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Thread: LA to Seattle

  1. Default LA to Seattle

    We are planning a trip from Los Angeles to Seattle at the end of March/ beginning April. We'll have about a week. We thought we might fly on to San Francisco and pick up a car there. Would this be a good plan? My other questions are: Do all rental firms charge a lot extra for one-way journeys? What would be the best route? What would be a comfortable mileage each day? What are the 'must sees' on the way?
    I would be most grateful for any help with this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default This is a popular trip right now.

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums!

    I just answered another post from someone who is traveling the same general route but in the opposite direction.

    The best route depends on what you want to see. Do you want to see the coastal areas? If so, drive along the coast which includes CA-1 and US 101.

    If you want to see mountains and other interesting things along the interior, you might want to head up I-5 and veer off to see places like Yosemite, Crater Lake, Mt. Hood, Columbia River Gorge, and Mt. St. Helens.

    Some people try to see a bit of both which means a bit of criss-crossing to but it can be do-able if carefully planned for the amount of time you have available for the trip.

    To answer your specific questions:

    All rental agencies charge some kind of one-way drop off fee. But the amount can vary a lot and will mean that you'll have to check with the various car rental agencies and see what their charge is for your trip. I'm not sure that any of them are always less expensive than the others.

    We generally recommend that people not plan to travel more than 500 miles per day. This allows some time to for the road and some for sight-seeing. However, less than this is always better, imho. Especially if you want to explore a LOT. If you decide to take the coast, I would say keep this to more like 350-400 miles maximum as you will be traveling slower than you will be on the interstates.

    Some must-sees can be found by reading through the discussions linked to in this post.

    Do you live in LA? If so, yeah, you might want to either fly to San Francisco to start the trip from there or zip up the interstate to get to San Francisco quicker and then start your journey from there. It really depends on what you prefer, I guess. If you're looking for time-savings, you're probably not going to get it by flying. By the time you get to the airport early, check in, board, de-board, etc., I bet there's very little time savings. But if you like to fly and plan on renting a car anyway, it might be worth it to you.

    Why don't you read through those threads and think about what you want to see and come back with more specific questions that we can help you with.

  3. Default LA to Seattle

    Judy, thanks. Good advice. I should have said - this is going to be part of a special round-the-world trip next year, (2009). We are trying to get a few details straight before booking flights. (In this crazy world you have to start booking nearly a year ahead!) We'll actually be flying east from London, England, taking in India, Australia, New Zealand, (among others) and finishing up in the States. We'll be flying into LA from Hawii. Our first thought was to travel on Amtrak up to Seattle; then we thought Hey, we'd see a lot more if we drove ourselves. We love America and have visited many states, but haven't yet explored Oregon or Washington State. From Seattle we hope to fly across to Boston, drive down to New York and spend a few days there before flying home. I'll do as you suggest and read through the threads. Thanks again. Terry

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

    Default Well, that's a whole other thing then!

    I mean, if you have never driven the coast from LA to San Francisco, you really should. It's amazing. Plan two days for that leg.

    Wow....can I fit in your pocket? Carry your bags? Wash your fit and dry them with my hair in order to tag-along? Your trip sounds amazing!

    Are you traveling for the whole year?

    Anyway, after reviewing those threads come on back with more questions so we can help you make the most of this portion of your big adventure.

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