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  1. Default Road trip from Vancouver to San Francisco and back

    Hi we are visiting Canada in August for our son's wedding, we have all ready done quite a lot in B C so have decided to head south. We have about 2 weeks to spend maybe a day or 2 more. We are thinking of getting a ferry to Seattle and driving, one way interior and then back the coast. My son says we should go to Yosemite, but is this a good time to go ,late summer with school holidays. Also how long should we allow to do the trip, will spend 2 or 3 days in San Francisco and a couple days in Yosemite if we go there. We like to do a bit of walking and see all things that nature has to offer. Also we would love suggestions of things to see on the way. Thankyou in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default It is always a good time to visit Yosemite.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Congratulations on the happy occasion. That's how I started my American roadtrip adventures, with son's wedding. Now, it's the eighth trip coming up.

    Your son should be able to supply you with good detailed maps available from CAA, or a good road atlas. Most of what there is to see will be on them. I suggest you ask him to mail them to you now, so you can see in detail which routes you would like to follow, and what there is to see along the way. (I get a new atlas every trip, and hilight all the roads I travel. Great to look back on later (and help plan that next trip).

    If I were you, I would reverse the trip, and head down the coast first. That way you will have the ocean on your side of the road.

    It is always a good time to visit Yosemite. Be sure to book your accommodation a.s.a.p., especially if you would like to stay within the park. Places are limited and much sought after, especially at the height of the tourist season.

    Sites I have enjoyed on the way along the coast are Cape Mendocino and the Humboldt Redwoods State Park with the Avenue of Giants. Both in California. I have not driven the OR coast. On the way back from Yosemite you could check out Lassen NP and Crater Lake NP, as well as Mt St Helen and Mt Rainier NP. A drive along the Columbia River Gorge east of Portland is also highly recommended.

    Enjoy the planning.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Extra days if you can.

    I to would agree that heading south down the coast has it's advantage. There is so much to see and do so you will have to pick and choose what attractions appeal to you, especially if 5 of your 14 days are spent in San Fran and Yosemite, but both are worth at least a couple of days each. Heading south down the coast to SF and then heading inland to Yosemite, over the Tioga Pass [CA120] and up to Lake Tahoe and back on an inland route would be an amazing trip. Although an RV trip, this trip report covers lots of attractions between Tahoe and Olympic NP [near Seattle] and down the coast to SF which may give you a better insight. If you have the choice of adding an extra few days then I would recommend you do it !

  4. #4

    Default

    If you can catch the ferries with your automobile then one option is to take the Horseshoe Bay ferry to Nanaimo, BC, drive down to Victoria, BC, and catch another ferry to Port Angeles, Washington. Victoria is worth a couple nights visit as is the Port Angeles area (Olympic National Park). From Port Angeles, drive west to the NW point of Washington (Neah Bay area, you'll need an Indian Reservation pass for a few dollars), hike the trail to the NW tip.

    Heading south, drive the US 101, crossing the Columbia River to Astoria, Oregon, another nice town for a sleepover night (as are several of the coastal towns heading south). Drive up to the Astoria Column while in Astoria. Astoria is rich in the arts and eateries.

    Several coastal Oregon State Parks are worth exploring -- you'll need a visitor's pass for several, e.g., Ecola State Park on the north side of Cannon Beach. Others such as Oswald West State Park are free to visit -- park at the roadside lot and walk down to Short Sands Beach, a beautiful pocket cove beach about a 1/4 mile hike through old growth forest.

    The Oregon coast is a great way to travel -- pace yourself and enjoy it!

    Around Orick, Calif., are the Redwood National and State Parks (the scene of the Ewoks battle in Return of the Jedi). It is a good drive all the way south to San Francisco.

  5. Default

    Thanks all for your help. I now have a large map so I can see where everything is and get some more idea of scale. So now I just have to decide a timeline. I know I need to book accomadation for Yosemite but do you think we could wing it down the coast? Keeping in mind that it is mid to late August we will be there.

  6. #6

    Default

    Don't know what to say on the question about having to pre-book accommodations along the Washington and Oregon and Northern California (north of SF) coasts. It is still summer and my SWAG is that children are not back to school until Labor Day. If it is a weekend or a nice sunny day..... You might be fine in Seaside Beach, Oregon, but Mendocino might be a different story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Idrean View Post
    Thanks all for your help. I now have a large map so I can see where everything is and get some more idea of scale. So now I just have to decide a timeline. I know I need to book accomadation for Yosemite but do you think we could wing it down the coast? Keeping in mind that it is mid to late August we will be there.

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