Exploring the CA, OR, and WA coasts

Jul 6th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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Exploring the CA, OR, and WA coasts

My wife and I will be driving north from San Francisco to explore the coast. What are good places to stay, places not to be missed that might be off the beaten path. Time and cost aren't really relevant factors.

Thanks for any and all ideas.

JimM is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Our family enjoyed Fort Clatsop near Astoria, OR. This is a Lewis & Clark interpurtative center - on the weekends they have demonstrations. Afterwards we had lunch at Pier 11 in Astoria. The food was good & reasonabley priced. We could see seals, sealions & frieghters on the Columbia River.
Haystack Rock is just off the coast at Cannon Beach, OR.
mom2boys is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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How many days are you planning to spend on the coastal drive? And, how far north will you be going?
HowardR is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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It has been several years since my husband and I stayed at Klaloch Beach in WA; but, we loved it. Check it out.
cmcfong is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 02:00 PM
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HowardR ==>

We'll spend as much time as it takes. We'll most likely fly back to Texas from Seattle. By the time we revisit San Francisco and the Wine Country, meander north to Portland and on to Seattle, we will have become fast friends with our suitcases...time to head home.

JimM is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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my favourite S. Oregon thing to do with guests is the jet boats on the Rogue River out of Gold Beach (Jerry's Jet Boats) - we have usually done the whole day trip but have choice of a shorter trip.
You get to see the beautiful Rogue River,stop for lunch at one of the Inns and see lots of wild life- even bears sometimes, eagles, osprey,otters
Highly recommended
sunbum1944 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 02:58 PM
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You can spend weeks, even months touring that coastal area. That's why I asked how many days you plan to spend on the drive. There are worthwhile stops all along the way, starting right after you leave San Francisco.
HowardR is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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There really are too many fantastic places along the coast from SF to Seattle to adequately mention. The longer the duration of your trip, the more you can see. Regardless of how much time you have, if you want to invest in "the bible" for the California coast, and then pick/choose what you consider must-sees, invest in this book from the California Coastal Commission:


I'm not sure whether Oregon and/or Washington publish similar books.

bluestar is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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Well if cost isn't a factor I have to put in a pitch for my and DH's sentimental favorite up there -- Greenwood Pier Inn in Elk (just south of Mendocino). Very romantic garden and ocean setting. We're partial to the Sea Castle North and South rooms as well as Cliff House room. You get fireplaces and tubs for two overlooking the ocean as well as private decks overlooking the ocean in each of those rooms. Sea Castle North is pretty big too. It's about $300 a night nowadays but we always found it well worth it (haven't been in a couple years though so can't guarantee current quality). http://www.greenwoodpierinn.com/

my2cents is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 04:57 PM
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Some of the top spots in my book are:

• Mendocino—a walk on the headlands.
• Ferndale—Victorian town
• The Redwoods.
• The drive from Eureka north. In Eureka we stay at the Best Western Bayshore Inn, which has a good location and full breakfast.
• Brookings at the Best Western Beachfront Inn. All rooms have ocean views. Beware of rooms with a Jacuzzi in the window to block the view.
• The beach at Bandon.
• Near Coos Bay: Sunset SP, Shore Acers SP and Gardens, and Cape Arago SP.
• Yachats.
• The Sea Lion Caves north of Florence.
• Lighthouses.
• Cape Perpetua.
• Nye Beach and Aquarium at Newport
• High tide at Depoe Bay.
• Cape Meares SP.
• Tillamook for ice cream.
• Hug Point SP
• Cannon Beach. We like Schooner’s Cove Motel on the beach and near restaurants and shops.
• Ecola SP.
• Fort Clatsop National Monument.
• Astoria

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 06:48 PM
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HowardR ==>


Which would you do...spend weeks or months exploring the northern coast? And what are the key things or places you'd go?

As retirees, we don't really have time limits. Six weeks, for example, isn't out of the question if the trip's worthwhile. We're not going to live out of a suitcase that long for nothing.

JimM is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 07:04 PM
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I don't mean to be a poop aboutthe timing thing, but be aware that time of year is an important consideration along the N. Pacific coast (rainfall, daylight, wildlife, lots of variables.) Maybe I missed it, but when is the tentative start date?
Gardyloo is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 07:17 PM
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Patrick's right: time of year is important. Last year I was up along the Cal and Oregon coast at the time of year when the dear deer were in heat. Not good - trying to avoid smashing into a buck with a full growth of antlers.

Happytrailstoyou has given you a great list.

I'd suggest going in the opposite direction. Instead of south to north, go north to south. Otherwise, your passenger is condemned to starring at cliff walls rather than the glorious view out to sea.

Of course, the driver should be looking at nothing else but the road! THE ROAD!!!
easytraveler is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 03:58 AM
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Gardyloo ==>

Thanks. We're thinking about mid-September into October sometime.

Easytraveler ==>

Thanks to you too. North to South makes a lot of sense...ending the trip in the wine country.

JimM is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 06:57 AM
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Hi JimM

Happytrailstoyou has given you a great list to start on. September to October would be my pick for the “best time” to go. Over the years me and the wife have gone up and down Oregon coast and the California coast usually in September or October We have had warm sunny days as well as being poured on at Cape Disappointment. She drives I navigate I never have noticed much difference going north to south or south to north. Get a detailed map and look for the roads that hug the coast. For example the road to the lost coast from Petrolia to Ferndale, the old road from Westhaven to Patrick’s Point or the Three capes loop near Tillamook are fun. You could do a theme trip like visit as many lighthouses as you can. There is a lot of coast to explore. My favorite places are South to North are Pt Lobos (maybe to far south for you) Pt Reyes, Salt Point, Glass Beach, Shelter Cove, Cape Mendocino, Lamphere Dunes, Trinidad, Dry Lagoon, Requa (mouth of the Klamath river) Pebble beach (Crescent City), Bandon, Yachats, Newport. Can not help you with coastal Washington that is a trip I have yet to take.

Have Fun
GP is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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I have had a love affair with the west coast for quite some time. particularly north of sf and particulalry when when the weather is good--but it is pretty magestic even if the weather is not so hot. if you have that much time i would encourage you to think about british columbia too--vancouver is an intersting town adn there is great country north of vancounver and on vancouver island.

I would also encourage you to get off the coast some--for example mt. hood and the columbia river gorge east of portland is fantastic. many people enjoy crater lake, further south in oregon.

there was recently (this month?) an article in national geographic travel about going to the redwood country in n. calif.

i think if you go in sept adn oct that will be off season--adn i find in many places you can get better than published rates at many places just by nozing around on the day you need a room. for example, i just returned from n. calif/mendocino adn teh redwood country.

taking the ferries around seattle and the san juans and vancouver island is also fun.

youngtom2910 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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Having six weeks.....well, that's a whole different ballgame....and how I envy you!
We are currently researching a trip to Oregon, including spending time on the coast. We've found the various Oregon tourist agencies to be very responsive with some excellent material. We started very simply with a google search (with words like "Oregon tourist information').
Anyway, for the Oregon coast, we got an excellent free publication called "Oregon Coast: Mile-by-Mile Guide to Hwy 101." I suggest you contact the Oregon Coast Visitors Association at 888-638-2101 or at http://www.VisitThe OregonCoast.com for a copy and for other information.
HowardR is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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Thank you all for the great suggestions. I've filed them away for reference.

We've decided to go north to south, ending up in the wine country...then a beautiful dinner at the Carnelian Room for the last phenomenal view of SF before coming home to Texas.

By the way...we've been to Victoria, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island. If you have the time in Vancouver, be sure to take the dinner train out of North Vancouver. It's a fantasitc step back in time.

JimM is offline  

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