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  1. #1

    Default From Scotland To America for West coast road trip

    Hello all

    Me and two of my friends are planninng a road trip for July 08, we are thinking of Hiring a nice car (mustang convertable or similar) and driving down the west coast.We would be interested in seeing some sights but staying close to the beaches, obviously the routes must have plenty of gas stations,services and places to stay.Would like to start in Seattle or near the top and make our way down to LA.

    If you could give me some pointers to help us out, we would ideally be going for around 2 1/2 to 3 weeks so would like to have an idea of cost, travelling time, places to stay, if its possible to rent a car in Seattle when we fly in but return the car to LA an dfly out from there saving us the drive back to seattle!

    Much appreciated


  2. Default Comments...

    Hello Jock, and welcome to the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You’ve got enough time laid out to take a good, although not rushed, trip down the coast. If you speed down the interstates, its about a 2 days trip. But with 17-21 days, you’ve got a good amount of time.

    For a basic route, a good start would be to head west from Seattle, and go through Port Angeles, and around the Olympic Pennisula and through Olympics National Park, and then head south along the coast. You can continue down pretty much along the coast all the way to San Diego if you want to – towns will be from 10-30 miles apart through most of the route, with good services along the road and lots of places to stay, including campgrounds as well as motels.

    To do this drive properly, it will take around 9-10 days in my estimation. You have a few extra days which can be used to explore some areas in more detail. This might include the Redwoods area, Oregon or California Wine Countries (you’ll be passing through, or near, at least 5 different notable wine growing areas), San Francisco area, LA/OC area, and San Diego. You can also veer off the coast to go inland to visit different places, such as Crater Lake, Tahoe/Reno, Yosemite, the Mojave Desert, or even Las Vegas. All of these places are a day’s drive or less from the coast. Or.. you can just take a couple of days to relax on the beach or in the mountains somewhere.

    Cost for this, depending upon what specifically you want to do, and how high end you want to travel, is easily done for $100 per person per day. You can cut this cost substantially if you desire to. Hotels will run around $80-100 per night, campgrounds around $20-25/ night, food will range from $6-10 for fast food (per person), to $10-20 for diner-style family restaurants (per person), and with a cooler and willing to do some picnic & campground cooking you can approach $10/ day (per person). Gas here is substantially cheaper per gallon, and assuming a conservative 20 miles per gallon and 2000 miles overall, you’ll be running around $350-400 for gas. The rental car typically runs (depending upon the agency, the car, and the drivers – a Mustang Convertible will be more expensive than a smaller family sedan) from around $30-60 per day. But there may be a one-way dropoff charge of several hundred dollars to take it one way from Seattle to LA.

    In worst case, it’s a full 2 days drive from LA to Seattle back via the interstates.
    Last edited by W. Larrison; 07-11-2007 at 12:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    London, England


    We drove the west coast from San Diego up to San Francisco last summer. Highway 1 between LA and San Francisco is an amazingly scenic route, and for that section we took three days, giving plenty of time to stop en route. If you can fit in a couple of days for a trip over to Yosemite, it's definitely worth it!

    With regard to the hire of the car, keep an eye on 'one way rental' charges. These are generally based on the distance between the rental locations, and can add a fair chunk onto the hire cost.

    In terms of places to stay, every town has a few motels, and some have loads. We were generally paying between $60 to $90 a night, depending where we were. Always ask to see the room as these can be pretty variable.

  4. #4


    Thanks guys, i have plenty of time to start arranging the trip, i must say its great to read all the other planned road trips and get some pointers and tips!!


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