific Northwest including the Seattle area. Can't comment about Vancouver--didn't renew passport on time. In September 2011 we stayed 4 nights at the Hyatt in Bellevue, which was about 10-15 minutes drive from Seattle. It was a great deal, beautiful hotel & room, and terrific neighborhood. I would not hesitate to stay there again. It's not the season, but spring through summer, the Bellevue Botanical Garden is fantastic.

Have you checked out the virtual tourist site? http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States...

Sat. night:
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/washington/embassy-su...

You can probably bid it on Priceline for < $50 with free buffet style breakfast. Free shuttle to airport. I did that last jan and they had free daily happy hour wine/beer too.

dfworders said:   Sat. night:
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/washington/embassy-su...

You can probably bid it on Priceline for < $50 with free buffet style breakfast. Free shuttle to airport. I did that last jan and they had free daily happy hour wine/beer too.


Free parking. Almost any hotel in SEATAC would cost you $15.00 to park, and this place is just next to Seatac.

paul1208 said:   I look forward to my next trip to the Pacific Northwest including the Seattle area. Can't comment about Vancouver--didn't renew passport on time. In September 2011 we stayed 4 nights at the Hyatt in Bellevue, which was about 10-15 minutes drive from Seattle. It was a great deal, beautiful hotel & room, and terrific neighborhood. I would not hesitate to stay there again. It's not the season, but spring through summer, the Bellevue Botanical Garden is fantastic.

Yes staying in downtown Bellevue is a nice idea. From the airport, just make sure to avoid 520 because it's now a toll bridge. Taking 405 or I-90 is just as easy anyways (it'll make sense on a map). It's the Bellevue Botanical Garden is fantastic. Spring and Summer is best, but it's really quite nice all year round as long as you can stand the weather. It's free and is much nicer than gardens I've paid to visit in other cities.

Props to my wife for a great idea: Theo chocolate tour. Fantastic chocolate company (both in quality of product and ethics) based in Fremont. They have a fun tour and tons of free samples in their store. Just make reservations beforehand because it fills up fast in the winter.

And lastly, yes, my Garmin GPS has served me well.

dfworders said:   Sat. night:
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/washington/embassy-su...

You can probably bid it on Priceline for < $50 with free buffet style breakfast. Free shuttle to airport. I did that last jan and they had free daily happy hour wine/beer too.


Thanks dfworders. How do you bid on a specific hotel in Priceline ? I thought we could not do that.

Well, you gotta make sure that your GPS has Canada maps. Else, it'll end at the border. Oh, yeah. coming back from Canada is sometime a huge hassle.

If you like good Chinese food(and who doesn't), check out Richmond while you're in Vancouver. It's just south of the airport. Lots of good restaurants serving good authentic Chinese cuisine there, along the north end of No. 3 Rd. Much better than Chinatown IMO. Plenty of places to go shopping as well. There are several hotels that are conveniently located along that stretch if you decide to stay the night there and be close to where the action is. There's also a Buddhist temple that's only about a five minute drive away, which is one of the biggest I've seen outside of Asia.

cr3s said:   Well, you gotta make sure that your GPS has Canada maps. Else, it'll end at the border. Oh, yeah. coming back from Canada is sometime a huge hassle.

Good point. I have no clue on how to do that. I don't even remember the model number of my GPS. Let me get that and google.

Slightly deviates from what you asked, but another fun trip to consider is taking the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria (~3hrs each way) - very pretty ride and sometimes you even see whales/orcas. Victoria is a very pretty, very walkable city. Maybe because I grew up in the area, but I find the drive from Seattle to Vancouver to be kinda boring. From Victoria, there are a number of options to get you to Vancouver, though, you may want to rent a car if you want to explore Vancouver.

If you don't want to drive I have done both the amtrak and quick shuttle
quickshuttle has internet and will take you from either the airport or downtown seattle to dt vancouver

tajar96 said:   dfworders said:   Sat. night:
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/washington/embassy-su...

You can probably bid it on Priceline for < $50 with free buffet style breakfast. Free shuttle to airport. I did that last jan and they had free daily happy hour wine/beer too.


Thanks dfworders. How do you bid on a specific hotel in Priceline ? I thought we could not do that.


NP, Try this link (http://www.betterbidding.com/index.php?app=core&module=search&do... If blocked, the actual link is betterbidding dot com

Read on and people will tell you what hotels Priceline have @ certain star rating.

As far as first night, like people suggested, you can usually get downtown bellevue hyatt for around $60 with free parking. That'll be my choice.

By the way, I'd also like to add that if your plan is to "hit the road" right after breakfast on Thursday morning, I disagree with the others on the suggestions for staying in Bellevue as you'll undoubtedly get caught in Redmond (Microsoft) morning traffic. If your goal is stay outside of Seattle to help with driving, pick a cheap hotel/model I-5, north of where I-5 and 405 intersects (north Lynnwood or Everett). You may even consider going all the way passed Everett area to avoid the Boeing/I-2 related traffic.

I guess it depends on how far you're willing to drive on the day you get in and how late you intend to leave in the morning.

tajar96 said:   cr3s said:   Well, you gotta make sure that your GPS has Canada maps. Else, it'll end at the border. Oh, yeah. coming back from Canada is sometime a huge hassle.

Good point. I have no clue on how to do that. I don't even remember the model number of my GPS. Let me get that and google.


Verified, GPS is good to go. I was able to map a route to Vancouver from the US and did a route walkthrough too. Definitely good catch.

I took my gf, now fiancée to Vancouver last May to propose. Amazing city that we are now thinking of getting a second home in. Four nights was not enough.

The quality of sushi and Chinese food rival that of Japan and China/Hong Kong. For dim sum, try Kirin (multiple locations). We loved Sushimart for cheap and high quality eats, though its more of a dress down place.

I'm currently in Seattle. The weather has been cold (30 degrees)....but not much rain

I would suggest Chambered Nautilus Bed & Breakfast. It is in the UW district. When I was here in July, we drove to Vancouver...stayed at a place i found on www.airbnb.com.

Good luck!

If you can carve out 4 or 5 hours in Vancouver I would drive towards Whistler; it is a spectacular drive. Stanley Park is a great suggestion and I would add Granville Island Market, somewhat similar to Pike Place in Seattle with vendors of every description plus some nice walking along the harbor.

I am also in the greater seattle area, but a transplant from the east coast. When we have people come into town that haven't been before, this is the tour we do.. it's a bit long...but it's fun:

1) Head to West Seattle and check out the look out on california Ave headed towards alki Beach...a perfect place to see a view of the city from across the sound

2) Head to Pike Market. I usually pay for parking at the Parking Garage at Western Ave and Virginia...prices are typical of the area and your steps from the market. Check out Post Alley gum Wall. The sculpture garden is also very close and free to walk around if it is a nice day.

3) Head to Seattle Center: see space needle (great to go up on a clear day), the fountain in the town center square

4) Head to fremont, which is a self proclaimed artsy area and see the "weirdness/ beautiful" art along the streets (funky glass globes), check out Theo's chocolate (free samples and can take tour if interested). See the statue of Lenin and the Fremont Troll (a must)! We then head over to Gas Works Park for another view of Seattle skyline.

5) Ballard - check out the ballard locks...very cool to watch the boats come and pass through as well as the fish ladder.

and that is usually a full day...plus stops at great local eateries (ballard is a favorite place of mine, best bakery in the city is Besalu)

but there are sooo many things one can do in seattle it is hard to do in just one day. The EMP is amazing, I've heard great things about the science center, the Boeing Museum of flight is pretty awesome (comparing it to the air and space museum in DC).

Places to stay: Highly ECHO the "stay away from 99 hotels/motels" ...calling it "sketchy" is being nice! I now live in the Lynnwood area-ish and agree, there isn't anything exciting. If I wanted to stay outside of seattle to the north, I'd recommend Edmonds because of the water and nice little restaurants by the ferry terminal...but i've never stayed in that area overnight.

yay Seattle!

You may contact near by travel agents so it may better and comfort to your travel

The moment you arrive in the Bay Area, San Francisco Hotel best choice for you. Make the refreshing choice with San Francisco International Airport hotel enjoy the best hotel rates, accommodation and services.

Thanks very much for everyone who posted. We had a great time in Seattle/Vancouver two weekends ago. Pike Place was really good then we did the Boeing Factory Tour which was REALLY GREAT! Vancouver, lots of city walking and very picturesque.



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