CA to WA road trip recommendations

Jun 20th, 2007, 08:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 8
CA to WA road trip recommendations

My wife and I are thinking about a road trip from San Francisco to Port Angeles WA some time after Labor Day. We're from CT and will be visiting a daughter in Salt Lake and flying into San Francisco. We've heard the coast is beautiful and we are looking for thoughts on places not to be missed as well as places to stay and eat along the CA and OR coast.

Thanks in advance!
DonD is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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How many days will you have? From where will you fly back to CT?
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 08:32 AM
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My husband and I traveled the 101 up the coast from Eureka to Port Angeles and it is fantastic. We basically drove along viewing scenery and stopping for an occassional walk on the beach or in the redwoods or stops at light houses in Oregon. We kind of winged it most of the time, stopping at the end of the day and didn't have any problems finding a hotel anywhere along the way. That gave us more flexibility as to where and how long we traveled each day.

We even hit a crazy parade in Port Angeles, stayed in an old hotel downtown and found good eating places all along the way.

I'm sure you will find a lot to do along the way, and the scenery is great and weather usually pleasant.

On the way down to California from Idaho we hit Crater Lake and Lassen Volcanic Park and then cut over to 101 for redwood area and then up the coast of Oregon and Washington. On way back we saw Mtl St. Helen's and Olympic National Park.

We refer to this as our volcano/beach road trip. Great fun. Enjoy.

- Granny Joan
GrannyJoan is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 09:03 AM
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We just got back from this trip, and it was fabulous! I think you will have a great time.

The amount of days will matter, as this there is so much one can see and do along this route. We stayed on the 101, but north of San Fran it doesn't really come near the coast. until farther north. Hwy 1 does follow the coast, but it is a smaller road and may take more time.

I personally think the redwoods in northern California should not be missed, and you can't miss them. However, I think a drive along the Avenue of Giants is worthwhile. It is 31 miles long and parallels the 101. There are a few cute and funky towns you can stop to shop or eat in along the way as well. We stopped at the The Chimney Tree Coffee Shop in Phillipsville (more like a roadside burger stop) and absolutely loved it. If you like burgers, they make a great one. They also have other offerings - busy place, great food.

In Oregon, we were impressed by the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The sand dunes are not something usually seen on the west coast, so we thought they were beautiful. Lots of area is given to off-roaders, but there are places where you can walk in and amongst the dunes. Not always easy, but beautiful. The area is about 40 miles long between Florence and Coos Bay.

If you like clam chowder, there is a restaurant in Florence called Cackleberries that makes a terrific chowder. The best I've ever tasted. It's not a fancy or big place at all. But it is clean, the food is good, and the wait staff is friendly. And the clam chowder is just fabulous! Their sandwiches are also great and they make a pretty mean onion ring, too!

On the western side of Washington I wouldn't miss the HOH Rainforest in Olympic Park. Supposedly the only rainforest in the contenental US, and it was impressive. It had a completely different feel about it for me - and the fact that it was raining added a special touch, I think.

I really do think this entire area of the country is just gorgeous and no matter what you do or see you and your wife are going to enjoy yourselves.
Chele60 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 03:27 PM
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Really enjoyed reading the responses to our first posting! Appeciate the recommendations on eating places too as that's one of our favorite pastimes.

We'll have a week to 10 days for the trip but plan on staying in Port Angeles for the last few days. (Our son has a restaurant there (Bella Italia) and it's a great place to eat if you can get in. We will be flying back from Seattle.

Any other thoughts on sights and hotels in the Oregon area? Thanks again.
DonD is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 03:55 PM
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I did a road trip from Seattle to SF and back at the end of March. I mainly stuck to the coast in CA (I've been to the OR coast many times). A few don't miss places to stay on your route would be (from S to N):

Mendocino (stayed in 3 different great places; liked Albion River Inn the best by a slight margin, with the MacCallum House being the favorite place I ate)

Trinidad (Lost Whale Inn; ate fantastic ribs at Larrupin Cafe)

Gold Beach (Tu Tu Tun Lodge)

Yachats (Overleaf Lodge)

Cannon Beach (Ocean Lodge)

I love Bella Italia--esp the linguine with prawns, yum!!!

That's great that you have a week or so to make your way up the coast. It's gorgeous.

NWWanderer is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 06:36 PM
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My two children and I are making this same trip June28-July7. We are so excited. I lived in Oregon for 6 years and I can't wait to be their tour guide. We fly into San Fran Thurs and plan to stay at the Hostel at Fishermans Wharf. We will leave there and drive up the coast. Is Hiway 1 ok to travel? I haven't read much about it and looks like it hugs the coast better than 101.
My kids have never seen the ocean. We will be staying at the Hostel at Klamath, Ca Friday night. Then we have to decide if we want to go to Crater Lake or stay on the coast hiway. Crater Lake is so beautiful. But I don't want to spend more time in the car than they can tolerate. They are 9 & 16. We have a beach house for a few nights in Waldport. We are going to go out on the dunes at Florance and take a jet boat ride up the Rouge River. We will be going into the valley to visit friends for the 4th of July. Then we will be heading up to the Multnomah Falls, Mt.Hood area and Mt. St. Helens. on our way to Seattle. One night on Vashon Island at the hostel that has Tepees and then to the ValuInn at SeaTac for an early flight out to Kansas City and home to Mound City, KS We are not on a tight scedule and we don't have to see everything. We will need a few days to relax on the beach. There are so many things to do and see. I wish I still lived there. There wasn't a single weekend or day off that I didn't go see or do something in OR,WA and CA I miss it and encourage my children to do all the traveling they can and enjoy the freedom to see everything the US has to offer. We are so blessed. Let me know about Highway 1 that's really the only decision I have to make on my travel plans.
Kenge is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 08:05 PM
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Kenge, Hwy 1 is amazing but you'd be driving a LOT of hours to take it and make it all the way from SF to Klamath in a day--not counting stops, it took me 5+ hours to drive just from Mendocino into downtown SF on Hwy 1--so you'd be looking at another 3+ hours on top of that from Mendocino north to Klamath. And that's without all the places you'll want to stop and walk, like Founder's Grove in the Redwoods.

But, I will say that the part that took the longest on Hwy 1 due to slow traffic around the curves, bikes on the road, etc, was the southernmost part closest to SF (Stimson Beach to where 1 joins 101 just north of the GG bridge). So maybe if you skipped that part and cut over to Hwy 1 further north it would save enough time to make it ok--although it's still going to be a long driving day no matter how you slice it. It is spectacular, though, that's for sure. But lots of 101 further north is really gorgeous, too.
NWWanderer is offline  

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