Book a round trip flight to Seattle Sea-Tac Airport. We flew with United Airlines. Be sure to get your tickets early on.
Make sure your rental car had plenty of space for your whole group. This Nissan van was great for our family and had plenty of room to store all of our luggage.
Our first stop was Mt. Rainier. We booked a beautiful cabin called, Cedar Cabin on the Creek. It had plenty of room to spread out with a kitchen, laundry, a hot tub and a beautiful backyard.
Whenever you first go to a national park, be sure to check out the visitor's center, like this one at Paradise in Mt. Rainier. The rangers have great advice.
This is a view of Mt. Rainier. If you are adventurous, more so than my family, there are many hiking trips that go up and down the mountain. There are also many smaller hikes in the area.
One of the best things we did was climb up to play around in some of the snow on the mountain. In the middle of July this year, there was snow right up to Paradise, but we could dress for summer!
Then, if you have a passport, catch a ferry out of Port Angeles and head to Victoria. It's a beautiful city on Vancouver Island, and it is definitely worth the quick ferry ride.
Check out the beautiful Butchart Gardens. They are over 100 years old and so beautiful. We took a bus tour to the garden to learn all about its history.
Make sure you have high tea in Victoria. It is a tradition in the city. We had tea at the Gatsby Mansion; it was only half as expensive as the tea at the Empress Hotel, but it was super nice.
Next, we stayed in Sol Duc Resort in Olympic Mountain National Park. The lodge had pools heated by hot springs!
We hiked to the beautiful Sol Duc falls located right by the resort.
And we kayaked in the beautiful Crescent Lake.
Hurricane ridge was the last stop in Olympic National Park and it was spectacular, but check with the lower station that visibility is good before driving all the way up.
When you finally get to Seattle, be sure to take advantage of public transportation. Parking can sometimes be an issue.
Check out the boat locks and fish ladder near Lake Union.
And watch the sun set on the shore in Discovery Park.
One thing you have to do in Seattle is go on a whale watching tour. We went on a tour out of Blaine, close to the Canadian border. It was incredible.
Check out the downtown shopping and parks at the Westlake Center. The blue trees are supposed to represent the cities "green" efforts.
Pike's Place Market has an insane variety of goods, including flowers, spices, jewelry, and "flying" fish.
And the very first Starbucks!!!
One thing everyone thinks of when the hear Seattle is the Space Needle. It has amazing views! I would suggest going early in the morning on a weekday to avoid a long wait.
Hopefully this guide showed you a bit about the Pacific Northwest. It was the best trip of my life! Please comment if you have questions or if you want to share something you know about the area.