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  1. Default Seattle - Vancouver - San Diego

    Hi RoadTrip-Pros!

    first: sorry for my english... its not perfect..

    i read some Post but could not exaclty find what i was looking for.

    me and my colleague are flying to Seattle on 23. August. we Pick up a Rental-Car in Seattle and return it in San Diego. We are flying back on 14. September from San Diego.
    Therefore we have 21 Days for our Roadtrip!

    we are both 22years old, from Switzerland and we are planning to see as much as we can in this three weeks! ;) i hope it is enough time for this trip!!???

    As we heard alot great things about Vancouver we plan to go there and then all the way down to San Diego..
    we want to stay 2-3 Days in San Francisco, Vancouver and LA.. or any other suggestions for interesting / nice citys on this route? we want a good mix of everything :) Fun (nice places to go out in the evenings... party.. not every evening of course..), things like National-Parks (perhaps Redwoods?) and Hollywood / Universal Studios..
    what would you suggest? Any "must-see" places? Tips?

    if we have enough time we may want to visit tijuana at the end of our trip.. good idea?? or too dangerous? how far is it from san diego?

    Thank you all!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default International Issues

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Three weeks should give you plenty of time to explore. A couple things as you get started to think about.

    I don't know if you've made rental car reservations yet, but you'll expect to pay a premium for each driver under 25. Since you're over 21, you shouldn't have a problem finding a rental, though.

    Another thing to consider when renting a car, make sure you are allowed to take it into Canada. Some companies may allow you to take the car across the border, but some likely will not. Make sure you have permission in your rental contract.

    You won't be able to drive in Mexico, but you won't need it to visit Tijuana. You can park near the border and drive across, or San Diego's light rail system will drop you off on the boarder. If I remember, its about a 20-30 minute ride from downtown.

  3. Default Some random suggestions..

    Hello barmy --

    3 weeks from Seattle to San Diego is plenty of time. In a pinch, you can drive that distance in 2 full days of driving on the superhighways, but you won't see much.

    What's typically recommended is grab a map or guidebook, and start laying out a rough route for your trip. List the places you really want to go to, and the ones that might be fun, and about how long you want to spend in places, and that will give you a rough idea of how you want to go. Then we all can chime in with additional things to do, or places to stay.

    A couple of comments from me...

    - Vancouver is a great town to visit. But check to make sure you can get your rental car across the border, and all the appropriate visas and etc are in place before you go. That's just to make sure you don't run into paperwork problems at the border going and coming.. After they caught a person coming across the Canadian border with bomb materials in his car a few years go, the security has really been tightened up.

    - Seattle can be a fun place, but for scenic beauty, I'd recommend taking the drive around the Olympic Pennisula and Olympic National Park. (You might consider getting the annual National Parks pass -- if you're going to be visiting 4 National parks, it pays for itself. It covers everyone on the car for a year...) You've probably seen enough apline mountains and the like, but places like the Hoh Rain Forest and the Washington Coast would probly be more unique for you.

    - In Oregon, you can either continue down along the coast, or swing inland through the Portland area. The coast is scenic, or the mountains including Crater Lake are very nice. Eugene Oregon is a nice town to visit as well as Portland.

    - In California you're going to be torn between mountains, desserts, or the beaches. For a route south, you have 3 options.. The coastal route, which goes south through the Redwoods National Park to San Francisco is very nice. From SF you can continue down through the scenic "Coast 1" route through Big Sur, to Santa Barbara and into LA. There's another route which goes somewhat east past Mt Shasta to Mt Lassen to Reno/ Lake Tahoe and then down via Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks to the LA area. That can even be taken east to Death Valley and parts of the Mojave Dessert.

    LA is an experience in itself -- depending upon what you'd like. From Hollywood to the surfing beaches and from the music scene art & culture. Depends upon what you'd like. Just be aware its a huge city..

    San Diego is good end destination -- some nice beaches (check out La Jolla and Coranado), some nice places to visit. Going across the border to Mexico means the usual paperwork hassle, but also be aware that your car insurance doesn't work in Mexico, so you probably don't want to drive over with a rental, even if the rental company would allow it. There's a light rail system (the San Diego Trolley) which goes down to the border, and from there you can walk across, and catch a bus or taxi to the shopping/ sightseeing area in Tijuiana. There are good beaches and interesting places to stay a couple of hours south of TJ, but those need a car to get to them.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Great trip plans!

    Welcome, barmy!

    There are tons of threads here about this route. You might use the search tool in the green bar above to read some of the previous discussions about these areas.

    With 3 weeks, you'll have plenty of time to explore. Some highlights I would suggest considering are:
    * Washington: Olympic Peninsula, Mt. St. Helens, Mr. Rainier, North Cascades Highway, San Juan Islands, the coulees in Eastern Washington, Grand Coulee Dam, the Columbia River Gorge (Washington side)

    * Oregon: Oregon coast, Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge (Oregon side), Mt. Hood, the city of Bend and it's recreational opportunities, the Rogue River area, the Oregon Dunes

    * California: Redwoods, California coast, Mt. Shasta, Yosemite, Napa Valley wineries (oh, there's lots more but I'm not as familiar with California)

    And, of course, all the major cities like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego have a lot to offer and could easily keep you busy for days.

    If you do searches on these different locations, you should get a lot more specifics. After you've done more poking around and discussed what you want to do with your travel partner, please come back and let us help you flesh out the details.

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