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Seattle - Vancouver Island - Vancouver


Much of this route is in Canada, but if you are visiting or based in Seattle (or nearby Portland), then you should seriously consider crossing the border to explore this majestic region of the world. The scenery of the Pacific Northwest is breathtaking, the air is fresh, the mountains are tall, and plenty of fun and challenging adventure activities await the intrepid traveler. Starting in Seattle, immerse yourself in culture and soak yourself in coffee so that you are hyped up and ready for the upcoming whale watching, sea kayaking and bungy jumping just across the border.

Note: This trip can be taken in reverse order if you are returning to Seattle; just head to Vancouver first, then Vancouver Island and back into Seattle.


Have a doppio at the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market, and then hit Pioneer Square for boutique shopping during the day and club bouncing at night. Play rock star at the Experience Music Project before heading up to the top of the Space Needle to gaze over the spectacular mountain scenery and glistening Puget Sound. Book a seaplane or hop a ferry and enjoy eagle and orca sightings as you pass through the San Juan Islands. Kayak with the whales. Have a microbrew or two along the flower-lined streets of quaint Victoria, and head up to Nanaimo for some serious backwoods hiking and R&R. Get your adventure on near Vancouver with bungy jumping, ropes courses, and suspension bridges, then chill at night with the bumping music scene of Canada’s most beautiful city.

Suggested Route

Starting Point: Seattle

Ending Point: Vancouver

Time Frame: 8-14 days (including time in Seattle and Vancouver)

Seattle to Victoria, Vancouver Island - transport options include high-speed car-ferry service from Seattle or Port Angeles to Victoria and by air via a small plane or seaplane (this option can be expensive - save your money and splurge on a standby seaplane ride from Victoria to Vancouver).

Seattle to Vancouver - it's just a short 3-hour trip from Seattle to Vancouver along I-5 by bus, train, shuttle or car. This route takes you through Everett and Bellingham (ferry to Alaska leaves from here).

Vancouver-Vancouver Island - you can take a ferry from two ports outside of Vancouver, Tsawwassen (to Nanaimo and Victoria) or Horseshoe Bay (to Nanaimo). Pacific Coach lines also take you there along the same route but leaves from downtown Vancouver.

Via San Juan Islands - further west, off the coast and in the Puget Sound, are the San Juan Islands, a fabulous natural destination. The four popular islands (there are over 172) are San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw. To get there take the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes or Bellingham (summers only). Once you have explored the islands, you can continue on via ferry to Sidney on Vancouver Island, or head back to Washington and continue along I-5 into Vancouver.

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