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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I am currently in San Jose, CA but relocating to the Seattle area in August

    Default San Jose, CA to Seattle, WA

    I will be relocating from CA to the Seattle area in Mid August 2007. I am just starting to research this trip. I know that my sons and friends have made the drive but they have not done the scenic routes, instead have made the trip as quickly as possible on major hwys.

    I have never driven above Pt. Reyes in Northern California and never into Oregon. I would like suggestions of places to see along our drive and places to stay the night. I understand this is a trip easily made in two days but I would like to make it a three day trip to be able to see some of the sites. In addition, I have an online friend in Euguene that I would enjoy meeting.

    I am very much into photography and especially flower photography. My first suggestion was that we take the coast routes to get the most scenic views.

    I look forward to your suggestions and advice. I am very happy to have found this board. I love and may also post there with this question. I've never planned a road trip before and thank you in advance for your assistance.


  2. Default How long do you want to take the trip?

    Hello mskitty1954 (Cheryl) --

    How long do you want to take on the trip? The fastest route would be about 2 days drive (up I-5). A longer, scenic trip could be a week... With 3 days you might be crunched a bit for time..

    By far the most scenic route is up the coast, but from SF to Seattle could easily be 5-7 days, since the roads are not that fast and there are quite a few places you could spend an hour or so doing photography.

    For a quick suggestion, I'd suggest not doing the Washington State coast since you'll be in Seattle thereafter, and it would be easiest to do this later.

    From SF I'd drive to the Eureka area, possibly cutting over from 101 to go up the coast from north of Bodega Bay. There are some very scenic views along the coast route through there.

    The next day I'd spend between Eureka and about Crescent City focusing on the Redwoods area. In particular, Patricks Point State Park, Praire Creek Redwoods State Park (take the Newton Drury Scenic Parkway), Gold Beach and Fern Gully, and Lady Bird Grove are all good areas including at the Redwoods National Park.

    Then the third day would a long, but doable driving day inland from Crescent City to Grants Pass, and then up I-5 to Seattle. (8-9 hours) You could stop in Eugene for lunch, but Eugene to Seattle would be at least 5 hours.

    An alternative would be to skip the coast route north of Bodega bay and go up 101 to Eureka and through to Crescent City area for the evening. This will save you a couple of hours of driving, and give you a couple of hours in the redwoods the first day (although you'll have to pick and chose what you want to see, and what would look good in late afternoon lighting).

    The next day would go going up the Oregon Coast a ways, and then cutting inland at Florence to Eugene. That would be a full day's drive, and then you'd have one more day's drive on I-5 to get to Seattle.

    You can find hotels/ motels in Eureka, Crescent City, and along the Oregon Coast towns if you want. Or there are campground along the coast as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Pacific Northwest

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    We have a couple of well-versed and prolific contributors from that neck of the woods, and they are much better guides than I, so I will simply refer you to some of their astute observations of the best you'll have available to you on your journey:

    Sacramento to Seattle
    Oregon - Cannon Beach to Newport
    Two Months of Stops
    Some Mountains
    Relax a Bit
    Around Oregon
    Redwoods to Seattle

    Those should get you started. Be sure also to look at the "similar threads" listed at the bottom of each page you get to. It's a great way to just let your fingers and mind wander, and you may surprise yourself with what you'll find.


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

    Default 3 day squeeze

    You could do the coast in 3 days if you don't plan on stopping long anyplace. I think 4 days is the minimum to do this route and not feel rushed.

    I would plan to drive up the coast to Newport. The southern OR coast is terrific and worth seeing. And it's just far enough from Seattle to make a long weekend trip a bit hard to do. So I suggest doing it now. The northern OR coast and the Washington coast are far easier to get to from Seattle so you can check them out on other trips.

    At Newport, take Hwy 20 east to Albany. Albany is only about 40 miles north of Eugene. I would have your internet friend meet you there for a visit over a meal. Maybe a late breakfast?

    It's about 4-5 hours from Albany to Seattle if you hit good traffic. When nearing Seattle, if the traffic is getting thick, I suggest pulling off for a meal break or a cuppa joe and something to read. Maybe pick up a Seattle Times/PI to familiarize yourself a bit more with your new home. You could relax for a few hours watching the traffic crawl and wait until it clears. You won't get to Seattle much later than if you had stayed on the highway but you'll be a lot more rested and relaxed. I would pick a place where you can see the highway from your table so you can monitor how traffic is going.

    To give you an idea how traffic can be thick and slow you down through here, I had to go to Bellingham a few weeks back. To get there, I had to drive through Olympia-Tacoma-Seattle. I left home too late to miss the afternoon traffic. I hit Olympia at about 2:00. It was already thick. (This was a Friday and it starts earlier on Friday.) I crawled, rarely hitting the speed limit until I was well north of Seattle in Marysville. It took me 4-1/2 hours to get to Bellingham. When I came home on the same roads late Saturday night, I made the trip in 3 hours. I should have taken my own advice and stopped for a java jolt but I needed to get to an event so I pressed on. Unless you have a time limit, don't push yourself through it. It's not worth it.

    Enjoy your trip up here and your new home! Seattle is a great city and you will really enjoy exploring your new state.

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