Depart London Heathrow – 15:05
Arrive Seattle – 16:40
Journey Time – 9 hours 35 minutes
We do not recommend collection of your rental car at the airport on arrival. Take one of the metered cabs from the airport to your Seattle Hotel. We recommend this as you will be tired and will only pay high fees (Approximately $40 per night) to park the vehicle during your 3 days in the city. Of course if you do prefer to collect it on arrival or would like us to arrange someone to meet you at the airport and provide a private transfer to your hotel, this can be done for an additional cost. Your unique and stylish hotel affords the perfect location to explore everything that Seattle has to offer, so get a good night sleep and be ready for tomorrow!
Overnight – Seattle
Today you have a full day in Seattle for seeing the sights. We suggest that the first thing you do this morning is head down to lively ‘Pike Place Market’ where there are a huge range of restaurants and it’s a great place to eat breakfast whilst either overlooking the sea or just watching the marketers set up their stalls. After breakfast, why not take a ‘Hop on, Hop off’ city tour (there is a stop just outside the Pike Place Market) – this, in our opinion, is one of the best ways to get your bearings in a new City. Stops on the tour include the downtown shopping district, Seattle Center, Waterfront and Pioneer Square. Also, whilst in Seattle, the ‘Underground Tour’ is a must! Located just off Pioneer Square, this is a leisurely, guided walking tour beneath Seattle’s sidewalks and streets. As you roam the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle, the guides regale you with the stories pioneers didn’t want you to hear. It’s history with a twist!
Check what time happy hour is at the fabulous Lola Restaurant located at the Hotel Andra, we had a fabulous selection of mini delights for a bargain price sat outside wathcing life go by, well worth it, the mini burgers in a bun were immense! Tom – Leicester.
Overnight – Seattle
Today the choice is yours… Discover some more of the many delights this vibrant city has to offer such as:-
- Space Needle and Exhibition Park area
- Boat tour on Puget Sound/Elliot Bay/Union Lake
- The Museum of Flight and/or Boeing Factory
- Music Experience Museum
- Ferry tour to the San Juan Islands
- ‘Ride the Ducks’ (tour Seattle by land and water)
Alternatively, you may wish to take a day trip to San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor (from/to Seattle by ferry) – including a whale watching cruise – Total tour length is approx 11.5 hours (Tour not included). Cruise through the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands and escape to Seattle’s secret playground! You will ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island for the day. On this 3.5-hour cruise, you’ll enjoy beautiful island vistas and a multitude of marine wildlife before landing at Friday Harbor, a beautiful destination that’s a must see, filled with wonderful beaches, shops and other fun attractions. As part of your voyage to the San Juan Islands take a 2.5-hour whale watching cruise and view where orcas and minke whales make their homes. You’ll then have 2-hours to sightsee and shop at Friday Harbor before returning to Seattle later that evening. If you would like us to add this excursion for you just tell us at time of booking (from £75 pp).
Overnight – Seattle
Seattle to Winthrop
This morning you will collect your rental car from a convenient downtown location rather than having to go back out to the airport, as is the case with many rental companies. Please ask about the additional cost for the in-car satellite navigation that will guide you along your route, many of our clients say Sat Nav be it your own unit or a rented one is an invaluable addition to any fly drive holiday and we would have to agree.
On your way to Winthrop, you will travel along the North Cascades Highway in Washington – National Geographic calls this ‘one of America’s grandest and most spectacular drives’… We’re confident you’ll agree as you travel over Washington Overlook Pass in North Cascades National Park and on to Winthrop. The glaciers in North Cascades National Park are up close and personal and so are jagged peaks, deep valleys and cascading waterfalls. There are so many dramatic waterfalls in this National Park that it was named for the endlessly rushing water that laces its mountainsides. The three million acre preserve was specifically established to protect the snowfields, glaciers, and alpine meadows of the high mountain country against any lumbering operations – leaving a pristine road less travelled for visitors to enjoy. Winthrop looks like it just stepped out of a Western movie set – and is home to the oldest legal saloon in Washington State.
Overnight – Winthrop
Today enjoy spending some time in & around the cowboy town of Winthrop – known for the American Old West design of all the buildings in town, popular activities include rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, horse-back riding, hunting and fishing, golfing, and sight-seeing. Winthrop is the perfect gateway from which to discover the delights of nearby North Cascades National Park – head back west – & be sure to visit each of the Visitor Centres to give you a full range of information about this vast and varied park. The North Cascades National Park Visitor Center located at milepost 120 of the North Cascades Highway features a relief map of the park and surrounding area complemented with multimedia exhibits about the Park’s natural and cultural history. The North Cascades National Park Headquarters Information Station expands the focus of the exhibits to the surrounding National Forests. The Golden West Visitor Center and Ranger Station features a gallery with works by local artists. Glacier Public Service Center features the natural and cultural history of the Mt. Baker District of the park.
Sun Mountain Lodge can be an attraction in itself. There are over 100 miles of trails for hiking and many other outdoor activities available on the 3,000 private acres occupied by the Lodge.
Overnight – Winthrop, WA
Winthrop to Chelan
66 mile drive then 25 minute Float Plane from Chelan to Stehekin
This morning you will drive from Winthrop to Chelan & then climb aboard your transport for your short but thrilling journey from Chelan to Stehekin (approx 25 mins) aboard the classic Dehavilland Beaver floatplane. Stehekin is located in the Chelan National Recreation Area at the head of Lake Chelan. There are no roads to this tiny uplake mountain wilderness village – you must fly (or cruise) there from Chelan. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Lake Chelan Valley and the snow capped Cascade Mountains from the comfort of your float plane… There is no better way to capture the beauty of Chelan and its surrounding areas!
Your accommodation tonight is at Stehekin Valley Ranch located in the very heart of the beautiful North Cascade Mountains.
(A scheduled shuttle bus will be your mode of transport up to The Ranch – approx. 9 miles “up valley” from the head of Lake Chelan).
Note: You will have to pack a small overnight bag in order to fly to Stehekin, as luggage space on the float plane is limited.
Overnight – Stehekin
The Ranch offers a variety of unique vacation experiences including day hiking, horseback riding, river rafting, kayaking, fishing and more…
Overnight – Stehekin
Stehekin to Sagecliffe
25 minute Float Plane from Stehekin to Chelan then 88 mile drive from Chelan to Sagecliffe
This morning take an early floatplane back to Chelan before you pick up your car and drive to Sagecliffe.
Located at the Columbia River and I-90’s spectacular entry to Washington State’s wine country, SageCliffe is a place of serenity and stunning panoramas. Blessed with 300 days of sunshine annually and four distinct seasons, this awe-inspiring destination is home to the Cave B Inn (your lodging for the night) which is a part of the Cave B Winery – so why not enjoy the opportunity for an up close and personal winery experience! Wines are handcrafted using small lots of fruit and extended barrel aging to create unique and personal wines. The winery also has spa services available for real pampering.
Overnight – Sagecliffe
Sagecliffe to Mount Rainier National Park
This morning you will head to the magnificent Mt Rainier National Park. Mt. Rainier is an active Cascade volcano encased in 35 square miles of snow and glacial ice and is undoubtedly one of Washington’s most visible icons. The state’s tallest mountain doesn’t just dominate the landscape – it defines it. As you drive through stunningly beautiful and remote forests you can photograph peaks, valleys, waterfalls, meadows and alpine lakes – this is a region that will draw you
in and leave you breathless.
Paradise, famous for its glorious views and wildflower meadows, is the most popular destination for visitors to Mount Rainier National Park. This is the location of the historic Paradise Inn – your lodging for the next two nights – where breathtaking views of glaciers, spectacular waterfalls and wildlife are steps away from your room.
Overnight – Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park offers excellent opportunities for scenic drives, hiking, and mountain climbing. Mountain roads provide stunning views and access to a variety of hiking trails and other sites. Here, you can walk in the footsteps of the many explorers to step on the glaciers, discover life in the rain forest, hike part of the Wonderland Trail, experience sub-alpine ecology, watch clouds shroud the mountain, meander through old growth forests dating back over 200 years, visit rustic historic buildings, or listen to the glaciers crack…
Be sure to make time to explore the various Visitors Centers in Mt. Rainier National Park. Longmire is located in the southwest corner of the park, about 6 miles east of the Nisqually entrance. The Longmire Museum is open daily all year. The Wilderness Information Center opens daily from late May to early October. At Christine Falls, located four miles east of Longmire, a short walk from the pullout offers a classic view of the falls below the rustic stone bridge.
Overnight – Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier to Lake Quinault (Olympic National Park)
As you make your way to the Olympic Peninsula and Lake Quinault, right outside of Mount Rainier National Park, you can catch a ride on the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad for a trip into the back country. From there, you’ll be passing through Olympic, Washington, the state’s capital, as well as Aberdeen. The drive from Aberdeen to Lake Quinault will be your first introduction to the wonders of Olympic National Park, one of the greatest true remaining wilderness forest in America. The spectacular Olympic Mountains, the centerpiece of the Peninsula, form a circular range in the central area of the park. The ice and snow covered slopes are a great contrast to the deep green forested areas of the lower elevations.
Historic Lake Quinault Lodge, your lodging for the next two nights, is nestled in the rain forest overlooking Lake Quinault. Enjoy some short easy walks or something a little more taxing. You can also rent boats and join interpretive tours before returning to the lodge. We would suggest you make a dinner reservation then enjoy a glass of wine from one of the local vineyards as you sit on the lawn overlooking the lake to watch the sun go down. This is a quite beautiful location that feels so detached from the rest of the world.
Duncan Harwood – “We arrived at the spectacular location of Lake Quinault Lodge. A beautiful historic building set on the banks of the lake. Sitting on the lounge chairs on the lawn gazing at the sunset across the lake with a glass of a Sauvignon Blanc from Snoqualmie can be highly recommended. The rooms at Lake Quinault are about as good as it gets with National Park Lodges. I would strongly recommend calling ahead or have us arrange dinner for you and ask for a table next to the window overlooking the lake – Even if you have to wait it’s worth it, just sit outside on the lawn a little longer with perhaps another glass of wine… After dinner you might like to wonder down to the lake shore and sit round the fire the lodge lights each night on the small shingle beach and do some star gazing – memories like that will last you a lifetime…”
Overnight – Lake Quinault, WA
Lake Quinault (Olympic National Park)
One of the most dominant features of Lake Quinault is being located within the Quinault Rain Forest, a temperate rain forest. A designated World Heritage Site and Biosphere, rests in the heart of the Peninsula, combining the rocky Pacific Ocean coast and snowy Olympic Mountain peaks with the unique rain forests of the Park’s western coastal valleys. On the western slopes, large herds of Roosevelt elk roam the temperate rain forests and the green river valleys. This is the home of some of the world’s largest trees, many draped with thick cloaks of moss, and an astounding array of mushrooms and lichens. The northern slopes are sheltered by a rain shadow that protects the lush valleys and provides the perfect climate for growing colorful, long-lasting flowers, especially lavender. You will encounter limbs of massive spruce, hemlock, fir, cedar and big-leaf maple trees. The peninsula’s rain forests simply must be seen to be believed.
Area activities include fishing (with permit from the Quinault’s), scenic drives (a loop around the lake is longer than 30 miles), and hiking. The southern side of the lake features a system of short hiking trails maintained by the National Forest Service that are accessible to casual day hikers.
Overnight – Lake Quinault
Lake Quinault to Port Angeles
As part of the Olympic National Park, the shoreline offers scenic views of mountains, glaciers, rainforests, and lots of wilderness. Whilst visiting this area a visit to Ruby Beach should definitely be on your agenda, located on the south side of the Olympic National Park, covered with driftwood and rocks it features prominent views of the “seastacks” – remains of the headlands that used to be attached to the mainland which now protrude from the sea. Ruby Beach gets its name from rose-coloured gemstone fragments found in the grey sand.
Whilst in the area we would also suggest you take side trip up to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitors Centre (90 minutes drive roundtrip from the turn off on Highway 101), deeper in the interior of Olympic N. P., to learn more about the western valleys that are drenched in more than 12 feet of rain each year – this is one of the few, and one of the largest, temperate rain forests in the world.
En-route to Port Angeles you will pass through Forks – of above mentioned ‘Twilight’ fame – then Highway 110 turns east and goes 17 miles to the coast, following the Sol Duc River to the Quileute Indian reservation and the village of La Push, or to the rugged Rialto Beach in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Rialto Beach boasts some of the most awesome views of the Pacific Coast with
easy access off Mora Road on the way to La Push. In La Push, towering sea stacks stand offshore, and the Pacific pounds the coast relentlessly. This is the ancestral home of the Quileute tribe, which maintains a nice lodging complex on the beach. Whilst in La Push you should plan time to loiter at First, Second or Third Beach. You can hike and backpack along this wild, pristine coastline for days at a time. (This is a gray-whale migration route between March and May).
Tonight you will stay in the Port Angeles – but first we strongly recommend you visit Hurricane Ridge! The wind will tell you how it got the name! Over a mile high – the ridge offers spectacular views of mountains, wildflowers, deer, black bear, marmots, and other wildlife – this is as good as Olympic gets. The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Centre is located about 17 miles south of Port Angeles and is open whenever Hurricane Ridge Road is open. (As the road is quite slow you should allow at least 90 minutes to do this roundtrip drive so you have time for pull outs and photos).
Duncan Harwood – “We had a nice dinner at Michael’s (Fresh Northwest Seafood & Steak House – downtown Port Angeles), we would definitely recommend this to you but it’s important you make a reservation, we can do this or your hotel will do it for you ahead of time… Port Angeles is nothing to write home about but it does offer a convenient 1 night stopping point en-route around the Olympic Peninsula and allows you to spend 90 minutes or longer driving into the National Park to Hurricane Ridge.”
Overnight – Port Angeles
Port Angeles to Snoqualmie
Today you will leave the Olympic Peninsula head for Snoqualmie (approx 30 miles East of Seattle). You can drive around the south end of the Sound (routing through Tacoma) or, just for the adventure, head down to Bainbridge Island and take a short car ferry across to Seattle (enjoy great views of the skyline as head towards the city) – from Seattle it’s then just a 40 minute drive before you arrive at your lodging. (Please Note: The ferry journey is not included in prepaid costs but can be included at additional cost if required).
Duncan Harwood – “At Salish Lodge you are greeted by a very relaxed unimposing property with the smell of burning open fires… quite lovely. After a very easy and pleasant check-in we discovered some really lovely guestrooms with fireplaces, lots of space, really really comfy beds a jacuzzi bath and loads and loads of space, a welcoming site after a long day of travels. Salish Lodge is located right on the edge of a spectacular waterfall so we headed to ‘The Attic’ lounge for a view of the falls and a bite to eat.. The Kobe Beef Burger comes well recommended if that is your thing. Worth noting that other than the suites no rooms have a view of the falls, you can pay a supplementary cost for a view of the river but I personally wouldn’t bother.”
Overnight – Snoqualmie, WA
As the drive time to SeaTac Airport is just 45 minutes from Salish Lodge – and with your flight not leaving until the evening – you can enjoy a leisurely morning exploring Snoqualmie. Alternatively, you might want to consider taking a slight diversion & drive up to Mukilteo, WA to visit the Boeing Factory – where you can see Boeing jumbo jets, including the new 787 Dreamliner, in various stages of assembly, manufacture and flight test for airline customers around the world – before heading to the airport to prepare for your departing flight or if shopping is your preference why not grab a present or two at the Designer Shopping at The Seattle Premium Outlet Mall, Tulalip, WA located just 30 minutes north of Seattle off I-5.
Depart Seattle – 18:45
Arrive London Heathrow -11:45 (Next Day)
Journey Time – 9 hours