Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Default San Francisco to seattle

    Hi, having done a family road trip last year from the UK into Denver and down through national parks and Vegas to LA, the family have requested another! Having done the east coast and having 3 older teens I have selected western side of US. Plan so far is to cover Seattle, spend a day or 2 in Vancouver, another 2 in Anchorage (flight) and then go down to here is my dilemma...I've rung 3-4 agents all of whom say "there's not much to see between Portland and SF" and I can't believe that - I'm looking for advice as to if, and how far we go on the Seattle starlight before taking a car into SF - I want to see the redwoods, wine country and (maybe) surf the dunes....but I don't want a week of just driving....and a week is pretty much what I have......for info the wife and I did H1 for honeymoon so have gone south from and inspiration required please!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Much to See?????

    Well, first of all, your instincts that your travel agents are incorrect - is absolutely spot on! There are a wealth of great sites, especially along the coast, that would make a drive between San Francisco and Portland truly memorable. There are natural settings such as Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Redwood National Park, and Point Reyes National Seashore; historic sites such as Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and Fort Ross State Historic Park; as well as informative side trips such as Tillamook Forest Center and Napa Valley. And those are just some of the major attractions. There are also dozens of state parks along the coast in both Oregon and California as well as inland sites such as Crater Lake and Lassen Volcanic National Parks.

    You could easily find enough to do to fill a week on this leg, or take it a bit easier, see less, and take just a few days.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-12-2016 at 12:41 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default And......

    To add to Buck's comprehensive list, places I have particularly enjoyed are Cape Mendocino - the most westerly point of the 48 States, and The Avenue of Giants in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

    Did you by any chance bring home some maps or a road atlas from your previous trip. Those maps will show most, if not all, there is to see along whatever route you choose. If you don't have any, may I suggest, and since summer is still a few months of, that you purchase a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. If you order it now, you will have it in a couple of weeks. With all the information on those maps, you will no doubt find it invaluable while planning your trip (and any future trips)

    Rarely have I driven a road where 'there's not much to see'.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    To add to what AZBuck and Lifey have said, my husband and I spent an entire 2-week vacation one time, seeing what there was to see just along the northern California coastal areas. "Not much to see" tells me that the agents have never driven in the area.

    Among the places just in northern California/extreme SW Oregon:

    Redwood National Park (previously linked)
    Oregon Caves National Monument
    Fort Humboldt State Historic Park
    Shasta-Trinity National Forest
    Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
    Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
    Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

    Rarely have I driven a road where 'there's not much to see'.
    That is the truth!!!


  5. Default Thanks

    Many thanks, so can anyone suggest a first pass itinery ie what towns to stay in each night over (6 nights) and also everything you have mentioned are state parks, can I get inspiration for avtivities ie can we drive a buggy over dunes in Oregon? Rafting? Etc - I need to sprinkle a few in to temp the more active ones in the family!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Burning up energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by dixonjdc View Post
    I need to sprinkle a few in to temp the more active ones in the family!!
    Can't help you with any of those questions, though you are bound to see the larger towns on your maps in the atlas. But when it comes to catering for the more active ones, how about hiking in the Redwoods. ?here are some great trails off the Avenue of Giants.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 02-13-2016 at 06:00 AM. Reason: correction.

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

    Default So much to do !!

    There are many companies in the Oregon Dunes that rent out ATV's/Buggies just do a quick search. I to can not believe that 'so called' travel agents who are meant to be trained can tell you such nonsense ! You have great suggestions above and they only just scratch the surface of what's out there. I would urge you to get a good map and do a little research and you will soon see. Another wonderful place to visit is the historic Columbia river Gorge which you could visit heading to Portland or after, even though it heads away from the coast it makes a lovely day. From Seattle you could head to Mt Rainier NP and then to the Dalles and Columbia river gorge. The only problem you are going to have between Seattle and SF is to find enough time to fit it all in ! Not to mention that the wonderful Olympic NP is 'next door' to Seattle.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    For rafting, I've used Momentum Rafting out of Ashland to do a day trip on the Upper Klamath. One of the best rafting trips I've been on, although it's class 4 and on of the higher intensity trips. They also have a few trips that are a little calmer.

  9. #9


    I recently made some comments about this route here:

    Astoria, OR, also has the Coast Guards big wave training school (my name for it -- the waves rolling into the mouth of the Columbia River are some of the most challenging around) and a small museum.

    Seaside Beach, Oregon, south of Astoria and the Columbia River, for the active teenagers, is good for surfing and kite boarding (lessons and rentals, Cleanline Surf Shop, 60 N Roosevelt Dr, Seaside, OR 97138, Phone: 503-738-7888, is recommended). Also family-oriented amusements in town.

    The Pelican Pub and Brewery at Cape Kiwanda ( Pacific City, OR), has decent grub and brews, a sand dune to climb at the beginning of the headland and a scenic haystack.

    Beach towns south, such as Lincoln City and Newport, also in beautiful settings (although I have been to either in 20+ years).

    The entire stretch south to San Francisco is not to be missed.

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