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  1. Default Pacific Coast RoadTrip

    Hi All,
    we are planning a road trip, myself, my wife, brother and brothers girlfriend.

    We are from canada, and for most of us it will be the first time down this coast.

    Unfortunately, 2 of us are from saskatchewn and 2 from vancouver.

    Our original plan was to drive down and up the coast, but we only have 10 days...

    so, this is the best ive come up with so far..
    myself and my wife will fly to vancouver, and all 4 of us will drive from there south.
    We plan on taking the 101, and we plan on ending in vegas, and flying back home.

    so, can you all suggest if we have enough time for this trip... we have 9-10 days, and we are hoping to see all the below...

    Mount Vernon
    Mount rainier (might skip as its quite aways out of the way)
    mount vernon
    dune buggies in oregon
    redwood park
    sasn fransisco
    alcatraz
    las angeles
    hollywood
    universal studios
    death valley
    las vegas
    grand canyon
    Roswell??

    any thoughts?
    any worthy places i havent mentioned?
    oh, and are any of the above places over rated?

    i guess we would see hoover damn too? on the way to grand canyon
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-14-2007 at 08:34 PM. Reason: continuation of previous post

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Cut the Grand and Roswell!

    Quote Originally Posted by langaan View Post
    We are from canada, and for most of us it will be the first time down this coast.
    You are in for a great road trip treat! Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! When is the trip scheduled for?
    We plan on taking the 101, and we plan on ending in vegas, and flying back home.
    That is a good plan, although you really should plan on traveling on some of the Pacific Coast Highway in California (CA-1). I think you should plan on dropping the Grand Canyon from this route and also Roswell (but you could include a trip on the Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada!)

    Here are some threads to get you started on the rest of the planning:

    Routes between San Francisco and Las Vegas
    A great overview about Los Angeles by Larrison
    Places to consider stopping in Washington by Judy
    Some of Judys' recommendations for places in Portland and Seattle
    A must-stop place on the Coast -- for a gorgeous waterfall falling into the surf!
    Some of our favorite beaches on the California Coast
    Crater Lake and some more ideas
    And finally this field report about northern California

    As you will see, there is plenty to see and do on a 10-day trip on the coast!

    Mark

  3. Default Mt. Vernon???

    I do have to ask.. why Mt. Vernon? I mean I've driven through the town bunches of times, and its got an OK mall, some outlet stores, a good bookstore and a good bakery --- but why stop there as major destination on this trip? The only thing I can think of is the Tulip Festival in April...

    As a route I might suggest, Vancouver south on I-5 through Mt. Vernon, and then take the Port Townsend-Keystone or Edmonds-Kingston Ferry across the sound, to the Olympic Pennisula. If you don't stay the night at Mt Vernon, you can make it to Port Angeles area for the evening.

    From there I'd continue around the Olympic Pennisula visiting the National Park there, and then down the west coast of Washington State to Astoria. You have the option here of continuing down the coast, or cutting inland to Portland, or the Williamette Valley for a ways. There are several dozen wineries in NW corner of the Williamette Winery and they might be worth a stop.

    Continue along the coast down through Oregon to stay around Crescent City -- which is the start of the Redwoods country. There is Redwoods National Park here, as well as multiple state redwood parks.

    Depending upon your tastes, there is also the Napa/ Sonoma Wine country north of SF -- you'll be passing about a hour west of these areas. Of you can continue into SF directly.

    THe route from SF to LA can be done in a day, but its typically 2-3 days if you take the more scenic route down via Monterey, Big Sur, and the Coast Highway down past Hearst Castle, Santa Barbara and then into LA.

    In LA, you might consider staying near or in Universal Studios, if your goal is Universal Studios/ Hollywood.

    Departing for Las Vegas will be very straightforwards -- and if you can dodge rush hour traffic its about a 1/2 to 2/3rds day drive to Death Valley. From Death Valley to Las Vegas is 2-4 hours (Depending upon route)

    Las Vegas to Grand Canyon is about 2/3rds of a full day's drive.

    Rough time on this trip would be 1 night near Port Angeles,
    1 Night Oregon
    1 Night Crescent City/ Redwoods county
    2 nights SF
    2 days to get to LA
    2 nights LA (coud be 1, but that would be pushiing it)
    1 night Death Valley
    1 Night Las Vegas
    1 Night Grand Canyon
    Return to Vegas, and fly back

    From a first cut, it looks tight on time..

  4. Default San Francisco

    While you're in San Francisco, you should try to drive north on the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods then to Stinson beach (actually you'll drive past Muir Woods if you drive south on the 101 going into San Francisco). It's a pretty curvy road once you get into the forest area, but I love stopping on the side and looking around. Stinson has an awesome beach to go walking on (too cold for me though because I am from hawaii). Are you looking to do more city things or outdoor things?

  5. Default ok

    ok well mount vernon isnt really a high priority, we dont intend on spending any amount of time there really, just drive be, see the mountain take some pics and keep going.

    may i ask why you would suggest skipping g canyon? is it too far out of the way?

    what about LA, would we be better of skipping LA and going from san fran right to vegas?

    i think grand canyon/roswell is a must see for us.

    also, my wife would like to see the hollywood sign, is that easy to get to?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
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    Default What about Mt. Vernon #2

    Quote Originally Posted by langaan View Post
    ok well mount vernon isnt really a high priority, we dont intend on spending any amount of time there really, just drive be, see the mountain
    Wait a moment -- are you referring to Mt, Rainier? Mt. Vernon is not a mountain. It is a suburb of Seattle, Washington. Mt. Rainier, on the other hand, is a magnificent mountain and a US National Park
    may i ask why you would suggest skipping g canyon? is it too far out of the way?
    I don't see how you have time for either the Grand Canyon or Roswell -- and Roswell is not very interesting. It is a nice small town, but you are talking about driving hundreds of miles out of the way to see it. What is the attraction for you?
    also, my wife would like to see the hollywood sign, is that easy to get to?
    Not really, you can see it from Hollywood Blvd, but getting to it, is very tricky and involves trespassing on private land.

    Mark

  7. Default lol

    well good to know, glad i didnt drive down there and look for a mountain that doesnt exist :P

    about roswell, my brother is a ufo fanatic and wants to go to roswell.

    so, what about this...
    skip seattle and take fairie to townshed
    stay the night in the port angeles area,,
    drive down 101 and cut across to st helens, then back to 101 and down to redwood...

    i assume the route going around olympic park is worth the time? as opposed to taking the I5 throu seatlle then cutting over to 101 by olympia/aberden

    oh, we want to drive some dune buggies at the dunes in oregon, they exist right?

    we also want to go to crater lake,, but thats about it for oregon,, then off to redwood


    what if we skip the drive to roswell.canyon, and just take one of the copter tours over the canyone from vegas? they worth it?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Geography

    i think grand canyon/roswell is a must see for us.
    I think you are either confused or don't have much of an appreciation for just how big the american west is.

    Roswell is almost 800 miles east of Las Vegas! That's a solid day and a half drive, one way! Even from the Grand Canyon, which is a solid 1/2 day drive from Las Vegas, you'd still have to travel another 600 miles! Since I'm assuming you'd want to spend at least a day there if you were going to go that far, that would eat up 4 days of a 10 day trip.

    Larrison mapped out a decent layout of what it would take to visit all the places you want to see, and even moving at a quick pace, his trip would take you 13 days.

    If the Grand Canyon is a must see, then I don't see anyway you can also do LA, unless you cut out the Washington and Oregon Coasts, and just did a sprint down to San Francisco.

    With only 10 days, you can't do everything, so you are going ot have to pick and choose both which places are important, and which places are realistic.

    also, my wife would like to see the hollywood sign, is that easy to get to?
    The famous sign is remarkably difficult to see. You certainly can see it when you are in Hollywood, but it will take some work to find a place where your view wouldn't be blocked by buildings or other things.

  9. Default wow

    yup, its the fact that i dont know how big it is .
    i guess roswell isnt gonna happen, oh well.

    what about the washington coast vs mount reiner?

    which would be a better route,,, I5 to mt rainier, or skip reiner and do the fairy through olympic park?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Geography Part 2

    Quote Originally Posted by langaan View Post
    skip seattle and take fairie to townshed
    stay the night in the port angeles area,,
    drive down 101 and cut across to st helens, then back to 101 and down to redwood...
    ...we also want to go to crater lake,, but thats about it for oregon,, then off to redwood
    Out of curiousity, how long were you planning to spend on this leg of your trip?

    I could see these stops alone taking up nearly 10 days alone. The Coastal Highway is not a high speed route, so you'll need a few days alone just to drive from Washington down to Redwoods. And Mount St. Helens and Crater Lake aren't quick little detours off of US-101, they are both going to take a couple hours to get to from the Coast.

    Its easy to forget just how big places in the West can be, and right now, I think you are trying to bite off way way way more than you will ever be able to chew. Its time to slow down, take a look at how far you really will be traveling, and decide which things you can do with a limited timeframe.

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