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  1. Default Input on September SF to Vancouver and back road trip

    Hi everybody,

    I'm trying to plan a september road trip with my girlfriend and could most definitely use some help. We'd like to take advantage of the weekend and the labor day holiday to drive from SF->Vancouver. Originally we were hoping to do a one-way car rental, but I have yet to find a non-ridiculously expensive way to do this (if anyone has any ideas I'd appreciate them). I'm aiming for an 8 day road trip from start to finish.

    Places we'd like to go include - Portland, Seattle, Olympic National Park, Vancouver, Yosemite, Monterey/Carmel. Portland and Seattle could probably be combined into one day. We'd like to spend more time in the national parks and vancouver.

    I'd prefer being able to not feel super rushed and thus imagine that we probably will not be able to hit every place on our ideal list. I'd also like to take coastal routes if possible. What would people's recommendations be?

    Thanks in advance,
    T

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default one way

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    One way trips will always be more expensive than round trips, because you have car rental drop fees and more expensive plane tickets.

    However, in your case, have you only been looking at SF to Vancouver or have you been looking at SF to Seattle too? Finishing your trip in Vancouver likely wouldn't be possible, as most car rental companies won't allow you to drop the car in another country and the few that will will charge an extreme premium.

    Seattle could still be expensive, but it would be a much cheaper and easier option than finishing in Vancover, even if you drive to BC and then backtrack back to Seattle.

  3. Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply! I did look at dropping off in both Seattle and Vancouver but either way couldn't quite justify spending more in the drop-off fee than renting the actual car itself. So I think I'll be driving back to san francisco. Question for you though - do you know how long it takes to drive from sf->portland->seattle->vancouver on the 101? Every website I've found quotes times based on I-5.

    Thanks,
    Teresa
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-01-2010 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Quote of entire previous post removed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You need to add 20% to computer drive times. They never have to stop for anything or get delayed by traffic or construction.

    Via I-5, it's 950 miles from SF to Vancouver. This will realistically be about 20 hours of driving, which is 2 full days. Via CA-1 and US-101 and going around the Olympic Peninsula, you are looking at 3+ days. You could do a round trip in 8 days if you return via I-5.

  5. Default

    Thanks very much for the info! I really appreciate it. Any chance you know the rough breakdown of how long it takes on 101/1 for each leg from sf -> portland -> seattle -> olympic natl park -> vancouver? Just trying to figure out if I need to cut out anything still. Will probably return by I-5 following your suggestion. Thanks!

    Best,
    Teresa
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-01-2010 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Quote of entire previous post removed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I would say that SF to Portland is 2.5 days and Portland-Seattle via Olympic is 1.5 days. I don't think you would have to cut anything out unless you take ferries and miss sailings.

  7. Default

    Excellent, thank you so much! And sorry to keep adding on questions, but what would be easiest way to get to vancouver from olympic/seattle and how long it would take?
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-01-2010 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Quote of entire previous post removed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Shortest in mileage is take 2 ferries - Port Angeles to Victoria, then Swartz Bay to Tsawassen. That's something you would want to allow a whole day for, check ferry schedules and do some sightseeing in Victoria. The next shortest in distance is take the Port Townsend to Keystone ferry and go up through Whidbey Island. There are several more ferries you can take across Puget Sound, the best one to get you to downtown Seattle is from Bainbridge Island, there is also one from Bremerton. To avoid ferries, you would have to go all the way to Tacoma and then up. Bottom line, no matter what you do, I'd allow a full day from Olympic to Vancouver.

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