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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Pullman, WA/Ewa Beach, HI/Knoxville, TN

    Default Seattle to Knoxville (Hwy 101 -> Route 66)

    I was wondering if anyone could help my out (I'm sure you can!!)... in August my best friend is flying up to Seattle (from Georgia) and driving out to Knoxville, Tennessee with me. We were going to allow 8-10 days to drive out (although that's probably way more than we need... last time it took 5). The catch is, this time, we want to drive down the coast from Seattle to Santa Monica/LA, then out Route 66 (the old one) to St. Louis, then to Knoxville. Does anyone have any hints or tips? I've never driven down the coast to Cali before, and I've def. never been out Route 66! Any help you can give me would be amazing!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Sounds like a great summer roadtrip to me!

    Quote Originally Posted by AshAndShan View Post
    The catch is, this time, we want to drive down the coast from Seattle to Santa Monica/LA, then out Route 66 (the old one) to St. Louis, then to Knoxville.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! If you were to drive these distances by the most direct route (not on the coast) the least distance would be 3465 miles. If you wanted to cover this distance in eight days, you would have to drive at least 433 miles every day, which is, of course, doable. But the first leg of this journey (Seattle to Santa Monica) illustrates some of the challenge. If you drove I-5 from Seattle to Santa Monica it would be ~ 1135 miles and it could be done two very long days, if you traveled at or close to legal speed limits. However, if you were to really travel along the coast (US-101 in Washington and Oregon and CA-1 in California) the distance would actually be closer to 1700 miles and it would impossible to cover this distance in less than four days, due to speed restrictions due to terrain and urban congestion. And you would need to be on the road for at least 10 hours per day.

    Likewise on Route 66 -- it can be challenging in places to even find the route and a realistic time to cover that distance would be another four days and you would still have nearly 500 miles to reach Knoxville. Now, all of the above is possible, but you won't have much time to stop and look at anything. If you were to allow an extra day on each leg, it might work better, but now this trip will require a minimum of 12 days....

    Can you stretch your time that far?

    There are lots of posts on this forum about the coastal routes and we have a whole bunch of resources for traveling along Route 66.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    The Olympic peninsula of WA State

    Default another suggestion

    I'd have to agree with Editor Mike. You may not be planning for enough time to do this trip right. I've made the drive from W. WA to Santa Barbara several times and while the coast is very scenic its also very time consuming. I see the coast route as having three parts: 101/Oregon coast, CA-1 north of the Bay area and CA-1 south of the bay area. To save some time you might want to think about doing just one or two of these 'sections'. You might think about taking I-5 down to Portland then 18 to Lincoln City. (You'll pass the air museum that houses the Spruce Goose.) You'll miss a little of the OR coast but it's still a beautiful ride south of Lincoln City.

    I always recommend doing the west coast southbound (which you are) since then you're on the side of the road with the turnouts and view points.

    CA-1 is a very slow highway to travel: lots of curves and the inevitable slow moving RV so you might want to do just one section of CA-1. (I prefer the southern section: Monterey, Carmel, San Simeon, etc.)

    With all the great things to see and do along the Rt 66 corridor don't do what I'm always doing to myself: Spend a lot of time sight seeing at the beginning of the trip and then having to go all out to make it to my destination on time while passing up the sights I really wanted to see.

    You might want to make a list of things you would like to see then rate them according to 'must see', 'would like to see' and 'if we have time'. Concetrate on the 'must see' stops and plan the driving accordingly. Reality is you probably won't have time to do the 'if we have time' stops.

    Enjoy your trip

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