Help with Itinerary

Mar 1st, 2009, 11:14 AM
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Help with Itinerary

My husband and I and our two boys, ages 16 and 12 are planning our summer trip. It includes three baseball stadiums and sightseeing in the areas and along the way. Actually we are down to our last three baseball stadiums out of the 30 teams. We want to fit them all in on this one trip. I would like to run our itinerary by you for any and all suggestions and help. It seems like a very complicated trip to plan. We are planning this trip for the end of July to the beginning of August.
Newark-Denver 3 nights, to Jackson Hole/Yellowstone 3 nights/Idaho 2 nights/Seattle 3 nights/Vancouver/Victoria 3 nights/Portland 2 nights/San Francisco 1 night - home. Other than the games, I need help with what there is to do and the must sees in all the different cities. I know we have long days of driving, which knocks off a day heading to each city. We like exploring cities, not very adventurous or outdoorsy, but maybe a fishing trip or whale watching. Is it possible to do Vancouver City, Vancouver Island and Victoria in that time frame. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, when we drive from Portland to San Francisco, will we be driving through the Redwoods that I have always heard about. Thank you so much!
triptime is offline  
Mar 1st, 2009, 11:50 AM
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I'm dashing out so I won't comment on the rest right now -- but just the final bit. Two nights in Portland and one night in SF -- and you expect to see Redwoods too?? Portland to SF is an ALL day drive w/o any detours to the scenic bits.

It is an 8-10 hour drive w/o stops.
janisj is offline  
Mar 1st, 2009, 12:00 PM
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Good for you on the baseball parks! Have been to several but not all. The one in San Francisco is very nice with excellent sight lines and nice concession areas. Oakland Coliseum is an old dinosaur though of its era is not all that bad (way better than Montreal's Olympic Stadium or Cincinnati's old Riverfront Stadium, for two). Have not been to parks in Seattle or Denver.

When it comes to sightseeing "must sees," two things:

1. one person's "must see" is another person's "must miss."

2. the best way to answer "must see" questions like yours is to do some prior research. I'd recommend either searching this forum under the cities listed to see what other folks have done, or poking around the Fodor's or Frommer's website at listed attractions and possible itineraries.

A good approach might be to do the research, post a possible sightseeing itinerary for each city, and get feedback. Folks do that here a lot.
bachslunch is offline  
Mar 1st, 2009, 12:12 PM
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I do not know anything about the Redwoods so I don't know how much time is needed there. Is it along the way that we can drive through? We are not under time constraints, so the amount of time can be adjusted at some point once we get the itinerary set. We are up to 19 days, so I just don't want it to get to be too much for the kids. As for San Francisco, we have been there already and have even knocked that ballpark off, but we need to go see the Oakland A's (but since the Giants will be home too, we'll see them again). We are actually planning 2 nights in SF. Like I said, we have visited before, and have seen the sights, so that is not an issue there. Thank you for your help, like I said, I am very confused. If you can give me more info about the redwoods, that would be great.
triptime is offline  
Mar 1st, 2009, 03:51 PM
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It looks like you will be seeing the Phillies in SF and the Blue Jays in Oakland. It's unusual for both the Giants and A's to play that many home games at the same time. But it looks like it will work to your advantage.

The quickest route from Portland to the Bay Area is a straight shot down I-5 (about 10 hours driving).

But if you want to see the redwoods in Northern California, you should plan on taking two days. If you want to also see the Oregon Coast, you should add at least another day.

To see the redwoods, you have to drive over to the coast and then head south on US 101. The quickest way to do that would be to drive from Portland south on I-5 to Grant's Pass and then take US 199 down to Crescent City. Just before reaching CC, stop off at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and take a walk in one of the groves. If you get here early enough, you can rent some inner tubes for the kids and let them float down the Smith River through the redwoods. It's a lot of fun at that time of year.

Then, you can spend the night in Crescent City and spend the next morning visiting the redwoods between CC and Eureka. This is Redwood National Park and there are many outstanding groves and some awesome coastal scenery. After Eureka, it's about a 5 hour drive down to SF. There's still plenty more redwoods to see but, by this time, you may have seen enough.

You will be doing too much driving, in my opinion, on your whirlwind tour of the west. The distances you will be driving are immense. I would cut out Denver, Idaho and Yellowstone for this trip and just focus on the West Coast. Then you would have ample time to see everything between Vancouver and San Francisco and there's a lot to see. For example, Olympic National Park, Mt Rainier, and Mt St Helens in Washington and the Oregon Coast, Columbia Gorge, Crater Lake, and the Cascades in Oregon. In Canada, you could easily spend a week visiting Victoria, Vancouver Island, and Vancouver. And don't miss Whistler. It will be showcased for the world a year from now.
Supercilious is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Ah, but Denver is one of the ballpark cities, I'm guessing, Supercilious.

To comment on the Oregon part of your itinerary.... Supercilious has listed some of the usual "must sees" - Columbia Gorge, coast, Crater Lake - but you can't see them all in the time allotted. The Gorge will fit into your time in Portland, but there's no way to see much, if any of the coast and Crater Lake in a day. Or two. And that's a shame, because for boys the ages of yours, I think a dune buggy ride might be one of the highlights of the entire trip. I'd scratch both nights in Portland in favor of making time for it.
beachbum is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 01:31 PM
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Thank you for your response. We have decided to cut the trip in half and just travel from San Francisco to Vancouver, leaving out Denver, Yosemite, Idaho, etc. We will fly from Newark to San Francisco and stay two nights so we can take in a Giants game and an A's game. We want to drive up the coast with stops in Portland and Seattle definitely. What type of itinerary would you suggest on the drive up. We would definitely like to drive the coast and also see the Redwoods, Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, Mount St. Helen's and Columbia Gorge. I see you mentioned Crater Lake. What is that like? I would like to add that also. Is that where the dune buggy rides are? We do not have any time constraints, so how would you suggest we travel to get this all in. Where should we stay overnight and things like that. Any and all help is truly appreciated? I've spent two days researching and I think I am getting more confused and I really didn't even get to the Vancouver part of the trip! help!
triptime is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 02:12 PM
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I'd come up the Ca. coast, then come inland to the Rogue Valley.
Lots of rafting and Mountain biking. Then up to see Crater Lake
and on to Bend, also lots of outdoor sports. Then head back to the coast. I have teenagers and I can tell you they get tired of a continuous coast cruise. You also(haven't looked at the schedule)could see the Portland minor league team. Really cool Downtown stadium, like a tiny Fenway.
bbqboy is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 02:26 PM
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If we travel up the way you recommended, how will we fit everything in that we want to fit in?
triptime is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 04:01 PM
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No, the dune buggy rides are on the coast, just south of Florence. Crater Lake is big, beautiful, countless shades of unblievable blue (, and often mentioned as a "must see", but I honestly doubt that most Oregon visitors take the time. The issue is that it's 100+ miles inland from the coast, and without backtracking, you'd miss a bunch of the most scenic coastline by making the detour to see it.

So, in consideration of bbqboy's suggestions, and assuming you decide to pass on Crater Lake, you could take a coastal route from San Francisco all the way to Newport, OR before heading inland towards Bend. That way you'd see both the south and central coasts (the most scenic IMO), and have a chance to do the dune buggy ride. You could also schedule a jetboat ride out of Gold Beach; another popular activity.

Heading to Bend, it would be worth the detour to take hwy 242 over McKenzie Pass. It's a narrow, switch-backing road, but at the top is a vast expanse of lava field, with an observatory that the boys might get a kick out of. Instead of heading back to the coast from Bend, go north on hwy 97, stopping at Smith Rocks, then up Mt. Hood to Timberline Lodge before dropping down into Hood River on hwy 35. Hood River is one of the world's windsurfing capitals, and the most scenic area of the Columbia River Gorge is between there and Portland.

I'd also agree with the recommendation to see a game at Portland's PGE Park. Better ballpark dog there than at any major league park I've been to.

Are you confused yet? ;-)
beachbum is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 04:11 PM
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One possible way you might include a Denver game in this less spread out itinerary (if you haven't already booked your flight) is to have a plane change in Denver as part of your flight out to San Francisco or as part of your flight back from Vancouver, then do a day's layover in Denver to see the game. This assumes you can budget the time for this and that there's a home game in Denver that day, of course.
bachslunch is offline  
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