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  1. #1
    chooser Guest

    Default Driving from LA to VC

    Hi All

    We are thinking about driving up the coast from LA to Vancouver, stopping in San Fran and Seattle on the way. We are not from North America. Any help, suggestions, time frame recommendations, what to avoid, car / SUV size recommendations would be very much appreciated.

    Many thanks Chooser

  2. #2


    I would strongly suggest driving up Highway 101/1 from LA to San Francisco. It is very scenic. Stop and see Solvang, tour the wineries (see the movie "Sideways"), tour Hearst Castle and stop in Carmel/Monterey. You can also go to Napa Valley from San Francisco. You do not mention how much time you will have, but the Oregon Coast is also beautful. I do not think it matters what kind of car you have, whatever is comfortable for the number of people who are travelling. Be prepared, downtown San Fran is horrible to drive (I would stay outside of the city and take Bart, public transportation, into town) and parking is very expensive. Hope this helps. Was curious where you are from?

  3. #3
    chooser Guest

    Default Thanks

    I am originally from New Zealand (yep that middle earth place) and my partner is from Japan, but we are currently based in Sydney Australia. We are aiming to be on the westcoast for three weeks. I have to be in LA for a few days then should be free. How long would it take to drive from LA to San Fran and from there to VC/Canada? Thanks for the tip on the sites and stop offs any others you can recommend would be greatly appreciated. Saw "Sideways" so keen on the that angle. If you need any info on any of the above three countries let me know. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    chooser Guest

    Default Thanks

    BTW ..... instead of just thinking it ... thought best I write it down ... "What a great website" many thanks to the editor(s) / Roadtrip America. Cheers!

  5. #5


    Chooser - I would think you have plenty of time to drive from LA to Vancouver in 3 weeks. I was in Melbourne on business a couple of years ago and loved it! Anyway, I think you are going to have a great time. I don't know what time of year you are planning your trip, but if it is in the summer a convertible would be great! It is about a 5- 6 hour drive from LA to San Fran but if you do Highway 101/1 and plan to stop at Hearst Castle (I would highly recommend it) plan on about 7-8 hours. If you plan on doing wineries (like Sideways), you would want to spend the night in Santa Barbara or Solvang. Both cities are great! Santa Babara is on the ocean and Solvang is a Danish community inland (about 45 minutes away) near the wine country. Also I would highly recommend Carmel and Monterey and do the 17 mile drive (about an hour and a half - 2 hours, depending on traffic) to San Fran. San Fran to VC/Canada, I can't exactly remember how long - depends how you go. I would think you would want to go through the Muir Woods, up the Oregon Coast and on to Seattle and Vancouver. Cannon Beach in Oregon is great. The sand dunes in Florence and cheese in Tillamook, Oregon is also fun. There is so much to see! I'm not sure I am helping, but please ask away.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Thanks for the thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by chooser
    "What a great website"
    Always nice to hear.

    "Moonwalker" has provided some great tips. Time to allow for the distance between San Francisco and VC -- at a minimum I would figure 10 days. It could be done in 3-4, but driving along the coast is a time-consuming (& beautiful) enterprise. If you like vegetarian fare -- be sure to check out The Ravens in Mendocino. If you use the "Search" function (in the green tab on the top of this page) and try keywords like coast highway -- you will find many, many tips for travel along the coast.



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