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  1. #1

    Default Aussie driving from Vancouver to San Francisco

    Hi all! I am new to this forum and I'm hoping someone can help me out!! My husband and I are travelling to the states in September (we are from Australia) and we plan on doing a roadtrip from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco, CA. We have about 10 days set aside for this trip, but we are flexible. I will point out the places we would like to visit - but I would love some suggestions on places we haven't thought of - or places we should skip.

    - Vancouver and surrounds
    - Seattle
    - Forks and the Olympic Peninsula (I'm a Twilight fan!!)
    - Astoria
    - Mt St Helens
    - Portland
    - Columbia River Gorge and Corbett (to stay at the Viewpoint Inn)
    - Crater Lake
    - Eureka
    - Kelseyville (we have friends who live right on Clear Lake)
    - San Francisco

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
    Last edited by Aponi; 02-09-2009 at 10:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are planning on a one way car rental, take the bus to Seattle and rent the car there. I am not aware of any Canadian rental cars that can be dropped off in the US.

  3. #3


    Sorry I should have clarified - we will be touring Vancouver and surrounds and then getting a ferry from Victoria to Seattle where we will rent a car.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for places I can visit along the way?
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-10-2009 at 07:14 AM. Reason: Merged Posts - Please do not bump threads.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Ton of Possibilities

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First of all, you and all Aussies should know that we have only the most heartfelt sympathy for what you are going through at the moment. To see Prime Minister Rudd reduced to shaking his head in disbelief at the tragedy that continues to unfold is heart rending and we wish you the best as well as a speedy recovery and rebuild.

    Now, I also offer my own apologies for the fact that your request is one of the few that 'slipped through the cracks'. We try to get back to every poster with a meaningful response within just a few hours, but in your case failed to do so. For starters, you should read through these discussions of the Pacific Northwest to give yourself an idea of what is available between Seattle and northern California. I'm also currently planning a RoadTrip to the Oregon coast with my wife, and all the places you list in Oregon are on our list as well. One of the specifics that I'm looking at is a boat tour out of Portland. I just can't decide on a high speed run south on the Willamette, or a more sedate ride up the Columbia, but I'm leaning toward the later. If you enjoy short cruises, another great option is to take one of the many ferries out of Vancouver to the islands between there and Victoria. We particularly enjoyed just the sail to and the drive around Salt Spring Island.

    While in the Eureka, CA area, be sure to see Redwood National Park, and on the drive down to San Francisco, fit in as much of the Pacific Coast Highway, CA-1, as you possibly can both before and after Kelseyville.


  5. #5


    AZ your post reduced me to tears. Thank you so much for your kind and heartfelt sympathy. It has been a dark week for all Australians and we are all grieving. I have family and friends involved in the relief effort (fire fighters, nurses, counsellors) and yesterday I found out that an old school friend was lost. But we are Aussies and that means we are battlers and it's in times like these that we really pull together and help each other out. In just four days Australians have donated over $30M to the Red Cross and that number is continuing to climb. It's an amazing thing to see. We were all very humbled by President Obama's personal condolances as well.

    Please don't apologise for not responding - I apologise for being so impatient! I am so eager to hear from American's who live or have visted this gorgeous region. I can't wait to get over there!

    I didn't think of doing a boat trip up the Columbia. I will add that to my list of things to research. I just googled Redwood National Park and it looks incredible - defintely adding that one to the list of "must-do's". My husband and I are big nature lovers so these sorts of activities are perfect for us. I have doubled checked our map to make sure we drive down as much of the Pacific Coast highway as possible - thanks for the tip!

    We will be arriving in the US on the 28th August and departing on 21st September. What can we expect the weather to be like in Washington and Oregon?

    Thanks so much again for your helpful post.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default As It Happens

    We just got a couple of tour books on Oregon tonight that my wife had ordered. The first thing she said as she skimmed through them (because we are at just that decision point) was "September is the best month!" Now mostly that means little rain and moderate temperatures, neither of which are a given for most of the year in the Pacific northwest. Looks like you have chosen your timing very well indeed.

    I hope that 'lost' just means temporarily out of touch and that your friend turns up shortly.


  7. #7


    Well it does look like September is the perfect time to be travelling then! I am curious as to which city people prefer out of Vancouver and Victoria, and which one we would be best to stay at. I am leaning more towards Victoria, as it looks prettier - but I am only going off pictures here!

    Also, out of the places I have listed above, which ones would you be more likely to stay at for several nights as opposed to one? I have heard that there is a lot to see around the Columbia River area so maybe we would need to plan a few nights there? I would love your opinion.

    As far as accommodation goes, we wanted to alternately camp and stay in B&B's. Is camping safe around the Washington/Oregon area?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Bits and Pieces

    I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed both Vancouver and Victoria, but they are distinctly different. Vancouver is a large cosmopolitan city, very vibrant, but still clean, friendly and with a great park along the waterfront. Victoria, on the other hand, even though it is the provincial capital has more of a small town feel to it as well as decidedly more 'English' flavor particularly ion the Oak Bay area. Of the places you originally listed, I'd plan to spend more time in Vancouver/Victoria, Portland/Astoria, and San Francisco. I think that's about all the multi-day stops you can afford given your overall ten day limit. Camping is generally quite safe in the United States, certainly in well established, maintained and frequented campgrounds such as those in national and state parks. If you want more activities and amenities, there are also commercial campgrounds for a bit more money.

    At this point in your planning, there really are no more 'wrong' answers. I know everyone wants the best vacation possible, but there really is no one-and-only best, just what suits you. Don't worry that you'll miss something, you will! You only have so much time and there is so much to see. Just enjoy the things you do get to and remember that if you choose to do the things you want, you've pretty much automatically chosen the best trip for you.


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