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  1. Default One Way LA to Seattle in 8 days


    I tried searching for relevant posts but didn't find anything too specific, please direct me if there are posts already relevant to this route.

    I'm Australian, I'm flying into LAX on July 29. I have to be in Las Vegas on the 9th of Aug, but between the 2 dates I don't have any plans. I am considering renting a car and doing a one way trip from LA to Seattle.

    I'd have 8 days to do this, and I don't know much about the route. I want to see Portland and Seattle, but apart from that I'm flexible. (I will be seeing San Fran after Las Vegas so I can skip that)

    Here are my questions:
    Is 8 days an appropriate amount of time to make this trip with only 1 driver?
    What do you suggest seeing on the way?
    If this is possible, what rental car companies are the best to rent from?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default From one Aussie to another.

    Hi Mel, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    I am wondering what in specifics attracts you to Seattle, and the route north? Is this your first trip to the USA?

    There are a couple of NPs along the way such as Crater Lake. You could drive the spectacular Oregon coast, though that is slow. At Portland head east along the Columbia River Gorge scenic route - and back. Then there is Mt St Helen as well as Mt Rainier NP and Olympic NP. There is a lot to choose from.

    Though I would throw into the mix for your information (in case you've not been there) eight days is a perfect time to head from LA direct to the Grand Canyon, followed by Monument Valley, Zion and Bryce NPs before heading into LV. Then, on your way to SF you could head through DV and Yosemite NP. If you are flying out of LAX, then CA1 is a spectacular two day coastal drive from SF to LAX.

    Do you actually have some good maps? If not, you would benefit greatly from getting a Rand McNally road atlas. If you live in Melbourne, they are available from Mapworks in North Essendon, otherwise you could get one from the RTA store. If you order it now you will have it in a couple of weeks.

    Furthermore, if you are a member of the RACV, NRMA etc. be sure to take your membership with you. It will give you access to free maps from the AAA anywhere in the US.

    You could pick up some maps on your arrival, but the road atlas would be invaluable while you are planning this trip.... whether it is to Seattle, or whether you go see the great NPs of the southwest.


    p.s. Other Aussies have had great deals with car rentals through Auto Europe car rentals.

  3. Default

    Thanks for your advice! This is my first time to USA. Not much attracts me to the North route apart from it being there. I've been told Portland and Seattle are amazing, so that's what I'm going off. I would be dropping the car off at the end of my route and flying into Las Vegas, where I will be meeting friends and doing the Las Vegas/Grand Canyon tours. That explains why I didn't consider a Grand Canyon route first. I won't have the car for San Fran.

    Would you suggest doing the route you suggest over the North route I was considering? Like I said, I'm really flexible. I don't have any plans and I'm basically winging this, so I could change courses if there's something better on offer.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-02-2015 at 07:01 AM. Reason: Removed Quote of Entire Previous Post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A few details.

    You may not be aware, but there is a significant fee for not dropping a vehicle back to where you picked it up. The cheapest way to travel is to fly in and out of the same city, and to do a loop trip by car. The trip I outlined above is probably the most common roadtrip taken in the US, both by locals as well as visitors.

    Furthermore, be aware that Grand Canyon tours from LV mostly do NOT go to the National Park. They go to the west rim, which is no where near as spectacular as the national park. There is nothing like a trip to the grand canyon, and standing on the rim high above the Colorado River. There is also nothing like experiencing a sunset or sunrise over the Canyon. The colours are akin to watching sunset at Uluru.

    Are the friends you are meeting locals, or overseas friends. They too may not be aware that the GC tours from Vegas do not go to the NP. The west rim is quite bland compared to the NP. I wonder if those who told you about Portland and Seattle, both of which are nice (but then, so is Melbourne), have been to the great National Parks of the southwest?

    If I - and many others here had a choice - I am prepared to say that the majority would choose the great national parks of the south west. There is nothing in the world like them. When you get the maps, you will see just how compact that trip would be and how much you would see and experience. If you've ever driven the Great Ocean Road, you would love the Pacific Coast Highway.

    It would help greatly if we knew your full itinerary, from arrival in LAX to departure.


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