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Portland, Seattle, Vancouver

Non-Touristy, Cool things to do

Hi all!  A friend and I will be doing a little bit of a road trip at the end of September.  We'll be about two days in Portland, two days in Seattle and three days in Vancouver.  Looking for some fun, non-touristy things to do.    Also, I guess what are some "musts" that are touristy!  Thanks in advance!

6 Answers

answered by

Take a ferry to the San Juan Island islands! Or go on a trip to the olympic game farm in Enumclaw. The best must see tourist attractions are the Chihuly Garden and Glass and Pike Place Market (first starbucks is also there) and the ride the duck tours are a great way to see a big part of the city from on land and at sea!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Juan Island (island)
  2. Enumclaw (city)
  3. Chihuly Garden and Glass (attraction)
  4. Pike Place Market (attraction)

answered by
Kelly from Elgin, Texas

Hey there! I used to live in Portland and might be able to help there. The metro area is about 3 million people, so it has all of the obvious big city features. It all depends on what you find interesting, as Portland has so many diverse options. Here are three:

1) Go hike in the gorge-an area about 40 minutes east of downtown. Breathtaking views, steep hills, waterfalls and great trail system.

2) Powell's City of Books is an ENORMOUS new and used bookstore woth getting lost in for a couple of hours.

3) Go to Mount Tabor City Park and get a great view of the Willamette River and Downtown. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Powell's City of Books (attraction)
  2. Mount Tabor City Park (attraction)

answered by
S. from Vancouver

If you roll that way, you should mos' def' bring your bicycles. All three cities - Portland most famously - are great places to experience from the saddle of one. Use 'em to get around the city or to get out of the city (or even to get between the cities). In Portland, ride up to Mt Tabor or over to the International Rose Test Garden. In Seattle, ride the Burke-Gilman Trail out to Kenmore and back, or the Arboretum Drive East. Ride the seawalls and Stanley Parkin Vancouver. You can also rent bikes, but having your own lowers the threshold.

All three cities have great art museums, with perhaps the Portland Art Museum being the most expansive. All three also have good farmers markets. In Vancouver in September, there are one or more farmers markets in different neighborhoods almost every day of the week.

When you say "Vancouver" I hope you mean Vancouver BC and not Vancouver (Washington) - three days would be a little long for the latter.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mt Tabor (attraction)
  2. International Rose Test Garden (attraction)
  3. Burke-Gilman Trail (attraction)
  4. Kenmore (attraction)
  5. Arboretum Drive East (attraction)
  6. Stanley Park (park)
  7. Portland Art Museum (attraction)
  8. Vancouver (city)
  9. Vancouver (Washington) (city)

answered by
Peter from Seattle

SEATTLE: The touristy "must's" are Pike Place Market and the Space Needle (including Chihuly Garden...pricey, but worth it if it's in your budget). Eating at Elliot Oyster House downtown on the water, a beer at The Athenian, and some free samples at Fran's Chocolate, etc..

Eight not-so-touristy things to do...

  1. Pick up a sandwich at Paseo Caribbean Restaurant and eat it at Fremont Brewing Company
  2. Visit Golden Gardens at sunset, bring some firewood. (There's also another Paseo Caribbean Restaurant on the way.
  3. Stumptown Coffee has free cuppings every day at 3pm. Great way to learn about direct trade coffee.
  4. Take a walk in the Washington Park Arboretum then get breakfast at Coastal Kitchen, or great coffee at Caffe Ladro
  5. Rent a boat! The Electric Boat Company rents electric boats on Lake Union for $100/hr and you can bring up to ten people, cruising around the canals, and watching planes land on the water. Also BYO food/drinks.
  6. Support the local markets! Capitol HIll Farmers MarketBallard Sunday Farmers MarketUniversity District Farmers Market, etc.
  7. Morning activity - donuts at Mighty-O donuts, coffee at Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Company and then walk around Green Lake. Stop by the Green Lake Pitch & Putt for some chip and putt if that's your cup of tea.
  8. Visit Kerry Park for your non-touristy touristy photo at Dr. Frasier's apartment backdrop and call it a weekend!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paseo Caribbean Restaurant (restaurant)
  2. Fremont Brewing Company (restaurant)
  3. Golden Gardens (attraction)
  4. Paseo Caribbean Restaurant (restaurant)
  5. Stumptown Coffee (restaurant)
  6. Washington Park Arboretum (attraction)
  7. Coastal Kitchen (restaurant)
  8. Caffe Ladro (restaurant)
  9. The Electric Boat Company (attraction)
  10. Capitol HIll Farmers Market (restaurant)
  11. Ballard Sunday Farmers Market (restaurant)
  12. University District Farmers Market (restaurant)
  13. Mighty-O donuts (attraction)
  14. Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Company (restaurant)
  15. Green Lake (attraction)
  16. Green Lake Pitch & Putt (attraction)
  17. Kerry Park (attraction)

answered by

100% eat donuts in Portland and coffee at Stumptown Coffee Roasters... go on a hike. That would be fun. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Portland (city)
  2. Stumptown Coffee Roasters (attraction)

answered first by
Dee from California

"Non touristy" such as what?

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