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  1. Default Seattle to San Diego fast but photographic?


    We are taking a cruise from LA to Seattle in May of 2011 and being the amateur photogs that we are, we would like to drive home to San Diego after the cruise, in about 3 days.

    We have grown up in CA so we are not as interested in stopping along Highway 1 or SFO, etc. We've been to Napa, Monterey, SB, etc. However, we've never really been north of Stockton and we plan to stay on I-5 predominantly due to work/time contraints.

    Where are the most scenic places to stop or take a small detour off of I-5 between Seattle and Stockton? DH and I will probably get off the ship on a Saturday and drive as far south as we feel like (about 400 miles?) with 1-2 hour stops as we can for photography. Then overnight and drive once more on Sunday with short stops till we get to about Sacramento. Then we figure we'll take I-5 straight home to San Diego with only bathroom or food breaks since I know it's all desert and cows from there on out.

    I'd appreciate any suggestions for small 1-2 hour detours at most in WA, OR or Nor CA off I-5 for the first 2 days!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default You'll Have to Pick and Choose

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The most direct, efficient route from Seattle to San Diego is simple to stick to I-5 all the way. Doing so would require 2½ days of driving in itself, leaving you only about a half day for photogenic side trips. So you'll have to be very careful about where and how big to make your detours. One that could take as few as 2-3 hours would be to drive up the Columbia River on the old Historic Columbia River Highway. There are several spectacular waterfalls within easy hiking distance of this road and there are also some great vistas of the river. Unfortunately, this is all side trip - you would make no forward progress while doing it.

    Another possible trip that would 'cost' a few hours would be to head for the Oregon coast from Portland on OR-99W/OR-99/OR-18 to Lincoln, then follow the coast highway, US-101, down to Newport and return to I-5 at Eugene via US-20/OR-99. Yet a third possibility for a three hour detour would be to visit Crater Lake National Park.

    I think those are the only detours (and not all of those!) you could fit in and still make it to San Diego in three days.


  3. Default

    Thank you so much for the advice. I have cut and pasted your answer and will look through the maps and plan a route. It's exactly what we were thinking -- 2-3 hour detours, maybe twice!

    Thanks. Katherine

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