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  1. #1
    emmybear Guest

    Default San Diego to Seattle

    My best friends and I are leaving for our first roadtrip together this august and we are driving from san diego to seattle and then back again. We have decided to take the pacific coast highway or the 5 all the way as we really enjoy the little beachy towns. We are stopping in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Napa, Big Sur/Carmel, Medford, Aloha, and Seattle. We are staying with friends in most places and then hotels in Napa, and Big Sur. Any tips that anyone has for this trip would be really really appreciated.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-13-2005 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Removed bold face

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default

    I'm confused, are you driving the coast all the way from San Diego to Washington state, then heading into Seattle and going home on I-5?

    The Oregon coast is amazing. Don't miss an inch of it if you can help it. The Washington coast is very cool as well although you aren't driving along the coast itself through much of Washington as you do in Oregon. However, you still see some amazing scenery like the rainforest.

    If you give more specifics on what you want to do, I'd be glad to try and give you some hints.

  3. #3
    emmybear Guest

    Default

    I would love to know of some must see places as well as must stay places. We are doing the whole trip in 12 days so while we are taking some time to stop and smell the roses we aren't stopping anywhere very long so we want to make sure to do only the very best of what each city has to offer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default How long have you planned for this escapade?

    Quote Originally Posted by emmybear
    My best friends and I are leaving for our first roadtrip together this august and we are driving from san diego to seattle and then back again. We have decided to take the pacific coast highway or the 5 all the way as we really enjoy the little beachy towns.
    I guess I am a little confused too -- PCH is CA-1 and it follows a considerably different path than I-5.
    We are stopping in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Napa, Big Sur/Carmel, Medford, Aloha, and Seattle.
    Just so we get your route -- Big Sur/Carmel will be visited before you reach Santa Cruz and San Francisco? And then you will be headed to I-5 via Napa and Medford? What route are you planning to use to get Aloha (since it is just inland from Pacific Beach, Washington)?

    In any case, I would certainly suggest you look at Paige Penland's excellent guide to Pacific Coast Highway -- it suggests places that only long-time locals know about.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-13-2005 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Oops -- wrong link

  5. #5
    emmybear Guest

    Default

    sorry, I didn't put things in the order that we are going. We want to take the pacific coast highway as much as possible but since it can take a really long time because of things like stoplights and stop signs we will be taking the 5 for part of the way (for instance we will be taking the 5 through most of so cal since we are locals and although we love the local beaches and scenery we don't need to stop and look at every little piece of sand). Throughout Oregon we will be slightly inland because where we have places to stay is inland. sorry for the confusion

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emmybear
    I would love to know of some must see places as well as must stay places. We are doing the whole trip in 12 days so while we are taking some time to stop and smell the roses we aren't stopping anywhere very long so we want to make sure to do only the very best of what each city has to offer.
    Like Mark, I'm still a bit confused about your route as well. Are you going up the coast the whole way to Washington state, then heading East into Seattle, then south down I-5 to go home? FWIW, that's the way I'd do it.

    And I'm chuckling at you picking Aloha as well. If Mark's right, and you're going to the Aloha just east of Pacific Beach, WA, there's not much there to see. Just the Aloha Tavern, a couple of houses, and an old shakemill.

    Or are you talking about Aloha, Oregon, just west of Beaverton? What are you seeing there?

    There are so many places that are not-to-be-missed along the coastal route that it's really hard to give you suggestions without knowing what type of things you're looking for.

    If you drive up the coast (Hwy 1 in CA), then 101 in Oregon and Washington, to the very top of the Olympia Peninsula, then head to Seattle, then head home on I-5 to San Diego, you're looking at roughly 3100 miles. Lots of driving for 12 days (260 miles/day). Considering that the driving along the coastline can be pretty slow due to the windy roads, the traffic, slower speed limits while going through towns, etc., it could easily take more like 6-7 hours to make 260 miles while on the coastal part of your drive. You will often be driving behind some slower traffic, like motorhomes, and not be able to pass safely, stuff like that will really slow you down as well.

    I'm not saying any of this to discourage you. It's a fantastic drive. But I'm still just trying to get a handle on what you're planning.

    Of course, the zip down I-5 from Seattle to San Diego can be easily done in 2 days at highway speeds.

    Anyway, give us a better idea of your planned route, the types of things you like to see and do, and check out the link that Mark suggested, and we'll all try to help you a bit more, OK?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default

    Oops, you posted your last post while I was posting. Sorry.

    Anyway, I would highly suggest doing the entire Oregon coast, and at least parts of the Washington coast, and saving those free stops with friends along I-5 for the drive home. If you miss Oregon's coast, you're missing some of the best driving and sights in the US, imho.

    I agree that you can hit most of California's coastal beaches another time. In fact, I'd save San Francisco and Napa Valley for another time as well. That would make some nice long weekend trips since it's closer to home. I would do the following:

    * Drive up I-5 until you get to Redding, go west on 299 and, when you get to the coast, go just a few miles south to Eureka (a very cool town that's not to be missed, imho), then drive up 101 the rest of the way through California, through Oregon, and do the SW WA beaches (including Ilwaco and the Long Beach Peninsula.

    * Then head up to South Bend/Raymond and head north towards Aberdeen, taking the 107 cut-off to Montesano, WA, then east to Olympia, then up to Seattle.

    * From Seattle, head south on I-5 stopping at Aloha and Medford to visit your friends.

    Anyway, that's what I'd do. You'll see some terrific scenery that way. Will be driving about 2800 miles. Over 12 days that an average of 233/days. Unless, of course, you're planning several days in Seattle and at your friends homes, then you'll need to tweak that daily mileage a bit.

    Just a few must-sees:
    Eureka, CA
    Redwoods
    Crescent City (just to check out the tsunami damage they experienced a few decades back)
    Bandon-by-the-Sea
    Sea Lion Caves
    Newport (great aquarium and some fun touristy stuff)
    Depoe Bay (the smallest harbor in the world)
    Tillamook Cheese Factory (yowzer ice cream)
    Seaside (fun touristy town)
    Fort Clatsop (just west of Astoria - winter quarter of Lewis & Clark)
    Ilwaco, WA (nice Lewis & Clark museum, neat fishing village)
    Long Beach Peninsula
    The sloughs along the route from Long Beach to South Bend
    Seattle....well, tons of stuff. What do you like to do?
    Mt. St. Helens

    There's a lot more cool stuff that I could give you some specifics on but I suggest checking out that link Mark gave you first, doing some research on your own, and then coming back for specifics.

  8. #8
    emmybear Guest

    Default

    thanks so much and I loved your advice. Yea we are staying in Aloha Oregon because my best friend has close family friends there who we've been invited to stay with. I think we are going to skip the coast of oregon on the way up and then hit it on the way back since we won't be going through aloha on the way home. Since Napa and San Francisco are quite a drive from where I live I think we are still going to go there, especially since a friend offered to let us stay in their house in san fran.....basically I would like to know of places that 3 older teenage girls would like to see.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default

    What kinds of things interest the girls? Nature? History? Kitsch? Shopping?

    I would hope they've enjoyed most of the things I've already mentioned.

    If you get far enough south on the Oregon Coast, they'd probably really enjoy the Oregon Dunes NRA just south of Florence. The dunes are immense and you can rent 4-wheelers and have a blast!

  10. #10
    smetlogik Guest

    Default Seattle to San Diego

    Happen to stumble across this thread and have a quick question. I'm thinking about flying to Seattle and driving down the coast (via highway 101) to San Diego. From San Diego I will drive back to Denver. Looking at arriving in Seattle on 8/4, then starting the journey on 8/5 with an arrival date back in Denver of 8/14. I understand the trip will be a bit rushed and maybe I'm cramming too much in, but is it feasible to end up in San Diego by 8/9 and still see enough of the coast? The trip isn't in stone, so I can be flexible.

    TIA!

    Rob

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