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  1. Default Seattle to LA or San Francisco to LA? Timing help?

    Hello Everyone :)

    I've just spent a couple of hours meandering around the boards and this is such a useful site! This is a question mainly about timing as I see there are many posts already offering advice on what to see and do on the way. I have never roadtripped in the US before. I will be in Vancouver at the end of June and would then like to road trip down to LA. I am guessing the best way, in terms of car insurance etc, is to bus to Seattle and then pick up a car? I think I have two weeks available to make the trip.

    My question really is... I think I'm starting a bit further north than a lot of previous posters to the forum. Most people seem to start or end in San Francisco. As a result, is two weeks long enough to do Seattle to LA comfortably? I would like to be able to stop off for a night in San Francisco and also at Big Sur/Hearst Castle. Plus a detour to Salinas (Dean pilgrimage) and perhaps a visit to a national park. The main draw for me to do the trip though is the coastal roads and views and to relax and look at them on the way.

    I've variously read that two weeks is not quite enough to even do the Pacific North West part (with breaks to stop and stare) or that you can do Vancouver, BC to Anaheim in two days! I am a little confuzzled.

    If two weeks is not enough, would you suggest I fly Vancouver to San Francisco, or Portland.. or... ??

    Any advice on timing gratefully received.

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

    Default Two days or two months

    Quote Originally Posted by Idri View Post
    I've just spent a couple of hours meandering around the boards and this is such a useful site!
    Thanks and welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum. By the shortest possible distance it is about 1200 miles from Seattle to LA. If you drove the inner valley Interstate route you can travel this distance in two long days. If you drove the coastal road you could cover this same distance in 5-6 very long days. If stopped and explored 3-4 places on your way south you could drive this distance in 6-8 days. Is your trip a round trip?
    My question really is... I think I'm starting a bit further north than a lot of previous posters to the forum.
    There are a bunch of posts about point north of San Francisco. Here are couple of the best:
    Judy's Overview of several threads
    Peter Thody's Redwoods to Seattle
    Peter Thody's Oregon Trips

    Mark

  3. Default

    Thanks so much Mark, those time estimates are really useful. It'll be a one way trip, ending in LA, with only me driving - I'm solo road tripping so I want to be really certain I'm not over reaching things and it looks as though from your time estimates I should be fine.

    I had not seen all those threads at all so thank you for the links too!

    :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Did you see these?

    Quote Originally Posted by Idri View Post
    I had not seen all those threads at all so thank you for the links too!
    For route between San Francisco and LA -- check out this page!

    Mark

  5. Default To Convertible or not to Convertible... that is the question

    Hi!

    From June 23rd to July 12th I'm roadtripping between Seattle and LA on Route 101. I have booked a convertible to do the big 'Road Trip' experience but someone recently mentioned that it's really foggy and there's no point in having a convertible. I just wondered if anyone here would have any opinion on whether it's worth the extra bucks for the convertible at the time of year I'm planning on the trip.

    Any advice/thoughts gratefully received :)

    Thank you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default The weather - and the fog - varies

    I live on the Washington coast. Typically, if it's foggy in the morning, it's burned off by Noon or so. At the very latest, it will be burned off by about 2pm. But that's typical summer weather. So far, we are not having a typical summer. It's been overcast, grey and rainy. Not sure how the weather has been farther south in Oregon and California.

    But fog isn't a constant. We sometimes go weeks without fog out here on the coast. Or, if we do have any fog, it just hugs the immediate beach area and burns off by breakfast.

    I do believe there is more chance for fog more often the farther south you go as the water is more heated by the sun? But, even then, it doesn't last all day. At least it hasn't on my trips down that way.

    That said...I have no idea why you need full-bore sun to enjoy a convertible. Isn't the "wind in your hair" fun whether or not there is sun? I have a friend with a convertible who doesn't wait for sun to enjoy it. If it's dry, the top is down. If it's not technically warm enough to drive with the top down, she bundles up and turns on the heat on. Quite frankly, I really envy her that and would do the same if I had one. You don't really need sun to enjoy a convertible, you only need it to be dry.

    Only you can decide if the extra cost is worth it. You might visit the weather websites with long-term forecasts to see what kind of weather is going to be in the various areas you're traveling during your trip. I'm only aware of the Weather Channel's website and it's forecasts only go 10 days out so this may not help you much. But maybe there's another one out there with longer forecasts?

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