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San Fracisco to Seattle road trip

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May 29th, 2017, 08:01 PM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2017
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San Fracisco to Seattle road trip

My wife and I will be renting a car in San francisco tue June 13.
We are both active seniors.
AS we have never been to the west coast, we are not familiar with any points of interest or sight
Our intention is to drive up to portland then take a train to seattle. .
We fly out of Seatlle on June 18.
So basically we have 5 days from San Francisco to Seatlle.

Can some one please suggest a reasonable road itenerary from the 13th(early start) to the 18th (am)
What route to take? What to look for on the way? where to stay overnight?
Is it best to drive or take a train from Portland to Seattle?
Gilacker is offline  
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May 30th, 2017, 06:39 AM
  #2
 
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Looks like your first post on Fodor's; welcome!

The highlights of this trip are the redwoods in northern California, the coastline in Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge just east of Portland. Because this has been a very snowy winter, the mountain areas in the Cascade range have a lot of snow still on the ground, which will remain the case throughout June in most high-elevation areas.

As you'll be paying for a one-way car rental as it is, I'd just look at the cost of keeping it all the way to Seattle v. the savings by dropping it in Portland plus the cost of the train to Seattle. Do your plans include any time in Seattle, or do you want to fly out right away?

Here's a scratch map for my recommended route - https://goo.gl/maps/3pxuWWpLPX12 . You travel north on US 101 from San Francisco to the redwoods, then up the Oregon coast as far as the town of Newport, then inland and north through the Willamette Valley and east to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood (they'll still be skiing but the roads will be clear). You'd then travel north down the beautiful Hood River Valley to the Columbia River at Hood River, then west through the Columbia Gorge, using the "historic" highway instead of the I-84 freeway, past waterfalls and vista points to Portland.

If you take the train from Portland to Seattle, fine. If you want to drive the rest of the way, figure around 3 1/2 - 4 hours for the drive depending on traffic.

I would look at the first overnight in the Eureka/Arcata area (I've shown the little village of Trinidad on the map, but you could also look at Victorian Ferndale south of Eureka, or Eureka or Arcata themselves.)

The next day would have the best scenery of the trip including the southern portion of the Oregon coast, so I'd take my time and spend the second night in Bandon, the prettiest town on that part of the coast.

I'd try to make it to Hood River for the next night; travel north on the coast to Newport, then east to the Willamette Valley and north past Timberline to Hood River. This will be a long but gratifying day.

The final day, take your time visiting the Gorge waterfalls on your way into Portland.

There are several variations on this, but at a minimum you need to see the redwoods, the southern Oregon coast, and the Columbia Gorge between Troutdale and Cascade Locks, all national treasures.
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May 30th, 2017, 02:37 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Since you already have a rental car I would keep it the entire time. I don't see why you'd turn it in then take the train. Portland and Seattle are only a 3 hour drive apart.
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May 30th, 2017, 04:34 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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gardyloo's route is how we traveled back to Seattle from the Bay area last weekend. You will encounter landslide repair delays in Northern California on US-101 but our longest wait was about five minutes.
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