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Thread: where to stay?

  1. Default where to stay?

    this is my first post so hello. : D

    Me and my better half ( so she says! ) are doing the west coast trip between Seattle and San Francisco next August. We pretty much know which route we're taking and what we want to see so I won't ask that question for what would seem to be the 10,000 time on these forums. lol

    what I'd like to know is where to stay at either end of our trip.

    We're going to spend about 2 weeks on the journey and 3-4 days at either end. We're not really big on Cities but would like to be within easy access of Seattle at one end and SF at the other as it would be silly to fly 4000 miles and ignore them all together.
    Especially at the SF end I'd like somwhere to really chill out as i'll have just spent 2 weeks driving and would like to sit on a beach for a while.

    we're not going to have a car until we start the drive.

    thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Coast Favorites

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyalan View Post
    Me and my better half ( so she says! ) are doing the west coast trip between Seattle and San Francisco next August.
    Sounds like a grand adventure -- Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.
    We pretty much know which route we're taking and what we want to see so I won't ask that question for what would seem to be the 10,000 time on these forums. lol
    It is a popular route and well discussed on this Forum -- but in case you missed this thread -- check out Judy's excellent advice! And this one for some side trip ideas between Seattle and Portland! And remember to always look on the bottom of the pages you are viewing for more ideas!
    One of my favorite Inns in the world will be on your route -- The Stanford Inn in Mendocino!
    Especially at the SF end I'd like somwhere to really chill out as i'll have just spent 2 weeks driving
    We usually stay at the Golden Gateway -- great views and good rates.
    and would like to sit on a beach for a while.
    Here is an excellent overview of the beaches along the west coast of California.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default Glad you've read the other threads!

    It sounds like you've taken advantage of all the information here to plan your trip. Thanks for that. Don't hesitate to ask further questions though. Or to post your route, listing things you intend to see and do, so we can offer any insights we might have.

    If I understand you right, you're flying into Seattle and will be there for 3-4 days before picking up your rental car. If you stay in either downtown Seattle or on the waterfront, there are a lot of places within walking distance: Ye Olde Curiousity Shoppe, the Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Art Museum, The Public Market, Pioneer Square and Bill Speidel's Underground Tour, the historic Smith Tower, and the Gold Rush museum (a national park) are just a few ideas that you can walk to. If you want to see the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project, you can catch the monorail at Westlake Mall (it's on 4th & Pine, I think, or thereabouts....just ask people, they'll know).

    However, there's going to be a lot of neat things in Seattle that you'll have to take a taxi or other public transit to. You might want to get your car for at least one of the days in Seattle so you don't have to depend on Seattle's less-than-impressive public transportation system. Some of these things are: Fremont District (a very cool and bizarre neighborhood), The Museum of Flight, Lake Union with its houseboats and kayak trips, the Boeing tour near Everett, the Hiram Chittenden Locks and salmon ladders, as some examples.

    Of course, you can take a tour. I've heard the Seattle Ducks one is pretty cool but I haven't done it. Grayline and other companies have day tours as well. Your hotel should have information on this.

    The downtown Seattle hotels are much more expensive than those near Sea-Tac airport. It's not hard to find a hotel near Sea-Tac for about $50. You'd be hard-pressed to find a hotel in the downtown/waterfront areas for less than $100. So it actually might be cheaper to stay near Sea-Tac, pick up your car for your stay in Seattle, and then drive downtown. But then you have to deal with traffic and parking fees. So, in the end, it depends on what you prefer and what your budget can handle.

    The Sea-Tac area hotels will have shuttles to/from the airport. You will probably have to take a cab from Sea-Tac to get to a downtown/waterfront area hotel. I have no idea how much this might cost but you can figure that it will take, at minimum, about 30 minutes so it won't be cheap. And that is if traffic is good. Traffic is rarely good around there. Try to avoid doing this during the M-F rush hours that last from about 6-10am and 3-7pm. It could take you well over an hour during those times.

    Now, to answer your question...I wish I could give you more good options for hotels in Seattle based on my experience. I usually only go to Seattle for day trips though. Two hotels that I've stayed in that I thought were pretty cool are The Inn at the Market and The Edgewater. Both are pricey but that's the norm in downtown Seattle.

    You might want to check out websites like Expedia and TripAdvisor that will have lists of hotels and reviews of them.

  4. Default

    thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

    we're budgeting @ $200 per night at either end as a bit of luxury.

    for the journey down we're still undecided as to whether to camp or use motels , or maybe a bit of both. my girlfriend is convinced she's going to be attacked by a bear! lol.
    We do a fair amount of walking in the UK as we live within 10 minutes of the pennines so are looking forward to some good hiking.

    our general route will be

    Seattle - Mt Rainier - Mt St Helens - Hood River - Salem - Cascade Head

    then down the coast to

    Coos Bay - Grants Pass - Redwood NP - then down the coast to SF.

    we're undecided about the last part but aren't too concerned as we'd like to leave some things to chance.

    what do you think?

  5. #5
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    Default Here are some more ideas on that

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyalan View Post
    Seattle - Mt Rainier - Mt St Helens - Hood River - Salem - Cascade Head
    Here is another field report from a fellow UK roadtripper.

    Mark

  6. #6
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default Bears shouldn't be a problem

    Here's an interesting article detailing bear attacks in North America. Note that most are in Canada and Alaska and none have occurred in Washington, Oregon, or California. There have only been just over 100 bear attacks in about 100 years. They're pretty darn rare.

    I've been camping and hiking in the PNW for years and I've never even seen a bear in the woods. And I've done numerous multi-day hikes into wilderness areas where chance encounters with bears are far more likely than you'll find in established campgrounds and short trails during your trip. My husband is an avid hunter and has never seen a bear in the wild either.

    Brown bears (Grizzlies) and Polar bears are definitely the most aggressive. You're not going anywhere close to where they live so don't worry about them at all.

    The more typical black bear might attack but, mostly, they will try to avoid people. They will usually only attack if you have come between a momma and her cub(s). If you do go on any hikes, just make noise. If they hear you coming, they will hide or otherwise get away from you before you even know they're around. Some people put jingle-bells on their packs so any bears can hear them coming. You could do this as a precaution when you hike but I doubt you're going far enough in the woods for this to be a concern. This article has some good tips.

    If you enjoy camping, then camp. There are some wonderful campgrounds in these areas. I usually camp when on a road trip myself.

    Some campgrounds might have bear-proof food storage units for your use. As black bears are scavengers, this is to keep them from coming in looking to steal your food and then getting used to eating human food (not human, but our food, LOL). It doesn't hurt to put anything with a strong odor in here as well, including toiletries. I've camped in many of these campgrounds over the years and nary a bear has ever come into a campground that I've been at. And all my camping friends have never reported any bear contact either.

    So, don't sweat it. Enjoy!

  7. #7
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    Default I concur with Judy's point, but...

    I really don't think it will be an issue. However, if you do find yourself in an area with bear warning signs -- follow the suggestions. I have been on the receiving end of a very ticked-off mother bear when I attempted to scold her cubs who were re-arranging my backpack in the high country of Yosemite. I have also been followed/stalked by a curious (hungry?) Grizzly in the Bitterroots of Montana and been swatted by an equally ornery black bear yearling in the Chiricahuas (I was trying to "rescue" him at the time -- he took exception to my capture technique). And I scared a bear nearly to distraction when he had to jump over my sleeping bag while I was in it (also in Yosemite). In fact, I have probably had a dozen up close and personal encounters with bears over the years....

    Mark

  8. Default Bears...

    You can run into bears just about anywhere in the west these days.. I've run into them within 10 miles of the LA basin.

    If you have a concern about bears, there are several things you should do..

    First of all, don't leave food out. Put it all away in an ice chest, and put it in your car, sealed up and out of sight. A bear can pry open a car or bust in a window to get to food, but they typically won't do it unless they know its in there.

    Don't have anything in your tent that might even look like food. That includes toothpaste, deodorant and the like. No gatorade, no sodas or etc either. They smell like food to a bear.

    If you're out in the middle of no where, hang your food in a bear bag -- throw some rope/ cord/ twine over a high branch and hoist your food up so you can't touch it. Most campgrounds with bear issues will have bear proof containers at the campsites, and warning signs. You'll also know when you see the bear-proof trash cans.....

    If you run into a bear, don't argue with them and don't do anything stupid. Hitting them with pepper spray usually only upsets them. If you need to, make a lot of noise and look BIG. But don't dispute with them unless you absolutely need to.

    In the last 5 years I've run into bears 3 times. In 2 of the 3 times, the bear came into the campground looked around, didn't find anything to eat, and after looking for a bit ran off. In the 3rd case, someone got lazy and hung their food bag about 5' off the ground from a stub on a tree trunk. In their credit, they had put everything that might have smelled of food in the food bag before hanging it. But since they only hung it up 5' from the ground next to a tree trunk, the bear took it, and it was never seen again. SInce this was a backpacking trip, they lost their weekends food, 2 good knives used to cut the salami and cheese they had for dinner, and all their gatoraide, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. They complained all weekend, even though everyone else pooled together and shared with them..

  9. Default

    thanks for the advice.

    I too ,doubt it will be an issue but she panics if a squirrel comes to near!



    joke

    there are two men walking in the woods and they come across an angry bear

    the first man gets his training shoes out of his backpack and starts putting them on.

    the second man says " you're wasting your time, you'll never out run a bear"

    the first man responds " i don't need to out run the bear , i only need to out run you"
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-27-2007 at 09:13 AM. Reason: format

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