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OT - What to do in Seattle & Vancouver

This is technically "off topic" but my husband and I are going to take a vacation at the end of August/beginning of September and we'll be going to both Seattle & Vancouver, BC. We've never been to either place and would love suggestions of where to go, what to do, if anyone has them.

Thank you in advance!

Fri. Jul 14, 2:21pm

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You really need to go hiking - our mountains are spectacular and we also have miles of coastal trails to explore. We also have miles and miles of trails in the city. In particular Snoqualmie Falls is absolutely beautiful - however my favorite place to take out-of-towners is Bridal Veil Falls (nort east of Seattle).

Sea kayaking is quite popular here (I would go near the San juan islands) - it's not migratory season for whales, but there is still a lot of beautiful scenery and other wildlife to observe.

We have the largest farmer's market in the US - Pike's place market downtown and it is not to be missed! East of the market ~4-5 blocks is Westlake Center and Pacific Place shopping center. Lots of restaurants and shopping! Head north to Seattle Center and visit the Space Needle (there's a no-charge bus that goes back and forth between Westlake Center and the Needle).

The Seattle Aquarium and the Museum of Flight are both very engrossing and you will definitely do lots of walking! The zoo is also neat.

Seattle has tons of fun little neighborhoods (personal faves are Queen Anne, Fremont and Ballard) with neat little shops to explore and each one with a slightly different character.

That's it for now - I will be happy to give you more info on any particular item if you would like :-)

Friday, July 14, 2006, 2:57 PM

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My sister lives in Seattle and we try to visit her every other year. The above poster said it all - you HAVE to see Pike's Place Market. It's an absolute fav. of mine. You will have a wonderful time! Pioneer Square is also a lot of fun,

Friday, July 14, 2006, 5:07 PM

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There is a lady who lives in Vancouver BC in the group Motivation Station ask her. I haven't been to BC for 30 years but you really have to see the mountains. I drove from Ontario Canada to BC the mountains was my favorite place to go. Jasper, Baniff and Lake Lousie is so beautiful. Worth the trip.

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 11:34 AM

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It's a bit of a drive from Seattle, but try to hit Olympic National Park. Wonderful trails there and beautiful scenery. Of course you can go the opposite direction too, and you can drive up to Mt. Rainier National Park. Nice hiking trails.

If you are more interested in the city life, Pike Place Market is a must-see. I LOVE the Boeing Museum of Flight the best though.

Argosy Lake Cruise-Kirkland:
are another option to see the Sound and surrounding areas.

Check out whale watching tours if you can. I can't think of the names of some of the outfits that run them, but I am sure a tourist guide can help.
Rosario Resort on the Islands is a great place to stay and the scenery is to die for.

As for Vancouver I am not too familiar with it, but if you get to Victoria, you can spend days exploring! they have the best natural history museum there and if you can, by all means go see Buchart (pronounced Boo-shart) gardens. They are worth the trip.

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 12:10 PM

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Ditto Pike Place Market. Though the west side of the market draws the most traffic, don't overlook the little shops on the east side, and Post Alley behind there. Love the BBQ Pork humbows at the Asian bakery stand on the east side of the street..

Seattle also has a great International District with wonderful shops and restaurants, primarily Asian. I think this is within the free ride (bus) area.

Personally, I would skip going up to the Space Needle (very pricy view-Last summer it was something like $12 or $17 per person to ride up there; however, the Seattle Center is worth a visit-there is a piece of the Berlin Wall there and changing art exhibits just outside. IF you are a rock and roll fan, the Jimi Hendrix Experience (museum) is right there too.

If you are on a budget, check out the University District for great inexpensive restaurants-and book lovers should browse the University Bookstore. Also check out some of the local nearby breweries for beer tastings if that is your thing.

You have enough time to check ebay for a copy of a Seattle entertainment book. Given it is near the end of the (coupon) year, you should be able to pick one up cheap. It will easily pay for itself with the use of one or two coupons.

My favorite ferry- Edmonds-Kingston (avoid on weekend) .

Great neighborhoods to walk and explore (Queen Anne, Ballard, Fremont just for starters)

Weather is usually super that time of year-have a great time.

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 7:21 PM

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I've lived near Seattle most of my life - here are some of my suggestions:

Space Needle - The view is really worth it! Make lunch reservations - a little pricy, but then you don't have to pay the fee to just go to the observation deck. The restaurant rotates giving you lots of time to enjoy the view.

Pike Place Market - NOT Pike's Place! Lots of fun, colorful, historic. Take time to chat with the vendors and bring you camera - a visual feast.

Take a ferry - you can just walk on and the eastbound walk-on fare is free. Do Edmonds/Kingston or Seattle/Bainbridge.

Daytrip to Mount Rainier - visit the great old lodges, or take the lift up to Crystal Mountain - great views from the restaurant at the top!

Another day trip - to Tillicum Village on Blake Island - great salmon and Native American show.

Harbor tours - interesting and popular

Walk the waterfront - down the steps from Pike Place Market

Best people watching - Broadway on Capitol Hill and Pike Place Market too.

Ritzy shopping - Westlake Center, 5th Avenue

Best restaurant we like to take out of town friends to - Ivar's Salmon House on Lake Union. Enormous Native American dugout canoes are suspended from the ceiling - lots of interesting historic photos, salmon cooked over alder smoke fire.

Unique local tour - Underground Seattle, unique and funny look at Seattle's early days when the streets were 8 to 32 feet lower than they are now in part of Pioneer Square, the historic district. Also big galery area.

Tiny national park - Goldrush museum in Pioneer Square area.

Have fun and let me know if you want more ideas!

Sunday, July 16, 2006, 5:50 AM

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Wow - Thank you all so much for the great ideas (the more the merrier)!! I'm so excited, I want to leave now!

Monday, July 17, 2006, 7:53 AM

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I second Pike Place Market--spend some time there, explore all the levels, it's fun. A walk along the waterfront just below it is enjoyable, too.

Take a ferry. I loved the Friday Harbor ferry...Where is the information about the Pig War? That was a good ferry ride with some interesting and funny history.

Vancouver WA?--I'm going next week and all I can say is, cross the river and go to Powell's Books, the original, in Portland! has information, map of the store, etc. It's a fascinating place. You'll see from the website information.

Monday, July 17, 2006, 4:32 PM

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No, they're going to Vancouver BC.

Monday, July 17, 2006, 6:18 PM

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I live 30 minutes from Vancouver. When you visit you'll want to go to Stanley Park, swim at the many beaches in the area, take the Gondola ride up Grouse Mountain , visit the Chinese Night Market in either Richmond ( 10 min. out of town) or in downtown Chinatown. There's the Granville Market (similar to Pike Market in Seattle) Great shopping downtown, Robson Street (our version of Rodeo Drive) Vancouver is a multicultural city so eating here will be an adventure. There's lots more. Google Vancouver tourist sites and you'll find the ones I've forgotten. Have a great visit here!

Monday, July 17, 2006, 10:08 PM

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Thank you all so much!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006, 1:00 PM

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Seattle and Vancouver vacation blog post

Hi there, sorry it took so long to respond, but I told my husband about your question b/c we took a trip to Seattle and Vancouver about 1 year ago. He said he blogged about our trip and I was waiting for him to send me the correct link to send to you.

By the way, we got an outstanding deal on our hotel in Vancouver. I think we paid only $150/night to stay at the Pan Pacific hotel on the water. We booked it through hotwire.


Thursday, July 20, 2006, 6:00 PM

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I live in Vancouver, BC

Hello from Vancouver :)

When are you guys planning on coming to beautiful BC?

There are a few things to do here - mostly outdoor-z type of stuff - hope you like walking!

Email me at
I will give you details of stuff to do by email...hopefully you haven't already come :S

Friday, September 15, 2006, 5:39 PM

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