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  1. Default Seattle to Vancouver

    Hi All,

    I'm looking for fun things to do along the way from Seattle to Vancouver August 5th. I have never driven this route before. I-5 seems the easiest but I would prefer scenic routes if there are any. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



  2. Default Which Vancouver?

    There are two Vancouvers -- do you mean B.C. or State of Washington? Bob

  3. Default

    Vancouver, BC - Thanks for asking.


  4. Default Us101

    I took US101 up along the Hood Canal a couple summers ago and really liked that drive -- it's not a very fast way to go, but scenic. Then you could take the ferry across to Victoria and the same to Vancouver. Ferry riding is an adventure in itself, but perhaps that is simply because I am a desert dweller!

    Some things to do (on this route or others) -- visit Chief Sealthe's grave, have seafood at Friday Harbor (you could take I-5 north and then the ferry from Anacortes).

    Judy will also have some ideas, so be sure to check back for her answer too! Bob

  5. Default Thanks

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    RoadTripper Brad Guest


    Being that Seattle to Vancouver BC is such a short trip, I would reccomend skipping I-5 and take Washington State Rte 9. You can start highway 9 just north of Woodinville where it meets the 522. From there, you can stay on the same highway and cross into Canada at the Sumas, WA crossing, or taking an even more scenic route by getting on Highway 542 between Van Zandt, WA and Deming, WA, which will take you on an Northeasterly loop (you do have to turn on to highway 547 at Kendall) back to highway 9 just south of Sumas. Personally, I would not only take the 542, but not even bother crossing at Sumas, but taking 9 south a few miles to Highway 546, and that east to Blaine, to see the Peace Arch park. But, I hear the Sumas Border Crossing on 9 is really quick, and there is a limited hours crossing north of Lynden at the end of 539, beginning of BC 13.

    If that's not your thing, take I-5 north to Marysville, and get off at the first exit to the Tulalip Indian Resevervation. Take a left from the freeway and stay on Marine View Drive. This will take you up past Kyak Point County Park and into Stanwood. You can then travel north (may be a different roadway name, these are local roads that show up on most state maps) to Conway, then West/Northwest to La Conner. From there you can head north, crossing Highway 20 to the town of Edison. I wold from there take Highway 11 north into Bellingham. Once in Bellingham, highway 11 turns east to join I 5, but you could take State Street into downtown (past the BEAUTIFUL Western Washington University campus!) to W. Holly Street. From there nead N/NW on Holly to where it turns into Eldridge Ave, then it turns into Marine Drive. Marine drive will snake along the coast through the Lummi Reservation, and join another local road heading north into ferndale. My maps show a major local road heading west back towards the coastline, where it meats another road that heads north (bypassing ferndale), and allows you to go up to Highway 548. There you can go through Birch Bay (home of the Black Hole waterslide!) or continue up into Blaine.

    I reccomend going through the Blaine/Surrey Peace Arch Crossing at any time, even though it's busier. That monument is something you will never forget!

    PS I forgot why I mentioned these routes. The highway 9 with the 542/547 loop goes through some beautiful forests and some nice small towns. I have driven most of this, mainly going to the BSA camp off of Highway 9 at Big Lake. Very nice country it is.

    The other goes through some of the best small towns and scenery only accessable by local roads! La Conner, Stanwood, and other small towns along the route are quaint little towns, and great places to visit. Being off the beaten path though, towns on both of these routes could see a few more visits by tourists... especially if you stop in them and spend some cash.
    Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 07-23-2005 at 02:46 PM. Reason: adding of a highway number

  7. Default Yeah!

    Check back for Judy's answer -- and BRAD'S! I forgot about Brad... It's OK though, I'm old. :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    Well, gosh...I guess I can't disappoint Bob. So, even though Brad has given you some great ideas, I just have to weigh in here.

    The classic trip from Seattle to Bellingham is Chuckanut Drive. It's a good one. Beautiful views. You won't be disappointed.

    Brad's ideas are good, too. So is going up 101 and taking the ferries. But, of course, that will add a lot of miles and time to your trip. Perhaps you could take Chuckanut one way and some of these other suggestions the other direction.

    As for border crossings, last summer I crossed at Sumas because everybody told me it was faster. It took well over an hour to get from the end of the line just to the border crossing. Coming home, I came through Blaine/Peace Arch. It also took about an hour but it's a prettier wait because the park, the view of the Sound, and the Peace Arch are much prettier to sit and look at then the views at Sumas. I think lots of folks these days try for the alternate crossings and, thus, they're not as easy to get through as they used to be.

    There are also border crossings at Point Roberts and on Pacific Highway. Here's a website that gives you estimated waiting times at the various border crossings.

    (Happy now, Bob? LOL)

  9. #9
    RoadTripper Brad Guest


    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    There are also border crossings at Point Roberts...
    The crossing at Point Roberts is for the most part useless, save you are going into point roberts for something. There is no way in or out of Point Roberts by vehicle (other than private watercraft) without going into Canada. I do believe it's the only part of the lower 48 that must be accessed by a foreign country.

    I hate to say it though, but for the most part, Point Roberts is the forgotten corner of Washington State, mainly due to the fact that you have to drive through Canada to reach it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    D'oh! Thanks for the reminder about Point Roberts. I knew that but haven't been there in about a decade. Double D'oh!

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