Vancouver, BC to Seattle,WA and Portland Oregon
We are planning a road trip from Vancouver, BC to Seattle,WA and Portland, Oregon for 3 days and back to Vancouver.
Please advise which is the best route, stops, hotels, scenic routes etc.
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.
The short answer is that there is no best route/stops/scenery, but only what best suits your tastes. With only three days, this is going to be a bit of a whirlwind trip, without much time to explore what is a magnificent area. With only a day and a half each way, you're going to have to be somewhat selective in what you choose and the best we can do is let you know what your options are. There are a large number of scenic highways in Washington, and one of our Moderators, Judy, who lives in that area has offered a number of good suggestions (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). Those links should give you a good idea of what's available. What's 'best' is up to you.
Unless you take backroads and rural state highways, there really is only one way from Vancouver, BC to Portland via Seattle, and that is I-5. Not saying it's the ONLY way, but the most viable. Although, I personally recommend crossing the border in the far eastern crossing to the Vancouver area and taking Washington Route 9 as far south as you can. The scenery is nicer, but it is a 2 lane highway much of the way.
I'd love to give you some tips and suggestions but it's hard to do without knowing exactly where you want to go, what you want to do, what your interests are, etc. Gosh....3 days is pretty much down one day, one day to play, and another day home. Any chance you can squeeze a few more days out for this trip?
Anyway, give me something to go on and I'll help you anyway I can.
Thanks for the replies. I agree with all of you. 3days is too less. That is how I ended up on the web searching for answers. I like nature more than anything.
Judy - How about if we cut it down to Portland alone. Is this a good time to visit Portland, OR. We are planning to leave on Thursday evening at 5PM from Vancouver. We would like using different route if possible for the whole trip.
Arizona Brad -- "crossing the border in the far eastern crossing to the Vancouver area and taking Washington Route 9 as far south as you can " -- where is this crossing.
I forgot to mention one thing is that I am new to Vancouver.
Hey- sorry to butt in on the post, but I saw you say that you're new to Vancouver- How have you found it settling in? I'm going to be living there from June through to September (before roadtripping the southwest ;) ) and was wondering what it's like. So far I've heard nothing but good things, unless you look at the discovervancouver.com forum...
This crossing is located just a few miles south of TransCan1 in Abbotsford, BC. It's on the southern end of BC route 11. It enters the USA at Sumas. This crossing is usually less busy than the Blaine/Douglass Peace Arch crossing, or the Truck Crossing. It is open 24 hours, so your departure time won't cause a problem.
Originally Posted by lotusrjy
Personally, if it was me and I only had 3 days, I wouldn't be going to Portland. Don't get me wrong, Portland is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. But it is a good 5 hour drive. And, by the time you factor in the border crossing and the potential traffic slowdowns through the Everett-Seattle-Tacoma section of I-5, it could easily be 6+ hours. So, basically, a day there, a day to play, and a day home. I would save Portland for another time when you have more time and can take alternate routes and do some more playing and exploring.
Since you're new to Vancouver BC and the general area, it seems like there are so many wonderful places to go much closer to home where you could really have time to see and do so much more. And I'm talking some places that I think are a lot more amazing than Portland. If this is an option for you, let us know and we'll give you some ideas.
But, if you insist on going to Portland in 3 days, your best bet is really sticking with I-5 for time. You might have time to do something like Chuckanut Drive but not really much else. Oh, I suppose you could take the ferry from Whidbey Island over to Port Townsend and then come down the east side of the Olympic Peninsula (gorgeous, gorgeous drive). But, in the time you have, I really wouldn't recommend it.
Judy -- Portland as we have to meet a friend. If I am using I-5 then I may aswell leave on Thursday evening between 4 - 5pm. So we can reach portland around midnight. Take rest and next morning we can start going around.
In vancouver these are the places we visited till now.
1. Capilano Suspension Bridge
2. Lynn Canyon
3. Whistler ( Twice )
4. Stanley Park
Lunja -- Your stay in Vancouver will be cool. This is one place where you can see the sun, rain and snow on the mountains. I do not what is on discovervancouver.com.
That makes sense!
Yes, driving down in the evening is a great way to extend your trip a bit. You might want to time things so you don't hit the northern Seattle area until about 7pm. It seems like this is the time when things start finally clearing up a bit so you can sail through there without too much trouble.
If you will be getting an early start on the day your return to BC...and to make this work I do mean EARLY...I would really recommend going up the east side of the peninsula and then taking the ferry back over to I-5. It's a gorgeous drive and will give you some variety. (I always like to return a different way so I'm not seeing the same things whenever possible.)
The ferry can be caught at Port Townsend, it takes you over to Whidbey Island, where you would want to then drive north to Anacortes and then east to Mt. Vernon, then back up I-5 from there.
Like I said, this is a gorgeous drive, will take you around the I-5 parking lot of the greater Seattle area, and should be a fun way to end your trip.