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  1. Default Oregon Coast in February ??

    HI,
    My husband and I are planning on driving from Washington to San Diego the first week of February. We want to stop at Crescent City, CA so we can see the Redwoods. Other than that we aren't sure what would be best to see. We have 3 days, and would like to spend part of that on the 101. We've heard the Oregon coast is a must see, and can spend one of our days driving that coast, if you think it will be worth it in February. Perhaps the winter will make it not so pretty? or maybe dangerous to drive? We are from San Diego, so don't need to see any of the So Ca coast as we can see that any time. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!! Nicole

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default No Time

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Seattle to San Diego is over 1200 miles, so nearly three days of driving even if you stick to I-5 all the way. Unfortunately, I just don't see where you have tome to get to the Oregon coast, travel any appreciable distance along it, and get back to the main road. I think you'd be better off limiting your stops to a few places closer to the Interstate. Even the drive to Crescent City along US-199 and then down to San Francisco on US-101 would chew up all your 'extra' time.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    HI AZBuck! Thank you so much for your reply,and for the welcome! Since that is not enough time, what about just driving from Portland, Oregon to San Diego, in 3 days. If we start from there, would 3 days work out so that I can see the Oregon Coast? And maybe the Redwoods...and also I just thought of Big Sur. Do you think I could see those 3 things in 3 days? Thank you very much again for any thoughts you might have. :)
    Nicole

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Default Choices Must Be Made

    There are several sections of scenic coastline in Washington, Oregon and California. But three days from Seattle (or Portland) is just not enough to see it all. So you are going to have to pick the particular stretch that you can get to the easiest and which offers the best combination of fewest towns, good scenery and light traffic. For my money, that is the northern California coast, and that fits in well with you plan to see the Redwoods. If you come down CA-1 from Leggett to San Francisco you can have a very relaxing drive, see some spectacular coastline, and still not take forever to get somewhere. And just north of San Francisco are a couple of the crown jewels of the California coast: Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. If you can get a fair bit south of San Francisco by the end of Day 2, you can then be in San Diego on Day 3. But I wouldn't count on driving a long distance, AND seeing coastline AND getting through Los Angeles traffic on that last day.

    AZBuck

  5. Default so much to see...so little time...

    Hi AZ Buck,

    Thank you for your suggestion to see the Point Reyes seashore and golden gate national rec area!! Those both sound like a very good ideas! Here's what I have set out now...we'd start Thurs. a.m., and drive from Salem, Oregon down the coast to Crescent city, CA. Then on Friday we'd drive from Crescent City, CA to near Santa Rosa, CA. Then Saturday we'd drive from near Santa Rosa by the point reyes seashore, the golden gate nat'l rec and Big Sur, (i'm thinking 5 hrs from santa rosa to big sur). I wanted to start the day with these so we can be sure to see them in the daylight. Then we hit the quickest route back down to SD.. to arrive very late. I think this will work because it is Saturday so hopefully LA won't be so bad. Do you think this would be do-able?
    thank you again,
    Nicole

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,063

    Default so little time is right

    I really don't think you have nearly enough time for this trip as you've laid out. I just don't think that you've got the appreciation for just how slow travel along the PCH can be. For much of the trip you will be averaging 40 mph or less, that means each of the days you've laid out you're are going to have to be driving 10 or more hours just to get from point A to point B. That doesn't leave any time left for exploring any of it - including Point Reyes or Golden Gate Seashore.

    Your Saturday plan simply isn't close to being feasable. You might be able to make to from Golden Gate to Big Sur in 5 hours, if traffic in SF isn't bad, and you take the fastest way possible to Monterey, before getting back on the PCH. However, once you get to big sur, you've still got to follow the PCH for a couple more hours down to San Luis Obispo before you can get back on the US-101 freeway. At that point you will have had a very full day, and you'll still have at least 6 hours - if you don't hit traffic - to get to San Diego. I guess the one thing that might make LA traffic more bearable is that you'll probably be driving through it close enough to midnight that traffic may have died down a little bit.

    Buck has said it twice, and I'm in full agreement. Oregon or Washington to San Diego via the coast is not a 3 day trip. (SF to LA via the coast alone really needs 2 full days) Something has to give, and although you've revised your plans a couple of times, you still have not made a revision to your plans that reflect the reality of the situation.

  7. Default ok-how about this?

    HI Midwest Michael, Thank you for the info and advice! It is much appreciated! I've never done the drive, and so don't understand the time frame as well as you two. I really appreciate your help. I have a new plan now. :) Let me know if you think it is feasible, or not. Thursday drive from Eugene, Oregon to Eureka, CA (see redwoods late afternoon). Friday drive from Eureka to San Mateo, CA (see Pt Reyes and Golden gate seashore late afternoon). Saturday drive from San Mateo to Solvang Ca (see Big Sur along the way). Sunday drive from Solvang to SD-to make it back by afternoon to go to nephews b-day party. On all of the days, we'd only drive on the PCH for certain portions and then get on the 101 for most of the rest of the time. Do you think this is good-or do you think it is unrealistic still? Thank you very much again!
    Nicole

  8. #8
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    Default What a Difference a Day Makes

    Rather than trying to get from Seattle to San Diego in 3 days while seeing the entire coast, you're now trying something a bit more sane (and possible!) by starting from much farther south and adding a 4th day. However, I'm still less than sanguine that you can cover the 270 miles from Solvang to San Diego through L.A. in anything less than 7 hours. So either you need to get a very early start or 'afternoon' had better be a euphemism for early evening.

    AZBuck

  9. #9
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    Default one in the same

    Quote Originally Posted by KenandNicole View Post
    On all of the days, we'd only drive on the PCH for certain portions and then get on the 101 for most of the rest of the time.
    For much of the stretches that you are talking about US-101 IS the Pacific Coast Highway, so I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that statement. The areas where US-101 diverges from the PCH, its generally for long stretches where you can not easily return - like the Big Sur area.

    That said, I think adding an extra half day and starting farther south will be helpful.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default Tight, but do-able

    Quote Originally Posted by KenandNicole View Post
    Thursday drive from Eugene, Oregon to Eureka, CA (see redwoods late afternoon).
    If you drive down I-5 to Grant's Pass and then take 199 to Crescent City, then continue down the coast from there. You can do this portion with time to enjoy the Redwoods and the marvelous town of Eureka (truly a grand place!).

    If you go west from Eugene to the coast at Florence, and then drive down 101, it's going to be a tougher squeeze. You will have to zip by the many wonderful places to explore along the coast. Or just do very quick stops. If you're comfortable with that, then this is also do-able.

    I would make it an early start though.

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