Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Default March 2014 San Diego to Seattle

    After spending 3 weeks on the East Coast of USA, my wife and I are planning to hire a car and take a leisurely 7 - 10 days to travel from San Diego to Seattle in early March 2014. Is this feasible (or am I dreaming) and what route should I follow? What places should I definitely visit and where would you recommend that I stop and stay? Are there places I should avoid (given that it is winter), should I hire a 4 wheel drive (or is a standard vehicle OK) and is 7 - 10 days enough time? This will be my first hire car/drive experience in the US so I would like it to be memorable for all the right reasons, so any tips or hints would be much appreciated. We are aged 50 plus and are not "thrill-seekers", we like good food and wine and would prefer hotels to "camp sites".

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

    Default Turning dreams into reality.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You could drive from SD to Seattle in 2.5 days, so the only dreaming you have to do is about what you would like to see and where you'd like to go with your time.

    The route you should take will depend on the above, there never is a single 'best' choice and you have lots of options available to you. You could take your time up the coast, go inland to Yosemite, the Columbia River Gorge etc, or zig -zag back and forth between them, even the Grand canyon would not be out of the question with 10 days.

    There is nowhere in particular you should avoid, but if you decide to go inland to places like Sequoia and Yosemite, the high ground will still be closed to vehicles due to winter snow accumulation, although the foot hills and Valleys are quite spectacular.

    A standard Sedan will do the job just fine, if conditions were such that you needed 4 wheel drive then you should avoid that area or stay off the road until road crews have cleared them.

    There is a big difference between 7 and 10 days but yes it would be 'enough' time, although for me it's always the more the merrier !

    There will be no shortage of lodging options but before you start worrying about that you need to know where you are headed. I would suggest you look around the RTA forums and planning pages above and do a little research into things that interest you, how much driving you would like to do and that kind of thing. Once you have some dots on the map we can certainly help fill in the gaps and offer suggestions.

  3. #3

    Default This Might Help

    This might help you get some ideas about what you want to see along the Pacific Coast: A Journey Down The Pacific Coast In Pictures.

    The Oregon/Northern California portion was done in September and we were plagued by fog - bad enough that we gave up on the coast after Fort Bragg, CA and headed for Sacremento. Perhaps someone more familiar with northern California can offer some insight into what the fog situation would be like in March.

    Have A Great Trip!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Specifics

    Dave is dead-on right that seven days is enough for a solid, enjoyable drive up the west coast, and that a 4WD vehicle is a total waste of money, and that there are more options than can be fully listed here, and that the choice between those options is entirely up to you. But, all that being said, what are those options? and which would we generally recommend, given your stated preferences?

    For some relatively quick reads on what's available on the northern end of your drive, check out the discussions linked to here. On the southern end, you're looking mainly at the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH, CA-1) especially between San Luis Obispo and Monterey. This post, while a little long in the tooth, lays out some of the options there.

    Now, having driven all of what you plan to do at one time or another, I have my own recommendations. Hearst Castle is worth the price of admission, as is Seventeen Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. Also crossing the Golden Gate Bridge should be on your list - just be sure to avoid rush hour at all costs - sometime in the early afternoon would be good for relatively low traffic volume and to keep the sun out of your eyes. Point Reyes is another great location. After that, and because you will have seen plenty of coastline and will see more, you can head inland and use US-101 to put down some miles. Between Phillipsville and Myers Flat take the old road, now signed as CA-254, the Avenue of the Giants, for some nice interpretive stops in the redwoods.

    US-101 will return you to the coast at Eureka in time for the major redwood parks of northern California and the Oregon coast which is simply replete with numerous pocket state parks. When you've had your fill of coastal scenery, you can head inland by one of the highways that cross the Coastal Ranges (OR-42, OR-38, or OR-126) and use I-5 to travel north through the wine country of the Willamette Valley. A short stay in Portland will allow you to both go west to some major Lewis and Clark sites and eastward up the Columbia River Gorge and the numerous waterfalls within a short hike of that road. North of Portland on the way to Seattle, there are a couple of opportunities to take side trips to either Mount St. Helens, Mount Ranier, or both.


  5. #5


    Another great drive in the Monterey area is Ocean View Boulevard in Pacific Grove and it is free.

    Mount Ranier is a remarkable place to visit but, in early March, you might want to check the road status before going.
    Last edited by Charlie H; 10-26-2013 at 12:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie H View Post
    Mount Ranier is a remarkable place to visit but, in early March, you might want to check the road status before going.
    Not only that, but:

    All vehicles are required to carry tire chains when traveling in the park during the winter season (Nov 1 - May 1). This requirement applies to all vehicles (including four-wheel drive), regardless of tire type or weather conditions.

  7. Default Thankyou

    Thankyou everyone for your very helpful comments.

    We are now very excited about our planned "road-trip" and will start mapping out our adventure. I will get a copy of the "Lonely Planet Road Trip: California Highway 1" as suggested, and we will try to include most of the sights suggested by all of you into our trip -- although we may need to be a little wary of the mountainous and inland locations around Portland due to it being winter. Maybe we should come back another time in the summer to really enjoy and experience these places.

    Again, thanks for your help and guidance.

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

    Default Alacatraz.

    If spending time in San Fran I would recommend a trip to Alcatraz Island. I would also recommend booking in advance, [it's busy year round] this is the only official boat ticket office that sells direct without agents fees or having to buy other tours as a way of agents making their money. Fishermans Wharf and Pier 39 in particular are cool places to check out and get a meal as well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Maps and tourist information.

    One other thought which may help you. If you are a member of the automobile club in your State, such as RACV or NRMA, make sure you bring your membership with you. It will entitle you to free maps and tourist information at the AAA all over the U.S. You could even pick up maps of the western States as well as the major cities while you get your maps when on the east coast. Don't be tempted to rely on electronics alone.


  10. #10


    AAA Members can order maps and Tour Books on-line. It usually takes less than a week for them to arrive.

Similar Threads

  1. Salt Lake City - Zion - Vegas/March 2014
    By rod1510 in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-27-2013, 10:55 AM
  2. March 2014 RV trip Inland Empire to Santa Cruz?
    By katdcliff in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-17-2013, 09:35 AM
  3. March 2014 from San Fran to Vegas.
    By John Schofield in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-13-2013, 04:16 AM
  4. March 2014 from San Fran to Vegas.
    By John Schofield in forum Questions & Comments about using this Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-12-2013, 11:44 AM
  5. Las Vegas - New Orleans March/April 2014
    By Shaye Danielle in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-13-2012, 10:55 AM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name