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Wxdude10 - Mike
Wxdude10 - Mike Reader
6/6/18 7:32 p.m.

Hi everyone,

  So, it is vacation figure-out time here as Casa de Wx.  We are thinking possibly about going to Washington or Oregon.  I have 15 year old twins, and a 12 year old.  All boys.  Two things that we have on the list right now is to see Mount St. Helens and Crater Lake.

  My question to you, especially our PNW hive members, what would should we do? What are the must see things?  We will probably go for 1-2 weeks.  We are completely open to all suggestions.

Thanks everyone!

-Mike

BTD
BTD Reader
6/6/18 8:03 p.m.

My wife and I rented a Westfalia and drove around the Olympic peninsula/Olympic National Park for ~5 days. It was incredible. No crowds, epic wilderness, and lots of time to unplug. A Westy is probably too small for your needs, but you could do our same trip staying in lodges and such. 

 

10/10 would go again.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill PowerDork
6/7/18 6:28 a.m.

Wow, sooooooooo much... 

 

Most of it is outdoors, and the problem you'll have is narrowing it down to a workable number and figuring in drive times between them all.

Olympic peninsula for sure, north america's only rain forrest.  St. Helens is a must.  Mount Rainier is the third most dangerous active volcano in the country (most dangerous in the lower 48), you can drive up to a spot on it called "paradise" and the name fits.

Deception pass, is beautiful and the bridge across it is worth a walk across (campgrounds nearby)

Man, what else.

Of course there are nice cities too.  Tacoma's waterfront is a great place to go walk around for a bit.  Same with La Conner (La conner > Tacoma).  Seattle has its touristy areas.  Whale watching is an option...  You definitely have to catch a ferry to somewhere.  They're part of our nation's highway system...

 

If crater lake is on your list, I might travel up to the olypmics with one stop in between.  Drive north again and catch a ferry from port townsend to coupeville, and drive up to deception pass, walk around a bit.  Drive hwy 20 to I-5,  maybe see La Conner on your way (just a cute little puget sound town, it's good for an afternoon/evening) hit seattle if it's on your list and Paradise and St. helens on your way back south.  Something like that :)

Well, now you've done it.  You've got me good and home sick again crying

When are you planning on visiting?



 

nocones
nocones UltraDork
6/7/18 6:47 a.m.

Ill echo to much to do.  Your biggest challenge will be limiting  to 2 weeks.  McMinnville near portland has the spruce goose at evergreen air museum.  You can actually sit in the pilots seat and touch the controls (for a modest additional tour fee)

 

Oregon coast is one of the best areas in America.  Astoria has a tower that you can throw $1 balsa planes off of.  Driving down the coast you see lots of amazing stuff.  

If you go to crater lake (which is amazing ( for sure drive an hour south to Lava Beds national monument.  Numerous underground lava tubes you can explore, kids yours age would love it.  

Northern California coast deserves a shout out for redwoods.  It's absolutely worth the drive to see these trees.  Majestic and fascinating to stand amongst those Giants.  

Seattle is really neat also.  I've not done Olympic but it's on my list for next time.  

 

Caution if you are outdoorsy at all you will want to move to PNW after a visit.

Sparkydog
Sparkydog Reader
6/7/18 7:43 a.m.

Multnomah Falls. The boys are old enough to make the hike to the top and look down from the viewing deck.

Chihuly glass museum Tacoma.

OMSI in Portland. Especially the sub tour.

Alpine slide on Mt. Hood 

feed them a lunch or dinner at a Burgerville

 

Johnboyjjb
Johnboyjjb Reader
6/7/18 8:01 a.m.

Le May Car Museum

Tillamook Factory Tour

Astoria Bridge

Leavenworth

Dry Falls

Pike Place Market

Pendleton Round Up (depending on time of year)

Slide Waters @ Lake Chelan

Columbia River @ Hood River

Ballard Locks

Portland Zoo

Winthrop

Walking Chocolate Tour

Drive the 101 from Port Townsend as far south as you want

Triangle of Fire (Fort Casey, Fort Flagler, Fort Worden)

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/7/18 8:17 a.m.

We lived across the sound from Seattle from 1998-2002. This thread makes me miss it. Hoh rainforest is worth the trip. Oregon coast is amazing. Mt. St. Helens also a must see. 

Wxdude10 - Mike
Wxdude10 - Mike Reader
6/7/18 8:51 a.m.
Hungary Bill said:

Wow, sooooooooo much... 

 

Most of it is outdoors, and the problem you'll have is narrowing it down to a workable number and figuring in drive times between them all.

Olympic peninsula for sure, north america's only rain forrest.  St. Helens is a must.  Mount Rainier is the third most dangerous active volcano in the country (most dangerous in the lower 48), you can drive up to a spot on it called "paradise" and the name fits.

Deception pass, is beautiful and the bridge across it is worth a walk across (campgrounds nearby)

Man, what else.

Of course there are nice cities too.  Tacoma's waterfront is a great place to go walk around for a bit.  Same with La Conner (La conner > Tacoma).  Seattle has its touristy areas.  Whale watching is an option...  You definitely have to catch a ferry to somewhere.  They're part of our nation's highway system...

 

If crater lake is on your list, I might travel up to the olypmics with one stop in between.  Drive north again and catch a ferry from port townsend to coupeville, and drive up to deception pass, walk around a bit.  Drive hwy 20 to I-5,  maybe see La Conner on your way (just a cute little puget sound town, it's good for an afternoon/evening) hit seattle if it's on your list and Paradise and St. helens on your way back south.  Something like that :)

Well, now you've done it.  You've got me good and home sick again crying

When are you planning on visiting?



 

Sorry for making you homesick.  We are likely going somewhere between Aug 4-18. 

We were out in CA in 2016 for 10 days.  We flew into LA, drove right from there to Half-Moon Bay.  Next day we walked all around San Fran with a friend.  Next day did PCH with stops in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Pebble Beach, Big Sur to pull back into LA at midnight.  Then we did lots of touristy stuff around LA for a few days. Went out on a private boat for Whale watching, dolphins, fishing.  Did Disneyland/California Adventure.

We loved that trip so much that we want to go and see another section of the country.  Lots of driving is never a problem for us.  We do day trips to NYC from Chelmsford, MA (4+ hours).  Our initial thought was maybe to fly in/out of San Fran.  See the Redwoods forest.  See Crater Lake.  We saw there is a Goonies tour in Astoria, so we'd probably hit that.

My twins are big science, music, and car kids.  My 12 year old is into sports, music, cars, interested in volcanoes, getting started with photography (wants to try astrophotography).  Hiking is not a huge past time, but we all love to go up into the White mountains in NH and drive through the state/national parks. 

CJ
CJ Reader
6/7/18 8:54 a.m.

I would second the OMSI in Portland and the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville. 

Also, the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River great.  Everything they have runs and drives (or flies) if it isn't being restored.

Took my grandsons (12 and 13) to both the Evergreen and WAAAM in the last couple of months - both were a hit.

Karacticus
Karacticus Dork
6/7/18 9:29 a.m.

Tour of the Boeing widebody factory in Everett should be on your list of possibilities.  Location-wise, integrates well with a ferry ride and a trip to the Deception pass bridge.

Sparkydog
Sparkydog Reader
6/7/18 9:42 a.m.

Have a meal and beer at any of the McMenamins pubs scattered all over the Oregon / Washington metro areas.

https://www.mcmenamins.com/

 

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
6/7/18 11:18 a.m.

Lots of good stuff above; before refreshing the page I was about to add WAAAM. It's impressive (and Hood River is a neat little town, so there are some neat sightseeing things in the area; I'm not sure how to recommend them since everything I see in that area I do by mountain bike).

OMSI's great, but if you do fly into S.F., I'd recommend the Exploratorium, which is one of the places I really had my childhood imprint of scientific wonder. But not getting out of S.F. immediately probably complicates things, as well as adding a bunch of other opportunities...

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
6/7/18 11:47 a.m.

Valley of the patriarchs.   Go see a tree larger than life. 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
6/7/18 11:58 a.m.
Sparkydog said:

Have a meal and beer at any of the McMenamins pubs scattered all over the Oregon / Washington metro areas.

https://www.mcmenamins.com/

 

Especially McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, OR which is the site of a former Poor Farm and has a lot of interesting history.

kazoospec
kazoospec SuperDork
6/7/18 12:11 p.m.

Another recommendation for the Oregon coast.

If you are anywhere near Sahalie Falls in Oregon, stop in.  Last I was there, there was just a small roadside state park.  If it were anywhere else in the nation, there would be at least 17 hotels and 3 casinos around it. 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
6/7/18 12:11 p.m.
Ransom said:

Lots of good stuff above; before refreshing the page I was about to add WAAAM. It's impressive (and Hood River is a neat little town, so there are some neat sightseeing things in the area; I'm not sure how to recommend them since everything I see in that area I do by mountain bike).

OMSI's great, but if you do fly into S.F., I'd recommend the Exploratorium, which is one of the places I really had my childhood imprint of scientific wonder. But not getting out of S.F. immediately probably complicates things, as well as adding a bunch of other opportunities...

My BIL/SIL own Waucoma bookshop on Main street in Hood River, which is more or less a great place to stop and get some recommendations for places to eat and places to see while you're in town.

That said, the WAAAM museum is really wonderful and worth the trip, especially if you hit Multnomah Falls on the way there or on the way back.

There are other places to stop along I84 (Vista House for example), unfortunately much of Old Columbia River Highway is still closed along with a few places along the way due to the fires from last year.

McMennamins Edgefield (former Poor Farm) is in Troutdale along I84, and has several places to eat and grounds to explore, etc.

Boeing's Museum is pretty impressive and worth a stop if you're in the area.

The McMinnville Evergreen Museums (Where the Hughes H1 aka Spruce Goose is located) they have a space museum that does a great job showing the progress of both the US and USSR space efforts.  There's a water park too if some energy needs to be burned off.

OMSI is great, especially the WWII sub tour, but if I were in SF or Seattle I'd hit their Science Museums over OMSI if I had to choose.  MoPOP in Seattle is great too.

Astrophotography is awesome and very popular in Southern Oregon in the Bend/Redmond area along with Crater Lake, etc.  There should be some groups in the area that might help with any interest in it.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
6/7/18 12:24 p.m.

Depending on when you arrive, there's likely to be some racing events going on at Portland International Raceway, Pacific Raceways (Kent, WA), The Ridge (Shelton, WA) that could be fun to check out.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill PowerDork
6/7/18 12:37 p.m.

dang, i'll miss ya by a month.

 

I forgot about the oregon dunes.  Lots of good times to be had there (atv's and 4wd's on the beach type of fun)

stanger_missle
stanger_missle Dork
6/7/18 1:20 p.m.

My family took a vacation to the Oregon coast when I was 14 (or 23 years ago cool). The plan was to start from Astoria and go as far down the coast as we could get in a week. I remember the Astoria column, Cannon Beach and Seaside. We took a guided tour of the sand dunes in a sand rail. I had a blast ripping around the dunes. I think the place was called Sandland Adventures in Florence.

There was a small chowder place in Newport called the Chowder Bowl. It's a little hole in the wall place but that was the best clam chowder I have ever had.

We only made it down to Florence, then headed east to Eugene. My folks had some friends in Eugene. Then we continued east to home in Idaho.

That was my favorite vacation of all time. I absolutely love the Oregon coast. It is easily my favorite part of the country. I'd live there if I could afford it.

 

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
6/7/18 1:20 p.m.
Sparkydog said:

Multnomah Falls. The boys are old enough to make the hike to the top and look down from the viewing deck.

Sadly, since the fires last year that decimated the area, even the lower viewing platform has just recently reopened, with no timeline set for reopening the trail to the upper viewing platform.

Antihero
Antihero HalfDork
6/7/18 2:10 p.m.

We took a trip to portland last year, loved the zoo and Powells Books. Deuschutes was a great place to eat too

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
6/7/18 2:37 p.m.

If you hit Powell's, do NOT miss the 'rare book room".

Antihero
Antihero HalfDork
6/7/18 2:41 p.m.
Driven5 said:

If you hit Powell's, do NOT miss the 'rare book room".

agreed

Sparkydog
Sparkydog Reader
6/7/18 3:02 p.m.
Driven5 said:
Sparkydog said:

Multnomah Falls. The boys are old enough to make the hike to the top and look down from the viewing deck.

Sadly, since the fires last year that decimated the area, even the lower viewing platform has just recently reopened, with no timeline set for reopening the trail to the upper viewing platform.

Good point. OK so show the boys the burn damage from the fire and then scream at them not to play with fireworks like the idiot teenage boys who started the Gorge fires!!! 

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
6/7/18 3:58 p.m.

In reply to Sparkydog :

I haven't been there since the fires, but I imagine climbing Beacon Rock could be a nice hike that would allow them to survey the damage and have the same talk as well.

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