SF to Seattle & Back
My girlfriend and I are planning on leaving on our first roadtrip on Dec.22 and do not need to be back until Jan 2nd (12 days). We would like to start in San Francisco and Make our way to Oregon relatively quickly. From there we would like a scenic tour of the coastline and stop in Portland as well. I think it would be possible to make it as far north as Seattle and return with some more stops on the way home. One thing I'm concerned with are the road conditions during that time of the year. As I'm not familiar with the area, any advice would help! So, any hints or suggestions of our route and stops would be much appreciated.
Temperate Marine Climate
The Pacific Ocean moderates the CA and Northwest coastline climates year-around. On most north-south routes, you'll find the winter weather is typically mild and the roads in fairly good shape as a result, not that there aren't occasional winter storms that result in snow and ice at the higher elevations along the way.
On some of the east/west routes crossing the coast range or the Cascades you'll often find winter conditions and road closures, but you can almost always find an open route where you can bypass these. Be careful about "back" roads; some aren't regularly plowed or maintained -- I got stranded in the snow 20 miles from NOWHERE on the road between Scappoose and Vernonia (OR) once. It was a LONG walk to find a tow truck.
Play it by "ear" and see what's happening when you are ready to go and if you have to, you can stick to I-5 one way and the coast highway the other -- and use all-weather routes like US30 to move back and forth between the two corridors. Mostly what you'll find is rain.
You can find plenty of information already posted on the forum about the attractions along this route -- search for posts by "Judy," or use key words like US101, "coast highway" etc.