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Great vacations don't only have to be in far away expensive places.

Here's a lovely varied experience in the nearby Pacific Northwest, taking less than a week, and costing under $1000 (plus air fare).

 
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Pacific Northwest Explorer

A five plus day exploration of David's favorite places in his home area

 

 

This tour around the Pacific Northwest can be enjoyed by itself, or can be combined with extra time in Seattle, or perhaps Portland OR, Vancouver BC, or just about anywhere else you'd like to add.

We offer you a kaleidoscopic exposure to the very varied scenery and experiences in the region.  From cool rainforest in the Olympic National Park to the hot dry plans of Eastern Washington, from cosmopolitan Seattle to quaint Victoria, and with three ferry rides through different parts of beautiful Puget Sound as well as comfortable luxury coach touring.  And, as a special bonus, time at the beautiful natural mineral hot springs at Sol Duc Resort.

There's truly something in this tour for everyone.  Come join us and enjoy/experience the best of the beautiful Pacific Northwest region.
 

Tour Itinerary

(Click map for a larger image)

The tour starts in downtown Seattle and ends either at the Seatac airport or again in downtown Seattle.

Overnight stops are at Sol Duc, Victoria BC, and Leavenworth.  Total road distance traveled is just under 500 miles, plus three ferry rides.

Tour Dates

The tour allows you to make your own way to Seattle any way you wish, and to add extra time in Seattle before or after the tour.

The tour is conveniently timed from Monday morning 1 October to Friday afternoon 5 October allowing you the weekends on either side to variously spend time in Seattle and/or travel between Seattle and your home.

The tour starts in downtown Seattle at 9.30am on Monday 1 October and ends either at Seatac airport at 4.30pm on Friday 5 October or in downtown Seattle at 5.15pm.

If you're flying in to Seattle Monday morning (not recommended due to the unreliability of airline schedules) you should arrange for a flight that arrives perhaps no later than 7.30am, and if you're flying out of Seattle on Friday afternoon you should probably arrange a departure after 6.30pm.

Tour Options

You can add extra time in Seattle before or after the main tour, which is all conducted outside of Seattle itself.

Another thought would be to fly in or out of either Portland OR and/or Vancouver BC, spending time there before or after the main tour, and taking the very pleasant Amtrak tilt-train between that city and Seattle.

Small Group Size

The group is limited to a maximum of 30 persons.

We'll be traveling on a 50 seater coach so there'll always be lots of room for everyone to spread out.

Because we're a small group of like minded people, you'll enjoy the fellowship of your fellow group members, adding to the pleasure of the tour, and because the tour is exclusively for us, if we wish to make any itinerary changes during our time, we can do that with no problems, too.

Tour Price

The tour is priced at $895 per person, share twin.  There are no taxes or other fees to add to this price.

If you are traveling alone, you can either have us match you up with another person of the same gender and share the accommodation, or choose to have single accommodation.  The single supplement, if traveling by yourself and not sharing, is $395.

These prices reflect a 3% discount for cash/check.

A $250 per person non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your places on this tour.

You are responsible for arranging your travel to and from Seattle.  This gives you the best chance/choice of choosing your preferred airline, cashing in frequent flier miles, or whatever, and traveling when and how you wish.

Tour Inclusions

Your $895 per person tour price includes all the following :

  • Coaching from Seattle to Sol Duc (via Port Townsend) in a luxury coach with toilet, driver/guide, and live commentary

  • Ferry crossing from Seattle to Bainbridge Island

  • One night accommodation at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort including cooked breakfast the next morning

  • Olympic National Park Entrance Fee

  • Unlimited access to the hot pools at Sol Duc

  • Welcome party at Sol Duc

  • Coaching from Sol Duc to Port Angeles and on to Victoria, BC in a luxury coach with toilet, driver/guide, and live commentary

  • Ferry crossing from Port Angeles to Victoria

  • Two nights accommodation in the heart of Victoria in a suite at the Hotel Grand Pacific

  • Coaching from Victoria to Sydney, then from Anacortes to Leavenworth in a luxury coach with toilet, driver/guide, and live commentary

  • Ferry crossing from Sidney BC to Anacortes

  • One night accommodation at the Linderhof Inn, Leavenworth including continental breakfast the next morning

  • Farewell party in Leavenworth

  • Coaching from Leavenworth to Seattle, either to the airport or to downtown, in a luxury coach with toilet, driver/guide, and live commentary

  • Possible extra inclusions :  If our group reaches 25 people, we'll add a dinner in Victoria on the Tuesday.  If it reaches 30, we'll add something further.

Itinerary
 

Day 0 (Sat/Sun 29 or 30 Sep) :  Travel to Seattle


A classic picture of Seattle, with the Space Needle center left, downtown buildings, and Mt Rainier in the background.
 

Our tour starts on Monday morning at 9.30am, so most people will choose to travel to Seattle on Sunday (or even Saturday).

Make your own way to Seattle as you wish and enjoy some free time in 'the Emerald City' before the start of the tour on Monday morning.

You can of course stay anywhere in Seattle you choose to, but we'd recommend the Seattle Sheraton - it is in a great location, and has good rates for this weekend - Expedia is quoting $169 for Saturday night and $209 for Sunday night.

A more budget choice could be the Holiday Inn on Dexter Ave, which has a two nights for one deal through Seattle Toursaver (below).

If you're spending time in Seattle before or after the main tour, our information about Where to Dine in Seattle might be of help to you, and the Seattle Toursaver could save you substantially on your touring and accommodation.

 

Day 1 (Monday 1 October)  :  Seattle to Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort by ferry and coach


Seattle recedes into the background as our ferry takes us to Bainbridge Island.
 

Port Townsend's impressive architecture, with a ferry in the distance.
 
The hot springs at beautiful Sol Duc Resort.

Join the group this morning at 9.30am and then travel the short distance by coach to the Ferry terminal.

We'll take a short 35 minute ferry journey across Puget Sound, giving you beautiful views of the city skyline from the water.

We then travel by our luxury motor-coach to the quaint little town of Port Townsend, known for its grand buildings and antique shops, where we'll stop to give you a chance for some shopping and lunch.

After lunch we continue on to Port Angeles and then go inland into the Olympic National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and to our destination - Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.

This is a lovely place, nestled in a valley in the heart of the national forest, with a river running alongside, and with natural volcanic hot springs that flow up into a series of pools you can soak in and enjoy the alleged restorative powers of the mineral rich waters.

Weather permitting, we'll hold an outdoors party at Sol Duc this evening.

Note that due to its remote isolation, Sol Duc has no internet and only a couple of pay phones.

 

Day 2 (Tuesday 2 October) :  Sol Duc to Victoria, Canada by ferry and coach


One of the cabins at Sol Duc Resort.  Accommodation is rustic but comfortable, in a series of cabins set around the grounds.
 

Coho entering the inner harbor in Victoria.  The black hole in its side is one of the two loading doors, opening in readiness for docking.
 

The Hotel Grand Pacific, our home for the next two nights.

You've a little time this morning to enjoy breakfast and to go soak some more in the hot pools, or perhaps to walk on one of the many nature trails around the area.

Mid morning we'll travel back to Port Angeles in time to take a ferry across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and to Victoria, BC in Canada (be sure to bring your passport with you!).

This is a 90 minute crossing with beautiful views to the Olympic Mountains, across Puget Sound, and to Vancouver Island.

Upon arrival in Victoria we'll travel no more than 100 yds to our central downtown hotel, the lovely Hotel Grand Pacific.  There's a special treat for you there - we're staying in their lovely suites, with great views over the harbor and surrounding areas.  You'll quickly appreciate why this hotel is my favorite hotel in Victoria.

Free internet provided.

 

Day 3 (Wednesday 3 October) :  Victoria, BC


Victoria, looking over to the dome of their Parliament building.

You've a full day to spend in Victoria today, doing whatever you might wish.

See our three part series on Victoria to get a better feeling for what you might wish to enjoy during your open day.

 

Day 4 (Thursday 4 October) :  Victoria to Leavenworth by ferry and coach


A ferry approaches Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands
 

A view as we drive along beautiful Hwy 2 to Leavenworth
 

The Bavarian village of Leavenworth charms all who visit

Our stay in charming British style Victoria comes to a close.  We'll take a ferry from Sidney, BC over to Anacortes, WA this morning, on a beautiful route through the lovely San Juan Islands, and then will travel on to the charming town of Leavenworth, traveling over Highway 2 and Stevens Pass to get there.

Weather permitting, we'll have an outdoors barbeque and party on the hill overlooking the township.  You'll get to enjoy lovely views over the mountains and valleys, and look up to see the stars shining brightly above, unobscured by pollution.

We'll spend one night in Leavenworth, at the centrally located Linderhof Inn.  Free internet access is included.

 

Day 5 (Friday 5 October) :  Back to Seattle


Another view of the lovely town of Leavenworth, nestled in the a valley with mountains towering on all sides.
 

Your first or last impression of Seattle may be this view from a plane (looking over downtown and to the north).

Our hotel offers us a complimentary continental breakfast, and then we have the rest of the morning free to explore the lovely Bavarian styled village of Leavenworth and to enjoy lunch at any of the many different restaurants in town.  Our three part series tells you more about Leavenworth.

After lunch we'll return back to Seattle a different route to the one which took us to Leavenworth yesterday.  We'll cross two mountain passes (Blewett and Snoqualmie) and enjoy more gorgeous scenery before arriving first at the airport at approximately 4.30pm and then downtown Seattle at approximately 5.15pm.

If you're choosing to fly home this evening, we suggest you schedule a flight departing no earlier than 6.30pm.

 

Day 6 + (Saturday onwards) :  Seattle, go other places, do other things, or return home


Maybe ride the Amtrak Cascade Talgo Tilting Train service to Portland or Vancouver at the end of your time in Seattle.

If you've never been to Seattle itself before, you might choose to spend some extra time in Seattle before or after our tour around the region.

You might want to experience the famous Underground Seattle tour in Pioneer Square, go for a harbor cruise or Duck tour, visit the locks, stroll the waterfront, stop at Pike Place Market, or do any of the many other things that can be enjoyed around the Seattle area.

Perhaps take a day tour down to see where Mt St Helens erupted, or go by train down to Portland or up to Vancouver to spend more time in another area.

 

Tour Terms and Conditions

Our standard terms and conditions apply to this tour.

In addition, please note these extra terms :

1.   The 45 day payment due date is considered to be Wednesday 15 August.

2.   US citizens require a current passport that will not expire for at least six months after the date of their planned return back to the US in order to be admitted to Canada.  They do not need a visa.  Citizens of other countries should check to see if they need a visa.

3.   Triple share rates may be available.  Ask for a quote if this is required.

4.   There's plenty of room in the coach's luggage bays for as much luggage as you choose to bring.  But you'll find it easier if you try and limit yourself to one main suitcase and one smaller item per person.

Request to Join Tour

Your Name, Age & Citizenship and smoking preference

 

Age                                               
 Citizenship                  

Smoker? Yes    No

Name of Companion, Age, Citizenship and smoking preference

Age                                               
Citizenship             

Smoker? Yes    No

Address

City, State, Zip

Phone (Day)

Phone (Night)

Email

 

Double or Twin Beds

Double   Twins   Don't Mind

Any special dietary needs

Any other special needs

Any other comments

 

You will be asked to send in your $100 per person confirming deposit as soon as your places on this tour have been confirmed.

The Travel Insider is licensed by the State of Washington as a seller of travel - registration number 602 036 247.
 

Originally published 26 Jul 2005, last update 21 Jul 2020

 
 
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