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  1. Default Is 14 days enough time to experience Seattle to San Diego road trip?

    I'm at the very early planning stages of a road trip from Seattle to San Diego. I would fly into Seattle, rent a car and drive to San Diego. Is 14 days adequate time to see most of the sights? I want to see as much as I can so I know that will mean sacrifice exploring time with driving time. I want to see

    Seattle - Mt Rainier, Pike Market, Space needle
    Portland and Mt St Helens

    Hello all newbie here. I am beginning to try and plan a west coast trip from Seattle to San Diego sometime next summer. I will start in Seattle. I know you can spend a week there and surrounding areas. I want to see Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens but don't have to spend all day at each. I want to visit Pike Market and space needle. I'd like to visit Portland before heading out to the oregon coast.

    Oregon Coast I want to see as much as possible

    Redwood National Park- probably camp a couple nights

    I want to stay on the coast when I can. Will probably skip Crater Lake due to time unless it fits in or I extend the trip

    I want to stay a couple nights in San Fran. Probably LA as well. I want to hit many of the beach towns such as Malibu, Santa Cruz, Ventura, Monterey, Half Moon Bay, Big Spur, Santa Monica. Trip will end in San Diego and would like a night there before flying out. I know the travel time will be slow. Other than the places I listed as over night stays I don't have any particular places I want to stay as of now. That will depend on travel time and time of day. I know the milage between some of the beaches on the PCH are fairly close, I suspect travel time will be slow and take longer than I may anticipate. But more than anything as I get started planning what I can and want to do I was curious if 14 days was adequate for what I listed. Thanks so much for those who respond with info. I will begin to thumb through some threads to gain info as well.

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

    Default More or less ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Two weeks is enough time to experience a wonderful road trip between Seattle and SD but you will have to pick and choose and prioritise as you continue with your planning. You could have 2 months and not experience everything.

    I want to see as much as I can so I know that will mean sacrifice exploring time with driving time.
    This is where you need to balance things to suit your style of travel. Often, seeing more places and truly exploring them means reducing driving and visiting less places. Rushing to tick places of a list while all the time thinking of your next stop, instead of capturing the moment of where you are, can be counter productive. Find the right balance and prioritise the places that appeal the most, like an 'A' list. Some you will spend less time at and some maybe more and then with any time that is 'freed up', stop along the way at a 'B' list destination.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Even a 'Top Ten' Would Still Be Too Many

    To expand on Dave's comments, let's just think in terms of days and sites. You've listed about 15 places you'd like to get to, many for multiple days. But you only have 14 days to work with, and that includes at least three days of driving as well as a day or so making flight connections, dealing with rental cars, and other necessities of travel. It just ain't going to work! So prioritization is not just beneficial, it's absolutely necessary.

    From your own description, I'd plan on a couple of days in the Seattle area, one day in the Portland area, one day in the redwoods, a couple of days in San Francisco, a day in the Monterey/Carmel area, two days on the PCH down to L.A., and a day in San Diego. That's ten days, leaving you just enough time for the driving, etc. That doesn't mean you get to see the Oregon coast, just that you have to do it on the move, taking short hikes at some of the many seaside state parks as you make your way from Portland to the redwoods. The same is true of the PCH, you'll need to budget your time at major sites in the Monterey/Carmel area, and spend far less time at all the other beach towns along the way.

    You can, of course, alter the time budget I've suggested. But before you add time at any additional stop(s), you'll first need to cut that time from somewhere else. Your choice, but the choice must be made.


  4. Default

    AZBuck I would like to ask since it seems you have a pretty good idea about the spots along this trip. I want to focus on the Oregon coast as this time. Leaving Portland I would probably go north west to Astoria to begin my trek along the Oregon Coast. Might as well start from the beginning! Using google earth I listed spots of interest along much of 101 till you get to Redwoods National Park. There are places along the way plus alot of state parks. As I began to list them I realized there were alot of potential spots and I left a few off. I didn't list them all but I want to go down the list and if there are any you or anyone think is worth of stopping for I would really appreciate it.

    Starting off in Astoria, OR
    Cannon Beach
    Oswald State Park
    Nehalem Bay State Park
    Rockaway Beach
    Tillamook Bay
    *Detouring off of 101
    *Cape Meares Lighthouse
    *Cape Lookout State Park
    *Sand Lake Rec area
    *Cape Kiwanda Natural Area
    *Bob Straub State Park
    Lincoln City/Beach
    Depoe Bay
    Devils Punch Bowl State Park
    Beverly Beach
    South Beach State Park
    Ona Beach SP
    Smelt Sands SP
    Neptune State Scenic View Point
    Heceta Lighthouse
    Devils Elbow State Park
    Sea Lions Cave
    Dunes City
    Winchester Bay
    Umpqua Lighthouse State Park
    North Bend
    Bandan/Bandon State Park
    Cape Blanco SP
    Port Orford SP
    SIsters Rock SP
    Boardman SP
    Harris Beach SP
    Crescent City, CA

    I assume with no traffic from Astoria to Crescent City is 7h 21m or (416 miles). I will assume that this leg of the trip is doable but with minimal stops. I think to help me map out my trip and determine the amount of days needed asking and researching the stops along the Oregon coast will help. Buck I appreciate any advice you can give or anyone that has suggestions. I am considering taking a tent or purchasing a tent upon arrival allowing us to camp in state parks so that will be an option at this time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    There is no way you are going to make it from Astoria to Crescent City in 7 hours and 21 minutes with no traffic or even no stops! US-101 is not a high speed highway down the coast. Just stopping for fuel, food, and bathroom will make that about a 10 hour drive. In order to stop at even a small fraction of the places you listed is going to make it at least a 2 day trip. If you actually want to focus on the Oregon coast, better plan on 3 days.

  6. Default

    Thanks i assumed what you were saying. Kust a guide i was using till i can research more about potential stops.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-12-2014 at 10:34 AM. Reason: in line quote not needed here

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