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  1. Default San Francisco to Seattle - 16 days

    Hi all, my boyfriend and I will be driving from San Francisco to Seattle at the end of August this year and we are currently attempting to put together some kind of itinerary. We are flying to & from San Francisco, however are considering the option of dropping the car off in either Seattle or Portland and flying back...

    This is our first time going to the West Coast & we are a bit clueless on whether what we are planning is doable. We are happy to drive long distances, however, don't want to spend our entire holiday in the car. We would also like to balance our time between cities & beaches/national parks.

    This is our current plan - it would be so appreciated to get an idea on whether this is do-able or not & if we are missing anything major. Would also be good to get some advice on accommodation and whether we need to book in advance at this time of year?

    Day 1 - Fly to San Fran.
    Day 2 & 3 - Day in San Fran
    Day 4 - Spend day driving Highway 101 from San Fran to Eureka (through Avenue of Giants). Stay over.
    Day 5, 6, 7, 8 - Follow 101 up Oregon Coast to Astoria & then up to Seattle (currently unsure what are the best places to stay over at).
    Day 9 - Seattle
    Day 10 - Seattle
    Day 11 - Drive to Portland
    Day 12 - Portland
    Day 13 - Columbia River Gorge Loop drive, stay in Portland
    Day 14 - Portland

    Now we have two options, depending on whether we return to San Francisco or fly back. If we were to drive we were thinking about the following:

    Day 14 - Portland to Bend, stay over
    Day 15 - Bend to Crater Lake National Park, drive back to SF
    Day 16 - SF, fly home in evening.

    OR we fly back from Portland on Day 15 and spend more time in the national parks.

    Any help & recommendations would be so appreciated!

    Many thanks.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Full Loop Might Make the Most Sense

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    This is a trip that cries out for a loop. For a reason I'll get into a bit later, you're probably best served by making the northbound leg inland, going up along the Central Valley and Cascade Range. That would let you visit such sites as Napa Valley, Mount Shasta, Crater Lake, Mount Hood, Mount St, Helens, and Mount Ranier on your way to Seattle.

    Then return southbound along the coast, so that most of the pull-offs will be on your side of the highway making exits and reentries easier. Stops worth considering on this leg include Olympic National Park, Lewis and Clark sites around Astoria, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Redwoods national and state parks, Point Reyes National Seashore, and numerous smaller state parks and historic sites all along the coast.

    Dropping off a hire care a thousand miles away from its 'home' can prove very expensive. Also, since the drive (either route) could be made in two days, that still leaves you eleven or so days to spend in cities and at other venues along the way.


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


    I totally agree with Buck, this makes a great loop trip and heading down the coast has an advantage with the ocean being on your side of the road. If you headed from Crater Lake to Portland you could travel into the city via the Columbia river Gorge and then continue north to Mt St Helens and/or Mt Rainier on route to Seattle.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Another advantage of making it a loop trip is, time permitting, you can drive CA-1 from Leggett back to SF.

  5. Default

    Thank you so much - I hadn't thought about this route actually. Do you think this still be doable with our time limit? We want to make sure we aren't rushing and still have time to see the cities and some of the sites properly...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Yes

    As I noted, You'll need the equivalent of about four, five at most, full days of driving to cover all the miles in between all the stops listed as possibilities, that still leaves you about eleven days worth of time to spend at the sites along the way and in the cities you plan to visit. Even with two full days in each of San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, that still leaves you five days to spread out among the scenic spots. Many of these can be just modest hikes and/or photo opportunities, and you don't have to see them all. We just wanted to let you know the full range of options available to you. The pace you set will be your own.


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