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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida, United States

    Default Portland to San Francisco - 6 days - Itinerary Help!!!

    Hi friends,

    I am so thankful to have found this forum! I am hoping for some help planning an itinerary. I have just gotten buried in research and every time I come up with a plan, something tells me that it's probably not a good I need expert advice!
    We are from Florida and we will be in Portland in July for a family event. We will have from a Tuesday morning to the following Monday morning to travel from Portland to San Francisco to catch our flight back to Jax.
    Hubby has a few back issues, so we would like to cut our driving time on any given day to no more than 4 hours approximately - if that's feasible. Driving for too long really makes him uncomfortable.
    We have been to the Columbia River Gorge/Multnomah and really enjoyed that.
    We love nature/scenery/waterfalls. We also enjoy great food and wine (doesn't have to be expensive or fancy), markets, streams, wildflowers, picnics (this is sounding like a bad personals ad).
    We would be fine with the coast or not. Probably nothing too strenuous, although walking up to see a waterfall or something would be fine.
    I'd like to see whales...but don't want to spend a ton of money on an excursion. Not necessarily a must.
    I thought I'd love crabbing or clamming, but wouldn't know what to do with the 'catch' unless someone knows of an excursion where they would cook it for you.
    So...what do you guys think? Any advice for this newbie?
    Thanks in advance!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Sounds Like a Mix 'n' Match is in Order

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    One of the great advantages of the RoadTrip is that it can be custom built to each individual's physical style as well as their interests. You and your husband sound a lot like my wife and I - Don't want to be in the car too long, nor do we want a lot of strenuous exercise. But a good mix of the two, trading off between them frequently, is the perfect solution. Fortunately the area you'll be driving through from Portland to San Francisco has plenty of opportunities for both.

    In particular, there are great state parks and cute towns along the coastline all the way down to the Bay Area, so US-101 and CA-1 is the way I'd suggest you go. And make the maximum use of the parks of both Oregon (you'll find a detailed map of the coastal parks on page 7) and California (particularly the North Coast region). Each of these parks offers trails of varying length and difficulty, but you only have to walk as much of any trail as you see fit. And most of them will take you fairly easily to stunning coastal views, great sand dunes, magnificent stands of trees, or natural wildlife habitats. A couple of towns that I have found especially enjoyable were Newport in Oregon and Arcata and Mendocino in California, but most of the towns along the coast will be enjoyable in one way or another.

    Now, even hugging the coast, it's only a bit under 750 miles from Portland to San Francisco, so you only have to cover about 125 miles a day to make it in six days, leaving plenty of time to relax, have some good meals, take some short hikes, and generally just 'smell the roses'. Evenly spaced overnight stops would be around Newport, North Bend, and Gold Beach in Oregon, and Arcata, and Fort Bragg in California. Those aren't necessarily recommended places to stop, just markers to give you an idea of where you should be, roughly, at the end of each day to maintain the pace you need to get to San Francisco. You could then enter San Francisco either on the evening of your last day on the road, or on the Monday morning depending on how you like your traffic and what time your flight departs. Remember that SFO is on the far south side of San Francisco, so you'll have to traverse the entire city to get there.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-14-2014 at 05:52 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    A few things come to mind -- Crater Lake National Park, the Rogue River area, Oregon Caves National Monument, Redwood National Park, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Muir Woods, the wineries around Napa-Sonoma, Muir Woods State Park, Point Reyes Seashore.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida, United States


    Thanks so much! These are definitely things to think about. I haven't had a lot of trouble figuring out 'things' to see, but rather, the best way/itinerary to get from point A to point B. This gives me a lot to work with. I appreciate your time!

  5. Default

    I'd suggest including Yosemite if possible, it's spectacularly excellent.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Agreed.

    If you can extend your time in the car each day a little, Yosemite is a real possibility. And since you are so close - relative to where you live - it would be a shame to not see one of the jewels of National Parks.

    You could still enjoy some of the coast, cut inland, avoid SF completely and head to Yosemite. This could take you through some wine country.

    Heading back to SF you would be on the side of the city where the airport is. Time permitting you could include a little of CA1 anround Big Sur.


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