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Thread: Seattle area vacation tips

  1. #1
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    Seattle area vacation tips

    Anyone familiar with Washington state and the Seattle area?

    I have a long (1.5 months) vacation coming up next year and am thinking about doing it in the Seattle area. I have never been to Seattle, but I hear the town is hip, and that there is also a lot of of good safe fun to be had in Washington State in general.

    I'm married with a 2 year old -- to give you some idea of the type of (not) wild fun I have in mind.

    Anyone familiar with the area and know what areas of Seattle I should consider renting via VRBO.com or AirBNB that would be nice, accessible, yet not penthouse crazy expensive?

    I'm --hoping-- to find a place for around 150 to 200 USD per day... I hope that's not impossible, I hear Seattle is pricey.

    Any help appreciated!

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    What kind of things do you like to do? Indoor, outdoor? What time of year? Will you have a rental car or prefer to travel on foot/public transportation?

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    I love Seattle! I'm probably not the best person to give advice on things to do around here since I've only been living here for five months (and I've been kept quite busy with grad school in that time), but I do have a few thoughts. For one, I think you shouldn't have a problem finding a place on AirBnB in your price range (if you're staying for a long period of time (week, month), most hosts will give you a discount, if you ask, too!) - I highly recommend Fremont as a neighborhood to stay in. Some quirky attractions (visit the troll!), lots of great restaurants, and Fremont Brewery is very family friendly and has delicious beers, if you're into that. And it's a very safe area as well. You'll also be fairly close to downtown (with lots of bus routes that run down there) to visit the usual attractions. You can also easily walk/bus/drive to Ballard to the west or Wallingford to the east, both neighborhoods worth checking out (especially if you'll be here for over a month). Only downside is you'd be a little far from the Tom Bihn store

    As tCook touched on, if you give some more specific interests/constraints, we can try to give more directed advice.

  4. #4
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) ScottS's Avatar
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    The best resource for Seattle/Washington State is the Seattle Met magazine (Best Places to Live 2011 | Seattle Met). It has great suggestions for restaurants, neighborhoods and short sight-seeing trips!
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    Thanks!

    It would be in the summer, June or July. I am willing and able to rent a car but also wouldn't mind using public transport and walking if it is nice and toddler friendly. We used to live in japan so are very used to hopping on and off trains. Also I'm imagining zip car is probably plentiful up there right?

    We are easy to please. Parks. Playgrounds for the kid. I like beer and burgers. Hip health food as well. Wife likes shopping and cafés from time to time. Big nature is excellent but doesn't need to be everyday especially with a two year old. Etc yadayada.

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    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    I'm no expert on Seattle, but our kids loved these things when we've visited: Gas Works Park, ferry rides, Museum of Flight, Spud fish & chips on Alki beach, camping at Rainier. So much great stuff in Seattle.

    On our next trip, I hope we'll have time to take the train to Vancouver, which I love. Or drive the Oregon shore.

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    I'm agreeing with everything posted so far - would recommend a neighborhood rather than downtown if you're staying for such a long period. Or stay in three different places for two weeks at a time.

    This list appears to capture many highlights and be current. Seattle with Kids

    The Space Needle is an icon, but the Columbia Tower is higher. If you can't see the top (cloudy, etc.) don't bother going, although they let me turn around without paying the day I hoped to get above the clouds! Sky View Observatory - Seattle - Floor #73

    In terms of awesome/hip/current food, I've been happy with Eater. You might get a feel for appealing neighborhoods by perusing their Heatmap and such. Eater Seattle : The Seattle Restaurant, Bar, and Nightlife Blog

    If you're taking transit, the Metro Trip Planner is a useful resource. King County Metro Transit Trip Planning

    Let us know if you have questions!

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    We are finishing up a week in Seattle with our 8 and 10 year old kiddos. The biggest hits according to my kids were the Museum of Flight, EMP museum, the aquarium, and the Space Needle.

    It has been a complete delight to be in Seattle, and I am already scheming on how we could move here. :-)


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    I also love Seattle. I usually take whoever is with me to the EMP, Space Needle, Chihuly Glassworks, The Market, then ride some fairies. There's also the biggest REI you've ever seen and the original Starbucks.

    If you like nature, you in one of the best places in the US. Snowqualmie Falls is really cool as is Olympic National Park and Mt. Ranier. Some of the best beaches are just north of Olympic Nat. Park.

    Tcook gave an excellent tip on the Space Needle...make sure it's clear the day you decide to go up if you are taking photos.

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    I am trying to plan something that would be like this post Wickaninnish Aeronauts but on the Seattle side.

    A quiet B&B with wifi or a kitchenette/fridge and full bath small cabin, or even a similarly appointed houseboat, both with wifi.

    A place where I don't have to worry about planning meals which would be either served or brought in leftover from takeout and bakeries stops. Nor spend a whole day cleaning up the day before departure, which I assume I would have to do with an AirBnB type of accomadation.
    I'd rather have a first floor available.

    Must do: Tom Bihn Store Visit. whale watching, plane museum.

    Being able to rent a bike would be nice, for me it must be a U bike, I might even need a tricycle.

    Visits to Olympic Visitor Center and other Interpretive Center associated with Wildlife Refuges
    or Marine Mammals rescues are most likely stops.

    If possible, I would like to avoid the city center and stay in the Port Angeles/Sequim/Olympics area.

    We stayed north of the city, once, it was far from everything and we were too tired to do more stuff.
    Last edited by backpack; 03-08-2014 at 04:13 PM.

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Port Angeles isn't really that close to Seattle. Are you planning on consolidating all of your Seattle activities into 1-2 days and then relocating to the PA/Sequim area? I'm just asking because if whale watching is really at the top of your list you want to go to the San Juan Island or Orcas Island in June. There's a really nice suite hotel on the SJ Island that has the amenities you want: the Roche Harbor Resort. Gotta say though that nothing IMO is as nice as Wickaninnish, and it meets all of your requirements. I would go there at the drop of a hat.


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    A bunch of forum members live in this area, including myself....Seattle with a two year old.....hmmmmmm......much of downtown Seattle is steeply hilly and might be problematic for a little person to deal with daily, so maybe not a place for home base. Stay north of downtown but not the U District.

    Woodland Park Zoo is beautiful and located near GreenLake, a hip neighborhood for singles AND families.

    My little grandsons love to ride the ferries; a ride to Bainbridge Island for a walk and lunch is a nice day trip. Others have already recommended the iconic places, the EMP, the space needle, the waterfront. You may find Yelp helpful regarding kid friendly places to eat.

    Since you'll be here for quite a block of time, you could consider a getaway for a few days to Sleeping Lady in Leavenworth in the Cascades Mountains. The drive is beautiful and about 2.5-3 hours from Seattle. Also, the San Juan Islands well north could be a consideration for a few days, most particularly San Juan Island for lots of beach time.

    And then there's the northern Oregon coast, just 3.5 to 4 hours from Seattle, for some of the most beautiful coastline you've ever seen, most particularly Cannon beach and south to Manzanita, our family's new favorite getaway, although we are very partial to Iron Springs resort on the Washington coast and just north of Ocean Shores.

    Any of these places I've suggested fill up rapidly for summer stays. If they are of interest to you, i'd recommend that you firm up reservations/plans ASAP.
    Hope this is somewhat helpful. Feel free to ask for more info.


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    I live in Seattle with a 2 year old, so I feel somewhat qualified to answer this question. Your price range should be fine for a place in a neighborhood, which is what I'd recommend for a stay that long. Fremont, Ballard, Queen Anne, Green Lake, Phinney Ridge - these are all family friendly. Queen Anne is closest to downtown and extremely accessible by bus. You can even walk downtown, which I've done with 2 kids in the stroller. It is a little steep, I grant you. We walk to Seattle Center, where you will find the Children's Museum (1-4 is their target age group), the fountain, a pretty good food court, and weekend festivals all through the summer. Queen Anne has tons of playgrounds, very walkable, not the best restaurants in Seattle but decent enough, and generally completely run over with kids. In the summer there is a wading pool, there's an indoor pool year round. Downtown, my son's favorite activity right now is Soundbridge, a room at Benaroya Hall that houses lots of real musical instruments that kids of all ages are encouraged to play with. The Symphony also has lots of kid friendly music programs. The library is also a lot of fun. For road trips, I'd recommend Olympic peninsula, San Juans, Vancouver, Oregon coast, and Portland.

    The single best resource I can point you to is Red Tricycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Port Angeles isn't really that close to Seattle. Are you planning on consolidating all of your Seattle activities into 1-2 days and then relocating to the PA/Sequim area? I'm just asking because if whale watching is really at the top of your list you want to go to the San Juan Island or Orcas Island in June. There's a really nice suite hotel on the SJ Island that has the amenities you want: the Roche Harbor Resort. Gotta say though that nothing IMO is as nice as Wickaninnish, and it meets all of your requirements. I would go there at the drop of a hat.


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    Thanks so much Badger!

    I am pretty much confused about distances within the Seattle area..

    I hope it is ok to be on the same thread as Saikyo, I figure it would consolidate the info.

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