Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Suggestions for a Pacific Coast Road-trip from Seattle to San Franscico

Suggestions for a Pacific Coast Road-trip from Seattle to San Franscico

Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 05:23 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Suggestions for a Pacific Coast Road-trip from Seattle to San Franscico

First time traveler to the Pacific Coast Highway
Starting Point: Seattle
Ending : San Francisco
Want to drive the scenic route not the I-5
Dates available 10 to 12 days (counting travel dates)
Party of 6 adults.

We are looking for itinerary suggestions for this route:

We will be renting a car probably a Chevrolet Suburb to fit our group and luggage. Will arrive to Seattle airport at noon and would like to spend 2 nights in Seattle.

Then would like to visit Portland and staying 2 nights, next Oregon (Crater lake, Multnomah Village for 2 nights) , then Redwood Forest for another day , Mendocino for a day (overnight) , San Francisco (2 nights)


And if there is time left maybe go to the Big Sur for the amazing sightseeings, maybe Cambria or Monterey/Carmel.

Do you think the stops (overnight) selected are good stopping points to rest for the night? We don’t want to be on the road for more than 5 hours of driving time.

What changes do you suggest? Or which cities you recommend we stay in between.

Will appreciate any kind of feedback.
NikkiPhotographer is offline  
Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 06:41 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sounds fun, but you're missing the scenic Oregon Coast and of course the most fabulous section of Highway 1 is from Monterey south to Morro Bay.
PrairieHikerI is online now  
Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 06:56 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 69,759
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Welcome to Fodors. I'm a little confused - You mention 2 nights in Portland and 2 nights in Multnomah Village . . . Multnomah Village is IN Portland. But in any case, the bit from Multnomah Village > San Francisco simply doesn't work.

The straight drive from Portland > Crater Lake > Redwood National Park (plus several superior California Redwood State Parks) > Mendocino > down Hwy 1 to San Francisco takes close to 20 hours butts in seats (I'd pity the poor souls in the back seats) Plus you'd be missing the entire Oregon coast.

I would skip Crater Lake entirely. I'd spend at least 2 nights on the mid to southern Oregon Coast. I'd try to allocate 3 nights for the NW California bit (redwoods + Mendocino)

Not clear if you plan 2 nights or 4 nights in the Portland area

janisj is online now  
Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 07:01 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 69,759
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Oh -- meant to add: subtracting your flight days you will have 8 - 10 days free. So first you need to nail down how long the trip is. If it is 8 days -- you can pretty much forget about anything south of SF. If you have 10 days you might be able to squeeze in Carmel/Monterey but it will be a rush.

janisj is online now  
Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 07:04 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,801
Received 79 Likes on 8 Posts
When will this trip take place? If it's for this summer, you're going to have a lot of difficulties finding accommodation for six people, especially in popular areas like the Oregon coast, Columbia Gorge, Crater Lake and the Mendocino coast.

If the trip is planned for later in the summer, then forest and wildfires can easily be a problem, particularly in areas like the southern Cascades (Crater Lake) and in northern California.

As you have been told on the various TripAdvisor boards on which you've posted the same thread, you're going to have to edit this trip pretty significantly in order to fit it into the time available, even if you're able to add a couple of days. Zigzagging - from the coast to the interior and back, as with Crater Lake, takes a lot of time. Many hotels/motels/Airbnbs in key areas - the Oregon coast, Mendocino coast, maybe more - require two or more nights' minimum stays (if they're available at all.)

I'd think about some ways you could shorten the trip without losing the things you came for. One might be to start in Portland instead of Seattle; another might be simply to make a "loop" tour (which would save a small fortune in rental vehicle costs) by returning where you started. A Portland-to-Portland route might allow you to see most of the things that seem to be high priorities - google the places on this map, for example - https://goo.gl/maps/bTXP7ePsarEBcEtP9

The Seattle-to-SF coastal corridor is one of the most appealing road trip routes in the country, with an unending variety of destinations and experiences. But seeing it in a rush doesn't do the route, nor the travelers, justice. Sometimes in travel less is more; this is certainly the case here.

Last edited by Gardyloo; Jun 23rd, 2022 at 07:11 AM.
Gardyloo is online now  
Old Jun 23rd, 2022, 08:26 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,425
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
At no place north of San Francisco is US 101 called the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). If the cost of your large vehicle in Seattle is too high or they are not available, you can take the Amtrak Cascades train from Seattle King St. station at 7:22AM to Portland, OR. This would shorten your driving trip and you could all fly back from PDX instead of SEA.
With 6 adults (minimum 2 drivers) it would be cheaper to rent and return in Portland instead of paying a drop fee in San Francisco. See Crater Lake off I-5 on the way back north to Portland.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2022, 09:26 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,695
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My first... impulse based on the stated itinerary...

Would be to delay the large vehicle rental until AF-ter your two nights in Seattle, and likely return beFORE the first of your 2 nights in San Fran.

You could save LOTS of money (in airport taxes alone, let alone other costs) by taking the Link Light Rail to a central Seattle hotel where you'd stay for 2 nights... then pick-up the same vehicle in mid-town... and maybe return in mid-town San Fran... while altering your rental window to "ONE week".

IF this were 6 people who had never been to either Seattle or San Fran... they could do plenty without a car in either place.

Furthermore, if same 6 people had never been to Oregon at all... and had designs on such a trip... there is NO WAY they should opt for "inland Oregon" vs. the Oregon coast.

Inland Oregon does have a lot of nature indeed... but if you were from Iowa, or Arkansas, or wherever... and you told friends of a shared Seattle to San Fran drive...

Nobody among those friends envisions your path/visit to Crater Lake. They're all thinking "coast all the way".

Now I have to qualms about somebody opting away from The Washington Coast... but to conceive this trip in your mind without it being via the Oregon coast is rather absurd.

If I had to guess... getting your exact needed vehicle to make this all work is going to be a challenge by the time you ever get around to looking into it...

but at least consider the time/cost-cutting measures if the price of the car (and GAS by then) is prohibitive at first.


PS - it wouldn't be terrible to hit the path at a steady pace, get to San Fran, and immediately go south toward stated destinations for a night... and only THEN return the car in San Fran for your last 2 nights there in town.

NorthwestMale is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2022, 12:44 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 96,339
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
How are you going to get from Seattle to Portland if you aren't willing to drive on I-5?

No Washington Coast? No Oregon Coast?

You say "Pacific Coast roadtrip" but there's hardly any coast -lol!

Last edited by suze; Jun 24th, 2022 at 12:47 PM.
suze is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2022, 07:05 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,801
Received 79 Likes on 8 Posts
For the record...

The OP has blanketed travel websites with the same questions over the past week but has not returned to a number of the posts to update their thinking and plans. As far as I can tell, the thread on the "Road Trips" board on TA contains the most recent iteration of their plans, although I can't be sure. Here's the link, if interested: Suggestions for a Pacific Coast Road trip - Road Trips Forum - Tripadvisor

Crater Lake has been dropped, and a number of other changes have been made. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not the revised plans are workable (I don't think they are) but unless you know the current thinking, responding to this "orphan" thread is a little pointless, IMO.
Gardyloo is online now  
Old Jun 25th, 2022, 08:32 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,801
Received 79 Likes on 8 Posts
Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
For the record...

The OP has blanketed travel websites with the same questions over the past week but has not returned to a number of the posts to update their thinking and plans. As far as I can tell, the thread on the "Road Trips" board on TA contains the most recent iteration of their plans, although I can't be sure. Here's the link, if interested: Suggestions for a Pacific Coast Road trip - Road Trips Forum - Tripadvisor

Crater Lake has been dropped, and a number of other changes have been made. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not the revised plans are workable (I don't think they are) but unless you know the current thinking, responding to this "orphan" thread is a little pointless, IMO.
Oops, spoke too soon. Here's the latest (?) - Suggestions for Itinerary for pacific coast trip from seattl - Washington Forum - Tripadvisor
Gardyloo is online now  
Old Jun 25th, 2022, 09:00 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 69,759
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Hope the OP returns (or remembers she posted and can find us again - she did manage to find one of her TA threads)

Now it seems the plan is different and flipped to a south to north itinerary. Not much we can do to help unless she comes back.
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 25th, 2022, 01:33 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Updated Itinerary from SF to Portland

So sorrry I didn’t post my updates on Thai fórum. It was my first time using Fodor’s amd I never received the notification of the messages like TA does. Thanks to a kind soul in the TA fórum I was able to read all of your comments. We appreciate all of your feedback and we defined change the itinerary to make it more feasible and we eliminated Seattle and we sabe d Approx $1,000 in the rental cars by selecting it on our last day of SF and dropping it at PDX.

we thought of squeezing in Ceater Lake but it’s impossible so CL is out for this trip.

UPDATED ITINERARY: SF to Portland

- Arrice at SFO @ 12:00pm

- SF (3 nights) ( We are thinking of taking one of the days of SF to add Big Sur/Monterey/Carmel), is this wise? Or should we just stay in SF the whole time? that means we should stay the night or can we do it as a day trip?

Then…

- SF to Mendocino (1 night)

- Trinidad or Eureka (still looking for lodging) 2 nights

- Redwood NP

- Bandon - 1 night

- Yachats - 2 nights or Newport (still need lodging)

- Portland - 1 night

- PDX - next day flight home

We still have 1 night left.

Thanks again for all your responses…
NikkiPhotographer is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2022, 06:47 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 69,759
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Welcome back

(I suspect your latest post went to 'moderation' since the time stamp shows several hours ago but AFAIK it just appeared a few minutes ago. Don't worry - its nothing you did -- the system just sometimes intercepts posts)

Your new plan is sooooo much better. Still some tweaking needed IMO. "- SF to Mendocino (1 night)" I'd definitely stay 2 nights -- there is a quite a lot to see/do in and around Mendocino and Ft Bragg and the drive from central SF to Mendocino will take at least 3.5 hours so you'd only have about half a day free up there.

Then the drive from Mendocino to Trinidad is about 4 hours with a LOT in between -- especially the Avenue of the Giants and Ferndale. So that's a pretty hectic 2 days with at least 9 hours in the car IF you do any of the Avenue of the Giants - a bit longe w/ Ferndale.
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 25th, 2022, 08:39 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes you are right about that! Thanks for noticing that and for your feedback. We will need to do some tweaking to add 1 more night to Mencodino.
NikkiPhotographer is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2022, 06:18 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,425
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
What led to your decision to go north from San Francisco instead of Portland south along the coast to the GG bridge/San Francisco? I always prefer to drive US 101 southbound through Oregon and California.
Just so you know, the pronunciation of Yachats is ya-HOTS. If you decide to cut back over to I-5 from Yachats or Newport, try to see either the Oregon Coast Aquarium south of Newport or the Evergreen Air and Space Museum near McMinnville. If you spend some time in Portland, try to visit Powell's world of Books. It covers an entire city block.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2022, 05:18 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Tom, the reason we change the route was because of the rental car , it’s saving us almost $1,000 in the 2 cars by doing like this and the flight from Portland back home is cheaper too.

thank you for your recommendations, will make sure to check those as well. And the pronunciation wowww Thanks God you mention that, I had it all wrong… hahahahaha!! 😂😂
NikkiPhotographer is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2022, 11:14 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 96,339
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
We still have 1 night left.
My suggestion is to add it to some place you are already going, rather than adding one more destination.

taking one of the days of SF to add Big Sur/Monterey/Carmel), is this wise?
You already have plenty of miles in the car. I don't really see all that as a "day trip". If you want to add those three more stops, I'd take time from somewhere else so you at least have a couple days for this new "detour".



suze is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2022, 04:26 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you Suze! That other part will be for our next trip! Is too much like you said. We were able to secure all the hotel reservations for all the stops and a couple of excursions as well! We are very excited!!!
NikkiPhotographer is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2022, 08:04 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,801
Received 79 Likes on 8 Posts
Use the "extra" day to explore the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood area. Note the very scenic "Historic Columbia River Highway" through the "waterfall zone," as well as access to a couple of the waterfalls themselves, namely Multnomah Falls, is now time-restricted. Look here for permits - Multnomah Falls and Waterfall Corridor Timed Use Permits, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area - Recreation.gov

Nonetheless, this area is one of the scenic highlights of the whole Pacific Northwest, and is not to be missed. Google the places on this map and you'll see what I'm talking about. https://goo.gl/maps/LLUuFwdqpnCTHzoN6
Gardyloo is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
SBond
Road Trips
4
May 6th, 2017 05:27 PM
ashleyjade
United States
4
Jan 12th, 2015 07:43 PM
lukenlea
Road Trips
29
Mar 4th, 2014 08:18 AM
Linlins
United States
14
Sep 8th, 2010 08:48 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information