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  1. Default Seattle to LA - Best towns/area to stay overnight

    Hi all,

    I am hoping someone out there in world-wide-internet-land can help? Me and my partner are planning a road trip from Seattle to LA over 21 days in September.

    The plan so far is ……

    1. Seattle – 3 nights
    2. Portland – 3 nights
    3. Driving down coast from Cannon Beach to San Francisco – 5 overnight stops
    Overnight stops - Lincoln City, Bandon, Crescent City, Fort Brag, Point Reyes
    4. San Francisco – 3 nights
    5. Yosemitie – 2 nights
    6. Driving from Yosemitie & down coastal road – 2 overnight stops
    Overnight stops - Monterey, Morro Bay
    7. LA – 3 nights

    My first question is regarding overnight stops as unfortunately the current plan is based only on guess work. Do the planned overnights stops look worthwhile? As an example, would we be better staying overnight at Cannon Beach than Lincoln City? If you can think of any better locations that we can stay, I would be forever grateful?

    Also, do you think 5 overnight stops from Cannon Beach to San Francisco is too much?

    Big, massive, infinite thanks for anyone that can help,

    CA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    It sounds like you are wanting the "best" coastal route possible by sticking mostly to the Pacific Coast Highway & US-101. Since it is so scenic, you are wise to think that it might be slower-going than the I-5 version a few miles inland. Cannon Beach to San Francisco is about 740 miles.

    The longest stretch you have is Crescent City to Fort Bragg, which happens to be around 200 miles. But it is also the section where you'll find Redwoods National Park, a couple of state parks such as Jedediah Smith Redwoods, and the Avenue of the Giants. If this were MY trip, I'd try to make one less stop between Cannon Beach and Crescent City, and stay a couple of nights in Crescent City in order to take in some of the Redwoods.

    Just my thoughts, anyway -

    Donna

  3. Default

    Thanks so much Donna, that sounds like a really good idea. I will check out your suggestion and let you know.

    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    I agree that having time to explore the Redwoods is worthwhile, however rather than staying 2 nights in Crescent City and having to go down, up and down the highway, I would stay one night in Crescent city, or Klamath [if there are options] and then the second night a little further south, Myers Flat or Garberville as examples. From Portland I think you could quite comfortably drive as far as Coos bay or Bandon for the following night.

    If you wish to spend a combined 6 nights in Seattle and Portland then that's great, but I would certainly look at the option of driving through Mt Rainier NP and make your way towards Hood river and enter Portland via the historic Columbia river Gorge and it's wonderful waterfalls. That would require at least one overnight stop which personally I think would be time better spent than 3 nights in Portland. With 2 nights you would have more time to explore both.

    Before heading over the Golden Gate bridge [toll] be sure to drive to the Marin headlands on Conzelman road for great views of the bridge, city and Alcatraz Island. You can see some of the coastal highlights by scrolling through the page and the start of the following one.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I would certainly look at the option of driving through Mt Rainier NP and make your way towards Hood river and enter Portland via the historic Columbia river Gorge and it's wonderful waterfalls. That would require at least one overnight stop which personally I think would be time better spent than 3 nights in Portland.
    Hi Southwest Dave, big thanks for your help,

    Is there a specific route that would be best for Mt Rainer, Hood River, Columbia rive Gorge? Do you know of any great areas to stop overnight?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    How many nights would you stop for ? There is not usually any single 'best' route, but from Seattle to Mt Rainier you could take I-5 to WA18/164/410 through Greenwater and then the 123 into the park. You could also enter via the Nisqually entrance by heading a little further south on I-5 and through Parkland and Elbe. From Rainier you could head head back to I-5 to Portland and then out and back to the Gorge, or cut down from US12 on NFD25 towards Cascade Locks or 23/141 for Hood river. Looking for lodgings just outside Rainier for a one night stop would work OK, if you have 2 nights stay at the park and then in the Gorge.

  7. Default

    I done from Seattle/Renton area Hwy 410 to Mt. Rainer to Route 12 East, I82 south back to I84 (along Columbia river) towards Portland loop. Then you can take Route 26 towards Cannon Beach and all the way down to Bay area via Hwy101.

  8. Default

    Hi jm98 & Southwest Dave,

    Thanks for your really good suggestions. We would stop off on the way to Portland from Seattle, but it would only be for one night. I am just trying to work out if it is worth stopping on the way, or can i just stay the extra night in Portland, and do an excursion in the day to Mt Rainer, Hood River, Columbia rive Gorge? Do you think there would be time if we started early.

    Planning a West Coast road trip is proving more difficult than anticipated. You guys have so many amazing places over there.

    Thanks again,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Stop for Rainier.

    I would stop a night in, or close to Mt Rainier and then you have one of two choices. Drive into Portland via the Columbia River Gorge or head to Portland and take a day trip from there through the Gorge. If you decided on the latter and took I-5 to Portland you would have the option of visiting Mt St Helens, but it's about a 3 hour detour.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default No need to go that far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    If you decided on the latter and took I-5 to Portland you would have the option of visiting Mt St Helens, but it's about a 3 hour detour.
    There is a visitor centre not far off I-5. The camera up on the summit projects onto a screen in the centre what conditions are like up on the mountain. You can then decide, based on the information available, whether this trip is worth it for you.

    Lifey

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