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Whitman--visiting, transportation Q, to Portland

redpointredpoint 1190 replies46 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
edited July 2013 in Whitman College
My daughter wants to visit Whitman this summer without a car. It looks like the best way to get to Whitman from Seattle is by airplane, because the bus takes 7 hours, from what I see.

Going from Whitman to Portland there is no direct plane. It appears to be just through Seattle. What would be the most efficient way to get to Portland? Train? Bus? I look up different options but it gets very confusing. (Grape Line, Greyhound, Amtrak, stops and connections in Pasco?) If someone is experienced with this it would be great to have clarification.

I'm starting to wish that she would forget about Whitman because of transportation issues. I understand there are shuttles over holidays for the kids, but it's very complicated to try to visit.
edited July 2013
17 replies
Post edited by redpoint on
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Replies to: Whitman--visiting, transportation Q, to Portland

  • bopambobopambo 1241 replies56 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,297 Senior Member
    Can you give us a little more info? Is your daughter visiting by herself? Where do you live?
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  • redpointredpoint 1190 replies46 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    I'll be going with her. We are flying into Seattle from NY, and want to go to Portland as well. I'm wondering if this is even do-able without a car. Thanks!!!!
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  • beermebeerme 835 replies38 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 873 Member
    Why can't you fly Alaska Airlines to/from Walla Walla from Seattle/Portland?
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  • redpointredpoint 1190 replies46 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    Seattle to Walla Walla via plane was fine. It's the trip to Portland that is the problem: The plane only flies to Seattle. To get to Portland you have to go back to Seattle. When I checked how long it was going to take the days I wanted to go, it was too long, especially for the price of the ticket. What is the best way to get to Portland?
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  • bopambobopambo 1241 replies56 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,297 Senior Member
    beerme is right, by far the easiest way to get to Walla Walla without renting a car is to fly from Seattle to Walla Walla on Alaska Airlines. There is no direct flight to Portland from Walla Walla, so you'd have either go back to Seattle and fly down, or take the Grapeline shuttle from Walla Walla to Pasco and catch a flight to Portland. Sounds like you checked it out already but here is the link: Grape Line - Walla Walla to Pasco, WA - Schedule & Fares. I've taken the Grapeline myself and it's very easy, you catch it a few blocks from campus and are delivered right to the airport.

    You could also do it the opposite way: fly into Portland, then Portland to Pasco, Grapeline to campus, then fly Walla Walla to Seattle. I know it sounds daunting but it's really very doable. After the first couple of semesters students often work out rides with friends to Pasco, Portland and Seattle.
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  • beermebeerme 835 replies38 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 873 Member
  • redpointredpoint 1190 replies46 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    Thanks so much. It's reassuring to confirm.
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  • ardenatwhitmanardenatwhitman 43 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    I'm from the Portland area, so I haven't had a ton of trouble while traveling, but I have used a few different systems. I've driven back and forth a few times, and it's almost exactly four hours (which isn't too bad). I've also flown Walla Walla-Seattle-Portland and taken the Amtrak from Portland to Pasco, where a friend drove me back to Walla Walla. Unfortunately, there's no easy, direct way from Walla Walla to Portland/Seattle without a car--you can definitely take the Portland-Pasco-Grapeline-Walla Walla route but the Grapeline has a pretty specific schedule which you have to work with. It's easy to get to Pasco (or the Pendleton Airport, which is a comparable distance away and has direct flights to/from Portland), but it can be tricky to get to Walla Walla from there. It's definitely not impossible to get here without a car, but it can be difficult.
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  • redpointredpoint 1190 replies46 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    Thanks. I'm almost giving up on this. Is Whitman worth it?
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  • bopambobopambo 1241 replies56 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,297 Senior Member
    Whitman is a special place and those who love it, REALLY love it, but of course it's not going to be right for everybody. The most common complaint I hear about it is that it's in a "remote" location, that doesn't mean that the campus is in the middle of nowhere, it's in the middle of a charming friendly small city, but it's not close to a major urban area. There are pluses and minuses to that. The pluses are: easy access to every kind of outdoor activity you can think of; a truly residential campus where close relationships develop with between students, faculty, staff and towns people; and a genuinely friendly town that loves the students. Throw in the excellent facilities, the high caliber faculty and the high achieving students and you have a great experience for students who want that kind of atmosphere.

    As far as getting there, the hardest trip is the first one. You have an agenda that requires multiple connections and some first class juggling. A student who attends usually doesn't have those constraints and takes the most direct route. And once they're settled as students there are a lot of opportunities to hitch rides to the major airline hubs.

    Is whitman worth it? We decided that it most definitely is, but only you and your daughter can decide that question for yourselves based on what she's looking for in a college and it's surrounding environment. Good luck in the search!
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  • sunmachinesunmachine 725 replies99 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 824 Member
    The busses are doable. When my son was a prospie he flew to Portland by himself and did overnights at Willamette, L&C, and Whitman, traveling between these cities by bus.

    Now he's a student, we've found that flying in and out of Pasco works well, taking the Grape Line bus between Pasco and WW.

    Yes, he thinks Whitman is worth it!
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  • moonrisemoonrise 72 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    There is a direct flight from Pendleton (40 mins from Whitman) to Portland on Seaport Air. Very tiny plane though!
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  • ardenatwhitmanardenatwhitman 43 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    Whitman is so, so, so worth it. Honestly, I don't notice that it's far away from anything until I have to travel, and then it's a day or two of slight inconvenience compared to four years of wonderfulness. Please don't give up on it just because it's slightly frustrating to travel to--I think your daughter would miss out on a truly amazing education and experience.
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  • dragonmomdragonmom 5848 replies154 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,002 Senior Member
    Redpoint, is there a reason why renting a car isn't an option?
    Seems like it would be cheaper than all the puddle-jumper flights plus a fun way to see a new part of the country.
    If you are from New York City the drive from Portland to WW will show you a whole new part of your country...mountains, waterfalls, arid high plains, wine country, big rivers...
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 36,935 Senior Member
    Yes, I was going to ask the same thing about why you wouldn't want to rent a car. We did it last fall -- flew to Seattle, rented a car. Drove to Whitman and visited, then went to Portland. Visited Reed (but certainly could have seen other schools in the area) and saw a couple of relatives. Spent a night over on the coast, then drove back to Seattle and flew home. One warning, the cheapest rental cars from Seattle were from Fox Rental, but the car we got did not have cruise control. :( Bad news given the distances we had had to cover.
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