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  1. Default West Coast Trip. First time user

    All suggestions welcome! Please include any MUST SEE items I've missed. It's a 30th aniversay trip. I want it to be special!

    Arrive San Francisco, CA from Southern Florida mid afternoon (local). Spend next day in SF. Day 3-Travel to Mendocino, CA with stops in Yountville (Domaine Chandon Winery) and onward to Burbank Home and Gardens. Day 4-Travel to Eureka with stop at Humboldt Redwoods SP. Day 5-Travel to Port Orford with stop at JS Redwoods SP. Day 6&7- Newport, OR. Day 8-To McMinnville (1 night at Wine Country Farm). Day 9-travel to Stevenson, WA for wedding at Skamania Lodge. Day 10-Columbia River sightseeing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Must see??? That depends on you. To me, you've hit on all the "best" spots I'd do in a trip like this (and have already, back in the 1980s)....winery, redwoods, nature, a coastal drive, and not a huge amount of driving in one day. On your way between Eureka and Port Orford, you're going to drive right through Redwoods National Park. We stayed at Jedediah Smith Redwoods, in their campground. It was one of our favorites that trip, because of the way it was laid out. (I wish I had a journal from that trip, but unfortunately I didn't keep journals back then.)

    Along the Columbia River, try to drive it one way on I-84 (south-side of the river) and return via WA 14 (north-side of the river). That way you can catch the points on both sides.

    For a side trip, you can go up a road toward Willard (inquire locally the name of the road) and just north of Willard there is a big lava cave. You'll need to ask locally though - when we were there in the 80s they had closed it for some reason. It's supposed to be "pretty neat".

    Are you saving Mt St Helens for another trip, perhaps?


  3. Default

    Thanks for taking the time to make some suggestions. I especially like the Mt. St. Helens idea and we may extend the trip to work that into the schedule.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Some thoughts

    I assume you have a thing for Luther Burbank and Domaine Chandon, as heading over the Santa Rosa from Yountville is off the direct path to Mendocino, and you'll miss most of the Napa Valley. And then there's this range of hills/mountains between the two...

    Here's your options:

    1) Skip Santa Rosa and continue up the Napa Valley on 29 until it turns into 128 in Calistoga, follow 128 all the way to the coast then take 1 up to Mendocino, or down the coast to Elk (we LOVE the Elk Cove Inn). If you're interested in this routing, I can supply some winery suggestions.

    2) Skip Napa Valley, and hit some wineries in the Sonoma Valley. Follow CA12 through the town of Sonoma all the way into Santa Rosa and the Burbank gardens. If you're interested in THIS routing, I have another set of winery suggestions.

    3) Do it as planned, but note: Oakville grade, the most direct path between Yountville and CA12 (and thence Santa Rosa) is a twisty two-lane mountain road perfect for Corvettes but not recommended for trucks or trailers. Spring Mountain road, the next option up CA29, is, if anything. worse. If you're not comfortable with this kind of driving you'll have to backtrack down CA29 to CA12, then over to Sonoma (see 2 above).

    That aside; once on CA128 to the coast, consider a stop on the near side of Boonville to visit Anderson Valley Brewery; very cool place.

    Even if you're not hikers, be sure to at least walk the "Founder's Grove" trail at Humboldt Redwoods; flat, easy and short... but memorable.

    If you're into quaint Victorian architecture and Bed and Breakfasts, consider stopping in Ferndale rather than Eureka.

    Last thought: if you plan on hitting more than one winery or brewery, pick a designated driver. In our family that is me. Doesn't mean I don't taste... means I take a small sip from my wife's glass. Wineries understand this, and will not hassle you about sharing a tasting.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Hope you'll be able to see it

    Quote Originally Posted by Lindakatz1 View Post
    I especially like the Mt. St. Helens idea and we may extend the trip to work that into the schedule.
    By all means, weave it into your schedule, I believe it is worth it. On the other hand, don't count on it too much. I have been up that way three or four times, and on each ocassion learned at the visitor centre that it was not worth going... completely shrouded in cloud.

    Maybe one day, when I am there, it will be a clear day.


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