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  1. #1

    Default HELP! August: San Fran to Seattle, WA - 7 days

    Greetings everyone!

    My best friend and I are flying to San Fran in August, renting a car, and driving the coast. We have 7 days before we need to check in at Seattle's airport to fly back home to Virginia. We have a rental car already set up, but are looking for suggestions with details.

    We have never been to the West Coast. We are mostly interested in coastal driving, outdoor activities, mountains, WINE TASTING! etc. City sights arent much of a thought for this particular trip. We have been looking at vineyards in Napa, and also in Washington state and throughout Oregon.

    Can anyone give us suggestions? Also.... BUDGET is of serious concern. We would like to get the best value for our time without spending a fortune on outrageous restaurants or hotels. Small hidden affordable treasures are what we are looking for.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Matt in Virginia.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    3,664

    Default To get you started.

    Hi Matt, and Welcome to the RTA Forums.

    Although I have travelled up that way a couple of times, I am not familiar enough with all of it to give you meaningful advice, but I am sure someone else will be along shortly with some. Meanwhile, use the functions on the green menu bar above, especially the roadside attractions and map tools. You can put in a route, and search within a given number of miles what attractions are along that route.

    Quote Originally Posted by uvamattmedic View Post
    Also.... BUDGET is of serious concern. We would like to get the best value for our time without spending a fortune on outrageous restaurants or hotels. Small hidden affordable treasures are what we are looking for.
    Check out the Saving Money on Your RoadTrip Forum. There are many good suggestions in there as to how to budget, and lots of examples of how others have done it. The hotels tab on the green bar will give you some suggestions for accommodation. See if you can find any there which are within your budget and to your liking. As for places to eat, that is always best found out by asking the locals.

    One recommendation I would like to make is the HI in Sacramento. This hostel is more of an experience than a hostel. With both private rooms and dorm accommodation, you have an opportunity to stay in a 19th century mansion which has been lovingly restored. You'd expect to pay a fortune for this if it were a hotel. And it is right in the heart of Sacramento, right by the old town.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 07-06-2011 at 12:36 AM. Reason: add info

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Sammamish WA, 18 miles east of Seattle
    Posts
    7

    Default

    You are in for a scenic and wonderful trip. Fairly easy to do in 7 days depending on how much time you spend in SF and/or Seattle. There are plenty of things to do in both cities - and Portland has somethings to do and see as well. SF can be very expensive for hotels, but you might save a bit by staying south of SF, like in Sunnydale, in a hotel close to the airport or any hotel that has an airport shuttle service. That way you save a bit on hotels and can take the BART system into downtown SF, including the wharf, etc. .

    First of all, you're going to have to make a decision as to your route north. You can take Hwy 101 which will take you through or close to NAPA Valley and the wine country up around Sonoma and then through the Redwoods Country all the way into Oregon and Washington.

    The much more scenic drive IMO is Hwy 1 from SF up to Fort Bragg, then cut over to Leggett, near the redwoods. I believe you will miss NAPA Valley though unless you backtrack on 101. Either way you will eventually take 101 into Oregon and the southern coast of Oregon is very nice and scenic. The further north you go, the less scenic the drive and I would offer, as a long time resident, you avoid the Washington State beaches. Not that there's anything wrong with them except they don't compare favorably in terms of beauty or accommodations when compared to those to the south. I'm going to assume here you are not especially interested in northwest history.

    I wouldn't bother to go further north on 101 beyond Cannon Beach. BTW, CB is lovely, but can be pricey. Newport and Lincoln City are, well, fairly big towns and offer a better choice of accommodations.

    I am not a winery expert, but I'm probably safe in suggesting that many of the Oregon wineries are in the western part of the state. At least that's where many of them claim to be in terms of tasting rooms, etc.

    Washington sate gets most of their grapes from the east side of the Cascade mountains, but I think many of the wineries are located in the western side, mostly around the Woodinville, Redmond area. (Hopefully someone with more experience on the subject will step in here) Both are very close to Seattle.

    I'll leave it to you once you're in Seattle to figure out what you want to do. One thing you may want to consider, if you have the time, is to visit Vancouver B.C. or Victoria. the latter requires a ferry ride, either from near Vancouver or from Seattle. I suspect they don't do a lot of wine grape growing up there, but if you want to say you've visited Canada, it's about a 3 hour drive from Seattle and can be done in a long day or a more leisurely two days, depending on what interests you.

    You can also visit Mt Rainer or Mt St Helens - what's left of it - in a day trip from Seattle. You can also take a ferry ride to any number of places like the San Juan Islands or to Bremerton or Kingston, etc. You might enjoy a driving trip from Seattle north to LaConner, over the Deception Pass bridge to Whidbey Island and then south on the Island to the Ferry which will take you to Mukilteo, near Everett, and the home of Boeing's wide-body aircraft plant - the largest building by volume in the world. Tours are easily available. you might also take the time to visit Seattle's Museum of Flight if you love airplanes.

    Hope that helps. If you need more info, let us know.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    3,664

    Default Thanks

    Thank you for jumping in there with all that local knowledge. It is invaluable.

    Quote Originally Posted by last901 View Post
    I'll leave it to you once you're in Seattle to figure out what you want to do.
    Some of my favourites in Seattle are the Pike Street Market - not to be missed, even if only for the threatrics - and the Library. If you are at all interested in buildings or architecture, you will find this unique building of interest. A library built on a parking garage principle.

    And make sure you ride the (Melbourne) tram on the waterfront. lol

    Lifey

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