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  1. #1

    Default Round trip, Seattle-San Diego-Seattle, Too much?

    I'm new here and so glad I have found this forum.
    I am from Denmark.
    Together with my wife I'm planning a trip flying to Seattle driving down to San Diego. This was our first idea, spending 3 weeks on this trip.
    Will it be possible to make it a round trip back to Seattle over Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Sacramento etc. still only spending 3 weeks on this trip? Or will it be too much time behind the wheel?
    We did a trip tree year ago also 3 weeks SF-LA-Grand Canyon-LV-Yosemite-SF with 11 different hotels. My experience from that really great trip was that we could have spent more time on the road.
    Thanks, Milo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default ok

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You could make the drive from Seattle to San Diego in as little as two long days, so travel time itself won't be a problem. If you are going to drive the coast - and I would recommend it for at least one direction - it will take significantly longer, but even there, I think you should be able to fit to have a fun trip on your timeline without feeling too rushed.

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

    Default It would make a great loop

    You can do it! Do take Hwy 101 and CA-1 down the coast. I would plan 7-10 days for this leg in order to have time to really enjoy it. There are plenty of posts here describing things to do along that route.

    You could do a loop that would look something like this.

    If this interests you, we could give you more detail.

  4. #4

    Default Thanks.

    Thank you for your input both of you.
    The loop suggested is really interesting. And could be done in three weeks I think.
    Thanks again, Milo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Yes, it could be done in 3 weeks

    It's about 4000 miles so that will be an average of about 200 miles of driving each day which is about 3.5 hours, give or take a bit, on the road each day. Very do-able. You could definitely stay extra days in a few places and still be able to do this in 3 weeks. Just adjust your driving miles accordingly so you don't fall behind or get too far ahead of schedule.

  6. #6

    Default Thought about a new route - could work

    Hi again.
    I have really spent some time thinking about the route for our trip from Seattle and I have decided (for now) that we end in Las Vegas and take a flight back to Seattle. This is to give us more time to explore. The trip could end up like this:
    Arrive Seattle, pick up rented car, drive to
    Seattle/Olympic Rainforest 1 night
    Newport 1 night
    Redwood National Park 1 night
    Sonoma, Napa Valley 2 nights
    San Francisco 2 nights
    San Simeon 1 night
    Santa Barbara 3 nights
    Beverly Hills 2 nights
    San Diego 2 nights
    Needles 1 night
    Grand Canyon 2 nights
    Las Vegas, returning rented car 1 night
    Fly to Seattle
    Seattle 2 nights
    21 nights

    This will be something like 2500 miles and 208 miles in average per trip where the longest distance will be 375 miles. Most of the driving will be along the coastline. This could work, I think.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default just a bit more

    I think your outline is basically good, the only thing I might suggest is to give yourself one more day along the Oregon/Northern California Coast. Its a slow trip with lots to see, so I think you might want a little more time. If you need to take time away, I think you could be just fine spending only 2 nights in Santa Barbara.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default How about an extra day for the Olympic Peninsula?

    If I understand you right, you're only making one stop for the night between Seattle and Newport, right? This is a do-able drive at just under 500 miles over 2 days but doesn't leave you much time to explore.

    This discussion, especially posts 7, 9 and 12, will give you some more detail of all the things to do on the Olympic Peninsula. Post #5, in this discussion, has more information about the beaches in the southwest part of Washington. And there is much to do along the Oregon coast north of Newport. I just think you're going to have to drive past a lot of great things to see if you don't allow another night somewhere.

    I think you should stop for the night in either Forks or Lake Quinault, depending on how early of a start you're planning out of Seattle. Since you will be taking the ferry over to the Olympic Peninsula, you will want to check out the ferry schedule and get reservations, if recommended.

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