WANTED: Suggestions for Vancouver, BC to San Diego, CA
Awesome forum! I hope im not repeating a redundant thread. I had hoped to find a similar thread in the forums for a West Coast road trip, but havent found quite what im looking for. So here goes my request:
Leaving Vancouver, BC heading towards San Diego. We hope to take the 101 along the coast and have about 10 days in total to spend.
I found this great link off roadtripamerica for much of the Oregon Coast already: http://www.tripcheck.com/General/PacificCoast.htm I cant wait to see Astoria! Ive been in love with that city ever since i saw The Goonies hehe
Now what i would really love to hear, are peoples suggestions who have done a trip down the coast.
We are in mid 20's, enjoy good food, good time, interesting things, nothing can be considered "boring" as long as it is notable.
Restaurants? Seafood? Museums? Sights? Sounds? Clubs? Attractions?
Perhaps if anyone has any links similar to the one above or others? that would help too!
I thank you for your time reading this and look forward to what anyone has to suggest! You can find my MSN in my profile if you feel like talking real time.
We also will have an extra seat if there are any pedestrians dying for a road trip along the way.
Check out the cheese!
It's been a few years, but I really enjoyed the Tillamook Cheese factory tour in Tillamook, Oregon. They keep you behind glass, but you walk around on catwalks through the whole operation, which is big. Also, when you get to the Monterey peninsula in California, it's worth paying the fee to drive along 17 Mile Drive. The views are stupendous,you can usually see sea lions, etc., and you can stop to eat or just wander around at the Pebble Beach Golf Course. The mansions along the drive are fun to check out, too. More later... & happy planning!
Here are my suggestions ordered roughly north to south.
Mount Saint Helens, Washington
Crater Lake, Oregon
Redwood Highway, Oregon and California (the road goes around the trees)
Redwood National Park, California
San Francisco (all the usual suggested spots)
17-mile-drive/Pebble Beach, California
Monterrey Bay Aquarium, California (I have some contacts here that may be useful)
Nepenthe Restaurant, Big Sur, California
Hearst CastleSan Simeon, California
Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, California
Most of the California stuff that I suggest is along the Pacific Coast Highway (US-1).
Here's what the route looks like:
Love the cheese factory
Couldn't agree more about Tilamook. Even if you don't do the free self-guided tour the ice cream is worth the stop, and pick up some cheese curds (little lumps of cheese in a bag) to much along the way. No matter how big a bag you get they won't last to the California border.
While you are in Astoria check out Fort Clatsop just west of town. It is the reconstructed fort where Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1805 (WOW 200 years ago!) before returning to St. Louis. Very well done and very interesting bit of living history. The Astoria Column is great, too as is the view from there. The seafood restaurants down on the wharf are as good as Seattle's (almost) and a lot less crowded.
In Scotia California they have an excellent tour of the Pacific Lumber mill. You see the entire process from raw logs to finished lumber.
There are lots of lighthouses along the way. They are all different and all interesting but you can't get up into many of them. I know you can get into Point Area, south of Mendocino, CA (another cute tourist town) and Pigeon Point, south of Half Moon Bay, CA, but only on weekends last time I checked. About 5 miles north of Half Moon Bay is one of the best meals with a view - the Moss Beach Distillery. You'll see the signs as you pass through Moss Beach, south of Pacifica, CA. Just keep following the road back through the neighborhood until you get there - you will get there and have a great ocean view as well as a good ghost story.
Of course you know about Avenue of the Giants south of Eureka, CA where the big trees are. Take the side road that parallels 101 to see the trees up close. Assuming you move over to Hwy 1 south of SF, there is Big Sur scenery and San Simeon splendor, south of Carmel - well worth the stop for something completely opulent. Speaking of Carmel, the Mission there is beautiful if you've not seen a California mission. The town is interesting if you like art galleries and trendy restaurants. Back to missions, the one south of Soledad is interesting and close to the road. One of our favorites is in San Juan Capistrano, just east of I-5. Pick one or two.
I assume you'll stop in San Francisco. Ride the cable car from Fisherman's Wharf to the top of Hyde street, at least. I don't know what they charge these days, but if you can get a clear day the view is great. One of my favorite places for lunch is the Beach Chalet (brew pub) at the west end of Golden Gate Park, right across from the beach. Also, they've just remodeled the Cliff House, just north of the park and visible from the Beach Chalet. Haven't been there recently so I can't vouch for the food or decor but it used to be good.
If you decide not to take Hwy 1 but stay on 101 through Northern California you can take a great detour through the Napa Valley by getting off at Geyserville and cutting back near Novato. Beautiful drive and some of the best wineries in the world. Sears point raceway is there in Hwy 37 where they do auto and motorcycle racing, but don't know the schedule.
If you are into alternative energy the Real Goods store in Hopland is great. It is a straw bale building with all kinds of stuff and info related to sustainable living.
What else??? I could go on and on, but I'll let someone else talk for a while.
nono continue! These are great ideas guys!
Thank you so much for the replies! These are great, and by no means should you stop! hehe
Hey Boston Wrangler, how long do you think it will take to get to San Diego-ie how may days do you suggest?
I would say that in a six or seven days you could at least see each of the places that I listed, but I would suggest 10 days. There are also other popular tourist attractions like Universal Studies and other places in and around Los Angeles that I didn't mention.