Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Default San Francisco to Vancouver in December

    Dear Experts,
    We are planning on doing a round trip SF to Vancouver road trip this December. 4 adults, 2 of who are senior. We live in SF, so, would be driving past SF (no sight seeing around SF area). Due to work constraints, our round trip is limited to a week at the most (short, I know!)
    All of us enjoy nature.
    I did go through the forum advice on this site - however am a little overwhelmed. I would really appreciate any advice, suggestions on how to plan our route, to make the maximum of this road trip and go the scenic way - especially in December. Which places should we make it a point to go to and how should we plan our route?
    Thanks for your time,
    Sunny.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    In December, the high altitude inland attractions will be in winter mode, so I'd look at deadheading it to Seattle on I-5, possibly taking a diversion up to Crater Lake if the road is open. Take US-97 to OR-62, you can take OR-62 and OR-234 back to I-5. On the return trip, I'd follow the coast on US-101 and CA-1. One thing that stands out on the way back is the Avenue of the Giants just off 101 in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

    If you have time, you can go around the Olympic Peninsula from Tacoma on WA-16/WA-3/WA-104 and US-101. If not, you can cut the loop off from Olympia with WA-8/US-12/WA-107.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Where to Start Planning

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    When planning a RoadTrip, perhaps the single most overlooked bit of planning, and the bit that should take place first(!), is time allocation. Get that wrong and the rest of your plan will be resting on a foundation that might well not support it. In your case, you have nine days at most to play with. That of course assumes that you will use the weekends on both ends of your 'week at most'. At a minimum, you will need two days to get to Vancouver and two days to drive back. That only leaves you five days to allocate between stops on the way up, sites to see in Vancouver, and stops on the way back. Really if you plan to make any serious stops on the drives up or back, you'll need three days for those drives. If you plan stops in both directions, that only leaves you three days in Vancouver. If by 'a week at most' you mean that you may not be able to use both weekends, then you can see that you really don't have time to make this an enjoyable trip. So - first things first - how much time do you really have for this trip?

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Basics of planning.

    Quote Originally Posted by sunshiner25 View Post
    I would really appreciate any advice, suggestions on how to plan our route, to make the maximum of this road trip and go the scenic way - especially in December. Which places should we make it a point to go to and how should we plan our route?
    Thanks for your time,.
    When you have the answer as to just how much time you actually have, you may find that this paragraph is helpful:-

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    My approach would be to do all the sightseeing on the way up, leaving you with a two day drive down the interstate on the way back.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Thanks glc!

    @ AZBuck:
    It would be a total of 7 days. Unfortunately, do not have more time than that, and I do not expect we will get a chance to explore this part of the country again! So want to make the most of what we can do.
    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default With Seven Days You Get...

    Seven days is really pretty much the bare minimum you'll need to make this an enjoyable trip. I'd divvy it up this way: two days to drive up, two days in Vancouver, and three days to drive back. Note that I differ from Lifey on this. Since you're driving in December, I'd hold onto that 'extra' day for the drive back rather than use it on the drive up and then find that you need the extra time to get home due to inclement weather. On the drive up, you will have to stick to I-5, making only a few short stops near the highway to break up your drive. Remember that you will need to cross the border and clear customs on both legs, a process that can have you sitting in long lines for an hour or two. For your two days in Vancouver, I'd make sure that you get to Stanley Park and perhaps take a ferry ride out to one of the islands in the Straight of Georgia and back. Then on your drive home you'll have a little time to leave the Interstate for one or two nearby attractions such as the Columbia River Gorge, Crater Lake, or Lassen Volcanic National Park. Remember that you can only see a couple of those at most, and only if the weather co-operates. I would not make reservations for the drive home, but leave that until I saw what the weather was doing and where and how fast that means you'll be driving. Note that other than the Columbia River Gorge the sites I mentioned are at elevation and may be closed due to snow. I do not think that you will have time to take the Pacific Coast Highway unless everything were to break in your favor and you really didn't want to make that many stops on the drive home.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Summer mindset!

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Note that I differ from Lifey on this. Since you're driving in December, I'd hold onto that 'extra' day for the drive back rather than use it on the drive up and then find that you need the extra time to get home due to inclement weather.
    You're right you know. But then, driving in winter weather is sorta foreign to us down here.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Also, if you do the coast on the way back the scenic turnouts will be on your side of the road.

    Snow is unlikely along the coast, but very possible on I-5.

Similar Threads

  1. San Francisco to Seattle in late December
    By dawatt in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-15-2015, 07:37 AM
  2. Roadtrip San Francisco - Vancouver - San Francisco
    By dootje in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-16-2012, 09:53 AM
  3. December Phoenix GC Vegas LA San Francisco
    By mb91 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-19-2012, 05:29 AM
  4. Vegas to San Francisco, December
    By Amin in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-26-2009, 03:09 AM
  5. December road trip San Francisco to San Diego
    By Malkana in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-08-2006, 01:24 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