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  1. Default Planning a Sept Road Trip Seattle to San Francisco

    Hi there I'm new to this forum which from my browsing looks terrific,
    PLEASE HELP any way you can.
    My wife Maree and I will be flying from Australia to the USA in Sept this year. We are doing an Inside Passage Cruise and a land trip to Denali National Park and will arrive from Fairbanks AK in Seattle on the evening of Sept 17th.
    We have rented a car and are now planning the road trip part of our holiday (Sept 18th to Sept 27th) from Seattle to San Francisco.

    We had a good look around Seattle some years ago (and loved it) so are happy his trip to head out from there on the morning of Sept
    18th and work our way back to San Francisco. I've red about a town just South of there called Half Moon Bay. If you know anything about it please let me know.

    We would like to have a look at Portland and perhaps Eugene (open to suggestions) and then we have either heard about or read about

    - Gold Beach Oregon (mouth of the Rogue River) and a jet boat trip that can be done there that sounds great.
    - Mt St Helens
    - Crater Lake Nat Park
    - Crescent City (Redwoods etc)
    - Point Reyes Nat Seashore
    - Golden Gate Nat Recreation Area
    - Any other suggestions you could make
    Given that we have 10 days (we fly out of SFO at 9.30pm on Sept 27th) any advice or guidance so that we get the best out of that time without it being too rushed would be greatly appreciated.

    Also for this time of year do you think we need to pre book accommodation for the raod trip or just look for it as we need it each day or couple of days?

    Thanks very much,
    Kind Regards,
    Mike
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-06-2009 at 11:41 AM. Reason: removed bold - shouting is not polite and not needed on this forum

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Time and Freedom Enough

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    You actually seem better informed about what's available to you than most Americans setting out on such a trip!. To fill yourselves in on some of the details of what's in that general neck of the woods, have a look at some of these previous discussions of similar trips. As for accommodations, by September things will be getting pretty quiet in the Pacific Northwest as fall settles in, things start to get cooler, and the kids have to be back in school. That means both that there should be plenty of vacancies and that rates will be starting to drop, so I don't think that you should have any problems finding places on the fly. Also, pacing can be left to you're own whims. 10 days is plenty of time to get from Seattle to San Francisco. I would just suggest that you plan on getting to San Francisco a couple of days before your flight leaves so that you'll have time to see some of its sights and not be rushed at the end to make the plane home.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default Half Moon Bay…

    See you mention Half Moon Bay. It would be interesting and helpful if you could say what raised your interest in the place? May be able to help having been there a few times.

    You have great trip in store.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default options....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Star View Post
    - Mt St Helens
    - Crater Lake Nat Park
    - Gold Beach Oregon (mouth of the Rogue River) and a jet boat trip that can be done there that sounds great.
    - Crescent City (Redwoods etc)
    - Point Reyes Nat Seashore
    - Golden Gate Nat Recreation Area
    - Any other suggestions you could make
    I've re-ordered your list from North to South.

    Couple things right off:

    Gold Beach is on the coast, Crater Lake the interior.
    If jetboats are the major draw to Gold Beach, note that they also have them in Grants Pass. That said, my favorite favorite luxury lodge is Tu Tu Tun in the Gold Beach area (made top hotel in T&L magazine's list in North America a couple years back). They've changed owners since our visit, but hopefully it's still a special place. That said, it's may be too late to score a reservation there (you have to call, unless things changed, they only book on the phone). If you do book there, make sure you eat there too. The jet boats can pick up up at the Tu Tu Tun dock.


    Linda chillin' on the Tu Tu Tun dock; Rogue River - photo:Don Casey

    If you like plays, you should look into the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

    If you're into B&Bs, check out Ferndale (Eureka area). Also lots of B&Bs in Ashland.

    And like Eris; I'm curious what draws you to Half Moon Bay (I grew up on the other side of the hills)

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    See you mention Half Moon Bay. It would be interesting and helpful if you could say what raised your interest in the place? May be able to help having been there a few times.

    You have great trip in store.
    Thanks for your reply,
    Initially I just saw the name and liked it (Half Moon Bay). Recently I have seen some info about a "Restaurant" something like Patricia's Fish Trap or similar and people said it was great as well as the Half Moon Bay Boutique Brewery. I'm also lead to believe that not far from there iup a windy road is "Alice's Restaurant" which I presume is the Alice's Restaurant from te Arlo Guthrie song of the same name.

    How far from San Francisco is Half Moon Bay and driving wise how long would it take to get there?

    Thanks heaps,
    Mike

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CalOldBlue View Post
    I've re-ordered your list from North to South.

    Couple things right off:

    Gold Beach is on the coast, Crater Lake the interior.
    If jetboats are the major draw to Gold Beach, note that they also have them in Grants Pass. That said, my favorite favorite luxury lodge is Tu Tu Tun in the Gold Beach area (made top hotel in T&L magazine's list in North America a couple years back). They've changed owners since our visit, but hopefully it's still a special place. That said, it's may be too late to score a reservation there (you have to call, unless things changed, they only book on the phone). If you do book there, make sure you eat there too. The jet boats can pick up up at the Tu Tu Tun dock.


    Linda chillin' on the Tu Tu Tun dock; Rogue River - photo:Don Casey

    If you like plays, you should look into the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

    And like Eris; I'm curious what draws you to Half Moon Bay (I grew up on the other side of the hills)
    If you're into B&Bs, check out Ferndale (Eureka area). Also lots of B&Bs in Ashland.

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated.

    Re the Coast (Gold Beach) and Interior (Crater Lake) issue given that we have 10 days to do this trip is that a big issue? How far are we talking and how long timewise to get from one to the other? We want to see the Oregon Coast but if possible don't want to preclude other good things (not too far) inland as well.

    Thanks for the Tu Tu Tun Lodge info. What sort of dollars are we looking at to stay there per night?

    Thanks also for the B&B info re Ashland. Would we need to pre book this time of year in your opinion?

    Do you know the dates when the Shakespeare Festival runs there. That would be cool to do.

    See my comments to Eris re Half Moon Bay. Happy to hear your comments on any or all of this.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  7. Default

    [Originally posted by AZBuck] Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    You actually seem better informed about what's available to you than most Americans setting out on such a trip!. To fill yourselves in on some of the details of what's in that general neck of the woods, have a look at some of these previous discussions of similar trips. As for accommodations, by September things will be getting pretty quiet in the Pacific Northwest as fall settles in, things start to get cooler, and the kids have to be back in school. That means both that there should be plenty of vacancies and that rates will be starting to drop, so I don't think that you should have any problems finding places on the fly. Also, pacing can be left to you're own whims. 10 days is plenty of time to get from Seattle to San Francisco. I would just suggest that you plan on getting to San Francisco a couple of days before your flight leaves so that you'll have time to see some of its sights and not be rushed at the end to make the plane home.
    Thanks very much,

    Re spending time in San Francisco we have from Aug 30th till Sept 2nd there and fly out to Vancouver on the morning of Sept 3rd. We have also been to San Francisco before and stayed a few days. Having said that if the 10 days is hard to fill coming down from Seattle we could have another night or tow there.

    We want to go to some galleries this time and also out to Alcatraz as we didn't do that last time. We would probably do Fisherman's Wharf again.

    Last time we did Lombard Street, the Cable Car to Fisherman's Wharf, Coit Tower, Chinatown, the Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge, etc.

    We noticed that Al Green is pereforming at the Warfield Theatre and wondered if that would be worth going to??

    I'll have a look at the link you gave re similar trips. In the meantime if you think of anything else I;d be happy to hear about it.
    Cheers,
    Mike
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-07-2009 at 12:38 AM. Reason: fixed quote fromat

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Wrong side of the country....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Star View Post
    Thanks for your reply,
    I'm also lead to believe that not far from there iup a windy road is "Alice's Restaurant" which I presume is the Alice's Restaurant from te Arlo Guthrie song of the same name.

    How far from San Francisco is Half Moon Bay and driving wise how long would it take to get there?
    Mike
    I'll get to your other questions later tonight or tomorrow (after some thought); these two are easy. The song is based on events in Stockbridge MA, the other side of the country from CA. I assume the restaurant in question is the one in Woodside (which would be reached over a windy road); never eaten there so can't help you on. It evidently WAS inspired by the song.

    Half Moon Bay is maybe an hour drive from SF, if that. A more traditional day outing from SF would be the Monterey/Carmel area; maybe a two hour drive.

    Half Moon Bay is primarily a coast agricultural area; artichokes, corn, flowers. Town itself is small and quaint, but not necessarily that tourist-worthy.

  9. #9

    Default

    Mike,

    The big attraction at Half Moon Bay is the wide sweeping sandy beach which is fabulous for a day/ half day at the seaside. It is a State beach, well looked after and with good parking / camping for a small fee. About half a mile off CA Route 1.

    It is about 25 miles south of San Francisco. You could do a loop trip – south along CA route 1, and return via the 92 and 280 back to downtown SF.

    There is an "Alice's Restaurant" at Woodside (about 30 mins from Half Moon Bay) on the windy route 84 which I have used to reach the coast. Seen lots of motor cyclists there, never stopped. Maybe it was named after the
    Arlo Guthrie song- not sure.

    Not stopped at the two places you mention but can recommend the following two:

    THE MOSS BEACH DISTILLERY. One of the most successful speakeasies of the era was “Frank’s Place” on the cliffs at Moss Beach. Built by Frank Torres in 1927, “Frank’s” became a popular nightspot for silent film stars and politicians from the City. Mystery writer Dashiell Hammett frequented the place and used it as a setting for one of his detective stories. Still retains its spectacular view and secluded location above the ocean coves. And a good place to eat.


    SAM’S CHOWDER HOUSE. Beautiful views, friendly service, great seafood items such as oysters, crab, lobster. Doesn’t get much better for seafood.

    Please ask if you think I can help further.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default more thoughts.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Star View Post
    Re the Coast (Gold Beach) and Interior (Crater Lake) issue given that we have 10 days to do this trip is that a big issue? How far are we talking and how long timewise to get from one to the other? We want to see the Oregon Coast but if possible don't want to preclude other good things (not too far) inland as well.

    Thanks for the Tu Tu Tun Lodge info. What sort of dollars are we looking at to stay there per night?

    Thanks also for the B&B info re Ashland. Would we need to pre book this time of year in your opinion?

    Do you know the dates when the Shakespeare Festival runs there. That would be cool to do.
    You should poke around this site and do a little more research to help you settle into a first-cut itinerary.

    I would guess that if you want to drive the entire coast of Oregon you will need to alot two days for that portion. If you come down from Portland on I5 Oregon can be traversed in a half day.

    Some options to consider in selecting an itinerary:

    The plays run into October, so if this interests you I suggest you hit their website (Google "Oregon Shakespeare Festival").

    You could set up a home base in southern Oregon in the Ashland/Medford/Jacksonville/Grants Pass area and do a few day trips. From Ashland (or the other towns I mentioned) you can hit Crater Lake, Oregon Caves, jet boat (from Grants Pass) all on (separate) day trips, and hit a play or two in the evening.

    Ashland to Gold Beach takes you past Oregon Caves (and could skirt through some wine country if you select your route with that in mind) and takes about a half day. You end up going into California, then backtracking up the coast a bit.

    Longsword Vineyards "tasting room" alongside Oregon238:

    Photo: Don Casey

    If you want to hit the redwoods, you're going to want to head south on US101 from northern California, not I5. A leisurely but still crisp schedule from the California border to SF would be 2-3 days; can be done in one full day of driving if going straight thru. One night somewhere up north in redwood country and maybe a night along the Mendocino coast?

    Tu Tu Tun, if you can get in, is going to run close to or more than $300/night, depending on room. Google "Tu Tu Tun" to hit their website for more info.

    I've only stayed in Ashland once (driven through dozens of times), so I can't give you a read on whether or not you should pre-book.

    If you're into old-and-funky if a little worn lodging and also like caves, you may want to book a night at Oregon Caves Chateau. About halfway between Ashland and Gold Beach


    Photo: Don Casey

    After you have a chance to digest and do some more research, I (and others) will be able to help you refine your choices.

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