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Day trips around Seattle?? Where to stay???

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Hey there!  My dad and I are planning a caching trip to Seattle this summer (from CT), and I'm trying to decide where we should stay based on where we'll be going.  I'm wondering if we should stay in/near the city and then do day trips from there, or is there a great place to stay outside the city that's also near a lot of great caching?


I'm excited to visit HQ and all the other high-point caches in the city, but I also love a good nature walk/hike without such a high muggle risk.  I also prefer containers to micros, and I do like the caches that are easier to find!  Of course these aren't all requirements but this is what I tend to look for locally.


Is there so much to do in Seattle that we won't even get a chance to do any day trips?  I've been imagining a week-long trip but maybe we should stay a little longer?  After running around for seven days straight I imagine I might be tuckered out!


I have a LOT of decisions to make, so any suggestions/guidance would be hugely appreciated!!  We've never been to the west coast!
Thank you SO much!!!  :) -Purplecatpaws

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Hotels in the city are expensive, so it depends what your budget is like and if you're ok spending more than $200 per night on a room. Also whether or not you will be renting a car, or relying on walking and public transportation. There are many city parks that are forest parks with trails to hike and geocaches to find among the trees. But since you've never been to the northwest, I think it's worth getting out of the city to explore the greater landscape. You can't do it all, so don't try, but you can focus on a few places that maximize what the area has to offer. Certainly spend a few days in Seattle, seeing the city, visiting HQ, the aquarium, dining at the many local food joints, and the urban geocaching. Then get away for a few days. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Go East into the Cascades. Pick one below:
    1. Snoqualmie Pass - has some great hikes to waterfalls and mountain summits, and the first geocache placed in the state of Washington. Also walk through the 2.25 mile snoqualmie tunnel to the Project APE cache. Great caching, easy to get to.
    2. Mt. Rainier - Beautiful park, lots of hiking. In the national park, you'll only find virtual and earth caches. Physical caches outside in the national forests.
    3. North Cascades NP - Again, beautiful terrain, lots of hiking. Lots of geocaches in the area, but the national park is limited to non-physical hides.
  2. Go north, to Canada. Vancouver is also a wonderful city, and get another country and province  souvenir in the process.
  3. Go West, to the Olympic Peninsula
    1. There's actual coast to play along.
    2. The rainforest is amazing
    3. So are the mountains.
    4. Again, lots of hiking opportunities.
  4. Go South, to Portland.
    1. On the way, visit Mt. Saint Helens
    2. Cache and hike along the Columbia River Gorge
    3. Portland is also a neat city
    4. Visit the Original Stash.

For items 1 & 3, if you're into camping, do it. It's a great way to see the wild side of the west. And if you have more than a week to explore, you can certainly try to do more. Keep in mind that "summer" in the northwest really means July 1 through about September 15. That is, to say, if you plan on doing anything high in the mountains above 5000 feet, you may encounter snow through much of June. So if you're looking to go to Mt. Rainier, for example, July is the best time to go when the alpine flowers are at the peak of their bloom.

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Staying in one of the close by cities will lessen your interaction with rush-hour traffic (which starts about 2:15 anymore).  Bellevue, Renton, Tukwila, Kent, Federal Way and SeaTac all have lots of caches and good options for lodging cheaper than Seattle.  Access is pretty good to most areas from the 'outer' cities.


Another option to consider:  Rent a RV which would allow longer than day trips and you carry your bed with you.

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This information is fantastic!  Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!!!  :D


If we stay outside of the city, how should we expect parking in the city to go?  I'm wondering if we'll end up paying as much for parking as we'll be saving by not staying there! 

Edited by PurpleCatPaws

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In fremont, you might be able to find street parking depending on time of day and such. Downtown, there are parking garages and I don't remember them being terrible for pricing. Depending on where you stay, there might even be a bus line going right into the city. Don't forget to check Air B&B. You can probably stay in or closer to the city on normal hotel budget and get better accommodations.

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