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  1. Default Trippin' up the West Coast

    Hi y'all!!!! I'm new to this forum and am just looking for some thoughts and advice.... My husband, along with our three kids, are thinking of planning on driving up the west coast sometime this year and would love some feedback on how this might look.... We will be coming from San Diego and would like to end up in Seattle, WA and then of course trek back down to San Diego....

    How long do you think we should plan for this trip, what are the best places to stop at and see, what time of year would be the best to go, and any other suggestions for making this a memorable experience for all....


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    Welcome to RTA!

    What you might think about doing is heading north on the 5, then coming south on US-101 and the PCH. The reason for that suggestion is that on the PCH, the scenic pull-outs are all on your side of the road and you won't have to cross traffic to get to them.

    This type of trip could be great in spring, fall, or summer. If you're a homeschooler, then you may have the flexibility to go on the "shoulder season" and not worry about crowds.

    "Best places to stop at and see" depends, of course, on your own interests and what you want to introduce the kids to. I see possibilities of national parks going north (Yosemite, Lassen Volcanic, Crater Lake), national parks near Seattle (Mt St Helens NM, Mt Rainier, North Cascades, Olympic NP), and of course endless scenics and beaches on the way south. But your interests could have you visiting things in the cities.

    As for how long to plan for -- how long do you want to be gone? A trip like that could be taken in 2 weeks or 2 months, or even more.

    Have your kids keep some sort of a journal of the trip. Bring along glue sticks, scissors, and a notebook so that they can spend part of each evening assembling memories of the day. When you return, you could have them add pictures. These journals can be treasured for years afterward!

    Another tip for keeping a trip memorable for the RIGHT reasons: keep your daytime driving to a reasonable amount. This is not a good time for a marathon driving session. The kids will remember the trip for all the wrong reasons, and so will you -- you'll remember cranky kids!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A similar trip.

    Hi and welcome to RTA !

    I would also agree that taking an inland route heading north and the coast south is a better alternative. The more time you have available the better really although 3 weeks would be a nice amount of time. We completed a similar trip from LA to (near) Seattle and back in a couple of weeks and although it was 'busy' we still got to see plenty and felt relaxed but that pace isn't for everyone. Although we took the trip in an RV the trip report should give you a good few ideas to get you started, you can find it here.

    As you continue planning and you have other questions, don't hesitate to ask in this thread.

    Enjoy the planning !

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