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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a quick question for those of you in Washington State: if a fellow Stromtrooper were to find himself in the Seattle area for a couple of weeks, what would you recommend he do...

1) Solo, on the bike. What great day trips are there in the area?
2) With wife and 12 y.o. daughter, off the bike? Cool things for the family to enjoy?
3) With wife and 12 y.o. daughter and with the daughter's big sister's 1 1/2 y.o. son? Cool things to see or do with kids with short attention spans or where noisy kids aren't going to earn the wrath of everyone else around?

I've already done some research, and have a few ideas, but I'd like to get a local's opinion too :)

Thanks!
 

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Highway 2 to Highway 20 loop through Washington Pass. Olympic Peninsula loop with the crazy Highway 112 and Ocean Shores.

Rpatton lead an awesome trip through Chinook Pass, Yakima and Snoqualmie Pass.

This Wednesday is the Seafair parade down Greenwood Ave N. The University of Washington has $9/hr canoe rentals you can paddle near the Arboretum. Pike Place Market is always a popular tourist spot. Go check out Smith Tower at 2nd and James for some old school elevators. Ride the duck! Kenmore Air has a San Juan floatplane where you depart Lake Union, land at three points in the San Juans, then back to Lake Union. Museum of Flight if planes are your thing (full size SR71, etc).

Check out the GO Card if you want to cram a bunch of tourist spots in. Try to plan ahead so you can get your money's worth.
 

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Ballard Locks fish ladder with salmon migrating to spawn and die...sex to die for.
Giant Ferris wheel over the harbor.
Seattle aquarium.
Mariners baseball.
Sounders soccer.
Seahawks training camp (sold out???)
Many music festivals
Drive or ride around Mt. Rainier Natl Park
Drive to Anacortes, walk on ferry to San Juan Islands.
Bring passports, make a day trip to Canada.
Woodland Park Zoo.
Ride up to state route 20 North cascades highway, cross into central WA
Experience Music Project
Great Asian food in the International District (and some mediocre places...eat where the locals eat).
 

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The Seattle Underground tour may be interesting. I'd like to take it sometime at least. I live north of Seattle and don't make it there very often anymore. If you are thinking of taking a day trip out of Seattle, Whidbey Island is a ferry ride across from Mukilteo and you could make your way up the island stopping at places like Fort Casey (bring a flashlight to check out old bunkers), Fort Ebey, and then Deception Pass. If you are not wanting to pay another ferry toll, just continue north until you can head east on HWY 20 towards I-5. The Skagit Valley can be pretty neat drive. Snowgoose Produce for an end of day ice cream cone.

Northern motorcycle ride north through Darington up to HWY 20 towards Wintrop can be pretty fun and it offers great scenery. Traffic can be heavy on weekends though.
 

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As you can see, I was a tourist and not a local but in addition to the above (oh, I agree with the underground tour, Museum of Flight, and the bunkers at Fort Casey).

Rain Festival



A cool beer on those hot summer days. :green_lol:



Mohai at Lake Union Park (catch a tram) - I saw it at the old location but it has since moved to here.



Centre for Wooden Boats at Lake Union Park





King St Railway Station (undergone/undergoing restoration)



Hoh Rain Forest



Snoqualamie Railway Museum



Winthrop





Space Needle and Monorail (great views over the city)



I liked Ballard Locks







Fish race viewing area at Ballard Locks

 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've been without a data connection for a few days, so I haven't been able to reply until now, but I really appreciate the suggestions, everyone!
 

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mountain loop hwy

I spent a weekend there a couple years ago, only had 1 real day to ride. I rented a BMW GS (someone rents vstroms there but they were booked). Just north of hwy 2 is mountain loop road which was a real nice ride. The north section is a maintained dirt/gravel road along a river (15 miles or so) that was real nice (most of it is paved 2 lane). That area this time of the year is the most beautiful anywhere.
 

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The stairway to a Seattle summer, followed by six months of:
I've had two one-month holidays in Washington/Oregon (June 2009 and July 2011) and had great weather both times.

But....

The skies were grey. Very depressing when the sky, the ocean, and the beaches are the same colour - grey - and merged into one and other. :mrgreen:

For example, La Push

 

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Discussion Starter #12
What you must NOT do is allow the wonderful summer weather to tempt you to move there. It is fleeting, my friend.
Lol. Despite this summer -- which has been exceptionally nice -- the weather in Seattle can't be worse than back home in Anchorage :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just got back home Thursday night, and wanted to say thanks again to everyone for their suggestions. This was an...interesting...trip, to say the least, so not everything worked out as I had hoped, lol. However, for anyone else visiting Seattle, here's some of what I *did* fit in and enjoyed:

* Visit Canada: well, that was a given, since I was riding down from Alaska :) but it was truly a highlight of the trip. B.C. is simply stunning, particularly the high desert around Cache Creek and Lillooet (sp.?). Also, Liard Hot Springs was worth visiting...twice! :thumbup:
* Pacific Science Center: it's geared for kids, but going there with my 12 y.o. daughter was great. Neither of us wanted to leave at closing time (which is at 6:00pm, so get there early and make a day of it).
* Lake Union Park: loved the wooden boats, and watching my grandson play in the water fountains on the sidewalk was a lot of fun :)
* Beaches: lots of options to choose from! We went to Richmond Beach, and while I wish we could have made a longer trip to a beach on the open ocean, that didn't work out, unfortunately. However, Richmond Beach was very scenic, and a great choice in our case.
* Aquarium: shrug...I love aquariums.
* Woodland Park Zoo: despite the fact that a number of exhibits were empty (including the Komodo Dragon, dang it!) and parking was insane, the zoo was very cool.
 
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