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  1. Default San Francisco to Seattle in 9 days?

    My boyfriend and I are considering a San Francisco--Napa---Oregon--Washington (leaving out of Seattle) trip over 9 days in August. We will be camping and staying in hotels and are looking to combine some "city" visits with time in the national parks. I'm concerned about squeezing too much in and not smelling the roses! Any advice or opinions welcome! Thank you!

  2. Default

    We're getting ready for a West Coast trip - we have 9 days from SF to Seattle. I was worried about driving distances, but it ended up only being a 2 or 3 hour drive from one stop to the next. We'll be hugging the coast, so 9 days sounds good. Of course, if we included Napa or OR interior, we'd have to add 5 more days to visit all the wineries! We have done the wine train in Napa and enjoyed it tremendously. Have fun.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Getting started.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums!

    My first piece of advice would be to have a look around the RTA forums and planning resources in the tool bars above, together with a good paper map and see what appeals to you. As you start to make notes and put dots on the map a pattern will emerge and you will then be able to work on how best to join those dots and what else there is 'in between'. You have a mixture coastal and inland attractions, but with 9 days you have time to mix things up a bit. Just by scrolling down this page you will find 'Similar threads' and on each one of those you visit, you will find the same number again. The Map centre in the tool bars above will let you create routes and find attractions in the area.

    I realise this is not a substitute for personal advice, so when you have your first dots on the map and questions arise, let us know and the experts here can help you 'fine tune' your trip, based around your tastes.

    Enjoy the planning.

  4. Default

    Thanks! So, we have an extremely loose beginning and end to the skeleton....
    Arrive Seattle late Monday. One (or two) day(s) in Seattle. Throw in some park time
    (Olympic vs. Mt. Saint Helen's?)...then into Oregon--is Portland a must see? How about Mt. Hood vs. Siuslaw Nat'l Park? We want to see the coast but there are also so many draws to going a bit more inland. Any other must see's in Oregon?
    Next we'll be onto No. Cali--thinking to Crescent City/Redwood Nat'l Forest; Muir Woods;
    last 4 days of trip=2 days in Sonoma and 2 days in San Fran.
    Anyone have advice on the possibility of doing part of the trip (Oregon coast, maybe?) on Amtrak? (Hope this question isn't again "Road Trip America" rules but I just found out about it!)
    Lastly, how important is it to book lodging near parks in advance at end of August?
    Thank you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Decisions, decisions!

    Yes, there are numerous attractions and sites to visit, and you can by no means do it all. SouthwestDave laid out the basics to get you started. There really are no short cuts. The decision on what to visit and what to leave out has to be yours, based on your research. No one can tell you what is best for you, or what is a must see from your point of view. There simply are no bests or must sees. These are individual choices. When you have done your research and made your decisions, come back and the experts here will help refine your route and fill in any blanks.

    But the basics have to come from you. Enjoy the planning.


  6. Default

    Hi, I´m back with more details---a couple possibilities.
    We arrive in Seattle late on a Monday night.
    Mt. Ranier Weds, sleep
    Portland Thurs. (lunch) --two hours to newport or other town on Oregon coast, sleep...
    Oregon Coastline Friday (make way down 5 hours)
    Redwoods (Crescent City) sleep Friday, Sat
    Sonoma--(we have to be in Santa Rosa early Sunday morning) Sat night, Sunday, Monday
    --or Muir Woods --Monday

    San Fran-- Tues, Weds (fly out on red eye Weds night)

    Olympic National Park -weds
    rest of coast/Redwoods-Friday
    Sonoma area Sunday, Monday
    San Fran-Tues, Weds.

    **Only real difference is if we go to Olympic National Park instead of Rainier and skip seeing Portland. Other combination I had considered was Mt. Hood and Portland---in which case we would go directly from Seattle to Portland and then to Mt. Hood. Not sure the distance/timing makes sense, though.

    Thanks to you experts for feedback!
    Last edited by MVC1114; 07-29-2011 at 04:09 PM. Reason: for clarity...sorry for typos

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Looks good.

    Both look like nice itenaries, with just one exception. Not sure where you got the times from, but if it was from a computer mapping prgram, then you need to add 20-25% to the times. Computers live in the virtual world, and unfortunately, you are going to be driving in the real world. Had you considered Mt St Helen's on the way to Portland? And I think you will find the Oregon Coast much slower going than you anticipate. I recall driving this road, and when I got to Florence, cut back to Eugene (a nice town) and back on I-5. So you might want to watch your timing on that stretch. There are not that many roads which can get you back to I-5 if you are running late.

    In Seattle, make sure you do not miss the Pike Street Market. Even if you don't want to buy anything, the theatrics are worth seeing. Nice cafes around there too.


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