Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1

    Default Summer 2015 Pacific NW

    Hi, roadtrippers! Looking for some assistance in planning next summer's journey. We are a couple in our early 40s with an 8 year old son from NYC. We have created a travel monster (yay) and last year went to California and earlier this year to Arizona, so the road-trip concept is welcomed by all. We're looking at the end of August 2015 - flying from NYC to Vancouver, spending 3 nights there, then train to Seattle, for 2 nights and then picking up a car, heading to Portland (via Mt. St. Helens and Columbia Gorge), spending a night in Portland, then 2 days en route to San Francisco, where we'll spend 3 nights and from where we'll fly home. I'm eyeing 2 nights on the route from Portland to SF - would love to stay on the Oregon Coast and do the dunes, maybe caves, jet boat, etc. and then head south to see the redwoods, Ave of the Giants, ultimately ending in SF proper. I'm aware of the one-way car rental fees, but as of now (maybe b/c it is so far in advance), both Thrifty and Hertz are showing the week at less than $300 (not including all the taxes and such). I realize this may be ambitious, but we're fast paced and totally fine with spending time in the car, stopping along the way to see beautiful sites that we just don't have in NYC. We can't bail on SF as that is my son's "dream" vacation - so keeping that in mind, would love to know what experiences people have had and whether there's a "best" way (or multiple best ways) to do this. We're looking at a total of 11 nights, so the breakdown can be somewhat fluid for now, if my nights are too plentiful in one place. Thanks very much, in advance!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Good maps will help you.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    By far the best route for you and your family, is the route which takes you to the places which interest you, ans where you would like to visit.

    At this point you should get hold of a good set of maps of WA OR and CA (from AAA), or a road Atlas (such as Rand McNally). Besides all your road and route options, towns and cities, good maps show all the State and National Parks/Forests, as well as most historical sites and touristy attractions. You will get a good overall picture of the area through which you will be travelling and what is available to you. You should carry paper when on the road, so may as well get them to help with the planning.

    When in SF, be sure to take the tour to Alcatraz. Your son might like evening tour. Besides the prison being *interesting* as night falls, it is fantastic to stand on the rock and see the sun sink into the Pacific behind the GG Bridge, and the lights come on all over SF.

    Lifey

  3. #3

    Default

    hi, and thanks so much, Lifey! My husband and I have been to SF many times, but seeing it with the fresh eyes of my son will be interesting. He will get a kick out of Alcatraz, so thanks for the evening suggestion. I'm already on the AAA maps, and agree that paper will prove helpful! Do you have any particular thoughts on where to stop for the 2 nights between Portland and SF? Right now, I'm eyeing Gold Beach, and then somewhere in Northern Cal., but there's so much to do, that each time I look I find more we'd love! Unfortunately, time is not unlimited, but we'll do the best with what we've got!

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi fellow Roadtrippers! It's now t-minus 3(ish) weeks until we depart for our Pacific NW adventure. Not much has changed since my initial post but we do have our Coastal stops planned - after Portland, we're spending a night in Bandon, and then a night in Arcata, prior to hitting our final stop in SF. We've procured tickets for the required baseball games and Alcatraz. I'm wondering how best to hit the Columbia River Gorge from Seattle down to Portland and how to have time for Sand Dune Buggy Rides in Florence en route to Bandon and jet boat rides en route to Arcata. Any thoughts, as always, are greatly appreciated. Very much looking forward to seeing this part of the world! Thanks !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Is Mt St Helens still on the agenda and are you stopping overnight between Seattle and Portland ? One suggestion would be to drive through Mt Ranier NP and out to Yakima before heading down towards the Gorge and into Portland, but not with Mt St Helens. With Mt St Helens it would be a case of heading down I5 and then 505/ 504 to the St Helens Observatory. You could then head along the Gorge on the north side and back on the south, perhaps crossing at Hood river. If you only have a day then neither option is really viable and it would be a case of getting to the Gorge as early as possible and enjoying the many sights.

  6. #6

    Default

    hi, Southwest Dave! Sadly, we are not stopping overnight btw Seattle and Portland. Not sure if we can catch a glimpse of Mt. St. Helens en route? Hoping to enjoy the Gorge area for most of the day, and perhaps see (maybe from the car!) Mt. Hood and the Fruit Loop for some berries. Too ambitious?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    You will be looking at 5-6 hours just for the drive from Seattle, along the Gorge and back to Portland by the most direct route and without stopping for the sites. We are actually travelling a similar route in September and I would have thought 3 to 4 hours in the Gorge is the minimum you would want. [?] We hope to travel the full length of 504 to the Observatory, but you can get views earlier along the route. There is a visitor center at Silver lake if that's all you have time for, if you want to get up close and personal I think it will add at least another 3 hours to your journey. I think the views from I5 are limited and restricted at best. Perhaps someone will know a good spot for distant viewing ? See how you roll and go with it is what I would do, or should be, I am gonna do ! [You can also get cloud cover obscuring the views and then it's maybe not worth a detour at all ]
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-31-2015 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Added a thought.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Mt St Helens.

    From memory - it is some years ago now - but I did not think the visitor centre for Mt St Helens was all that far off I-5. Even if you have time to go all the way, it is worth stopping at that visitor centre, as they have a screen showing the view from a camera at the top.

    And yeah! I was advised not to waste my time (and fuel) as the mountain was shrouded in cloud.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    The Mt. St. Helens visitor's center at Silver Lake is only 5 miles in on WA-504 from I-5. However, it's another 45 miles farther to the monument at the end of the road near Spirit Lake.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default I thought so.

    Yeah, that is what I thought. At that point they will tell you if it is worth going any further. The advice to me was that it would be a waste of time. I was not likely to see anything, once I was half way there..... or something like that.

    Maybe one day I will get there.... but it's not on the schedule at the moment.

    Lifey

Similar Threads

  1. 44 day road trip summer 2015
    By sydneyo in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-26-2014, 08:36 PM
  2. Planning 22 day Road Trip in Summer 2015
    By THIGGINSON in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-01-2014, 01:15 PM
  3. Planning NC to CA trip for 2015 summer!
    By LadyTarheel in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-27-2014, 04:10 PM
  4. Summer 2015 trip to Western National Parks
    By mellieh25 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 04-13-2014, 05:59 PM
  5. Boston to LA - Summer 2015, advice needed!
    By HenryLovatt in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-30-2013, 04:55 PM

Bookmarks

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

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES