Seattle to San Francisco 6 nights

Old Nov 25th, 2016, 10:37 AM
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Seattle to San Francisco 6 nights

Hi! We're planning a month long trip to the U.S. next July, driving down the west coast from Seattle to LA via Vegas.

Planning the second half between SF and LA has been easy, as the highlights and route are fairly obvious. The drive between Seattle and SF is more of a challenge as there seem to be so many different options.

We know we have 6 nights to spend on the drive down, and I definitely want to stay near Redwoods NP (maybe Crescent City?) one of the nights and one or 2 nights along highway 1 after Leggett. I thought maybe Fort Bragg or Mendocino for one night, but then where is good to stay between Mendocino and SF? Should we just do 2 nights in Fort Bragg/Mendocino?

That leaves us with 3 nights to get from Seattle to the Redwoods area. Where should we stay? I thought we could maybe try to see Crater Lake, but I'm not sure if it's going to be too much driving.

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Old Nov 25th, 2016, 11:29 AM
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Crater Lake is too far off your route, IMO. Stay somewhere along the Oregon coast as it is a lovely area. There are many options.
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Old Nov 25th, 2016, 11:50 AM
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Yes -- skip Crater Lake. Just too far and too much of a detour.

Even w/o Crater Lake 6 nights will be a haul from Seattle to SF.

>>Should we just do 2 nights in Fort Bragg/Mendocino
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Old Nov 25th, 2016, 04:48 PM
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My recommendation:

Day 1 - Seattle to Hood River, OR. I'd recommend traveling via US 97 per the map. You'll cross the Cascades and get a feel for the "old west" country through the Yakama Reservation then down to the Columbia River at Maryhill. Visit the Maryhill Museum and nearby Stonehenge replica.

2 - Day in Hood River. Explore the Hood River Valley "fruit loop" - orchards, vineyards and wineries - and visit Timberline Lodge on the side of Mount Hood.

3 - Hood River to Bandon. Travel to the coast at Newport, then south along the scenic central part of the Oregon coast; spend the night in Bandon, the most attractive town on the south coast.

4 - Bandon to Trinidad or Ferndale CA. Travel along the most scenic part of the Oregon coast (the last 60 miles or so) then through the redwoods to either Trinidad (north of Eureka) or Ferndale (south) - both very attractive little villages.

5 - Trinidad or Ferndale to Mendocino via the Avenue of the Giants - the last of the major redwood grove areas.

6 - Mendocino to SF via CA Highway 1.

Here's my thinking. I'm going to assume that your drive south from SF is going to include CA Hwy 1 between Monterey/Carmel and San Luis Obispo. The scenery along this part of Hwy 1 is stunning, and even though you'll have to pass through the Oregon coast and the northern part of Hwy 1 (Mendocino/Sonoma County coastlines) you'll have had enough time to get a feel for the coast, freeing a day for something else.

My recommendation for that day is farther north. The Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood area is marvelous in its beauty and diversity - waterfalls, vista points, orchards and wineries, wind surfers on the river, Mount Hood rising like Fuji over the apple and pear orchards... This will be unlike any other scenery you'll encounter on the drive, and it's very much worth the extra time.

Places to google:

Maryhill Museum and Stonehenge
Hood River Valley Fruit Loop
Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood
Yachats OR
Trinidad CA
Samoa Cookhouse
Avenue of the Giants
Bodega Bay

This is pretty high speed but days are long in July and you'll marvel at the variety.
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Old Nov 25th, 2016, 08:54 PM
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Gardyloo's plan works and would be fun -- but do understand it is a road trip as in put-miles-on-the car-and-enjoy-the-drive, and not doing much in any place.

For instance day 5 you wouldn't have time for the Mendocino Botanic Gardens (a must IMO), or Glass Beach, or art galleries in Mendocino, or funky shopping in Ft Bragg, etc.

Botanic Gardens

Glass Beach

A couple of several galleries in Mendocino

Pygmy Forest
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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 07:59 AM
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Thanks everyone! I think we'll definitely do 2 nights in Mendocino or Fort Bragg. I'd really like to see the glass beach and it will be my birthday the day we're there so I'd like to do more than just drive.

I like the sound of Hood River too, but I'm not sure if it'll take up too much time. I'd like to spend some time on the coast as the second half of our trip between SF and LA is inland.

Is Bandon nicer than Yachats? I'm thinking if we drive from Seattle to Yachats it'll free up some time to spend on the coast and it's a shorter drive than Bandon.

At the moment I'm thinking about doing 2 nights in each place so we can explore a bit.

Nights 1 & 2 - Yachats
Nights 2 & 3 - Trinidad/Ferndale
Nights 4 & 5 - Mendocino/Fort Bragg - Little River Inn looks lovely!

I really like the sound of Trinidad but from what I've read it's a pretty small town, are the hotels likely to get booked up way in advance? There isn't much availability on UK booking sites.
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Old Nov 27th, 2016, 09:40 AM
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It is a small place but because of the location there are several lodging options.

Check out this one

For Ferndale -- is one of my favorite places anywhere in that part of the State

Or, for farther north -- Definitely consider
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