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  1. Default Help planning a trip from LA to Vancouver, BC along coastal highway

    I am trying to plan a trip from LA to Vancouver, BC. We want to stay along the coast but have no idea of where to camp or stop along the way. Any suggestions of places to see? We have 3 teens/preteens with us. We have given ourselves 6 days to do the trip.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Relax, It's Not That Hard

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First off, I'm going to assume that this is a one-way drive. If you have to do the complete round trip from L.A. to Vancouver and back to L.A. then all you have time for is to take the 5 up, do whatever you're going to Vancouver for, and take the 5 back. No camping. No sight-seeing.

    However, if you have six days just for the northward drive, then you have plenty of time to take the coast roads and all that entails, to camp, and to see many if not most of what that journey has to offer. Let's deal with camping and other accommodations first. The Pacific coast is home to more state parks than you will ever need. These are both on the coast and in the woods slightly inland. You can find them all by visiting the various state park web sites: California, Oregon, Washington. As for what to see, the list is almost endless. Some of my favorites include the Hearst Castle at San Simeon, old town Monterey, at least one of the Spanish missions, Point Reyes National Seashore, Mendocino, Redwood National Park, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Fort Clatsop in Lewis and Clark National Historical Park outside Astoria, and - if you still have time when you get there - Olympic National Park. Those are just the highlights.

    Finally, don't put all the stress of planning on yourself. Get your kids involved. They are certainly old enough to have 'opinions' and taking them into account will not only ease the burden on you now but make the trip itself much more pleasant as you're getting them to place they picked rather than dragging them to places you did.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I'm going to agree with AZBuck -- if you have 6 days for the one way trip, you'll have plenty of time. If it's a round trip, you won't have time for anything except I-5 and motels.

    Camping along the California coast, we loved: Fremont Peak State Park -- great view! Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park (but try to get them to put you away from the highway!).

    Oregon Caves National Monument was a cave I enjoyed touring. Of course, I enjoy touring caves! I will also second Fort Clatsop and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, only because that's on my list of things to see next time we go into the Pacific Northwest.

    Yes, get those girls online and doing some research. Teens love to be involved in a trip, and you want that if they are to buy into it.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Get the children to check out these....

    Places I would definitely not miss with children the ages of yours, is Humboldt Redwoods State Park with The Avenue of Giants and the drive through tree. Not far away is Cape Mendicino, the westerly most point of the 48 States, with it's black beach.


  5. Default

    Thank you for the information. Yes, we are only going one way as we are going South via the I5 a week earlier. I haven't looked into it yet but can you reserve sites in the state parks?

    The kids are definitely helping with the planning, it's just a matter of narrowing our search down. High on the list is the sand dunes in Oregon, I have heard of a Spinreel State Park, do you have any reviews as to whether it is good or not?

  6. Default

    We love caves too so thank you, I will definitely look into that.

  7. Default

    I've never heard of Cape Mendicino but we love beaches and the black part sounds interesting so I will look this one up for sure. Thank you

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Spinreel State Park

    I'm not personally familiar with this 'park'. But what I have been able to find out about it suggests giving it a pass. First of all, Oregon does not refer to it as a state park, but rather just a campground adjacent to Oregon Dunes National Recreation area. Secondly, and most telling, it appears to be set up to cater to the OHVs that use Oregon Dunes NRA. OHVs are off-highway vehicles or dune buggies. So I would not expect this to be a quiet campsite in the woods, but rather a gathering of dune buggy enthusiasts who will be driving their OHVs into and back from the dunes throughout the day and evening. If you're looking for a relaxing seaside campsite - look elsewhere.


  9. Default

    Thank you so much! We would like to be somewhere a little more peaceful :-).

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