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  1. Default Spokane to San Francisco in June/July!

    My wonderful girlfriend and I are planning a road trip this summer. We live in Spokane and want to end up in San Francisco to see family. Along the way, however, we'd like to stop anywhere worth the time, between or in the big cities. Bed & breakfasts, fine restaurants, natural attractions, social scenes, nice hotels, public markets, culinary attractions, museums/art galleries, zoos, etc. We definitely will spend a day or two in Portland and San Francisco each and would also like to see the redwoods. Any suggestions or references would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Head for the Coast

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The shortest route from Spokane to San Francisco would be to use US-395, US-97 and I-5 through central Washington, Oregon and California. But if you're looking for social scenes, big cities, museums and fine restaurants, then you're going to have to go where the people are and much as I love the isolated beauty of the areas of those states inland of the coast ranges, it doesn't sound like it's your cup of tea. So instead, I'd suggest that you initially head for Portland by way of the Columbia River, and then follow US-101 south along the Oregon and California Coast, switching to CA-1 at Leggett. During the summer, the shore towns will be at their peak of activity. Judy has written extensively on what's available along this general stretch and that's as good a place as any to start your research.


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

    Default Both routes would make a great round trip!

    I think you should take the coastal route one direction, with a stop in Portland, and then taking the inland route on the way back. At Weed, CA, take 97 north through Klamath Falls and then veer over to Crater Lake for a visit at this amazingly beautiful lake. You'll then go through Bend which is a lovely area and college-town with lots of recreational opportunities and some good nightlife. It's a pretty quick zip home from there.

    This gives you the advantage of enjoying some amazing beaches/green forests one direction and the mountains and deserts the other direction. What a wonderful mix!

    To be honest, I would be inclined to save my exploration of Portland for another time as you could easily make that trip on a 3, preferably 4, day weekend sometime. But if you think you won't get that opportunity, go for it this trip.

    Portland's downtown area has had a wonderful revival the last few years. Waterfront Park gives you some breath-taking views along the river for a nice stroll, there is some great shopping downtown, and it seems like everytime I've been downtown there's a lot of activity going on in the core downtown area. However, I'm racking my brain to remember the street crossing this is on and I'm not remembering it. If you like books at all, no trip to Portland would be complete without a stop at Powell's Books. I prefer their original store on Burnside.

  4. #4


    Redwoods Ė I agree a must see.

    The coast redwoods in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park are simply stunning and beautiful. You cannot fail to be moved by them when you get up close.

    Iíve visited many redwood areas but one trip which stands out is when I travelled along Howland Hill Road, Crescent City, CA. (Comes up on Google map) It is an easy single-track dirt road, obviously care needed, but it takes you into the heart of the majestic redwoods. And there are odd stopping places with easy trails giving the opportunity to indulge.

    That is of course if it becomes part of your route.

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