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  1. Default Australia -> San Fran -> Portland

    Hi All,
    I'm flying into LA from Brisbane, Australia for a wedding in two weeks and am renting a car and driving up the west coast with a friend to Seattle.
    Leaving from LA on Sunday the 21st and arriving in Seattle on Friday the 26th.
    These are my current planned overnight stops:
    Sunday Afternoon: LA -> Morro Bay
    Monday: Morro Bay -> Big Sur -> Monterey
    Tuesday: Monterey -> San Fran
    Wed & Thur: San Fran -> Portland
    Friday: Portland -> Seattle

    I am after suggestions of where to spend the night on Wednesday night, preferably somewhere near the halfway point between San Fran & Portland. We are both huge into our scenery, I am originally from New Zealand so I am really keen to see some amazing stuff the US has to offer as I've only been to LA, New York city and NJ previously.
    Also open to comments/suggestions on my current planned stops.
    We are hoping to stay in as cheap accommodation as possible, so any suggestions on good backpackers would also be welcome.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A couple of options.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    Between SF and Portland you could choose between the coastal Redwoods and Crater lake NP. Taking 101 out of SF will take you over the Golden Gate bridge and up to Humboltds Redwood State park where you can drive the 'Avenue of the Giants' and then through Redwood NP to Crescent City and across to Grants Pass. Stoppin g near Redwood NP would be a good overnight stop to break the journey.

    If you were to head to Crater Lake and stay in the area overnight, you could continue up to The Dalles and drive along the wonderful Columbia River Gorge into Portland.

    There are many other options but that would be a couple I would consider.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Backpackers and hostels.

    Unfortunately there is not a great deal along that route. In SF I would highly recommend the USA hostel. Though it is not the cheapest, it is secure with amazing facilities. Years ago the HI in Seattle closed when the owners of the property wanted to redevelop the site. It was by far the best hostel at which I have ever stayed. I do not know if they have opened a new hostel there, or not. Portland too has a good collection of hostels.

    You might like to check for yourself. This is the most comprehensive hostel site on the internet. When you find where you'd like to stay I recommend that you make some effort to contact the hostel direct, rather than going through the booking service on the site. It is usually considerably cheaper and often much more reliable.

    Hostel at which I stayed in denver recently was 30% cheaper by booking directly with the hostel.


  4. Default

    Thank you Dave and Lifey, much appreciated.
    We decided to change itinerary and spend only one night in Cambria between LA -> SF and then one night near Redwood NP and another at crater lake. I've booked accommodation for Crater lake and tried to get a place in Trinidad but it was booked out. I'll try a few others in the morning, but is there anywhere else near Redwood NP that you would recommend staying? I've read mixed things about Eureka and not much about McKinleyville, any recommendations?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Ferndale ?

    I don't have any first hand recommendations, but where you stay will depend partly on what time you leave SF and what you might want to see on the way as there are limited options north of Redwood NP until Crescent City. You can use the RTA hotel search to the right hand of this page, that might help.

    I have looked for myself previously for a trip planned for the future and other towns with limited lodgings include Arcata and Orick as well as those you have mentioned. It could be that you are arriving later in the day/early evening and just want a comfy bed for the night and in that case a nice room to suit your budget anywhere nearby will do. One place that did stick in my mind [as more of a treat] was the Victorian village of Ferndale which could fit into your plans by exploring Humboltd NP on the way and Redwood NP the following morning as part of your onward journey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I would think that any of the options that have been mentioned would work well. Keep in mind, it's only about 20 miles from Eureka to Trinidad, so if you get a hotel in one place, it will still be easy to visit any of those other locations if you want to explore them in the evening.

    I will say I think I enjoyed the Humbolt Redwoods State Park a bit more than Redwoods National Park, although they are both nice. However, I would say you will have a bit more time to explore the redwoods on your first day, since much of your drive from SF to the Eureka area is 4 lane roads with higher speeds, while you'll be on 2 lane roads for nearly all of the trip north of there, and onto Crater Lake.

  7. Default

    Dave! What a great tip!!! I would never have stumbled across Ferndale and we probably would have driven right past the exit. Managed to book a room at Ye Olde Danish Inn, can't wait to visit this place!

    Thanks Michael, will certainly have to look at both Parks and hiking trails and plan accordingly

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Can't wait to hear the verdict !

    We really enjoy it when members pop back and share their road trip tales with us and in this case I would be most interested to hear about it. As I mentioned, Ferndale is one I earmarked for the future and getting an informed opinion would be of help.

    Have a great trip !

  9. Default

    In 2010, we drove the oppposite way: Seattle - LA.

    We went to Astoria in Oregon. A beautiful place to check out on the way.
    We also went through Carmel, Monterey, Cambria (checked out Hearst's Castle)

    I have to say though, I was quite nervous being in the passenger seat coming down the coast with the sheer drop to my right!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Good to see.

    Hi Elly, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip forum.

    Thanks for coming in with some first hand experience in your first post. Always good to hear from folk who have 'been there, done that'.

    Enjoy the forums.


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