I am planning a road trip from Seattle to San Francisco ove two weeks in July. I will be flying in from the UK and am not too familiar with this part of the US. What sights, attractions, routes etc are recommended on this trip?
All suggestions gratefully received.
Some suggestions for you
Here's a few -- you can decide which ones are most appealing to you. I've been to some, but not all of these places, and others will probably add to the list as well.
Be sure to take a look around Seattle (search on "Seattle" on this site and you'll come up with suggestions for that city).
Take the ferry from Anacortes or Port Angeles to the San Juan Islands, eat lunch or dinner at Friday Harbor. Or continue on to Victoria, BC, a beautiful city.
See Olympic National Park, Mt Rainier Natl Park, Mt St Helens Volcanic Monument, the Columbia River Gorge (climb to the top of Multanomah Falls).
See Portland; Museum of Science and Industry and a great Zoo. Drive NW past Scappoose on US30, wave at my old high school as you go by. At Longview, cross over to the Washington side of the river and drive along SR4. Try to pronounce the names of the towns along the way -- Skamokawa and Cathlamet. They are NOT pronounced how they look, nor in accordance with the rules of English pronunciation!
At Astoria, visit Fort Clatsop, Lewis & Clark's winter camp in 1805-06. See Ft Stevens, where you can still see the remains of several 16" naval gun emplacements, coastal defense sites from WWII. The guns that were placed here were similar to those on the USA's last active battleships -- the Iowa-class ships -- and could fire a 1.35 ton shell about 14.1 miles. Awesome.
Drive as much of the coast highway as you can. Stop at Ecola State Park near Seaside, and be sure to see Cannon Beach. Sir Francis Drake had dealings with a Spanish galleon or two off Cannon Beach. Neahkanie Head is one of my favorite scenic views in the country, along US101 between Cannon Beach and Nehalem, somewhere. If you are here over the July 4th holiday, see a fireworks show at one of the coast towns -- Rockaway Beach or Garibaldi, for example. They'll shoot their aerials out over the water!
Stop for clam chowder at Depot Bay and watch the fishing and pleasure boats narrowly miss the rocks as they try to enter this tiny harbor.
See Crater Lake National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and a couple of the redwood parks in Northern California. Visit the Mendocino coast north of San Francisco and maybe the Sonoma County wineries for lunch and some tasting. Visit Ft Ross -- a Russian frontier outpost -- many Americans have no clue the Russians had colonies over here too! Be sure to save a day or two for San Francisco itself -- another beautiful city. These are just a smattering of the things you can find in that country -- you can see you won't be bored! Bob
Thank you very much for your excellent reply. It has given me a lot of ideas. I had thought about going across to Victoria but I will have to check the rental car rules and customs etc. I thought about finishing by passing through Reno, Lake Tahoe and returning to SF through Yosemite NP via Tuolumne meadows.
I am really looking forward to the trip.
Rental cars to Canada
You're welcome! You'll enjoy Yosemite -- it's often referred to as the "jewel in the crown" of the US national park system.
I have taken rental cars to Canada on several occasions. Check with the company to make sure THEY allow it -- but otherwise you should be OK. Most of the majors will probably be OK with it.
In my opinion Victoria is quite overrated, the other things suggested are far more interesting.
SEA to SFO
If you plan to travel via highway 101, make sure you hop on old highway 1 at leggett CA ( south of the Redwoods ) and go to SFO on it. it hugs the coast and is absolutely gorgeous. also, some neat little towns along the way too, like mendocino and bodega bay.
ben in ala