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Seattle to San Francisco Road Trip - Late April 2015

Seattle to San Francisco Road Trip - Late April 2015

Mar 19th, 2015, 11:42 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2015
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Seattle to San Francisco Road Trip - Late April 2015

Hi all,

I am looking to do a 13 day road trip with my fiance this spring. We have both never been to these areas before. We are interested in spending time in the cities (Seattle, Portland and San Francisco). We would like to see some nature (coast, redwoods, etc) but we aren't looking to detour a lot for national parks. We are also really interested in checking out some wineries in Oregon and California.

Here is my current itinerary and idea, if anyone can help us fill in the blanks that would be great. Feel free to tell us if it's crazy too.

April 18th: ATL - SEA, arrive around noon, overnight in Seattle.

April 19th: Explore & Overnight in Seattle

April 20th: Explore & Overnight in Seattle

April 21st: Take I-5 to Portland in the morning, overnight in Portland

April 22nd: Columbia River Gorge and Willamette Valley vineyards, overnight in Portland

April 23rd: Head over to Oregon Coast, maybe around Newport? Overnight somewhere on Oregon Coast, maybe Port Orford?

April 24th: Continue driving Oregon Coast, overnight in Eureka?

April 25th: Drive to Redwoods area on 101, overnight somewhere nearby (where?)

April 26th: Drive to Wine Country, overnight in Sonoma/Napa area

April 27th: Explore Wine Country, overnight in Sonoma/Napa

April 28th: Drive to San Francisco, overnight in San Francisco

April 29th: Explore & Overnight in San Francisco

April 30th: Explore & Overnight in San Francisco

May 1st: Return to ATL
lilo08 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2015, 11:58 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,360
Doable. I'd change this bit though:

>>Overnight somewhere on Oregon Coast, maybe Port Orford?

April 24th: Continue driving Oregon Coast, overnight in Eureka?

April 25th: Drive to Redwoods area on 101, overnight somewhere nearby (where?)<<

Eureka isn't the best place to stay IMO. I'd press on to somewhere IN the Redwoods or maybe Ferndale and stay the two nights there instead of one night in Eureka and another night farther south. Even driving as far as Garberville would only add an hour to your drive down from Port Orford.
janisj is online now  
Mar 19th, 2015, 12:23 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,432
My suggestions -

April 21 - Seattle to Troutdale, stay at McMenamin's Edgefield - vineyards/winery, distillery, brewery, hotel, movie, etc. http://www.mcmenamins.com/54-edgefield-home

April 22 - Columbia Gorge tour, up to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, Portland for overnight.

April 23 - Portland morning, Willamette Valley vineyards, overnight Yachats.

April 24 - Yachats to Gold Beach OR

April 25 - Gold Beach to Ferndale CA

April 26 - Ferndale to Napa/Sonoma via Avenue of the Giants

Map - http://goo.gl/maps/CbkPE
Alternative - http://goo.gl/maps/zLfiy

Trying to include both the Gorge and the Willamette Valley vineyards (around McMinnville) is a no go in one day - too much to see and too far to drive. Instead, make a whole day out of the Gorge/Mt. Hood loop, wonderful in the spring. Stop at the wineries in the Yamhill County/McMinnville area en route to the coast. You can take any number of roads through the Coast Range from the Willamette Valley to the ocean.

Spend a day along the coast between Yachats (Ya-hots) and the California state line, stopping either in Gold Beach or Brookings. The redwoods start right around Crescent City and continue south to around Garberville. I'd recommend Ferndale, a very cute Victorian town just south of Eureka, for an overnight.

Don't miss the Avenue of the Giants, which parallels US 101, south from Eureka/Ferndale.

As for the "alternative" map, this involves crossing the Cascades from Seattle and traveling south through the Yakima Valley (more vineyards - lots of them) to Maryhill on the Columbia River (even more vineyards) then west to the Columbia Gorge and Portland area. In April this is a much nicer ride, albeit around 90 min. longer, than simply shooting down boring and trafficky I-5 from Seattle. Weather is going to be an issue for the whole trip - high likelihood of wet conditions, especially along the coast, so the I-90/US 97 route to Portland might be enjoyable as once you're over the mountains the conditions change drmatically to dry "old west" scenery that lasts until you get to Hood River or thereabouts in the Gorge, when the wet stuff reappears. The route via Yakima is (IMO) infinitely more scenic and interesting than I-5, well worth the extra time.
Gardyloo is online now  
Mar 19th, 2015, 03:38 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,091
If you drive from Newport to Pt Orford in one day you will miss some of the prettiest part of the coast- unless just doing a drive by is all you are interested in.

Gardyloo gives excellent advice
sunbum1944 is online now  
Mar 19th, 2015, 04:58 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Your itinerary is very well thought out, and I like it.

The stretches of 101 between Yachats and Florence and between Port Orford and Brookings provide the best and most extended ocean views.

Bandon is a favorite place to stay on the south coast, but I haven't stayed any place there that I love (but I haven't stayed in every hotel). The Alloro Wine Bar in Bandon gets great reviews, and I look forward to eating there.

Lodging in Eureka isn't all that great. Fortunately, a Holiday Inn Express has opened there recently--and that is where I would stay in Eureka now. Pho Thien Long Vietnamese (Thai) Restaurant is the best place we've found to eat in Eureka.

We like to stay at The Humboldt House Best Western in Garberville. The rooms are large, there is a wine tasting in the evening, and breakfast is big. The hotel caters to tourists and to folks who are in the area on business. Nearby Cecil's restaurant is good place for dinner.

HTtY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 20th, 2015, 06:10 AM
  #6  
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2
Thanks for the great feedback and suggestions! We really liked Gardyloo's idea and the Google Map was very helpful. We determined that is actually cheaper with the flights to go from Saturday to Saturday for a full 2 weeks and the rental car is the same price whether we leave on Friday or Saturday. This would give us an extra day to spread things out a little more.

Here is the new itinerary:

April 18: ATL - SEA, arrive around noon, overnight in Seattle.

April 19: Explore & Overnight in Seattle

April 20: Seattle to Troutdale via Yakima, overnight in Troutdale (McMenamin's Edgefield?)

April 21: Columbia Gorge tour, up to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, overnight in Portland center

April 22: Explore & Overnight in Portland

April 23: Explore Willamette Valley Vineyards, overnight in Dundee (?)

April 24: Head to Oregon Coast, overnight Yachats

April 25: Yachats to Gold Beach OR

April 26: Gold Beach to Ferndale CA

April 27: Ferndale to Napa/Sonoma via Avenue of the Giants

April 28: Explore Wine Country, overnight in Sonoma/Napa

April 29: Drive to San Francisco, overnight in San Francisco

April 30: Explore & Overnight in San Francisco

May 1: Explore & Overnight in San Francisco

May 2: Return to ATL
lilo08 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2015, 03:59 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Enjoy.

Don't miss the pleasing town of Hood River. That's where we like to stay.

I don't believe Ferndale has many lodging options.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 20th, 2015, 06:17 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,360
There are several B&Bs and hotels in ferndale.
janisj is online now  
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