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Author Topic: Seattle and Portland  (Read 2310 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Seattle and Portland
« on: March 14, 2018, 02:52:54 PM »

Looks like I値l be out in Seattle and Portland later this year.  I知 more certain on what I want to do in the rural parts of Washington and Oregon but I知 looking for suggestions in the urban areas.  Any suggestions road related or other would be appreciated, I know someone here has a ton of cool vantage point photos in Seattle. 
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 03:21:11 PM by Bickendan »
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kwellada

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2018, 03:05:21 PM »

The standard "Seattle skyline" viewpoint is Kerry Park, which is the Queen Anne neighborhood.  I also like going over to west Seattle to look back across Elliott Bay to photography the skyline.  The Alki Beach area is also enjoyable to visit
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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2018, 04:06:16 PM »

Make sure to catch a photo of the old US-99 sign westbound on Columbia St at the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The viaduct will be closing next year so its days are certainly numbered. Also make sure to drive across the viaduct and through the Battery Street tunnel.

The new 520 bridge opened about two years ago, and it's a great drive. The western stretch is still being rebuilt, so there's lots construction. The eastern stretch from Lake Washington to I-405 is one of my favorite stretches of freeway in the state (apart from I-90 across Mercer Island).

If you're looking for some urban design type stuff, both 2nd (downtown) and Broadway (Capitol Hill) are great examples of segregated traffic with protected signals. SDOT really takes this stuff seriously now.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 05:16:04 PM by jakeroot »
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Hurricane Rex

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2018, 04:32:55 PM »

In Portland, make sure to visit Powell's books (one of a kind IMO) and make fun of how bad our freeways are. Get a picture of a speed xx (preferably the Speed 65 signs if they still exist by then.

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2018, 06:04:47 PM »

In Portland, make sure to visit Powell's books (one of a kind IMO) and make fun of how bad our freeways are. Get a picture of a speed xx (preferably the Speed 65 signs if they still exist by then.

LG-TP260



I will add that a trip to Voodoo Doughnuts is a necessity.

Also, if the Chinese restaurant called Hung Far Lo still exists, try to get a picture of the sign.
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Bruce

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2018, 07:00:06 PM »

If you want views of the skyline and roads, I suggest checking out the following parks and viewpoints: Jose Rizal Park and Jose Rizal Bridge in Beacon Hill (right over the I-5 / I-90 interchange); Rainbow Point in Roosevelt/Maple Leaf (right over I-5 / SR 522); the Atlantic Avenue overpass on SR 99 in SODO (also has a great view of the container port); the East Portal Viewpoint (right over the I-90 floating bridge); the Evergreen Point Freeway Lid (right over the SR 520 bridge's eastern end); and Lakeview Boulevard on Capitol Hill (at I-5 / Mercer).

Not road related, but I highly recommend checking out the downtown light rail/bus tunnel, one of only two combined rail-bus tunnel in the country. It will be converted to rail-only use in 2019, so it's now or never. For a nice view from up high, I recommend visiting the Columbia Center's Sky View Observatory. $11 for adults and a much better view than the Space Needle, from the tallest building in the city. On a clear day, you can see I-5 stretch for quite a ways.

Other urban curiosities: the King Street Station, which has been restored to its early 1900s glory; the Amazon "Spheres", an employee lounge with tons of tropical plants, and surrounded by some of the most active urban construction sites in the United States; and the state ferries, of course.

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 07:22:40 PM »

In PDX I find one of the most scenic stretches being on 99E between Milwaukie and PDX.  You go through a large corridor of trees on an expressway! 

For an ultimate view of man's works compared to nature's, get over to Mt. Tabor and look west.  Downtown skyscrapers and bridges are dwarfed by the sheer mass of the west hills.  For all nature and massive viewing, head for the Vista House on old US 30.  The Columbia Gorge gets as good a look as you could want when still being on the ground.

What would it be like to live in a park?  The Ladd Addition is a collection of prewar houses nestled into a whole lot of trees.  It is among the most gorgeous neighborhoods I have seen in my life.

By riding the MAX trains and streetcars you can do lookie-lous without having to worry about distracted driving.  There is so much congestion in the Rose City that the transit alternatives are a worthwhile way to explore. 

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Bruce

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 07:54:28 PM »

Also to add: the OHSU aerial tram in Portland has great views of the skyline, I-5, and the mountains on a clear day.

Sub-Urbanite

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2018, 06:45:55 PM »

Voodoo Donuts is at best the fourth-most-interesting donut shop in the city. Blue Star, Doe and Coco are way better tourist attractions.


In Portland, make sure to visit Powell's books (one of a kind IMO) and make fun of how bad our freeways are. Get a picture of a speed xx (preferably the Speed 65 signs if they still exist by then.

LG-TP260



I will add that a trip to Voodoo Doughnuts is a necessity.

Also, if the Chinese restaurant called Hung Far Lo still exists, try to get a picture of the sign.
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OCGuy81

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2018, 12:01:28 PM »

Portland has an amazing food cart scene.  They refer to groupings of carts as "pods" and there are several of these around town.  My suggestion would be Cartopia at SE Hawthorne and 12th.  There is also a large cluster of ones downtown at 10th and Washington.

Also, if you're a beer or wine fan, the area has you more than covered.  I think eastern Washington has the best red wines in the region, but if you like Pinot, the Yamhill Valley (SW from Portland going through the cities of Newberg, Dundee, and McMinnville) have plenty of great vineyards.

For beer?  My favorite is Base Camp Brewing in SE Portland.
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JasonOfORoads

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2018, 12:41:17 PM »

In Portland, make sure to visit Powell's books (one of a kind IMO) and make fun of how bad our freeways are. Get a picture of a speed xx (preferably the Speed 65 signs if they still exist by then.

I-205 between I-5 and Exit 6.

I will add that a trip to Voodoo Doughnuts is a necessity.

Someone on here mentioned that Voodoo was at best the 4th best donut shop in Portland. I agree... for locals. However, as a tourist, you should hit up Voodoo, if only so you can gripe about how overrated they are afterwards like us locals do.  :spin:

Also, if the Chinese restaurant called Hung Far Lo still exists, try to get a picture of the sign.

I think the restaurant is closed but the sign still exists for now. It's on NW 4th & Couch (pronounced cooch, by the way, not like the furniture).

Also to add: the OHSU aerial tram in Portland has great views of the skyline, I-5, and the mountains on a clear day.

Additional vantage points for awesome views are the International Rose Test Garden and Pittock Mansion, which are where a lot of east-facing photos are taken. There's also this turnout off of Skyline Blvd. which, if memory serves, offers you great views of N Portland, Vancouver and (on clear days) Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams.

For cartography nerds, one place that's often overlooked is the Willamette Stone State Heritage Site, almost right across Skyline from that turnout. The Willamette Stone is the origin point for Oregon and Washington's land survey system. It's a brief forested walk along a paved path to the marker with a little plaque. There's usually no one there, so you may be able to get a little peace and quiet there as well.

In PDX I find one of the most scenic stretches being on 99E between Milwaukie and PDX.  You go through a large corridor of trees on an expressway! 

That is a beautiful drive. Terwilliger Blvd. between downtown and Barbur Blvd. is a pretty cool drive too. My favorite way to enter Portland (ignoring the traffic) is to take the Sunset inbound through the Vista Ridge Tunnel. You're essentially travelling through this thick green forested canyon, then after you go through the tunnel, BAM! there's the city. Just be sure to pick your lane before you get in the tunnel and stick with it.

Oh! Another non-driving attraction is Portland Saturday Market. It's basically a ton of local and regional vendors who set up shop near the Burnside Bridge over the weekend to sell their wares. It used to be under the bridge, but the owners put up a parking lot (no pink hotel, boutique or swinging hot spot though) and forced them to move most of them to a spot at the north end of Waterfront Park. You might find something really cool and definitely unique there.
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mrpablue

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2018, 05:53:12 PM »

I agree with jakeroot - definitely get a picture of the US99 at the Columbia ramp. I was across the street from it last summer, explaining to my dad why it was wrong, but I didn't take a picture. You will regret not taking one.
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sparker

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2018, 07:54:06 PM »

I've flacked for them before, and I'll do it again:  Buster's "Texas Style" Barbecue!  3 locations: on 99W a few hundred yards SW of the I-5 interchange in Tigard, down on OR 99E in Milwaukie, and out on East Burnside in Gresham.  Best BBQ in PDX, hands down.  Their slogan reads: "A Vegetarian's Worst Nightmare".  Ribs, brisket, hot links -- got it all!  Bon appetit! :nod:
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Bruce

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2018, 11:40:15 PM »

The viaduct is being demolished next year, so definitely get all the pictures you can. Ground level views from the waterfront, elevated views from overpasses, the onramps, everything.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 08:06:16 AM »

The viaduct is being demolished next year, so definitely get all the pictures you can. Ground level views from the waterfront, elevated views from overpasses, the onramps, everything.

Looks like this is going to turn out to be a Seattle-only trip but actually on two separate weeks.  The Viaduct at this point is my number one goal to do considering it is about to disappear.

Also I'm looking at the view points from Elliott Bay for skyline photos or possibly the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry.  Any decent route clinches that are worth doing?  I've done most of the Kitsap stuff and I was looking for anything worth while on the Seattle side of the Sound.   
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 08:24:35 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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Bruce

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2018, 05:23:54 PM »

The viaduct is being demolished next year, so definitely get all the pictures you can. Ground level views from the waterfront, elevated views from overpasses, the onramps, everything.

Looks like this is going to turn out to be a Seattle-only trip but actually on two separate weeks.  The Viaduct at this point is my number one goal to do considering it is about to disappear.

Also I'm looking at the view points from Elliott Bay for skyline photos or possibly the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry.  Any decent route clinches that are worth doing?  I've done most of the Kitsap stuff and I was looking for anything worth while on the Seattle side of the Sound.   

For Elliott Bay photos: I highly recommend the Hamilton Viewpoint, which is just uphill from the water taxi terminal. Duwamish Head on Alki Avenue is also a good one if you don't want to head uphill and is only a short walk/bike ride/skateboard from the water taxi. And the water taxi itself is good, but only if you're heading westbound (since the boat has a rear-facing sundeck from which you can take a variety of skyline shots).

If you want to go for a full clinch, I think SR 509 would be a nice drive. Goes around some scenic, winding roads before it heads into Seattle as a full-fledged freeway.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2018, 06:47:57 PM »

The viaduct is being demolished next year, so definitely get all the pictures you can. Ground level views from the waterfront, elevated views from overpasses, the onramps, everything.

Looks like this is going to turn out to be a Seattle-only trip but actually on two separate weeks.  The Viaduct at this point is my number one goal to do considering it is about to disappear.

Also I'm looking at the view points from Elliott Bay for skyline photos or possibly the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry.  Any decent route clinches that are worth doing?  I've done most of the Kitsap stuff and I was looking for anything worth while on the Seattle side of the Sound.   

For Elliott Bay photos: I highly recommend the Hamilton Viewpoint, which is just uphill from the water taxi terminal. Duwamish Head on Alki Avenue is also a good one if you don't want to head uphill and is only a short walk/bike ride/skateboard from the water taxi. And the water taxi itself is good, but only if you're heading westbound (since the boat has a rear-facing sundeck from which you can take a variety of skyline shots).

If you want to go for a full clinch, I think SR 509 would be a nice drive. Goes around some scenic, winding roads before it heads into Seattle as a full-fledged freeway.

Thanks, that痴 what I was thinking would probably be best after looking at all the area maps.  This next week I値l mostly be stuck around the Sound so I wanted to make as much of it as possible.  When I come back later in the month I値l be out on roads like; 7, 706, 123, 410, 104, and 20 since that will be more a National Park hunt.  A lot of the other stuff I have planned around the city revolves around site seeing and heading to Safeco. 
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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2018, 05:16:49 PM »

If you don't mind spending some time on a ferry, then a loop north of Seattle consisting of I-5 to WA 20, WA 20 west over the Deception Pass bridges to Whidbey Island, and then WA 525 south to the ferry -- and once back on the mainland, south back to either I-5 or I-405 -- is one of the better side trips in that region.  Deception Pass is one of my favorite places to just go and chill out -- the scenery's outstanding, the road quite good, and it's far enough from commercial stuff to make it a nice "getaway".  Highly recommended. 

If you like Thai food, Ayutthaya Restaurant on East Pike Street near Broadway in Seattle has the best stuff in town -- if not on the whole West Coast!
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Bruce

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2018, 11:55:56 PM »

WA 525 is a bit boring on the south/east side of the Sound. I'd recommend using WA 526 instead, which passes by the Boeing factory (the world's largest building by volume...it takes a good minute to clear) and terminates at a hodge-podge of an interchange that also includes the terminus for WA 99 and WA 527.

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2018, 01:53:27 AM »

We had a lot of fun visiting all the Willamette River bridges in Portland.

Also visit Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the site of Portland's first freeway (it's not there anymore).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2018, 08:06:03 AM »

WA 525 is a bit boring on the south/east side of the Sound. I'd recommend using WA 526 instead, which passes by the Boeing factory (the world's largest building by volume...it takes a good minute to clear) and terminates at a hodge-podge of an interchange that also includes the terminus for WA 99 and WA 527.

The Boeing factory probably is interesting enough to see on it's own merit alone.  On the second trip 525 to Whidbey Island to go see Deception Pass is a possible alternate to North Cascades National Park.  I've been to the latter before and my significant other probably isn't going to be too keen on a second long drive after Hurricane Ridge. 

Incidentally looks like I'll be taking either the 6:20 AM or 7:20 AM ferry from Bremerton to Seattle.  Any good parking recommendations in downtown for viewing the Viaduct and Columbia Street?   Looked like the Waterfront had some parking meters but I would assume those get filled up fast.
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Re: Seattle and Portland
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2018, 11:59:26 PM »

Parking downtown is usually pretty easy, but very expensive. Street parking is recommended for short visits if you can parallel park on a hill.
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