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  1. #1

    Default Pacific Northwest - SF to Seattle via 101

    Hi All,

    I've been reading this forum quite a bit, and I must say that it is great! Thanks to all of the contributors.

    Anyways, on to my question(s). I will be headed on a roadtrip along the pacific coast this summer (2 weeks - June 28 through Jully 11). We, three guys in the mid-twenties, will begin in San Francisco, drive along the coast (1, 101, etc.) through Oregon up to the olympic peninsula, over to Seattle, then back to SF. Now, I have a pretty good idea of where we'll be going and what we'll be doing, and I thank all of you (Judy, Larrison, etc.) for the great suggestions!

    My dilema is a timing thing. One of the guys that is going with us will be flying back home on July 7 (morning) out of Seattle. As such, we will have 9 days to get to Seattle from SF and then 5 days to get back to SF (probably via an inland mountain route and I-5). To be more specific, here is the general plan of the trip in chronological order:

    -from SF, travel on 101 to and visit some of the Russion River Vally wineries
    -head to the coast and travel north along 1/101 visiting coastal towns
    -Ave of the Giants and the Lost Coast
    -Stay on 101 up through CA into OR visiting more coastal towns
    -After Gold Beach, take Rogue/Illionis river roads via Agness/Powers/Coquille
    -Get back to Bandon and continue north on 101
    -Coos Bay, the Dunes, Newport, Lincoln City
    -Take route 18 up through Willamette Valley wineries to Portland
    -Spend some time in Portland (1-2 days)
    -travel back to coast (Tillamook) via route 6
    -head up 101 through Seaside to Astoria
    -cross the bridge into WA and travel north on 101 to the Olympic Peninsula
    -Quinault, Kalaloch, Ruby Beach, Hoh rain forest, Hurricane Ridge, etc.
    -spend some time in Seattle (1-2 days) and say farewell to friend

    The general plan above should consume 9-10 days. Again, we will then have 5 more days to travel back via route 5 and various mountian (Rainer, Crater Lake, etc.) routes.

    My concern is how we will allocate out time during the first part (June 28 - July 7) of the trip. In particular, when and where will we decide to set up camp (if camping) or check into the motel/hotel? Should we make reservations? I think I want to spend half of the nights camping and the other half in hotels. Now, I could really use your help with this. Given my general route (above), can anyone suggest when and where to camp? Which campgrounds are awesome, and would be more ideal than a hotel given the incredible scenery of the Pacific Northwest? Or, which towns (or areas) would it be better to just stay in a hotel for the night? Also, see that we have limited time, are there certain towns/ares that we should just pass on by?

    I do appreciate you input! (Sorry for the novel - thanks for reading)

    Take care.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Much to Add

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your travels look pretty well thought out, and a hoot to boot. If you've read Judy's missives on the area, you've already got the best we have to offer. The one thing I can add is that both the northern California coast and the Oregon coast (southern, central, and northern) are packed with state parks, and although not all have camp sites, there should be plenty to go around. As popular a summer destination as this is, I'm sure there will be plenty of motel rooms around as well, Especially if gas prices cause fewer trips to be taken.


  3. #3

    Default make reservations or be spontaneous?


    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I suppose that part of me (the bigger part) just wants to say "screw it" and be spontaneous about the roadtrip. That is, not to worry about making any reservations for campgrounds/motels or even deciding where we should be on a particular day of the trip. For some reason (and perhaps you and other folks will agree), I think that following a strick itinerary takes away from the excitement of a roadtrip. Furthermore, by making and following such an itinerary, it seems that we could limit our time at a potential unforeseeable, enjoyable stop along the way. This might be the case if we were to make reservations for lodging on every day of the trip. In all, I guess a roadtrip just shouldn't be rushed!

    Now, on the other hand and also the reason for my post, I am concerned about being left without a campsite or a room! It will be the summer (June 28 - July 11), in and around the 4th of July, so I expect it to be busy. Fortunately, as you mentioned, there seems to be a plethora of wonderful national/state parks and lodging options along the Pacific coast. Still, I heard great things about certain parks, so I'd like to secure my stay if it's worthwhile to do so. Then again, if the park right next door is just as nice, then we could just wing it and be spontaneous.

    Based on your response, I think spontaneity is the way to go. Do you (or others) agree?

    Anybody want to weigh in here? Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Here is my take on reservations

    Quote Originally Posted by Josephologist View Post
    Anybody want to weigh in here? Thanks!
    Here is an article about this very dilemna.


  5. #5

    Default great philosophy about roadtrips!

    Here is an article about this very dilemna.


    Thanks for weighing in and the nice link. I think that your philosophy about roadtrips is great! I tend to agree as well. I think that this dilema is resolved - it will be a "reservation-free road trip."

    Thanks again, Mark.

    Anyone else care to add something?

    Take care.


  6. #6

    Default 4th of July Fireworks in Washington?!?

    Hello agian,

    I was hoping to get some advice about a great place to spend the 4th of July. I think that I will be on the northern Oregon coast (Seaside, Astoria, etc.) or southern Washington coast (Long Beach, Ocean City, etc.) on July 4th. According to Judy, Ocean City is a very nice option. Can anyone suggest other places, preferably south of Ocean City?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Enjoying the 4th

    I think just about every coastal community has some kind of fireworks show and other events on the 4th. Fireworks shows draw tourists. All of these beach communities are competing for tourists, especially on holiday weekends. I'm going to bet that this is not going to be a problem to find. In my county alone there are fireworks displays in Ocean City, Westport and Aberdeen. South of us, there are fireworks in Raymond/South Bend and the Long Beach Peninsula. If you're still in Oregon, they have them in both Seaside and Astoria. And I know there are many others along the Oregon Coast. None of these places are more than about 30-40 minutes drive from each other, sometimes less. So, even if there aren't displays in the exact town you're staying in, there will be shows nearby.

    Normally, I'm not into reservations either but I think it will be a bit of a challenge to find lodging on the 4th. If the weather is good, the coast can get pretty packed. If it's not good, your chances are a tad better. Since you don't want to be tied into reservations ahead of time, I suggest you decide fairly early in the day where you will be spending the 4th and find your lodging earlier that day than normal. If you need help, ask the nearest visitor center or Chamber of Commerce for help. I suspect that Saturday, the 5th, might also be challenging.

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