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  1. #1

    Default RoadTrip from Central Valley CA to Canada

    My hubby and I live in Madera, CA we would like for our honeymoon to be a drive up to Canada in August. We'd like to see more scenic route up to WA and most likely take I-5 returning back home. My auto insurance does not cover our vehicle into Canada so I'm thinking could we "ferry" our way into Canada from Seattle, WA or would we need to drive elsewhere? My hubby being a home brewer definitely wants to visit breweries in Oregon and Seattle, WA. As long as I see some Oregon Waterfalls I'll be complete. Is one week enough time to spend a day in OR, WA and hopefully Victoria, BC? Please share your tips, experiences. :)
    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    Do you have passports? They will be required to return to the US.

    The easiest place to get a ferry to Victoria would be Port Angeles.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Lot to Try to Fit In

    Any RoadTrip involves choices and yours is no different. Probably the most scenic route north for you would be the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH/CA-1/US-101) but in August that can be very slow going with all the summer traffic. Still, it will take you past dozens of ocean side parks, state and national redwoods parks, historic sites, and the many waterfalls along the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway (old US-30).

    A possible alternative would be to stay well inland and enjoy an entirely different type of scenery. Such a drive could follow CA-49 from Oakhurst or Mariposa north as far as Auburn and then use I-80 west and CA-193 to Lincoln and use CA-65 and CA-70 north to Wicks Corner. At that point take CA-149 over to CA-99. At Chico, leave CA-99 and take CA-32/CA-89/CA-139 up through Lassen Volcano National Park and Lassen and Modoc National Forests; take a side trip into Lava Beds National Monument; and return to OR-39 at Merrill. That will bring you out at Altamont OR and US-97 which will take you past Upper Klamath Lake and Crater Lake National Park. Continue on US-97 up to Madras OR and take US-26/OR-35 past Mount Hood to the town of Hood River OR on the Columbia River and take I-84 and the Historic Columbia River Highway (old US-30) down the river to Portland. There are about half a dozen great scenic waterfalls within easy walking distance of the old highway.

    If you've taken the above inland route, this would be a good place to now get on US-101 for the rest of your journey north as traffic on that road thins out a bit north of here and you will get to add some coastal scenery to your itinerary. If you take US-26 from Portland to the coast and US-101 north, you'll get a chance to explore some very historic Lewis and Clark sites on the coast as well. On the other hand, if Seattle is a 'must see' for you. then you are better off just taking I-5 north from Portland to Seattle.

    As glc has noted, there is no direct ferry service from Seattle to Victoria, so you'll want to end up in Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula to catch the ferry over to Victoria. I don't think you can leave your car at the ferry terminal, but there are pay lots (similar to those near major airports) where you can park you car for roughly $10/day. Victoria is a very compact and beautiful city, especially around the central harbor, so you shouldn't miss having a car all that much.

    In any event, a week would be just about the minimum required to take it easy on the northbound inland route, see a few of the many natural sites along it, visit a brewery or two in Seattle, ferry across to Victoria for a day and return via I-5 to Madera. It would be a bit tight, but then so would a trip taking the PCH for your northbound portion. Figure 3 days northbound, a day in Seattle, a day in Victoria, and 2 days southbound and that's 7 days total. If you could find an extra day or two, you could take a much more relaxed, and honeymoon appropriate, pace.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default where did you hear that?

    Quote Originally Posted by guava64 View Post
    My auto insurance does not cover our vehicle into Canada
    It would be extremely unusual for your auto insurance to not cover a short term visit to Canada. In fact, I'm not aware of any US insurance company whose coverage doesn't extend into Canada.

    Did your insurance company explicitly tell you this, or where are you getting your information?

    Honestly, If your insurance actually doesn't cover you in Canada, then I'd be looking to change insurance companies - not just because it would make your trip easier - If they don't include Canadaian coverage, then I'd be worried about what other basic serves they aren't including either!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I had exactly the same reaction to the statement about auto insurance in Canada: "what company is this?!" To be sure, when we traveled into Canada, we had to let our insurance company know and they provided a document that said we were covered in Canada, just in case.

    It is usually a lot more of a problem with US insurance companies to cover your car in Mexico and points south, than it is to cover in Canada.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default My limited knowledge.

    When I was relocating cars I was nearly always told that the car was not insured to go into Canada. May have been a commercial arrangement.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default One week ?

    Is one week enough time to spend a day in OR, WA and hopefully Victoria, BC? -
    If you are saying that you only have one week for the trip in total then I would forget about Canada anyway. To be honest I wouldn't go as far as Seattle, especially as it's your Honeymoon, you would be spending 4 days in the car if you took Interstate. Instead I would spend more time taking in the romance of a roadtrip and take a scenic drive to the Columbia River Gorge into Portland and then across to the coast and back down to SF. You could take 395 east of the Sierras through Lone Pine and Bishop to Lake Tahoe and then up through Lassen to Mt Hood and the Gorge and then through the Redwoods into SF over the Golden Gate. Even that would be a packed trip and probably not leave time for Big Sur and CA1 back to LA, but probably not a problem if you are local to the area.

  8. #8


    I agree with the other posters. Trying to see Oregon, Seattle and Victoria in 7 days is a bit ambitious. If you are wanting Victoria, make it your destination, and skip the others.

    But waterfalls, and breweries? Oregon has both with easy relaxing drives.
    Waterfalls map

    Brewery map

    I would advise getting a map and mapping out a route that includes your interests.

    Seattle and Victoria would make a great first anniversary trip.

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