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.