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  1. #1

    Default Florida Couple lost in the Pacific Northwest

    Hi, My wife and I are well traveled internationally but have not been out west. We know we are missing world class beautiful and interesting things in our own country. We would like to fly somewhere like maybe Seattle to start and work our way down to the Grand Canyon. Then fly home via Las Vegas. We could jump a plane along the way as we fly standby on Delta and American quite reasonably. We have family working for the airlines. Should we rent a camper or car? What we have in mind is a couple days each in Seattle and Portland for that big flea market. Then back to nature a must please tell me where to go for some big trees always wanted to see those. Then maybe some pacific coast highway stuff or this is optional. A few winery's would be nice along the way but this is optional. I think I have to choose between the two correct? We could catch a flight after this upper part? and jump the driving but it does not seem so far. Then the Grand Canyon then home to Florida. We are aiming for the last of August and or the first half of September to get out of the furnace of summer heat in Florida for a couple weeks. I have never tried one of these forums for suggestions and am looking forward to your wisdom and advice. Thanks from Florida

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Your first question was whether to rent a camper or a car. That is a matter of personal choice, as they both cost money. With an RV, you will still have to find a place to park overnight, whether it's a state park, national park or forest, or private campground. So you are paying for the extra fuel that the RV will use plus an overnight fee ranging from $10 - 35. Campers at the end of August or early September may rent for just a little more than a car, maybe more.

    Big trees - you can see the coastal redwoods in northern California, along US 101 - Redwoods National Park or Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Go down to Muir Woods north of the Bay Area for others. Or, go further south to Sequoia National Park where the really old ones are.

    Pacific Coast Highway - a combination of US 101 and CA Hwy 1 - is a beautiful drive, particularly if you do it from north to south.

    Wineries - if you decide to do the northern redwoods and/or Muir Woods, there are wineries galore in Sonoma and Napa Valleys just north of the Bay Area.

    To do this, you start in Seattle, come down I-5 into Oregon. See Crater Lake there if you're interested (it's scenic). Jump over to the Coast (US 101) at any point there. Swing south on US 101 through the coastal redwoods, stop at Napa Valley for a few wineries. If you have time, then swing from the Bay Area over to CA 99, and into Sequoia if you still want to see more trees (Yosemite is just north and also doable there). Swing down CA 99 to I-40, go east, hit Grand Canyon. You could fly home from Las Vegas or Phoenix.

    Would that work for you? Of course I have no idea how much of your weeks would be spend at the flea markets - so you may have to cut one thing or another.


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

    Default Lot's of resources.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Donna has given you some good suggestions to get you started so what I would recommend you do at the moment is to search around the forums and use the road trip planning pages found in the tool bars above and start creating a route around things that appeal to you with a good map to hand. Your trip is certainly manageable and will give you a taste of the places mentioned, but it's how you want to prioritise your time that is important and most crucial to you and your tastes. When you have worked out the basics we will be glad to help piece it altogether and offer suggestions and tweaks that may help.

    To 'RV' or not to 'RV' is indeed a personal choice and a decision only you can make. If you point your cursor over 'Trip advice,' in the green tool bar near to the top of the page, you will find a whole section of the site dedicated to RV'ing in the drop down menu to help you make that choice. Personally I love the RV lifestyle, but it will be slower going and more expensive than a car and Motels with just 2 people travelling. In the 'Map centre' you can create routes and/or find a whole lot of road trip attractions listed with a couple of clicks.

    Enjoy the planning !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Sammamish WA, 18 miles east of Seattle


    Sounds like a truly exciting adventure and road trip. DonnaR57 has some great ideas for you so I'll just add a few comments...

    you should stlll see nice summer weather in Seattle in September (the rain is warmer anyway). Lots to do in Seattle and it's a beautiful city. For consideration, you are only 3 hours north by car to Vancouver BC. Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens are fairly easy day trips too.

    Portland to my mind, is much like Seattle, but it sounds as though you have a specific event you'd like to take in. You can go west from Portland through some great wine country and on to the Oregon Coast. You can follow Hwy 101 all the way into California and to my mind it's far more scenic than driving for hours on I-5. The coast gets more beautiful the further south you get. Don't buy a lot of fresh fruit just before you enter California as the inspection stations will have you toss it away. You'll need to detour to Bend area in Central Oregon if you want to see Crater Lake. Frankly, it's not all that big a deal in my opinion, but the central Oregon desert north of bend is pretty scenic.

    The Pacific Coast Hwy (Hwy1) on the California coast is beautiful. You can start as far north as Fort Bragg (cutting oiver from Leggett on Hwy 101), and head to San Francisco. Doing so though will bypass the wine country along 101. I suggest you do the wine country instead and then pick up Hwy1 again south of SF. Allow some time to see Monterey and Carmel. Stay on 1 through Big Sur (consider lunch (outside if weather permits) at Nepenthe with its spectacular view of the Pacific and continue on all the way to Santa Barbara and even Los Angeles. San Diego is also worth a visit if you want to drive south a few more hours. (World Class Zoo)

    You can drive then to Las Vegas. I've never done it, but I understand it's a matter of few hours by car. You can then drive to The Grand Canyon or take a bus tour. If you just want to say youve "been there" you can drive to Rachel NV (Area 51) and buy wacky souvenirs at the "Little Ale-e-inn". Allow the better part of the day to drive there and back to LV. Valley of Fire park is north of LV and an easy drive. You can actually drive from LV to Death Valley and back in a day trip if you want.

    Have fun!

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