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  1. Default Seattle/Portland to San Francisco in April

    Hey there,

    I think I've read every thread I can find on this route, and am now more confused than ever!

    I'm going to be flying from London to San Francisco on April 22, spending two full days there, and then on April 24 at 9pm, flying up to Seattle. We've then got plans to spend that night, plus the 25th in the city, and then at around mid morning on the 26th head down to drive back to SF.

    Our return flight to london leaves on the night of the 1st, so we have four days to play with (eek!)

    Alternatively, we can miss out seattle, and fly to portland early on the 25th and head south from there, but are we missing something truly spectacular if we do so, either in Seattle (never been before), or on the drive between the two?

    If we do miss Seattle, we'd be in Portland all day on the 25th and stay overnight, leaving early the next day for Cannon Beach on rte 26. From there drive down 101, stopping for pictures and whatever catches our fancy before arriving in Depoe Bay to stay the night of the 26th. In fact, is cannon beach worth visiting? if not, where would *you* head to next?

    Then do a quick 1 or 2hr whale watching tour on the morning of the 27th (does such a thing exist?!), cape foulweather, drive to seal rock, devil's churn, florence and the sand dunes and then I have next to no idea where we'd stay, Bandon? Port Orford? Crescent City (I'm picking names off a map here!). Any guidance as to what's a realistic drive after a busy day, and what's a town to miss out is much appreciated.

    Either way, on the 28th I think it's best to do the Redwoods, so winding our way through the national parks (fern canyon) and avenue of the giants, stopping for the night at mendocino, which i have heard fab things about.

    Then 29th is I think going to be spend in Sonoma or Napa wine country, and now I've suddenly found an extra day of the 30th and I'm easily back at San Fran. Hmm. So which bit can be stretched out to make things more leisurely, or am I good with another day in the city at the end, given that I've never been there either?

    We're not campers at all and want to stay away from the interstate as much as possible (unless we really are missing nothing and gaining lots from the speed), little b&bs and historic hotels are more our style! Hiking is not on our agenda in the slightest, the most we'd consider is a 1 mile walk to see something spectacular (I'm disabled, and that's my limit!). I'm also a photographer, so I think this trip might test me to my limits as far as big vistas go, but if there are any must-snap spots that I've missed, I'd love to know about them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Have you considered renting the car in SF and doing some kind of "loop" trip returning to SF? This will save you the cost of internal flights and the one-way car rental dropoff surcharge. You can see inland sights one way and coast sights on the way back.

  3. Default

    thanks for the reply!

    I had considered that, but I think there's more coastally that I want to do, and Portland is a must along with the whales at Depoe Bay that it didn't seem practical.

    I'm pretty happy (given my estimates of comfortable drive times) with the first few days, it's where to stay between Depoe Bay and Mendocino that's giving me the headache now!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    In the interests of saving money, it only takes 1 long day to drive from SF to Portland on I-5.

    A good halfway point between Depoe Bay and Mendocino would be Crescent City.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Portland, Oregon, United States


    I am actually from the Northwest so I can give you lots of info if you want. Seattle is great but the drive between Portland and Seattle is not very scenic if that is what you are looking for. However, depending on your tastes Seattle is Portland's big brother. There are many things to do in both as they are amazing cities. Do not pass up Cannon Beach. It is one of the best on the Oregon coast. And Depoe bay (as far as I know) has the only whale watching possibilities and its great. I have been twice and both times seen at least one whale. The first time we saw 4. Tillamook is a great place to stop as well and its right in the middle of Depoe Bay and Cannon Beach. They have a cheese factory in Tillamook which produces GREAT cheese and ice cream :D yum yum.
    As far as the next days drive, I have not spent a lot of time on the Southern beaches but I know that Newport and Bandon are both great little towns. However, I think from Florence to Bandon is a pretty hefty drive. On the other side, Bandon is very close to the border and it would be a short distance to the Redwoods.
    Hope this helps.
    If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask

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