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Driving to Canada-Border Issues
We drove from Seattle to Vancouver via Interstate 5, crossing the corder at the Douglas (Peace Arch) Crossing. This is the main thoroughfare on the West Coast between the two nations and is marked, by the large Peace Arch (built in 1921) and a surrounding state park in the US and provincial park in Canada. While entering Canada from this point, the lines were fairly short, and we waited perhaps 10-15 minutes until we got to the Canadian border inspector who just asked us a few questions and through the amusing phrase "Eh!" at us a few times. Just a quick stop and we were on our way.
Returning to the US on a holiday weekend, we heard on the radio that the Peace Arch Crossing had a two-hour wait, but the Pacific Highway Crossing, just a little further inland had shorter lines. So as we headed south on Canadian Hwy 99, we took one of the last exits before the border and headed east a few miles on 8th Street until we hit Hwy 15 to the border. Unfortunately, the lines here were just as long and it took us about 2 hours of waiting to get to the customs and immigration official. We thought the line were caused by the extra thorough security and questioning, but he barely said a word to us before waving us into the US.
While listening to the radio, the commentator kept saying the lines into Canada were 10 minutes and the lines to the US 2 hours, "as usual." Check the websites with current border wait times listed, and take a restroom break before you get stuck in traffic!
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Walking in Seattle
Seattle is a remarkably walkable city for the US, with many of the great tourist attractions less than a mile from downtown, and easy walking routes throughout the city. If you choose a hotel in the center of the downtown business district, Pike Market is just 0.3 miles southeast, the waterfront less than a half mile in the same direction. To the Space Needle is 1 mile, and the International District is less than a mile in the opposite direction. Pioneer Square is just .75 miles, and even the walk from the center of downtown to Safeco Field is just 1.5 miles, easily done by most people in less than 30 minutes.
During our two days in the city we visited each of these neighborhoods, walking everywhere we went, except for one quick ride on the monorail just for the experience.
If you're in the north part of the Ballard / Sunset Hill neighborhood, heading west, trying to find your way to the beach, these friendly residents have posted a helpful sign on their fence. The signe is located at the intersection of NW 80th St., Loyay Way, and 28th Ave NW.
Lookout refers to Sunset Hill Park.
Beach refers to Golden Gardens. There's a nice windy road you can tak down to the beach if you follow this sign.
Dog Park is on the way to the beach, a little further up the hill.
An added bonus for taking the Beach / Dog Park route is that you can stop by Cafe Fiore for some excellent organic coffee and snacks.
In Summer time, Seattle is a great place to ride, but just as San Fran, we have our share of hills:) .
A few major streets have bike lanes, as a bike rider though, cars dont seem to see the lil bike lane so be aware.
One popular route to to ride across lake washington, across the I-90 bridge to Mercer island or to Bellevue. From Downtown, you would take 2nd Avenue until 2nd and Dearborne, turn on dearborne(left) until Rainer(right on rainer) to the I-90 bike path/park, from there u have a few hills to conquer and there is a overlook area above the bridge, which on a clear day will give a nice few of Mt.Rainer and the cascade mountains, lake, etc.
Horse and Carriage
I never really see the value of renting a horse and buggy. They are slow and not necessarily going anywhere. I guess if you just want to relax and there is a romance factor attached to it I guess. Probably most romantic at night.
So here you are I came across them in a couple of different locations downtown. They are easy to find and you can knock your socks off. Have fun watching the horse crap in front of you when it needs to, LOL.
If you are exhausted the way I was from walking a lot of Seattle the Monorail is a very quick way to get from the core of downtown over to the Space Needle and Seattle Center.
It was just $1.50 one way and it is very quick back and forth and I liked the views you got from above.
I found two web sites online, one for the existing system and another for the expansion. Apparently expansion of the Monorail is a hotly debated topic in Seattle.
In any event I appreciated the quick ride back downtown and you might too. Check it out!
VICTORIA CLIPPER 'VACATIONS'
This is an absolutely wonderful way to get to Seattle from Victoria...or visa versa!!
Travel is smooth and very enjoyable with perfect views of the Pacific Ocean enroute!!
Call: 1 (800) 888-2535 in the USA only or 1 (206) 448-5000 from Canada.
Go to this website for Specials, Bargains, and Package Travel Deals:
- Family Travel
- Sailing and Boating
Downtown Free Buses
Within the downtown district, you can ride the underground buses for free within circumscribed boundaries. This is a great money saver and an interesting feature of Seattle. We followed the entry to the subterranean tunnel at 5th & Pine Streets to catch a bus to Pioneer Square.
Everything is clean, well-lit, mostly exhaust free and the tunnels even feature some decorative details. Use will see that polished granite has been used for floor, walls and benches. Glazed decorative tiles spaced through out are quite nice too.
Most city maps should should bus lines and the boundaries of the "ride free" areas. You can probably pick these maps up free of charge at your hotel, in tourist areas, Pike Place Market, etc.
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