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  1. Default Pacific Coast Road Trip '08


    I live in the UK & want to take my 16 year old son on a North - South road trip down the Pacific Coast. I would be able to take 3 weeks off work. Could anyone give me any tips and advice? I am looking at July/August '08. I would like to know the best roads & also good, but inexpensive hotel/motel acommodation, together with good hire car places & what type of car etc. Tips on where to stay a few days would also be great, as would advice on places not to linger!
    Many thanks,

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

    Default Summer Fog

    Quote Originally Posted by Robnant View Post
    I live in the UK & want to take my 16 year old son on a North - South road trip down the Pacific Coast.
    Sounds like a wonderful Father/Son outing -- Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Is there any chance that you could switch your road trip plans to the winter or spring months? The summertime is great for beaches in southern California, but the intense heat of the California summer creates immense fog banks along the coast from Santa Barbara to nearly Mendocino. It can still be gorgeous, of course, but if you are looking for beach-going weather along the coast -- it can get very cool in the summer months of July and August.
    I would like to know the best roads
    California Highway One and US-101 are the primary choices. One of the best guide books (small and easy to carry on the plane...) is this one. Here are some great beaches between LA and San Francisco
    Here is a must-stop place for you!

    Here are some tips on low-cost roadtripping.

    And here is an overview about rental cars and insurance.

    Happy Planning.


  3. Default 3 weeks is doable.. but July/ August are the busiest months

    Hello Robnant

    First the really good news -- July and August are the warmest and best weather along the Pacific Coast of North America. It's also very possible to do a very nice 3 week trip down along the coast, and perhaps visit a few places more inland.

    Now the bad news -- this is the busiest time of the year for vacations and people visiting the coast, since its the summer break when the kids are out of school. The coast area is very popular, so beach hotels and campgrounds can be very busy, particularly on the holiday weekends during this time.

    For a rough route, you might consider flying into somewhere on the west coast and then traveling down the 101/ Coast 1 route from the Vancouver Canada or Seattle area, to either Los Angeles or San Diego areas. It's a longish 2 day drive to go straight from LA to the Canadian border, so its possible in 3 weeks to fly into a spot, spend 3 weeks doing a long loop trip, and then flying back out of your initial landing spot. (This usually saves several hundred dollars in "repositioning" or "drop off" costs for a rental vehicle if you rent in one location and drop it off in another distant location.)

    There are many places to go, and a variety of things you might do along the way. Camping is always an option on this route, with numerous good campgrounds along the coast, although you might want to pick hotels in the bigger cities. There are a number of chains of moderately inexpensive hotels, to 4 star resorts along this path. And you can have the opportunities to climb 10,000'+ mountains to snorkling or scubaing, to do surfing or wildlife watching, hike in the mountains or visit major cultural centers.

    But since its the busiest time fo the year, you'll probably want to plan ahead, particularly if its a high demand area (such as a campground right on the beach, or in a popular national park).

    What would you and your son be interested in doing?

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

    Default You've picked a great road-trip!

    You won't get bored. The views are great, even with fog, in my opinion. And there are plenty of interesting sites, towns, museums, shops, scenic attractions, and activities to do along the way.

    Here are links to some posts with a lot of good information that you might want to read through:
    18 Days - Seattle to LA
    LA to Seattle
    The Olympic Peninsula
    Oregon Coast
    San Jose to Seattle

    This should give you enough ideas for 3 months, not just 3 weeks.

    Once you get a general route figured out, with the stops you think you will focus on making, come on back and let us help you fine-tune things.

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