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Thread: Where to start?

  1. Default Where to start?

    Hello! I'm just starting to plan a roadtrip, which is something that I've wanted to do for a long time. There are a lot of questions that I have, and would appreciate any assistance. Here's a general idea of my plan. I wanted to drive from Portland, OR to Los Angeles, CA along the coastline following Hwy 101 and Hwy 1 mainly. I guess my initial questions are about logistics. Assuming that I am not pressed for time, what is a reasonable distance to make in one day? Also, how many hours on the road is reasonable for a solo drive per day? I would be doing a majority of driving in daylight, and I have not decided where all my stops would be. It would also be great if anyone has tips or recomendations for this trip. I'm sure I will be coming up with more questions the more I think about it, but I'm really just looking for a place to start.

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

    Default Beautiful drive!

    You're going to have a great trip.

    This is a 2-lane road, very windy, and with lots of hills. Add to that, don't be surprised if you get caught behind slower vehicles like RVs for significant periods of time before you can pass them. And, quite often, you will be driving through the center of towns where the speed will slow to about 30mph. On CA-1 especially, the curves don't lend themselves to speed so you will need sufficient time to drive this leg. So I hope you plan to relax and enjoy the laid-back pace of this drive.

    You say you're not pressed for time but don't tell us how many days you have. Basically, if you have 2 days, you will want to get to Brookings, OR (just north of the California border) for the night. If you have 3 days, I think my stops would be around Newport or Coos Bay in Oregon, then Crescent City or Eureka in CA. More details from you would help us help you better. Do you have more days? Let us know and we can give you more specific, helpful advice.

    Also if you let us know what kind of places you want to stop and see, we can give you more specific recommendations for that as well.

    You will probably also get some good ideas from these discussions: Thread 1 and Thread 2.

  3. Default

    I spent more time today thinking about a plan, so here's some rough ideas. 2 days south, 6 days north. I wanted to be at my destination by September 5th, and to avoid the Labour Day Weekend travel figured I should do the I-5 route heading down there. To break the trip up I'd spend one night in Sacremento. The trip north would be along the coast. I have a bunch of friends in San Francisco so I thought I'd spend 2 nights there. Suggestions on putting a stop between LA and SF? After leaving SF I gave myself 3 days to get back to Portland. Any input on how this sounds? Is this reasonable? Plus other suggestions would be great.

    Also, where are good locations between San Francisco and portland along the coast route to stay for the night?
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-14-2008 at 01:41 PM. Reason: continuation of thought

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

    Default Oh, it's a round trip!

    I didn't realize that in my first response. I think your plan to drive down I-5 and then meander back on the coast looks good.

    Three days to go San Francisco to Portland should work fine. You won't be able to linger too-too long but you should easily be able to see the highlights.

    Did you read through the threads I gave you links to in my last post? Some of your questions about what to see and do should be answered in them.

    As in my last post, I still think that I would plan to overnight at the following locaitons:
    Night 1: Eureka or Crescent City in CA
    Night 2: Coos Bay or Newport in OR

    The entire trip along the coast is 735 miles (SF to Portland). The following gives you a relatively balanced trip across the three days you have to travel

    From SF to Eureka is 308 miles. Explore Point Reyes National Seashore, CA-1 (not a quick drive so this will take up a good chunk of your day), and Humboldt Redwoods State Park along the way. Eureka itself is charming with Victorian-era architecture and interesting shops, restaurants, walking tours, etc.

    Eureka to Coos Bay is 216 miles. Between them, you might explore Redwood National Park and the other parks with redwood trees along the way, the charming town of Brookings OR, Trees of Mystery, Bandon, Sea Lion Caves, and more.

    Coos Bay to Portland is 210 miles. Explore Newport, the Hatfield Aquarium, Depoe Bay, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Seaside, and Astoria, and more.

    Along the Oregon Coast are numerous parks and scenic viewpoints, towns, lighthouses, and more. So check out the threads in my last post plus the links provided in this paragraph for lots of ideas on what to see/do along the way.

  5. Default great

    Thanks a ton.

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

    Default You're welcome

    Feel free to come back if you have any more questions. And we love roadtrip reports! So please consider coming back after you return to tell us how your trip went.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Between LA and SF


    For the southern half of your trip, there are the obvious stops such as Hearst Castle and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Both are wonderful attractions.

    We love to stay in a small hotel or B&B in Carmel, and waste-away a half a day just browsing the galleries.

    The drive on up the coast through Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay and Pacifica completes that part of the journey.

    A few fun stops along the way:

    Ano Nuevo State Reserve has tours out to see the sea lions. Reservations may be necessary, depending on when you go.

    Pigeon Point Lighthouse has tours of the grounds on weekends. It stands out on a picturesque point, nice views of which can be had from the water-side road just north of it. And there is a hostel on the grounds if you care to stay.

    Bean Hollow State Beach, there are two pull offs for this beach - take the second one. The eroded rock formations there are amazing, and the beach is made up of smooth jelly bean sized stones.

    The San Gregorio General Store, which is about all there is of the town of San Gregorio, is a fun place to browse around. It is a classic old store with everything you can think of, including live music on weekends.

    Looks like you'll be more than busy!

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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