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  1. #1

    Default Looking for Ideas on West Coast Trip

    Hello everyone,
    I somehow stumbled across this website and just love it.
    I am planning a family road trip this summer with my wife and 2 girls who are 8 years of age. We will be starting from Los Angeles and want to go as far as Vancouver. Some of the stops that we want to make include Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, Seattle and as stated earlier, Vancouver, BC.
    We will be traveling in a mid-size SUV and will be staying at various hotels/motels along the way. Our objective is to share with our children different places that are fun, educational and cool. I'm looking for ideas on places to visit, restaurants (not really expensive types), things to see, etc... We love the ocean and nature. I'd like to stay in San Francisco for 2 days, Seattle 2 days and maybe the same in Vancouver. Our total trip will last 2 weeks. From San Francisco up north, I'm not familiar with much, especially Oregon. Is it worth the time to drive along the coast in Oregon, or just drive along the Interstate 5 into Seattle?
    Thanks in advance...

  2. Default Slow up, quick back?

    Hello ProudLion and welcome to the RoadTrip America forums?

    If you really like the coasts, you might consider taking the slower trip up the coast through the Redwoods, up along the Oregon Coast, around the Olympic Penninsula, and then to Vancouver and Seattle. That will take about a week of driving (maybe a bit more, depending upon your tastes and stops). From Vancouver back to the LA area is about a 2-3 day drive on I-5, so I'm guessing its doable in your 2 week trip.

    I'm not sure if you're been up the Coast 1 route from LA to Big Sur, but I'm assuming you have been. Other places north of SF you might consider visiting include
    - Fort Ross and the old Russian Settlement there (now a historic park)
    - Redwoods National Park, and some of the other state redwood parks in the area. Lady Bird Grove (Redwoods NP), Praire Creek State Park (Gold Beach, Drury Drive), and several other spots in there are just spectacular.
    - Sea Lion Cave (Oregon Coast)
    - Oregon Beaches (very nice)
    - Astoria Bridge across the Columbia
    - Olympic National Park (Hoh Rain Forest, Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent)

    From the Port Angeles area at the top of the Olympic Pennisula, you have the option of taking the ferry to Victoria, capital of British Columbia, and then a ferry back to Vanouver (via Niaimo or Sydney). Then you can stop at Seattle on the way back down I-5.

    I did a different drive up from the LA area to the Vancouver area (and beyond to Jasper) last summer. I did a trip report in the road trip reports of this forum, if you're interested. That trip went north to the Canadian border area (the San Juan Islands) via Lassen and Crater Lake, in 3 days. And on the trip back we did the Canadian border to LA in 2 days of driving.

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

    Default Coastal drive vs. I-5

    These roads are so different. I can't imagine missing the coastal sections. While there are many beautiful areas in the inland portions of these states, the coast is where it's at, imho.

    Larrison has given you some good suggestions. AZBuck has compiled a list of threads that discuss the areas you're driving through. I'm sure reading through all of these will give you some more ideas.

    So, yeah, I agree with the concept of a meandering trip north along the coast and then taking the quicker route down I-5 to get home.

    When you get a few more specific ideas together, come on back and let us help you fine-tune your trip. Enjoy the planning!

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