North to Seattle

Feb 21st, 2008, 02:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 60
North to Seattle

We will be travelling north from San Francisco by car to Seattle. We have three days to get there and so would like ideas about the best places to stay overnight on the way as we will probably stick to the coast road.
mazbaz is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Sorry - but driving up the coast would take longer than 3 days. Basically you would only have 1 day for the CA coast, 1 day for the OR coast, and 1 day for the WA coast. Just not reasonable.

Just driving the most direct route up I-5 all the way would take two days if you stop anywhere.

janisj is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 07:48 AM
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With 3 days, 2 nights and if you want to stick to 101, I'd stay the first night in the Eureka/Trinidad area, then mid-OR coast the 2nd night (Yachats/Newport), then on to Seattle the next day. That's about 6-7 hours of driving each day but you will want to stop multiple times so plan on spending most of the day on the road.
NWWanderer is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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It's doable in 3 driving days. You won't have a lot of time to explore in depth, but you can see some decent scenery in that time.

Day 1 Alt. 1 - Early departure, over the GG Bridge to SR 1 cutoff, up SR1 as far as you can get - ought to be able to do the whole length, maybe a late lunch in Mendocino, then connect to US 101 and make for the Eureka area for the night - maybe Ferndale for Victoriana, otherwise motel in Eureka. Dinner at the Samoa Cookhouse if you fancy lumber-mill mess hall fare served by your granny.

Day 1 Alt. 2 - Just north on 101 to Eureka (around 5 hours) - maybe stop for some sightseeing in some of the southern Redwood groves. Easy day.

Day 2 - Exploration of Redwood groves between Eureka and Crescent City, then in PM north along Oregon coast, stopping for scenic turnouts. Depending on time, overnight in Bandon, Florence or somewhere around Yachats, Depoe Bay or Newport.

Day 3 - if overnight was in Bandon, two choices: long pull up 101 to Astoria and Columbia River bridge, then cut over to I-5 at Longview, then freeway up to Seattle; OR up to Reedsport, then over (very scenic) SR 38 to Drain, then north on I-5 to Seattle (around 6 hours from Drain).

If overnight was in Florence or north, then you can also go up 101 to Astoria and cut over, or go 101 to Aberdeen/Hoquiam, over to Olympia, then I-5 the last 60 miles into Seattle.

Days 2 and 3 (and Day 1 if via SR 1) can involve up to 9 hours in the car, but it's mostly pretty scenic stuff. If the weather is poopy or you don't want to sit that long, then in pure road hours the route from SF to Seattle via I-5 is around 13 hours, so an easy 2 or 3 day itinerary.
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 21st, 2008, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Via freeway SF to Seattle is a 13 hour drive. Up the coast would be double or triple drive time. I would pick a small section and cut to the coast.

I think there are two options.

Take 101 from SF and see the redwoods....beautiful and very wild, we stayed in Cresent City and it was different but okay. Oregon Coast from California border to say Florence was also okay, but it is far prettier from Florence to Cannon Beach

Up the 5 and then over to the Oregon Coast (cute beach towns and rocky) Florence to Cannon Beach is a good drive.

Don't bother with the Washington Coast, it's just not as pretty. It's about 3 hours from Portland up to Seattle.

Us google map and manipulate but keep in mind that the time they give you on the coast will be wrong... because of the narrow curvy roads.

Feeway towns I like are: Medford OR; Eugene OR; Portland is wonderful. My favorite beach towns are Cannon Beach; Newport Beach

jnjfraz is offline  
Feb 21st, 2008, 09:06 AM
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If you decide NOT to go the coastal route, try to see Crater Lake - it is a spectacular sight!
Feb 21st, 2008, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
If I had only two nights to make this trip, I would spend the first night in Crescent City, following exploration of the Redwoods, and I would spend the second night in Newport, which I find to be a more appealing town than Florence.

(Read a guidebook that explains what to do on the Oregon coast. Many of the most beautiful sights require driving off Highway 101.)

From Newport I would drive to Cannon Beach for a walk on the beach and to visit nearby Ecola State Park.

I would drive to Seattle via Portland (Highway 26 and I-5).

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 06:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 60
Thanks for all the information. We really appreciate it and it gives us more to work with.
mazbaz is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 04:04 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,598
In 2000 we did SF-Seattle in 4 days.
1. SF - Eureka
2. Eureka-Coos bay
3. Coos bay -Kelso
4.Kelso-Mount Rainier n.park-Seattle
tovarich is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 96
The first reply is wrong - you could do the drive in two days if you really wanted. My gf and I drove from Yakima Washington to Sacramento in one day. It wasnt nice (about 10 hours driving, I think), but it's definitely doable.

Here are the lessons I learned and hopefully they apply to you:

1) Do not underestimate the sheer size of northern california above SF. I think about 1/3 of the state is above SF...and there isnt much there. It will seem like FOREVER until you reach the Oregon border.

2) The Shasta mountains are beautiful.

3) Do not drive it in Winter (it's often closed)

4) Oregon south of Portland is pretty flat and boring.

The coast is a pretty long way from I-5. If you REALLY wanted to see it, then I would take the first highway in Oregon leading to it. Note that to get to arguably the most beautiful part of the coast (near the Cali/Oregon border), you have to take a really out-of-the-way highway that starts in Oregon and ends in California. Not recommended.

Personally, I'd rather spend time in Portland and the surrounding wine country than make the drive to the coast (although we love the coast, it's best seen leisurely and not just a one-nighter). Also, Seattle is awesome...
Johnnyman7 is offline  
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