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  1. Default Advice for Pacific Coast Highway 1/101

    My daughter and I are heading to California in mid July. We live in Iowa and are planning on making a road trip vacation with a wedding destination near Oakland, CA. We are planning on heading north through Montana so we can spend a night with my son. Our dilemma is that we don't know how far north we should go to get onto the PCH. Is it worth the extra days to start in Washington or should we head for a point in Oregon? Any advice out there for some "must see" destinations? We have a little freedom with how much time we have and are looking for beautiful scenery, to see our first ever Redwood tree, and a relaxed trip. We'll be primarily tent camping and love to find hometown restaurants or diners with great and inexpensive local food. I got great advice from the forum a few years ago and my husband and I had a trip of a lifetime around the Great Lakes. Thanks for any ideas. Safe traveling.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,516

    Default More info needed.

    Hello and welcome back to the RTA forums!

    Is it worth the extra days to start in Washington or should we head for a point in Oregon?
    Is it worth it to you with the time you can make available?

    Without knowing the rest of your itinerary and how long you have to do it in, it's not a question we can answer for you, as every trip/person is different.

    As well as the coast there are other attractions you could consider on the way such as Mt Ranier NP, Mt St Helens National volcanic park and Crater Lake. You could spend some time at Badlands,Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone and/or Glacier NP on the way and during your time in Montana, to name but a few.

    I would have a good look at the map, search the forums and put an outline itineray up and we could help you "fine tune" it.

    Enjoy the planning !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default Of course, Washington is worth it!

    Speaking as a Washingtonian! LOL

    Dave raises some good ideas of things to see in Washington. I agree that you should rough out a route of things you'd like to see, and then we can help you tweak it.

    If you're mainly interested in driving along the coast, then there's no reason to pick up the Washington part of 101 as very little of it is along the coast in Washington. There is plenty of other beauty to see but you'll not be seeing the beaches from the road, for the most part. In Oregon, most of it is on the coast. In California, you'll want to get onto CA-1 to stay along the coast.

    What other types of things are you interested in seeing?

  4. Default More details

    Thanks for the info. With your advice I think we'll head for the Oregon coast. We have traveled from Iowa through Montana numerous times and even though we know it is beautiful country with so much to see we are planning a "pass through" for that part of the adventure. I think we'll come out of Missoula on Hwy 12 then connect with I82/84 across Idaho to Seaside, OR. Then we'll slide down the 101 to our desitination at Rohnert Park, CA. Any advice for that part of the trip?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,537

    Default

    Yes - at Leggett, get onto CA-1 unless you are running out of time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    el cerrito,california
    Posts
    27

    Default Yo Oaktown!

    I lived in and now nearby Oakland. Its a great town, the most ethnically diverse town in America. Just off the top of my head, staying in the Bay aRea is another thought. The redwoods and giant sequioas at Muir Woods just north of Oaktown are maginificent. Point Reyes National Seashore is one of the most beautiful natural areas I have ever seen. Travel using mass transit in the metropolitan Bay Area is excellent that can take you to beaches, parks (Golden Gate Park- a must see).
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-27-2009 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Removed Signature/Tag Line

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default And totally bypass Washington?

    I didn't mean to suggest there was nothing to see here. Just not good views of the ocean from most of 101.

    If you have time, go up to the northern part of the state and visit Grand Coulee Dam (awesome), Dry Falls (the biggest waterfall in the history of the earth, at least as far as geologists are aware), the Coulees, etc.

    Then go south to the Columbia River Gorge and drive on the Washington side to see Maryhill and the incredible vistas along the road. It's a fun drive.

    There's more but these are things you can do without adding too much extra time and the scenery will be quite different, especially in the Coulees, than anything else you'll see. In fact, if I understand it right, the Coulees are actually a unique geologic feature which don't exist anywhere else on the planet. Worth seeing.

  8. #8
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PNW Judy View Post
    I didn't mean to suggest there was nothing to see here. Just not good views of the ocean from most of 101.
    Wait - 101 doesn't follow the Washington coast? What's the highway that goes around the peninsula then? I thought that was 101 still. Or does it not hug the coast as closely as I remember? (It's been years since I've been up that way)

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