Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Default Vancouver, BC to San Jose, CA in 4 days (next weekend)

    Hi all,

    I've been searching through various forums regarding 4 day journeys from Vancouver, BC to the SF Bay Area and many have written that they are definitely doable but there is always the constant debate between I-5 and the 101. I would be tempted with the 101 route even though it doesn't give much time, but the weather at this time of year can prohibit the views which would make 101 a beautiful scenic drive. I'm assuming based on the weather forecast at this point that it will most likely be raining :(

    It is my friend's first time visiting the US west coast and time is rather limited so we really only have 4 full days to see key points along the way as the rest of the time will be focused in the SF Bay area. What are thoughts of key places to go and if we do chose the 101 route would it be worth it at this time? I am thinking spending a few hours in Seattle the first day, then perhaps going to Portland that night and then heading towards the coast on the second day.

    I know time is very limited but any key spots that would still make the trip enjoyable would be good to know. It is my first time doing the drive as well.

    Thanks!
    Nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default A nice coast drive.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    With 4 days you should be able to enjoy the coast as long as you don't mind spending a lot of the day in the car with lots of short stops. If you can get to Portland at the end of day 1, you could head for the coast and stop around Gold Beach perhaps, depending on what time you set out. You will have the choice of hitting the coast early by going to Lincoln city and through Depoe Bay or continuing further south on I5 to Eugene and across to Reedsport. The earlier you cut across the longer it will take but the more great views you will enjoy. Next day you could get to the Californian Redwoods and look around and perhaps stop the night around Eureka before continuing to San Jose with hopefully enough time to drive the 'Avenue of the Giants' in Humboltd Redwoods state park.

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

    Default Choices Must Be Made

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Four days is just beginning to be enough time to make a fairly leisurely trip down the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to San Jose, but NOT if you are going to spend even a few hours in each of Seattle and Portland AND want to "see key points along the way." To make the most of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH - US-101/CA-1) you'll need three full days for the driving and another day to spread among a few major and a few quicker stops. So the first thing you'll have to decide is how to allocate what time you have. You can either visit the cities OR cruise the coast. I wouldn't let the weather influence that decision too much. While it might be a little drier coming down I-5 behind the Coast Ranges, that would not necessarily be true in the two major cities you've noted, which are seaports and not in the lee of any mountains. They'll be just as wet as the coastline. So that's the first think you'll have to decide before we can give you hints on how to spend the time you do have - what is your priority - cities or coast>

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    If you are leaving from Vancouver and want to spend a few hours in Seattle and still make it to Portland the first day, you pretty much will have to use I-5 for that portion of the trip.

    On the next day - if the weather along the Oregon coast is bad and you are in any kind of hurry, you can take I-5 to Grants Pass and cut over to US-101 on US-199.

    If you have time and the weather is decent, at Leggett you can get on CA-1 and take that all the way to just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, where it rejoins US-101. Bear in mind that CA-1 is not a fast road at all. NOTE that the Golden Gate Bridge is a toll bridge southbound ($7.25), and it's all electronic. There are a few ways to pay the toll. I believe all the other toll bridges in the SF area have cash lanes.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Four days is just beginning to be enough time to make a fairly leisurely trip down the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to San Jose, but NOT if you are going to spend even a few hours in each of Seattle and Portland AND want to "see key points along the way." To make the most of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH - US-101/CA-1) you'll need three full days for the driving and another day to spread among a few major and a few quicker stops. So the first thing you'll have to decide is how to allocate what time you have. You can either visit the cities OR cruise the coast. I wouldn't let the weather influence that decision too much. While it might be a little drier coming down I-5 behind the Coast Ranges, that would not necessarily be true in the two major cities you've noted, which are seaports and not in the lee of any mountains. They'll be just as wet as the coastline. So that's the first think you'll have to decide before we can give you hints on how to spend the time you do have - what is your priority - cities or coast>

    AZBuck
    Let me ask my friend what she prefers to-do. I do know that she wants to see some key points of Seattle, but I'm not so sure about Portland. I believe she would prefer the scenery over the cities.. but let's see. The timeline is rather restricted unfortunately.

    I've driven the part of the 101 from SJ to Gold Beach before and we did spread across 2 days with many stops.

    If we were to allocate most of the time at the coast, would it be best to cross over after Portland or before? Are there key points to see before hand?

    Thanks!
    Nick

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks all for the suggestion. If going the coastal route what are some key places to stop and see? How about the I-5 portion? I've always heard that there are less things to see there?

    Let me see with my friend what is the priority, cities or coast. I do believe that Seattle cannot be missed, so it would be nice (if remotely possible) to-do a mix and match of the two. I'm not too sure about Portland.

    Thanks
    Nick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default A (Very) Few Coastal Highlights

    As noted, if you were to spend any meaningful time in Seattle, the time you'll have for the coast will be limited. By 'meaningful time' I mean just four hours or so which would also have to include the time required to cross the border, get into Seattle, and get back on I-5 and out of Seattle. That would just let you get to Portland at the end of your first day. From there three days would give you time for a few stops along the coast, but only if you first head south a bit on I-5 to say Drain OR and use OR-38 to get to US-101 and the coast. You'd then have time for two or three stops of a couple of hours each at spots such as Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Redwood National Park, and Point Reyes National Seashore among others.

    AZBuck

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

    Default Border crossing.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    If you are leaving from Vancouver and want to spend a few hours in Seattle and still make it to Portland the first day, you pretty much will have to use I-5 for that portion of the trip.
    May I suggest you leave early, to compensate for the time at the border. In 2004 I left before 6am and got through the border after 8am. Not sure if it is now a 24 hr crossing, but it was not in those days.

    Lifey

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

    Default

    Both border crossings between Surrey and Blaine are 24 hour.

Similar Threads

  1. San Jose, CA to Seattle and back in around 7-8 days
    By bayarean in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-16-2014, 08:49 PM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-07-2009, 02:15 PM
  3. Weekend drive from Irvine to San Jose
    By gjws in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-13-2008, 07:30 AM
  4. Driving from SF to LV next weekend!
    By kateb in forum Going to Las Vegas!
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-07-2007, 08:08 AM
  5. San Jose to Lexington, KY in 4 or 5 days?
    By sahasralah in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-09-2007, 12:00 AM

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