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  1. #1
    allys Guest

    Default 3 weeks Portland to Tijuana plus side trip to vegas

    hubby and i are flying into portland (via LA) where we'll stay for a few days. Then we want to hire a car and drive as far down as we can but without rushing too much. We're arriving on 19 Sep and fly back to UK on 10 Oct.

    We Want to go highway 1 - are there loads of cheap motels along the way? Should we try to book in advance? we'd prefer to take it as it comes but don't want to be homeless too many nights! Can anyone recommend the "must see" sights along the way.

    We want to spend time in San Fran and LA and make a side trip to vegas probably on our way back from Tijuana. And finally, is Tijuana worth going to, or would our time be better spent somewhere else. any tips appreciated and once we've done our trip, i'll post an itinery and costing for others to see. thanks

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


    Sounds like a great trip! You should be able to do most of that in 3 weeks but you will have to keep moving. I hope when you say Hwy 1 that you also mean the coastal highway in Oregon (Hwy 101). It's a fantastic drive and it would be a shame for you to miss it. I'll give you some hints on things to see on the Oregon Coast and on the first part of the California coast. Someone with more familiarity of California would be more helpful on the rest of it.

    I believe you will be fine with getting hotels without reservations during September in Oregon and Northern California. You might have a bit more trouble on the weekends but the busiest part of the season is over by then so the work-week nights should be OK. Hopefully someone will also chime in on that for the southern leg of your trip.

    Things to do on the Oregon Coast (going roughly North to South):
    * Astoria (great maritime museum, lovely old homes and architecture, Flavell House)
    * You might want to take the Astoria Bridge over the Columbia River here into Washington. Just driving on the bridge is a hoot. It's over 5 miles long and most of it is at water-level. You almost feel like you're on the water itself. Very cool.
    * If you go into Washington, head to Cape Disappointment and the Lewis & Clark Museum on the hill above it. (Cape Disappointment is where Lewis & Clark first saw the Pacific Ocean.)
    * Fort Clatsop, just west of Astoria (re-creation of winter quarters of Lewis & Clark)
    * Seaside...just a fun, touristy town. On the beach is a re-creation of the salt still Lewis & Clark used in that general area
    * Cannon Beach...another touristy town but this one is a bit classier than Seaside. Lots of nice shops, great beach architecture, beautiful views
    * Tillamook and the Tillamook Cheese Factory where you can see cheese being made, sample some excellent cheese, and enjoy their wonderful ice cream. There is also a winery/cheese-tasting place shortly south of the cheese factory. I think it's called Blue Heron (or something like that). It's also a nice place to stop.
    * In Tillamook, you might want to leave 101 and drive around Cape Meares and then stay on the Netarts Bay Road to Cape Lookout State Park. It will take you a bit longer than continuing south on 101 but it's a beautiful drive and a worthy detour. (But you will, of course, be seeing lots of beautiful stuff the whole way so if this will over-tax you or get you behind schedule, just stay on 101).
    * Lincoln City. Some folks really like this place. It's not one of my favorite points along the Oregon Coast but you might enjoy it. If you're into gambling, they have a fairly nice casino there.
    * Boiler Bay State Park. Aptly named. You can really see the power of the water here. Quite a sight.
    * Depoe Bay. The smallest harbor in the world. It's fun to check out the small harbor and watch the boats enter and leave. This is also a great place to get a trip out on the ocean to look for whales. You can take trips that only last a couple of hours for a very reasonable cost. This isn't one of the busiest times of the year for whale-watching but the trip onto the ocean to see the coast from the water will be worth it.
    * Devil's Punchbowl. Like Boiler Bay but better, in my opinion.
    * Newport: This town has a fantastic aquarium, as well as some fun, touristy things like a Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, Undersea Gardens, and a few other fun things to see and do.
    * Sea Lion Caves. You descend an elevator from the visitor center to a viewing area at water level where you can watch dozens, if not hundreds, of sea lions. Very cool.
    * Florence is home to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. These dunes are huge! It's fun to rent a dune-buggy and ride the dunes yourself or to get a ride by a guide in the bigger dune-buggies. If I recall correctly, the type the guides used are often the type military use in deserts. Whichever you choose, it's a lot of fun.
    * Bandon. I love this place. Very cute little town. Another good cheese factory to visit, too.
    * Gold Beach. If you have time, you would enjoy a boat trip up the Rogue River from this town.
    * Brookings. Another marvelous, little beach town.

    California, North to South:
    * Crescent City: Crescent City had a fair amount of its downtown area destroyed by a tsunami a few decades back. It's worth a stop to check out the area destroyed and learn a little of its history.
    * Redwood National Park. These are the largest trees on earth. Wow! Just wow! Somewhere along here is the giant redwood that you can drive a car through. I'm sorry I don't remember the exact location to help you get there but I'm sure you can ask around and get the info from someone down that way.
    * Eureka....a beautiful Victorian city. Wonderful architecture. Interesting shops. There is a nice self-drive/walk tour you can pick up at the visitor center that points out some of the historic places.

    Well, that's about as far south as I can help you with off the top of my head. I hope someone comes in to help you with the rest of your itinerary and to answer your questions.

  3. #3
    allys Guest


    wow, thanks so much Judy, I have the map out now and am thrilled with your suggestions. I really appreciate your helping me out like this. take care.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    No problem. The best thanks you can give us is to come back and share your trip with us when you get home. We love trip reports here!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Rental Cars and Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by allys
    We want to spend time in San Fran and LA and make a side trip to vegas probably on our way back from Tijuana.
    You will be unable to drive a US rental car (hire) into Mexico.

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