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Washington State Trip
May 30, 2014 - June 8, 2014

I was finally able to move Seattle from my Places I'd Love To Visit list to my Places I've Been list. We had a fun time in Seattle but the icing on the cake was the cross-state road trip and the excursions to the national parks. I never knew Washington state has such a diverse landscape.

Things I Really Enjoyed

Things I Would Do Differently

Trip Report

A visit to Seattle had been on our Bucket List for several years. Traci and I had begun planning our visit more than once over the years but something would always cause us to postpone our plans. It was not until one of Traci's running groups announced that they would be getting together in Spokane (pronounced Spo-can), Washington to run the Windermere Marathon that I could finally consider our trip a done deal. There is not much that comes between Traci and her running.

Traci normally leaves the trip planning to me. It is something I really enjoy. The fact that the marathon would take place in Spokane opened up more interesting possibilities for our visit beyond just the Seattle trip I had originally envisioned. Spokane is in eastern Washington whereas Seattle is on the western side of the state. This gave me the opportunity to plan a cross-state road trip. I used the AAA Tour Book for Washington state to put together an itinerary. The AAA tour books are my favorite resource for planning a road trip in the U.S. or Canada. They do a thorough yet concise job of describing the attractions of every city/town in a state or province. In my spare time over the course of several months, I read through all of the attraction descriptions and added the attractions that looked interesting into a spreadsheet. I narrowed down my selections by reading online reviews and trip reports. Through this process, I came up with a 10-day trip consisting of the following itinerary:

  1. Fly to Spokane:Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) to Spokane with a plane change in Denver
  2. Weekend in Spokane: Traci participates in running events; sightseeing in Spokane
  3. Cross-state Road Trip: drive from Spokane to Chehalis with planned stops at Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park in Vantage and the town of Leavenworth; we made an interesting unplanned stop at the PSE wind and solar facility in Vantage
  4. 2 Nights in Chehalis: This allowed us to do daytrips to the Hoh Rainforest and to Mount St. Helens National Park
  5. 3 Nights in Downtown Seattle: city sightseeing and an excursion to Mt. Rainier National Park
  6. 1 Night at an airport hotel in SeaTac: easy access to our departure flight from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  7. Fly home: SEA to IAD direct flight

Here is a map of our itinerary...

Washington State Trip Itinerary

Our Washington state visit exceeded our expectations. Here is a recap of our journey. Continue...

Intro | Spokane | Road Trip | Hoh Rainforest | Mt. St. Helens | Seattle Day 1 | Seattle Day 2 | Mt. Rainier | Mt. Rainier | next

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