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One Week in Seattle Area

New York, NY
Level Contributor
305 posts
72 reviews
One Week in Seattle Area

I had a chance to spend a week in the Seattle area and said "yes" before I fully understood how expensive lodging is.

I've never been to the Pacific Northwest and I'm trying to cobble together an itinerary for my time there. I feel like I don't really have a good understanding of what there is to do in the area or how far things are from one another.

I have some questions I was hoping someone here could answer:

* Are there suburbs that may be less expensive than Seattle AND are accessible to Seattle via public transportation on a daily basis?

* I live in NYC, so I'm not desperate for more city time, are there towns near Seattle, accessible without a car, that are worth visiting for a few days and maybe a bit less expensive than Seattle proper?

* Is it worth renting a car and visiting several towns int he area over the course of a few days?

Context:

I may be traveling alone.

I'm female and in my thirties. I'm a teacher and love history and theater.

This will be the first week of August.

I LOVE the outdoors, but I have no "outdoor" skills lol

Strongly prefer towns that don't need a car and are accessible by ferry or train, but could be convinced otherwise.

7 replies to this topic
Seattle
Level Contributor
51 353 posts
22 reviews
1. Re: One Week in Seattle Area

Yes there are suburbs less expensive if you are willing to "commute" for your sightseeing every day. Some people stay at SeaTac (airport hotels), someone today mentioned Renton, I mentioned Northgate, there's the entire "Eastside" (other side of Lake Washington) like Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland. IMO though none are really convenient unless you truly don't want to do city things at all.

I don't know of any towns to recommend accessible without a car, unless you can figure out how to take a bus, and just want to stay put in one place.

Yes I think renting a car is what you need to do, for what you describe wanting to do here :-)

<don't really have a good understanding of what there is to do in the area or how far things are from one another.>

What kind of things? I'm not sure I understand the question. There's Puget Sound, there's the Pacific Coast, there's Olympic National Park, Mt. Rainier, the North Cascades, the San Juan islands... are the biggies. But there's also Whidbey Island, Snoqualmie Falls, Tacoma, Olympia, etc.

I don't usually say this, but maybe a guidebook would help at this point?

Or just keep asking questions and people here will chime in to assist. Welcome, Suze

New York, NY
Level Contributor
305 posts
72 reviews
2. Re: One Week in Seattle Area

Thanks for being kind in the face of my ignorance Suze.

Even listing those suburbs is a good start for my research. Thank you!

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
2 435 posts
1 074 reviews
3. Re: One Week in Seattle Area

there are many posts with many many examples of things to do and places you may be interested in already listed just use the "search"

Seattle
Level Contributor
51 353 posts
22 reviews
4. Re: One Week in Seattle Area

It really just depends on whether you are willing to rent a car or not. There are lots of places I could suggest but they all would need a rental car to get there and be able to see anything once you are there.

One thing that works from downtown without a car is going up to Victoria on the Clipper. Because once you are in Victoria it's small and walkable and there's a bus like to go out to the Gardens.

If you have a car you could go to Whidbey Island. I love this old-timey place to stay:

https://captainwhidbey.com/

I did list the suburbs, but I *really* hope you don't choose to stay in any of them. I don't think they really give you a feel for what Seattle or the Pacific Northwest is all about.

Your age, traveling alone, August (typically a GORGEOUS month weather-wise here), and no outdoor skills... none of these are a problem :)

Seattle, Wa
Level Contributor
5 832 posts
49 reviews
5. Re: One Week in Seattle Area

If you are comfortable with the Airbnb "room in a home," that may be the way to go. It's true hotels are nuts here due to cruise season, but, there are always budget strategies for cities (like an Airbnb room or couchsurfing or a hostel). Once you are here, there are many ways to save money (happy hours, free sights, etc). Frugal Traveler did a NYT article on Seattle a few years ago: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/travel/bu…

The tough part about the "towns without a car" is that while you can sometimes get to these places, usually you need a car to see the wonderful nature around them (and that's why people go there). There are some cute small towns in the region, but not many where you can kill more than a half day--usually they are a jumping off point to national and state parks, etc.

One exception is Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island. The San Juans are wonderful, and you could spend many days happily on the island. You can take the Victoria Clipper there from downtown Seattle (although that is a cost), and you can get around there without a car--there's a shuttle to the sights, there are tour services and cabs, and if you stay in town you can walk to meals, etc. But--the first week of August is likely to be very expensive if not sold out there. Still, you might try the Airbnb room thing.

I would try to get out of the city to see a national park or other natural area. The natural beauty of the area is what makes Seattle special. You do need a car unless you join a tour. You don't need outdoor skills to sightsee in a park. I second Suze's suggestion of a guidebook, but Whidbey Island, Mt Rainier NP and the North Cascades are some ideas. Finding accommodation for August will be the trickier part. You can do Rainier in a day if you need to.

ETA: just saw Suze's VIctoria idea--that's a really good idea.

Edited: 20 June 2018, 01:14
Seattle, Wa
Level Contributor
5 832 posts
49 reviews
6. Re: One Week in Seattle Area

This article is a few years old but it's still relevant and may be interesting to you:

https:/…20seattle.html

Seattle
Level Contributor
51 353 posts
22 reviews
7. Re: One Week in Seattle Area

For the "history" and "theater" interests there is plenty to do, but that would be "city time".

The Underground Tour in Pioneer Square is a humorous look at Seattle's founding mothers and fathers ($22) and some of the remaining historic sights and buildings. There's the Klondike Gold Rush museum (free) same area.

For theaters in August you might be able to catch one of the Shakespeare in the Park performances (free but pass the hat):

https:/…

http://www.seattleshakespeare.org/woodeno/

Edited: 20 June 2018, 01:34
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