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  1. Default 4 nights SF to Portland

    Hi everyone,

    I used this forum once before and you all came up with some excellent suggestions which resulted in a very memorable road trip, so here I am hoping that lightning can strike twice.

    In August I'm travelling with my wife from SF to Portland and we have approx 5 days/4 nights for the journey. We have a friend who lives in Mendocino so will be stopping for one night and day with him. We have time set aside already to explore SF and Portland so we have our city fix.

    We are both massively into movies (we programme an independent cinema here in the UK) and DIY art. We're also interested in alternative ways of living. On a previous trip we were given recommendations to visit Marfa in Texas, and the Earthships in Taos, and we loved both. So I guess I'm looking for recommendations for slightly 'out there' places to stay and interesting cultural things to see and do.

    We are respectively 38 and 29 and fairly active, but not seasoned hikers, in case that makes a difference.

    Hope that's enough of a challenge for you all!
    Thanks v much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Got me !

    It certainly seems to have been challenging ! I am afraid I can't offer any suggestions in alternative living or Movie sites but there are some amazing places to visit between SF and Portland. Along the coast are the Redwoods and in particular, the 'Avenue of the Giants' in Humboltd SP which is wonderful and has some quirky tree carving stores along the way. If you have time you could check out the Victorian town of Ferndale a little further north. You could continue north on the Oregon coast, or head inland towards Crater Lake for example. From Crater lake you could look at Mt Hood and then finish your journey to Portland via the Historic Columbia River Gorge.

    North of the Golden gate bridge there are some lovely views of the bridge and Bay area to be enjoyed from the Marin Headlands on Conzelman road and you could take the coast and visit Point Reyes.

  3. #3



    I made that drive last summer, and there was one small town north of San Francisco that I found fascinating: Boonville, in the Anderson Valley, southeast of Mendocino. The town is well known for counter-cultural ideals (particularly for their tireless promotion of organic farming). Boonville was the setting for the novel Boonville (2001) by Robert Mailer Anderson, and some believe it was also the setting for the novel Vineland (1990) by Thomas Pynchon. Several members of the Manson family, who were, at the time, known as the "Witches of Mendocino", lived in Boonville in 1968 (before their infamous rampage), until their house was raided due to "undesirable activities".

    What interested me the most was the fact that the town has its own unique language, known as Boontling. It's a bizarre combination of English combined with Gaelic, Spanish, and a couple of Native American dialects, creating a thousand or more unique words and phrases that are spoken nowhere other than here, in this tiny farming town in Northern California. Here's a link to an article: Do you harp a slib of the ling?, which was broadcast on National Public Radio last year, and here's a link to the website of the Anderson Valley Brewing Company. Their site has good information about the town (and the bizarre language). If you like beer, they sell an excellent product, which you can sample in their tasting room.

    The town is located on California Route 128, about halfway between Cloverdale (on US 101), and the Pacific Coast Highway, which intersects Route 128 just south of Mendocino. Since you're staying in Mendocino, it probably wouldn't be worth spending the night in Boonville, but it might be worth passing through.

    On your way north, you should really consider stopping at Crater Lake National Park. (Click the link for a slideshow of photos from there). It's not a quirky small town, but it's truly one of the natural wonders of the world.


  4. Default

    Thanks Rick! That's a great tip - we hadn't come across Boonville at all but will definitely stop by to check it out. And I think Crater Lake will be on the list too, if we can make it work. Cheers!
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-05-2016 at 12:59 AM. Reason: Removed entire quote of previous post for easier reading.

  5. Default

    We did that trip a few years ago and it was fantastic, probably one of the best we did, apart from the grey may, June gloom weather! If you are into films go to Florence in Oregon which was the inspiration for Ken Kersey's (one flew over the cuckoo nest) book One time a great notion, which was made into a film directed by Paul Newman. Small town, not much there but pretty river setting and you can walk down to the Pacific through the sand dunes. We also went to Eureka and stayed at the Carter Inn. Lovely place for fine dining, and of course the childish giggles if you ever watched the TV series. Trinidad has a fantastic beach with wonderful rocky outcrops, epitomises the North Pacific coastline. Portland is wonderful. The best US city we've visited!

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