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  1. Default Portland, Vancouver, Seattle, Spokane road trip!

    Wife and I are flying into Portland on 4th of July and going to see my brother and his family in Spokane... we're trying to make a road trip along the way out of it and hit up a lot of spots and looking for advice.

    Looking to leave Portland early the 5th and drive to the coast (~2hrs?) to tillamook then up the coast towards Astoria (~1.5hrs?) then from there we are kind of up in the air.

    We have 2 options we are looking at... stay west on 101 and go the coastal route up towards port angeles (then possibly victoria and up or over to port townsend and up) or go east and take 101 or 3 towards port townsend.

    Any suggestions on which we should do? We're thinking we'll camp that night somewhere along the way so a suggestion of an area for that would be great too. I can search for campground on the net but thought i'd ask since people may have personal experience w/ some.

    Our main 'thing' for us is sightseeing/views/photo ops... so the most scenic route would probably be our preference and whatever would give us the most different types of views of this awesome landscape.

    I'll include ideas/questions for the rest of the trip as the plans solidify... figured i'd start w/ the beginning of the trip and work my way along.

    Thanks in advance for any help on this.

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

    Default Lovely trip

    You really can't go wrong either way. Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    While Tillamook to Astoria is a nice drive, not a lot of it is close enough to the coast to get views of the beaches and ocean. I would suggest going farther south on I-5 before cutting over to the coast and then driving north. Portland-Tillamook-Astoria is about 140 miles. If you have time, go south on I-5 to Eugene and then over to Florence on the coast. Yes, this adds some miles bringing your total miles to about 350 miles but, if you really want to enjoy the coastal highway drive as it should be enjoyed, I think you'll find that it's worth the extra time.

    I think Victoria is lovely and driving through Vancouver BC and parts of BC are lovely, too. However, if I had to make a choice, I would do the following: Go to Port Townsend and take the ferry to Keystone, go north to Hwy 20 and take it east through Mt. Vernon and on over the North Cascades Hwy to until it merges with 97. Then go north to Omak, then east on 155 to Grand Coulee Dam. Stay for the nighttime laser light show. There are several ways from there to get to Spokane.

    Going this route takes you through the lovely Puget Sound area. The North Cascades Hwy is one of the most beautiful drives there is. And the coulees, deserts, and farmlands of Eastern WA are gorgeous.

    This map should give you an idea of what I'm suggesting. It includes a few short detours to the more scenic parts of the drive, imho.

    This is my backyard and I'd be glad to answer any further questions you have, point you toward interesting things to see along the way, etc. What kind of things interest you?

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

    Default One more thing

    Here are some links to some previous discussions about these areas to give you some ideas of what's out there to see and do.

    Olympic Peninsula
    Olympic Peninsula plus more of Washington
    Washington Coast
    Coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Review these and then come back with more questions. Have fun!

  4. Default thanks!

    Wow... thank you for the great information and map!! i'm a very visual person and love maps so thats exactly what I was looking for! A little variation though... we're planning on going to Vancouver and Seattle and Mt. Ranier/St. Helens (prob on the way back from spokane to portland) (if you wouldnt' mind could you re-route based on that?

    The order isn't so important as long as we end up in portland at the end and we are in spokane near the tail end of the trip. Great info about the north cascades highway and was thinking about driving that route... now its a given!

    And thanks for the links Judy... you are one of the reasons I posted on here... i've read a lot of your posts on the area and you are a wealth of great information.

  5. Default travelling via RV

    I am travelling with my family in an RV from seattle to Spokane. I would leave Seattle late Wed. and need to be in Spokane on Friday. From there we are heading to Yellowstone and then up to Canada.

    DO you have any ideas for the Seattle Spokane leg? I would like to take a scenic route and would be interested in stuff that my young kids might appreciate.


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


    That's a bit hard to answer without a bit more information. I mean, I could give you quite a few ideas but they may not be the least be appropriate or interesting to you. Could you tell us just how young your kids are, what kinds of things they like, what things you like, and what kinds of things you want to expose your kids to?

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