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  1. Default West Coast Road Trip - Sept '07

    Hi everyone,

    I have been looking at the many posts you have on the site to help me plan a family road trip from San Francisco to Vancouver this coming September.

    Before you say, I know this isn't the conventional direction to travel but due to flight costs (coming from UK), it works out cheaper this way!

    We have 15 nights in which to complete the trip and have a rough idea of an itinerary, we just wanted to get your views on it and welcome any alternative suggestions you may have.

    So here it goes....

    2 nights in San Fran, travelling to Fort Bragg via Napa valley. Fort Bragg for 1 night and onto Crescent City via the Redwood NP. Crescent City for 1 night travelling onto Crater Lake- we wondered whether we would get better value for money staying along at Diamond Lake? From there onto Bandon for one night then north along the coast, stopping at Newport for a night and then Seaside or Cannon beach for a night.

    We have a dilemma now as cannot decide whether to carry on up the coast and round Olympic NP for 2 nights, or, travel inland to Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier NP for 2 nights, before carrying onto Seattle.

    We intend to stay 3 nights in Seattle then get the train up to Vancouver for the final 2 nights of the trip.

    We know this is an ambitious trip but we are travelling with seasoned road trip pros (parents!) and have looked at mileages etc. What we would like are any suggestions or recommendations (places to stay, hidden gems etc.). The number of nights we have planned for the stops and locations are fairly fluid but the time we have is fixed as the flights are booked!

    We thank you in anticipation!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Conventional

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I don't think there is anything unconventional about your plan at all. It seems like a good old fashion family roadtrip up the west coast, and you should have a great time.

    Unfortuantly, My travel experience in this part of the world is pretty limited, so I can't help you with many specifics. However, your basic outline looks very good. You're giving yourself enough time to really enjoy the route. I'm not sure which option I would take in Washington either, although if I had already followed the coast through California and Oregon, I might lean towards veering inland for Mt. St. Helens, but you really can't go wrong either way.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the warm welcome & quick reply!

    Glad to hear that you think we have left enough time to see everything. Although your travel experience in this area is limited, are there any sights that you recommend we make time for?

    Does anyone else have any tips to share or recommended sights to see for our road trip? We don't want to miss anything so any help and ideas from this very knowledgeable forum would be great!

    Thanks again

  4. Default A couple of places to visit ...

    Not sure why you're coming over to the coast at Fort Bragg, but somewhat south of there at Fort Ross is the old Russian settlement in California.

    In Redwoods National Park area, some interesting places I've liked are

    - Gold Beach & Fern Gully (This is actually in Praire Creek Redwoods State Park, I believe. The road is a gravelled road but in pretty good condition and Fern Gully is very interesting. You'll have to get out of the car and walk a bit, but its worth it. There are also several large herds of Roosevelt Elk in Praire Creek SP and usually one along this road.)
    - Newton Drury Scenic Parkway (parallels 101)
    - Lady Bird Grove in Redwoods NP (Get out of the car and take the loop trail)
    - Howland Hills Road through Jeddiah Smith Redwoods State Park (This is a very good condition gravelled road -- but it goes from Crescent City over some of the coastal hills up to 197 and takes you through some of the old growth areas. This may be a little bit of a detour from your route, but I rather enjoyed it)

    Further north in Washington State, a couple of my favorites are

    - Hoh Rain Forest.
    - Lake Crescent/ Lake Crescent Lodge. Very nice hotel in the Olympic National Park and not outrageously expensive. There's also a very nice waterfall about a mile to mile and a half away from the hotel (on the other sie of the road) with around a 100' waterfall and a very easy, marked trail to it.
    - Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park

    If you had time, there's a loop you can make from Port Angeles to Victoria BC (on Vancouver Island) and back to Vancouver via Ferry, but that loop skips Seattle.

  5. #5

    Default I recommend the Olympic Peninsula

    My personal recommendation is to make time to go to the Olympic Peninsula. We just returned from a wonderful trip to Kalaloch (pronounced "clay-lock"). We rented a cabin at Kalaloch Lodge and just soaked in the quiet and the beach. No TV. No phone. Just lovely. It is rustic so be aware of that, but it's a wonderful place. We already booked it for next year... Driving up Hwy. 101 is worth the ride, too.

    If you happen to pass through Aberdeen at any time and it's near lunch or dinner time, we really enjoyed Breakwater Chowder House. Not fancy. Kind of looks shabby-ish on the outside, but the calamari was delicious and my husband enjoyed the clam chowder and my picky daughters enjoyed the chicken strips.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-18-2007 at 06:18 PM. Reason: navigation

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Thanks for that!

    Quote Originally Posted by chc View Post
    If you happen to pass through Aberdeen at any time and it's near lunch or dinner time, we really enjoyed Breakwater Chowder House. Not fancy. Kind of looks shabby-ish on the outside, but the calamari was delicious and my husband enjoyed the clam chowder and my picky daughters enjoyed the chicken strips.
    Excellent idea -- thanks and welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chc View Post
    If you happen to pass through Aberdeen at any time and it's near lunch or dinner time, we really enjoyed Breakwater Chowder House. Not fancy. Kind of looks shabby-ish on the outside, but the calamari was delicious and my husband enjoyed the clam chowder and my picky daughters enjoyed the chicken strips.

    One of my favorite restaurants! Good food, reasonable prices. And if it's a beautiful day, sitting out on the deck is nice. Best deep-friend prawns I've ever had. It's an excellent seafood market as well with very fresh product and decent prices.

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