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  1. Default Seattle/Portland in January?

    HI there. We are planing to drive from Seattle to Portland at the beginning of January. Our plan is travel by ferry from Seattle to Port Townsend, or similar, then drive around the Olympic Peninsula to Lake Quinault, then out to Portland.

    We'd like to spend threee days on this trip. So, my questions that a reasonable time frame? Should we hire a four wheel drive for the weather? Any must see tips or ferry hints? What would be the best mix of ferrry/driving to access the peninsula?

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Details

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Probably the most efficient way to include the Olympic Peninsula on your trip from Seattle to Portland is to take the ferry from Seattle (Washington Street Ferry Terminal) to Bainbridge Island and then use a combination of WA-305/WA-3/WA-104 to connect with US-101 around the peninsula. From Lake Quinault, you can continue to wander down the coast to Astoria, OR or even Cannon Beach before turning inland to Portland. Three days is a reasonable timeframe for a one-way trip, but would start to get very tight if you needed to get back to Seattle by the end of that. I personally would not bother with a 4WD car. Today's cars are mostly front wheel drive and I have always found that quite sufficient for driving on highways in pretty much any weather. The fuel efficiency penalty for a 4WD vehicle just isn't worth it to me.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default That's a great trip plan!

    And just what I would have suggested.

    While on the ferry, look back to Seattle and you'll see the quintissential view of Seattle seen in many photos. If the weather is clear, you'll see The Mountain dwarfing the city's skyline. Beautiful.

    When you get onto Bainbridge Island, you'll be in Winslow. A charming town but, if you're on a time limit, save your time and take 305 to Poulsbo. One of my favorite towns. It is a Scandinavian-themed village that is well-done, not tacky and has a lovely waterfront.

    My Olympic Peninsula recommendations:
    * If you enjoy great Victorian architecture, a swing up to Port Townsend can't be beat. You can also enjoy a quick kayak trip on The Sound there, or take a boating excursion to see Orcas and other sights
    * Continue west along the northern section of the peninsula to Sequim and enjoy a stop at Dungeness Spit.
    * Then continue on to Port Angeles. Here you can enjoy the waterfront or take a drive up to Hurricane Ridge.
    * As you continue west, you might enjoy a stop at Solduck Falls or Lake Crescent.
    * Continuing south on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula, worthy stops are at Lake Ozette, the Hall of Mosses just south of Forks,
    Ruby Beach or other beaches in the Kalaloch area, and Lake Quinault with many short trails to explore the rainforest.

    Continue south through the Hoquiam/Aberdeen area and, if you think you'll have time, head west on 105 to Westport and then south through Grayland.
    * In Grayland, go inland on local roads to enjoy the cranberry bogs.
    * At Tokeland, you might enjoy exploring the local roads to the end of the road and back to see things like the historic Tokeland Hotel and enjoy the beaches here.

    Meet up with 101 and go through Raymond/South Bend. From here to Astoria, places of interest are:
    * The Long Beach Peninsula with Oysterville, a great beach with boardwalk, the local curiousity shop (the name escapes me right now but anybody will know what it is, follow the signs), and more
    * Fort Canby State Park with lighthouse, beach, and Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center...this is the location where Lewis & Clark first saw the Pacific Ocean.

    Cross the long bridge to Astoria and enjoy the Astoria Column, Maritime Center, and visit the location where Lewis & Clark wintered before returning east at Fort Clatsop.

    Then take the drive into Portland.

    I agree that 4WD is definitely not needed.

    Lots to do. Enjoy. If you have more questions, just ask.

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