Seattle/Portland - any tips?

(15 Posts)
fresh Fri 15-Feb-13 12:34:01

Thanks Chippy and googie. It's all sounding great, and I realise today I have a friend who visits Portland regularly for work so will also pick his brains.

Appreciate it smile

googietheegg Fri 15-Feb-13 08:57:44

We stayed at the maxwell hotel in Seattle and it was fab! Took monorail into the city (5 mins) and could see the space needle from our room. The pike market is great.

ChippyMinton Wed 13-Feb-13 22:01:54

We went a couple of years ago, flew into Sea-Tac and stayed in Portland for a couple of weeks.

Cannon Beach is lovely, but the Pacific coast can be cold and windy, even when it's hot and sunny in Portland, because of the range of mountains in between, so don't expect beach weather. Don't bother with the Tillamook cheese factory (dull, although the ice cream is good)

The Columbia river gorge is worth a drive, maybe hike up to some of the waterfalls. Mt St Helens is interesting. Mt Hood has the hotel where The Shining was filmed, and a fantastic donut shop on the drive up. Plenty of history - Lewis & Clark etc.

Portland itself is a great little city, but we were staying with friends who took as to their favourite places to eat and shop. The DC enjoyed the zoo and the science museum.

2-3 days in Seattle was enough. You can buy a visitors pass which gets you into most of the main attractions (space needle, museums, boat trip, aquarium and, possibly, Boeing). We also took in a baseball game and a soccer match, went to the original Starbucks and the markets. Stayed at the HI-Express near the Space Needle, which was fine for the price.

Re flights - we flew BA, and hired the car through Avis, their preferred partner. We got a good rate, and were able to pick it up in Portland, dropped it at Sea-Tac.

fresh Tue 12-Feb-13 22:51:50

Thank you...we're sold, I have graciously been given dispensation by the rest of the family grin to go for it so my next call is to Trailfinders.

Mumsnet brilliant as ever. smile

SomedayIllFlyAway Tue 12-Feb-13 22:09:10

I lived in Vancouver BC for a while and did a few trips to Seattle. The Underground tour is fab and just generally walking round is nice too. The coastline and mountains in land in the area are stunning.

I visited Mount St Helen's and it is fabulous, especially if your DC's have learned about it in Geography yet (I seem to remember learning about it almost every year in secondary school). They have left the area to regenerate naturally, which makes for an interesting sight as you get closer to the volcano. It is also worth driving round the other side of it (Hwy 503, I think) as you can visit Ape Cave which is a lava tube that you can walk through (basically where the lava cooled on the outside and the inside flowed away leaving a hollow tube), there is also the 'trail of two forests' there, where you can walk through relatively new growth forest which is growing in an area where an old forest was encased in lava, so you can crawl / climb through where trees stood etc. Further up the road again is a trail that takes you through another area where lava has helped to form the landscape, which makes for some pretty epic sights.

Doha Mon 11-Feb-13 22:39:40

Did the boeing trip a few years ago.."if it ain't boeing we ain't going" still rings in my ears but it was very interesting. SIL stayed in Portland for a few years, it was a lovely friendly place. We went exploring and had a day trip to Mount Hood and went up the cable car to see the views in the snow, stunningly beautiful but very cold. The same day we went to and Indian reservation/holiday village and l loved it as did the kids. The hills around it looked like they had been scalped, just as you see it in Western films on TV. It was called Kah nee ta. Very warm place tho.

fresh Mon 11-Feb-13 21:47:51

Thanks! I'll check out all of those, we really are just at the beginning of planning so I'll feed it all in. Brilliant smile

Fenouille Mon 11-Feb-13 19:31:35

You should allow 4 days or so to visit the Olympic Peninsula, it's fabulous rainforest and rugged coast.

East Washington has the Rockies and on Hwy2 there is a Bavarian themed village (forget the name) and a Wild West themed village (Winthrop) which are both worth visiting. If you like walking there are some great walks around Winthrop and out on the Olympic Peninsula.

Vancouver Island is also lovely. You'll be spoilt for choice!

PolkadotCircus Mon 11-Feb-13 19:15:32

Been to Seattle a few times, (Dp's sis used to live there) and he has family in San Fran.It is a lovely area.

Seattle is fab-Pioneer Square,Space Needle,Science museum,Elliot Bay book store,Mount Rainier is stunning,Olympic rainforest,we went white water rafting,there is a funny Swiss town somewhere and Skagett valley tulip fields??Don't miss Mount St Helen's either.You must get the ferry to the Puget Sound islands,we stayed in a log cabin on Orcas Island beach which was a highlight.

The Starlight Express train down the coast is fab.

Cannon Beach in Oregon has lovely sunsets,Portland is supposed to be a fab city,we just drove through.

I'd fly into Seattle and out of San Francisco which can't be missed,Carmel and Yosemite if you can.

I didn't take to Vancouver,my uncle lives there.

fresh Mon 11-Feb-13 12:14:14

Thanks. We like a bit of rugged beautiful coastline! Will start planning in earnest..smile

FreelanceMama Mon 11-Feb-13 11:46:43

Oregon was the best surprise of the roadtrip. North california is a bit bleak, but Oregon coastline was amazing - rugged and beautiful. We stopped randomly for the night in Yachats. I think we stayed at Wayside Lodge, check out the website
http://www.yachats.org/lodging.html

fresh Mon 11-Feb-13 10:38:11

Thanks! I had no idea about the underground tour yet either, sounds brilliant.

Anyone know anything about Portland, or the Oregon coast?

Waswondering Mon 11-Feb-13 09:57:59

I went to the Seattle area at 15 but we went north from there, through the ?windward islands?, then Vancouver Island in Canada. All in 2 weeks.

I loved Vancouver island - Victoria, the capital, is very pretty, and you can do whale watching etc.

Enjoy.

FreelanceMama Mon 11-Feb-13 09:46:40

We did a road trip a few years back from Las Vegas to Seattle and spent one night in Seattle, but a couple of nights beforehand in a lovely little town called Port Townsend - you then get the ferry to Seattle from somewhere a bit further (can't remember where!). We had a couple of days in Seattle and loved it - it reminded us of Brighton (!) by the sea, UK weather, bit edgy, bit alternative, university town.

We did the Underground tour which was fantastic - I had no idea there was a whole abandoned city under the streets http://www.undergroundtour.com/
Also the Science Fiction museum was fun.

fresh Mon 11-Feb-13 08:53:20

Planning a trip for this summer, and thinking about starting in Seattle for a few days (including trip to Boeing for plane mad ds2) then taking train down to Portland and renting house and car for some exploring. Anyone been? Any tips on flights, which on one cursory search are looking eye wateringly £££? TIA

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