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  1. Default Seattle to the Bay Area--looking for tips on best stops & must see for kids

    Well, you folks always give good advice, so I am asking for some tips for my upcoming road trip to the Bay Area from Seattle.

    I grew up in Marin, but haven't been back for about 20+ years. I've wanted to show Marin to my kids for awhile, and now that I have a new little guy, it's just become more important.

    The vague plan is to spend a few days making our way down either I-5 or the 101 from Seattle to Marin; and then reversing the trip on the way back (i.e. if we take I-5 down, take 101 back and vice versa). Leave Seattle on July 18, get to Marin on the 21st when my hotel reservations start, leave Marin on the 25th when we check out, get back to Seattle by the 28th.

    We had a great trip to Crescent City from Seattle back in April, thanks partially to tips from you Road Trip folks.

    Must sees? Best spots for kids? (mine are 13, 10 and 8 months) Good restaurants with kids? Odd places you came across that made the the trip special?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    One thing that comes to mind - July is an absolutely perfect time to go to Crater Lake, everything is open. It's not far off I-5.

    For the coast portion of the trip, you should drive the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It's right off 101, as a matter of fact, it's the old road before they built the freeway. There is a drive-through tree there (privately owned, fee) along with a 2 story tree house and a small walk-through tree for the kids. Farther south, you may want to take CA-1 along the coast. The Point Arena lighthouse is worth a stop.

    I'd take the coast southbound and inland northbound. This will allow you to have the scenic pullouts on your side of the road along the ocean.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I-5 to Marin area runs at about 815 miles, so 4 days to travel one way will make that a nice trip. Going Hwy 101 will add 100 miles to the trip and be considerably slower for two reasons: it's not always 4 lane, and you'll want to see some things as you travel, or stop at a local beach to let the kids run. However, that would be doable.

    One thing that jumps out at me: Crater Lake National Park. The 8 month old won't care, but the other two are old enough to enjoy it.

    Good restaurants with kids - other than the fast food places, we always tried to stick to the tried-and-true with our kids. If yours aren't finicky eaters, you may get by with trying out the local places. We always ask at the hotel desk for recommendations for a local eatery.


    Donna

  4. Default

    We've added Crater Lake-I 've never been so that's a good idea. We're going to head down via Bend, see the lake, go via Klamath Falls back down to I-5 where it rejoins in CA. Then, take the coast route back on 101.

    Any other best spots to stop along that route?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Columbia River Gorge.

    From Portland you could first drive east along the Columbia River Gorge and then south to Crater Lake.

  6. Default

    We were thinking of stopping in Bend on the way to Crater Lake. Haven't been to Bend in 20+ years!
    Which route is more scenic, Hwy 26 or Hwy 97 to Bend from Portland?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Definitely 26.

  8. Default

    Crater Lake was amazing. So glad we went. We're in the home stretch now, woke up in Crescent. City. 400+ miles to get back to Seattle.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Nice.

    Thanks for dropping by and letting us know. Good to hear you are enjoying it. Have a safe ride home.

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