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  1. Default Spring trip San Francisco to Eugene, OR

    We will be flying out to San Francisco from the midwest in late March 2008 to visit for a couple days with friends and then plan to rent a car and drive up to visit family in Eugene, Oregon. Once we depart from San Francisco, we want to reach Eugene within 3 days. Any recommendations as to where to stop overnight along the way and sights to see? We would like to see some 'wine country' on our way out of the Bay Area, but otherwise would like to stay as close to the coast as possible. We will be traveling with our 2 teenaged children. Any suggestions for overnight accommodations would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default My Take

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    What makes such trip so rewarding is that you can customize them to exactly your own tastes, so take the following as one suggestion only. But if I were doing this, I'd head up through Napa and then through the Clear Lake area on CA-29 and then continue on US-101 in order to be on the coast at the end of the first day somewhere around Eureka, CA. From there I'd get two full days on the coast with an overnight stop somewhere around Gold Beach or Port Orford, OR. The Oregon coast is practically covered in state parks, so there will be no shortage of scenic stops and great seaside strolls, but two spots to be sure to visit are Redwood National Park on Day 2 and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area on Day 3


  3. Default Wine tasting and redwoods...

    I'll echo AZBuck pretty much here, with a couple of minor variations.

    Napa Valley has a huge concentration of wineries, but its a bit farther east. There are a number of good wineries in the Sonoma area, and up through the Sonoma Valley to the Russian River, which is pretty much along your route, if you take 101 towards the Redwoods. Here's a good link to some of the wineries in the area. Ravenswood, Benziger, Chateau St. Jean, and Sebastani are all wineries whose wines I drink on a regular basis.

    (As a side note, Sebastani winery is right in downtown historic Sonoma. If you visit there, look around the town plaza and see if you can see the Bear Flag Republic Monument. California was an independent Republic for a short period in the 1840's -- this monument was where the Bear Flag was raised, which is memorialized on the California state flag...)

    From there, as AZBuck recommends, I'd continue up 101 to the Redwoods. Besides the national park, there are several California state Redwood Parks. The Drury Memorial Parkway is a good and easy drive through some large redwoods, and Gold Beach in Praire Creek Redwoods State Park are good visits -- look for the elk which usually graze along the road to Gold Beach. (but its several miles of dirt road to the beach from the highway -- bumpy a bit, but I've seen RVs take this road.) Lady Bird Grove in the National Park is a good small loop walk through a large grove this is also excellent.

    When you depart the Crescent City area, an interesting route out is via the Howland Hill Road, which heads east and north to hook up with 199. It's a 2 lane dirt road (in very good condition when I drove it a few years ago), that goes through miles of first and second growth redwood forests... Very scenic...

    For places to stay or break the trip, I'd spend the first night somewhere in the Fort Bragg (on the coast) or Eurkea area, then the 2nd night in the vicinity of Crescent City after spending the day sightseeing on the coast and touring the redwoods with a picnic lunch somewhere.

    As an alternative to continuing the coast route, you can turn inland on 199 from Crescent City, and go back over the coastal mountains towards Grants Pass. This gives you the option of visiting Oregon Caves National Monument, and then catching I-5 for a fast final run to Eugene.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default And if all these recommendations...

    ...don't have your head swimming,

    I have one very nice lodging recommendation and a couple more suggestions.

    In the village of Benbow, on 101 is the Benbow Inn. The rooms are lovely, the restaurant is first rate, and it isn't far from the Avenue of the Giants (just a few miles before). So if your plans are to go slowly through the wine country (your teenagers can't taste but they might enjoy the visit) you may only get that far the first night. (reservations probably required).

    The drive through Sonoma (for a great gourmet pizza lunch check out the Red Grape) and Sonoma Valley is beautiful, and the area around Cloverdale and Healdsburg are just as scenic.

    If you or your kids are interested in alternative energy, the Real Goods store and demonstration facility in Hopland, CA is fascinating. You'll see the huge solar array right along the road as you pull into town.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  5. Default Thanks for great tips

    Wow, what great suggestions - thanks to all of you for taking the time to answer my post. I am going to research all of your tips and decide on an itinerary. I will check back periodically between now and our trip the third week in March, so feel free to add other recommendations. Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Glad people were of help to you

    And please come back and ask further questions that pop in to your head as you continue the planning process.

  7. #7


    If Cave Junction Oregon is on your path, you may not have time to visit the Oregon Caves, but the Great Cats World Park is an excellent 1-2 hours visit.

    Don't think this is another touristy 'zoo'. It's privately owned and you will see some fascinating big cats up close. The tour guides are super friendly. Where else can you see a full grown lioness running at full stride directly at you?
    Wow, just talking about it makes me want to plan a trip there again!

    Have fun!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-01-2008 at 07:27 PM. Reason: added a link to the park

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