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  1. Default San Diego to Western Canada

    We are taking a Road Trip from San Diego, CA to Vancouver Island, Canada. We are leaving on June 30th and need to be up on Vancouver Island by
    July 9th. We will be staying at a resort on the island for 6 days. We would like to spend 2 nights in 2-3 locations on the beach on our way up. Possibly a bit north of San Francisco, Oregon coast, and Washington coast. We have two small children (ages: 2 & 4). We are truly interested in places to RELAX and hang out on the beach digging in the sand! :) We don't need to do a ton of sight-seeing.
    If you have any tips for places to stay (motels, cottages, etc...) and cities to stay in we would really appreciate it!
    Thanks so much,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Dozens of suggestions

    I've put astericks (*) next to the places that are a bit quieter and seem to me to be the best places to relax.

    Eureka, CA: beautiful architecture, OK beach, good base for Redwood forest explorations

    Orick, CA: in the heart of the Redwoods and close to the beach

    *Bandon, OR: lovely, little beach town

    Dunes City, or Florence, OR: All close to the beaches and adjacent to the Oregon Dunes National Rec Area. Great fun to be had in those dunes!

    Newport, OR: beaches, fantastic aquarium, and some fun touristy things (Ripley's, Undersea Gardens, etc.)

    Depoe Bay, OR: "The Littlest Harbor in the World". Cute town. Right on the beach. There's a great cove next to town called Whale Cove that's worth a visit. I love this place.

    Lincoln City, OR: A bit more touristy with a casino and lots of shopping. Nice beach.

    *Cannnon Beach, OR: Beautiful beach town, nice beach, watch the hang-gliders glide down to the beach from the cliff above the town.

    Seaside: another more touristy town, lots of things to see and do, nice beach

    *Long Beach, WA: Beautiful area with a great beach, lots of other things to see and do, nice wildlife refuge to hike in, interesting shops, some historic things in Oysterville.

    *Westport/Grayland/Tokeland, WA: The beaches in Tokeland area are among the prettiest youl'll ever see. Tokeland has a casino if that intersets you (a very small one). Grayland is the land of the cranberry bogs. Very cool and kinda fun to check out. Westport is more of a marina-based community with sport-fishing, boat tours, surfing, and lots of interesting little shops and good restaurants. It's only about 20 minutes from Tokeland to Westport so you could stay anywhere along here and enjoy the sights in the other areas with just a short drive.

    *Ocean Shores to Pacific Beach, WA: This stretch has several communities that all offer good beaches. Ocean Shores is the biggest community with a casino, lots of shopping, and other fun touristy things like golfing, bumper boats, mini-fold, go-karts, yada yada, lots to do. The communities on the way to Pacific Beach are smaller but have nicer beaches and are a bit quieter. Pacific Beach is charming. My favorite beaches along this route are in Ocean City and a place called Roosevelt Beach which is in-between Copalis and Pacific Beach with no town right near it. You can drive from Ocean Shores to Pacific Beach in about 30 minutes so you could stay anywhere along here and do short daytrips to other points of interest out there.

    ****Kalaloch, WA: Located on the coast about halfway up the Olympic Peninsula, this is an isolated area. There is the Kalaloch Lodge with a small mini-market, restaurant, gift shops, and rooms in the lodge, and cabins to rent, and then there is the Kalaloch campground (part of the Olympic National Park campground system. This link will take you to a listing of all the camping available in Olympic National Park, scroll down to Kalaloch). The beach itself is also part of Olympic National Park. This is very quiet. There are no towns for miles in either direction. If peace and quiet are your main goals, you can't find anything better than this. The beach-combing is fantastic. Ruby Beach a few miles to the north is amazing. Great tidepools with lots of interesting sea life that little kids should get a kick outta. And there is some great, easy hiking in the national park across the road that the little ones should enjoy. You will definitely want to get reservations for this place.

    Along the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula, there are lots of places to stay in-between Port Angeles and Port Townsend. This area isn't necessarily quiet as it is fairly well-populated, but there are is a lot to see and do here. You could stay anywhere in Port Angeles, Sequim, or Port Townsend and do little day trips to these places:
    - Dungeness Spit. Great beach walking/playing. Lots of sea life.
    - Hurricane Ridge. Great views if there is no fog but also wonderful short hikes. Lots of opportunity to see deer and other wildlife.
    - Olympic Game Farm. Kinda cool yet kinda sad at the same time. A drive-through zoo with lots of animals but I always feel sorry for the animals. The best part is driving through the buffalo herd. Just make sure and keep those windows rolled up when driving through the herd. I saw a buffalo stick its head in a car in front of us one time and his horns got hooked inside the car and he couldn't get his head out. It wasn't fun for the folks in that car, believe me! But it was sure interesting to watch.
    - Port Townsend has amazing Victorian architecture and lots of things to do. Interesting shopping, boat trips to see whales and other sea life, historical stuff, etc.

    Hope this gives you some ideas.

  3. Default San Diego roadtrip to Canada

    We are doing the same trip from San Diego to (Surrey ,BC) Canada on July 25whooho!! I'm excited, my longest roadtrip ever!!....but my brother who lives in Canada said that we need to make sure that we pass by Oregon before it gets dark , he said it's kinda dangerous to drive by there at night ( don't know why, sounds creepy :) Is this true?
    Do you guys have other tips ?.... I just want this roadtrip to be as smooth as possible....It's a 22 hrs drive, we'll stop at SFO but will go straight after that...
    Thanks in Advance!!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default the entire state?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    This thread is a few years old, and the original trip has passed, but I'm glad you were able to learn from the advice previously given.

    The problem with your trip plan right now is the time. First of all, its extremely unlikely you'd be able to do this trip in under 24 hours on the road. It also is a distance that we'd really recommend 2 overnight stops.

    Doing it with one night to stop is going to require you to travel 700 miles a day, which is quite a bit more than we recommend for any multi-day trip. Throw in your lack of experience in long distance travel, and you really can start sacrificing safety.

    If you insist on making the trip in 2 days, then that means you do not have time to stop and do any sightseeing, and you really don't have time to make a detour to San Francisco. You need to stick to I-5 and spend the night near Redding, roughly the halfway point. In addition to being out of the way, San Francisco is more than 900 miles away from your destination and way too far to drive in one day.

    As far as "getting through Oregon before dark." I have no idea what your brother could possibly be talking about. I'm quite sure vampires haven't invaded the state, and plenty of other people will be out on the roads and living life even after sunset in the state of Oregon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default 930 Miles/Day ???

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It's nearly a thousand miles from San Francisco to Vancouver. That is not a drive you do in twenty-some hours, it will take a solid two days to do it safely. There's no particular reason why it would be unsafe, per se, to drive through Oregon at night. Interstates are built to standards that limit curves and grades, and there would be enough traffic even in the wee hours of the morning so that you would never be alone on the road. But trying to drive hour after hour after hour in the face of growing fatigue would make you a safety problem not only for yourself, but for everybody else on the road. If you want a smooth trip, plan on spending the night somewhere between San Francisco and Vancouver getting a good night's sleep.


  6. Default Sand Diego to Canada

    Thanks for tip ! actually there's gonna be 6 drivers on board so hopefully we can all take turns ... but will consider stopping in between SFO and Vancouver just to be on the safe side....But, I feel better now knowing there's no weird entities going around Portland (that would surely scare the the hell out of me ! , lol!) , I think my Bro's referring to mountains or skinny roads... maybe , I'm not sure! but we'll see....

    You guys have been very helpful!

    Thanks again.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default changes little

    Unless you've got a full sized van where you're going to have room for people to really stretch out and rest, having 6 drivers isn't that much help. People think that driving time matters, but forget that simply being in a car for long hours is a tiring process too. If you've got 6 people crammed inside a minivan or SUV, there's just not going to be room for people to get a proper amount of rest.

    That also doesn't change the fact that San Francisco is still a significant detour, and adding miles for siteseeing at the expense of safety is never a good idea.

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