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  1. #1
    jerseyprincess Guest

    Default Seattle and Portland

    Hi everyone!
    I'm planning a road trip (7-9 days) from Seattle to Portland in February.
    I really want to stay within the limits of just those two cities, so any suggestions for things to do there would be great!
    Also, along my route, anything I should stop and see?
    What will weather be like this time of year?

    Thank you!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Just the cities?

    Welcome to the great Pacific NW! You should have a wonderful trip here. Personally, I'm surprised you want to limit yourself to the cities because our wilderness and park areas are amazing.

    The weather? Rain. It might vary from a mist, to a light drizzle, to sprinkles, to rain, to hard-rain, and even sideways rain but expect that it will either be raining or threatening to rain. I don't live in the city and things could be a bit different there but, for the most part, I never see people carry umbrellas. A good raincoat with a hood or rainhat is the norm. (This has been true of my trips to cities so I don't think they're really all that common there either.)

    But the rain doesn't keep people inside. They just dress right for the weather and go. If rain stopped us, we'd all be hermits for half the year.

    Things to do between Seattle and Portland
    * Tacoma: Take the exit to downtown and enjoy the well-done Washington State Museum of History. Walk next door to the restored dome of Union Station to see some amazing Chihuly glass displays. Then walk across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass to the Museum of Glass where you will be able to see some amazing glass works. Fort Nisqually is pretty cool. And the Point Defiance Zoo is a nice zoo with some well-done areas with animals kept in native-habitat-like settings.

    * Olympia: This is a lovely small city on Puget Sound with nice waterfront parks and marinas. The capital grounds are quite nice and worth a look. As is the impressive capital dome.

    * Mt. St. Helens: About 50 miles south of Olympia, take exit at Castle Rock onto Hwy 504/Spirit Lake Highway and go about 50 miles to the Johnston Ridge Visitor Center to view Mt. St. Helens and the destruction around it. There is a chance it might be closed for snow at that time of year but that varies. You might check 511 or the WA-DOT website for details before you go, or simply stop and speak with locals. If it's snowed in, there are other visitor centers closer to Castle Rock that would still be worth visiting.

    * Vancouver, WA: They have a very nice historical district and Old Fort Vancouver that are worth checking out.

    * A detour that you might consider is to go into the Columbia River Gorge National Recreation Area. It's stunning. From Vancouver, take Hwy 14 East to White Salmon, WA. Then take the bridge over the Columbia River to Hood River. This is a terrific place to stop and watch the windsurfers. Then take I-84 East back to Portland. (The Washington side is narrow and curvy with drop-offs on one side....but with terrific views. One of my favorite roads. But it's not like that the whole way and will widen and straighten out just before Prindle.) On the way back to Portland, at about Ainsworth State Park, veer off onto the Historic Columbia River Highway. This will take you past beautiful Multnomah Falls and up into the hills for more terrific views of the Gorge. Stop at Crown Point Vista House...probably the most beautiful rest stop in the US. This trip is about 140 miles. I would plan at least 4 hours for it, minimum. Preferably more so you can linger over some of the majestic views along the way.

    Well, I hope that helps give you some ideas to get your started. Do you know advice on what to see in the cities of Seattle and Portland as well?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Grand Central Bakery!

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyprincess View Post
    I really want to stay within the limits of just those two cities,
    In Portland, the Grand Central Bakery is run by my cousins and so if you love yummy bread and treats -- stop by and say howdy. Here is article we published in 1996 but they have a couple of very fancy "happening" sort of places now. Here is the list of locations in both Seattle and Portland.


  4. #4
    jerseyprincess Guest

    Default Stuff in Seattle

    Mark-thank you for the Bakery suggestion...I will definitely stop in!

    Judy-thanks for all the info! In Portland we are meeting up with a friend who lives there as well as taking a walking tour (or two.)
    I haven't begun to do my research as far as Seattle, but any advice/suggestions/ideas over that way would be great.

    I just got so excited reading your reply because I love Dale Chihuly's work! That will definitely be a stop on my list!

    I am also convincing my husband that the Columbia River Gorge National Recreation Area as well as the Crown Point Vista House are must-stops as well.

    I know you said rain, which I expected, but what will the temperature be like?

    Hope to hear from you soon!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Be prepared for anything

    We have had wet and balmy Februaries, and freezing cold with snow and sleet. `You might pop over to and check for Seattle and/or Portland for average temps and rainfall to give you a better idea of what to expect.

    And here's a thread with a lot of suggestions for things to see and do in Seattle. Here's another one. It's strange but that second thread has 3 posts from me that are virtually the same. It looks like I edited the post several times and that the last one has the most information so skip reading the first two and just read the last one.

    Yeah, Chihuly's work is amazing. You'll see a lot of it at the old train station and glass museum. Enjoy!

    The Gorge area is one of my favorite areas to drive. I hope you can convince him it's worth the time.

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