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  1. Default Advice for road trip Seattle to San Francisco 8-10 days

    My husband and I are in the beginning stages of planning a Pacific West Coast road trip starting in Seattle and ending in San Francisco. (middle of Sept or so for 10 days … flexible on starting date, but not on the 10 days allotted for trip) Can anyone help us with our plans? Being from Ontario, Canada, but close to the US border, we were thinking of flying from Syracuse to Seattle, renting a car there and then dropping it off in San Francisco at the end of our trip and we’d fly back from there. Because it is not a round trip, I expect renting a car may be expensive???…has anyone done this before?

    We don’t have a route yet as far as to what towns or cities we should stop at for the night along the way and how many days to devote to them, except that we’d like to spend 2 days in San Francisco. Can anyone recommend an itinerary? Can this drive be done in 8 days without missing too much if we spend 2 days in San Francisco? Also, is September a nice time of the year to drive the coast?

    Any help from anyone who’s done this before would be much appreciated!! Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default South of San Francisco

    Whatever route you decide to take, don't stop at San Francisco. Some of the most spectacular parts of the Pacific Coast are south of San Francisco.

    Best start you can make is get some good maps of the States along the Pacific coast and study them to see what there is that would interest you. And then do some web searches to see what each place has to offer. There are dozens of threads here which deal with PCH trips. Things that come to mind instantly would be The Avenue of Giants and Cape Mendocino, but there are hundreds and hundreds more.

    Lifey who has driven bit and pieces of PCH

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Definitely Worth It

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Yes, you can have a great vacation wandering down the Pacific Coast over 10 days, but there will be costs involved. In particular, you can expect to pay a drop-off fee of $200+ for the one way rental, bringing the best price I could find for 10 days in mid-September for an intermediate to a little under $800 once you add in all the taxes and fees. You might be able to save significantly by flying entirely within the U.S. but I'd check flight costs very carefully, especially since you'll be booking 'open jaw' tickets. The best prices for a September flight won't show up until a good bit later in the year, so start watching and tracking them now. As for things to see and do, I refer you to the discussions and recommendations linked to here for starters. Having just been there last fall, I highly recommend that you take some time and drive up the old Columbia River Highway and just poke into the many seaside towns and state parks of the Oregon Coast. Our weather was wonderful and you can certainly pace your 6-7 driving days to both cover some ground and see some sights. You won't be able to see everything, but what you can will be stunning.


  4. Default Our plans so far Pacific West Coast Trip...need help with rest of itinerary please

    As posted earlier, my husband and I are in the stages of planning a 12 day Pacific West Coast road trip. Being from Ontario, Canada we will drive to Syracuse and fly to Seattle from there...our trip will start in Seattle and end in San Francisco. So far, I've already rented our car - pick up in Seattle and drop off San Francisco. I’ve booked 2 nights in Seattle and from there we are driving to Astoria and I've booked one night there - I should also mention that I’ve also booked 3 nights in San Francisco. So our actual road trip down the coast will start from Astoria but we will only have 6 days to arrive to San Francisco.

    So from Astoria to San Francisco, can anyone tell me where we should stop and spend our nights along the coast - 5 nights? …should we book 2 nights anywhere? Would we have enough time in 6 days to explore the coast, the sand dunes, Redwood forest, and all in between without rushing? Any must see places? I’d like to book my hotel rooms ahead but not sure where to stop along the way to take advantage of what the area has to offer. Any ideas? So much to see so little time it seems. Thanks everyone!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-18-2010 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Merged - Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Wing It

    One of the beauties of the Pacific Coast is the laid back atmosphere that it engenders. It would almost be a shame to have to schedule your trip down this lovely, and in places primordial, landscape within an inch of its life. I spent a week on the Oregon coast last fall, and while it can be packed to the gills during the summer season, after school starts up again and the autumn chill can begin to be felt, most of the tourists go home. But most of the lodgings stay open, so you should have no problem finding 'routine' accommodations anywhere along the coast. Only if you were interested in something more boutique than a motel, say an especially quaint B&B, would you even have to research what's available. So, just relax. Travel as far each day as you're of a mind to and spend the night wherever you feel like. The only thing you'll need to keep an eye on is the calendar, but with 6 days to get from Astoria to San Francisco, even that should not be a concern.


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