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Old 01-03-2012, 11:50 PM   #1
danacath
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San Francisco to Seattle itinerary help needed

Our family has seen much of the lower half of California, so this June we will be renting a car in SF and taking a road trip north through CA and on up to Seattle to visit DS (21), who will be working at Microsoft in Redmond. We'll take a week to make the drive. It will be me, DH, DD (16) and DD (13). We enjoy national parks, beaches and scenic places. Other than the Redwood Forest, which is already part of our itinerary, I'm open to any and all suggestions for things to see along the way and good places to spend the night. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:16 AM   #2
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I'd suggest driving up highway 101 up the coast. Seaside and Astoria, OR. before Seaside is the Till amok cheese factory which is always fun. We plan on driving to DL this year and will be driving up the coast to home (Sea) to make all those stops mentioned above plus a few more.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:36 AM   #3
danacath
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ToodlesRN--Thanks for the suggestion. Feel free to tell me more! I see that you're from the Seattle area. Any advice for our weekend stay there, such as a neat place to eat (nothing too fancy), etc. etc.? We're even tempted to take extra days and head up to Vancouver, since our daughters have never crossed over into Canada.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:12 AM   #4
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Don't miss the Mendocino coast! If you're up for a slower, more scenic ride, take Highway 1 up past Stinson Beach, Point Reyes, Bodega Bay, and Point Arena, before heading up to Mendocino. There's plenty to see/do for several days, or you can just take a slow drive past them all. If you're not up to the drive, you could always take US101 to Cloverdale and then take 128 over to Mendocino; but I think Highway 1 is a much better drive, and not that much longer. In any case, don't miss Mendocino and Fort Bragg.

After Mendocino, highway 1 then hooks up with US101 at Legett, just before getting to the redwoods. Humboldt Redwoods State Park is a do-not-miss, even more so than the Natl Park IMHO.

As a PP said, you can then take 101 up the Oregon coast, which is beautiful in its own right too.

Have a great time! It's a beautiful trip!

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Old 01-04-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
danacath
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Thanks for the great info, Bob. I love scenic drives like Highway 1, and I'm anxious to see the Oregon coast since I've never seen it before. The challenge is to convince DH of the scenic route's worth vs. taking the fastest route from point A to point B. I'm sure we'll find some sort of compromise.

I appreciate the tip on Humboldt Park, too. Our natural tendency is to gravitate to the National Parks, but we'll definitely take a look at Humboldt as well.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:11 PM   #6
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In 2008 we did a redwoods tour with my InLaws. We started in N. Nevada, headed to Crescent City and then came south to Ukiah. In Ukiah we headed inland back home. The stretch from Ukiah to Crescent City included lots of trees and coastal views. While in Crescent City we took day trips as far north as Gold Beach, OR. and South to Tree's of Mystery.

The JetBoats in Gold Beach, OR. on the Rogue River are amazing! We took our kids who were 18 & 9 along with the inlaws in their 70's and DH and I. We had a blast, thoroughly enjoyed that adventure.

We stayed in Ukiah, Fortuna and Crescent City.

The beaches from Crescent City to Gold Beach are amazing and have the most stunning rock formations.

The Fern Canyon in Orick, CA is well worth the time to find and get too. Its gorgeous. We spent several hours wandering through the canyon then had a picnic lunch on the beach. The Avenue of the Giants is a great drive as well.

When I was a child we drove the Oregon Coast from Lincoln City (Tillamook) to San Francisco. The highlight that stands out in my mind were the dune buggy rides on the Oregon coast.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
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Good, useful info, mamacatnv! I'll have all kinds of fun googling these locations and taking a closer look at them. Thanks a bunch!
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danacath View Post
ToodlesRN--Thanks for the suggestion. Feel free to tell me more! I see that you're from the Seattle area. Any advice for our weekend stay there, such as a neat place to eat (nothing too fancy), etc. etc.? We're even tempted to take extra days and head up to Vancouver, since our daughters have never crossed over into Canada.
I'm still trying to plan out our details, I was even thinking of making a stop in San Fransico during our drive to Ca or back home, would love to see China town and the pier.

If your staying in the downtown area of Seattle, there are many good places to eat. If you don't have a melting pot in your hometown that is always a suggestion, the pier has a few restaurants as well. The pike place market is a staple of Seattle and the space needle. Let me That's what I can think of so far, it not like Disneyland though
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:26 AM   #9
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As far as the National Parks go.....you should absolutely try your best to see Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. A little gem. On the drive up to Seattle, you will also pass within the general vicinity of Lassen Volcanic National Park (a crock....don't waste your time) and near Seattle, Mount Rainier National Park which is decidely average compared to Olympic National Park (but you'll need a couple of days to do Olympic justice).
I'll add to the ticks for Seaside and driving along the coast. A really pretty part of the world.
And in Seattle don't forget Boeing. But you've probably already done that before!!!
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:56 PM   #10
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I'll add Crater Lake and Olympic to my list of top picks! Olympic does look pretty huge, though. Are there certain areas that would be "don't miss" areas and some that we could pass up? Also, I'm wondering if anyone has had experience taking a Washington State ferry across Puget Sound to/from Seattle and to/from Olympic National Park.

Looks like I've got some planning to do!
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:06 AM   #11
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I am from Oregon... Crater Lake is a must. If you drive up Hwy 101 up the Oregon coast you should check out Shore Acres National Park just outside of Coos Bay. http://www.shoreacres.net/ The flower gardens are breath taking when in bloom. The central Oregon coast has some great coastal towns to visit as well (Depoe Bay, Lincoln City, Pacific City) and as one poster mention Seaside and Astoria (where the movie The Goonies was filmed) are both great!
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:28 AM   #12
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Wow, this trip keeps sounding better and better! I can already tell that I'm going to have a really tough time picking and choosing what goes on our itinerary and what doesn't. Does anyone care to take a stab at a short list of your top do-not-miss locations? Such as Humboldt, Crater Lake, Olympic....

I'm thinking that the locations we pick for our overnight stops will be equally important in order to make the best use of our time. I should probably get going on lodging research ASAP.

Our family has done other trips where we've had limited time, but have still managed to see a lot of beautiful places. On a road trip through the southwest, we only had a few hours to see Bryce Canyon, but it was well worth the stop. On another trip we just had half a day to spend at Yosemite. As long as the pace is realistic and not frantic, I'd much rather see the sights briefly than not at all. (I would NOT recommend this line of thinking for touring WDW, though! )

Thanks so much for your input. You've all been terrific!
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:05 PM   #13
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Crater Lake is amazing but is way off the beaten path, especially from the coast. We looked at it as an option when we did our road trip and even though we started in N. NV with our first stop being up North in Grants Pass, OR. Crater Lake was still too far out of the way to fit into our schedule. If I remember correctly it is basically a day in and a day out or one really long day of driving let alone sight seeing time. That is from memory, I could be off but thats what I remember. Also, the boat and the road all the way around the lake often do not open until late June due to snow. So far this year there has been a dismal amount of snowfall but most of us expect to see a late winter and a heavy spring.

Just something to think about.

When I planned our redwoods road trip I used the AAA trip planning module. It allowed me to put in destinations and then I could see how far apart they were, what the expected driving time was as well as lodging and restaurant options in the area. I highly recommend the AAA trip planning tool.
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