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  1. Default [ Portland - Seattle - Vancouver ]...HELP narrowing down activities !Only 4 days!

    Hey everybody, after reading all the other topics and gathering as much as I could without creating a new one, I need help! I am not familiar with this area, so there is only so much I can map out on google maps without getting realistic feedback!

    Leaving Portland on a Friday night or very early Saturday. This will give me 4 days to complete what I would want to do. I fly out of Seattle on the 5th Day, 2:00 pm. So I can save the little stuff for that day in Seattle.

    Heres something I need to figure out how to incorporate into the mix: I really want to visit a beach. I am VERY into photography, So lots of driftwood, and boulders etc. is a plus. Every beach looks great when I checked on flickr, is there one thats not too much out of the way from Portland to Vancouver? I can fit this in any day. Any beach known for sand dollars or Starfish more than another? I would love to try and find some.

    Okay, here goes my chaotic itinerary. My main goal of this is to get the best pictures/scenery possible so omitting one over another is fine.

    Stanley park
    lLynn canyon park suspension bridge or capilano suspension bridge... costs 27 dollars though?
    Sea to sky highway worth taking a short drive to?
    Queen elizabeth park
    English bay
    Sun Yat Sen Park- free park
    Bloedel Floral Conservatory
    Anything in Victoria? Thanks for the help!!!

    The Chihuly Bridge of Glass
    Washington Park Arboretum
    Woodland Park Zoo
    Photos of Fremont Troll and fremont neighborhood (interurban, troll, directional marker, lenin statue, rocket.)
    kerry park for view of city
    starbucks pike place market
    Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
    The Gum Wall

    Misc. Stuff that I have questions about:
    Bob's Java Jive - Giant Coffee Pot - I can hit this on the way up to Seattle
    chuckanut drive ... worth the scenery?

    I would love to get up closer to at least one mountain,
    which would be easiest to get to? Like I said, I can omit many things.

    ... So everybody, what would you do?HELP! I'm from NJ, so seriously, there is NOTHING like this out by me. I want to take as much in as possible. Any spots you all know about for photographing along the way, or any advice would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks SO much in advance!
    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-17-2011 at 02:44 PM. Reason: Removed non-standard formatting

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Beach Early

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You'll want to get the beach portion of your trip in early, only because once you get even modestly far north of Portland, getting to the beach is difficult and commits you to spending quit a few miles and quite a bit of time there while missing some of the best inland sights between Portland and Seattle. So, I'd suggest that you tale US-26 out of Portland and then head north on US-101 through Astoria, visit Fort Stevens State Park, cross the Astoria Bridge, and continue up to Raymond, then head inland on WA-6 for possible visits to Mount St. Helens, Mount Ranier and the rest of the Washington Cascades before finishing up in Seattle.

    The other thing you need to look into with some sense of urgency is your car rental. I don't think that you can rent a car in the United States and leave it in Canada. you may have to drop your Portland rental off in Seattle and take public transportation (train, buss, ferry) up to Vancouver, and rent another car there.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Looks to me like returning the rental isn't an issue, she is flying out of Seattle, not Vancouver. However, you do have to rent a car that may be taken across the border, that requires permission from the rental agency. You will also need a passport.

  4. Default

    Yes, I will be flying out of Seattle. I am thinking of doing Seattle last, and driving straight through to Vancouver, of course with stops along the way. Any other beach areas besides Cannon beach vicinity? Fiance doesn't really want to do that again. (Boo!) Although I have never been! I will have to look through pictures to entice him.

    " WA-6 for possible visits to Mount St. Helens, Mount Ranier and the rest of the Washington Cascades before finishing up in Seattle. " Out of these possibilities, which would you choose? I do not want to do a lot of hiking, however I really want to get some good photos!

    I will be okay on the rental car issue and I will make sure I can cross the border with whichever rental company I get. Logistics will be worked out, its mainly the things and itinerary I am having problems narrowing down! And I will have my passport in hand. :D

    Does the Chuckanut highway fit in along the way? Or is it not really worth it? Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Details

    The way I suggested for you to go first to the beach does not go to Cannon Beach. It hits the coast north of there and immediately turns north, away from Cannon Beach. You would then follow US-101 along the coast for about 80 miles (plus any detours) to Raymond, WA with opportunities for beach, sea stack, headland, lighthouse, and other photos at Del Rey Beach State Recreation Site and Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon, as well as Fort Columbia State Park, Cape disappointment State Park, Leadbetter Point State Park, and Willapa National Wildlife Refuge in Washington.

    As for which mountain to go to, my preference would be for Mount Ranier. It is more photogenic by far than Mount St. Helens, and it is possible to view it from an array of angles while driving across its southern and eastern and northern flanks on Paradise Road, WA-123, and WA-410 through Mt. Rainier National Park from Ashford to Enumclaw. The roads 'into' Mount St. Helens are all dead end roads that would give you basically the same view for much of their lengths (which you'd have to cover twice).

    Chuckanut Drive (WA-11 between Burlington and Bellingham) would be an option for your return trip from Vancouver. I say the return trip so that you can have the coast on 'your' side of the road, making pull-offs easier.

    Oh, and I actually much preferred Victoria to Vancouver. The downside is that you'd have to ferry your car over to Vancouver Island as the ferry docks at Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay are too far removed from the main cities to go over as just a passenger. The upside is that the ferry ride is a treat in itself and between Swartz Bay and Victoria is Bouchart Gardens.


  6. Default

    Hey! I am narrowing it down from your list.

    Depart Portland, Oregon around 1pm.

    1) 26 West to 101 North

    2) 101 North
    1) Del Ray
    2) Fort Stevens
    3) Astoria Bridge
    4) Lewis and Clark
    5) Cape Disapoint
    6) Leadbetter & Willapa
    3) Hotel - probably Seaquest, in South Bend for the Night.

    I am pretty sure I cannot accomplish all of these things in one day... LoL
    Aside from driving time, and lets say I have about 5 hours to explore, which of those should I visit? Lighthouse & scenery for photography is the main deal! Unless one has a chance of finding more shells versus another one.

    If I do leave out a big chunk, would it save time going I-5 North to 30 then starting around Astoria Bridge, rather than 26 to 101?

    Any good restaurants along the way to recommend?

    In the Morning I will head out straight to either Vancouver or Lake Diablo area. I haven't quite squared that away.

    Also, I am trying to time everything. I might not be able to do Mount Raineer because it seems to take me a couple of hours out of the way. I have been eyeing Lake Diablo in the Cascades. Would I miss out all that much if I visited the Cascades rather than Mount Raineer? I think I would have to add on an extra day for Mount Raineer.

    Thanks again, this is SUCH a huge help!
    Last edited by sunsetladyx; 05-31-2011 at 12:45 PM. Reason: added stuff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Don't Sweat It

    We don't often recommend restaurants on this site, because of our strong preference for personal experience to back up any suggestion and the almost infinite number of eating choices. However my wife and I did have an excellent lunch at the Pacific Way Bakery in Gearhart, OR. Going to Astoria by way of I-5/US-30 would miss this entirely as well as the Oregon coast, and Fort Clatsop. AND, according to my mapping software, only save you 3 minutes (without stops).

    But trying to time your trip down to the minute can be extremely counterproductive. Just keep an internal clock (or even calendar) going and take the attractions as they come at your own pace. When time is starting to run out, then it's time to just hop on the Interstate and make some time. Adjusting on the fly like this is far less stressful and gives you a greater sense of control over your trip than trying to set a 'perfect' itinerary and then find it fall apart on the first day of 'reality'.


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