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pirouette Apr 4th, 2010 11:03 AM

Summer driving holiday from Canada to California
My husband an I are planning a driving holiday from Vancouver to California in July. We have already traveled the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and the beautiful Oregon Coast more than once, so no need to do it again. We have about three weeks and need suggestions from Portland (likely our first night's stop) and beyond. Ideally we would like to travel as far south as Carmel. We would love to have a base near SF from where we could do day trips. A condo rental would be perfect and we would welcome any suggestions as to areas we should consider. We will have our own vehicle so available parking and ease of road access is a consideration. Any suggestions as to a central location and any "must sees" along the way?

dbdurand Apr 4th, 2010 11:44 AM

I suggest you plan out a route that will take you from Portland to Crater Lake, then to Redwood National Park on the California coast, then back inland through Lassen Volcanic National Park. From there you could head to Sacramento and the gold country on your way to SF. My wife and took a route something like that several years ago and enjoyed it very much.

CaptCanuck Apr 4th, 2010 04:33 PM

My wife and I also did this drive a few years back from Vancouver, but we drove strictly along the coast. We enjoyed our stays in Cannon Beach and Bandon in Oregon. Once in California, we stayed in Trinidad, Mendocino (lovely town), and then for a number of nights in Wine Country, with Healdsburg being our favourite town to stay in that area. We enjoyed a number of days in Carmel before heading down to Santa Barbara from there.
We also recently enjoyed staying a few nights in SF as well. One thought would be to park the car for a few nights for a break and stay directly in SF since the city has so much to offer.
have a great trip,

dwooddon Apr 5th, 2010 07:42 AM

I second dbdurand's suggestions. I especially like gold country (the western slope of the Sierra's) along CA-49.

jpie Apr 5th, 2010 08:42 AM

All of the above are good suggestions. I just wanted to add that for staying outside of SF, you might look for a short term place in the Berkeley/Oakland area along the BART rapid transit line-that way you could park the car and still get in SF easily to explore the city. Make sure that you check neighborhoods though both areas have neighborhoods that great and others that are so-so.

pirouette Apr 5th, 2010 09:33 AM

Thanks for all the info. We have been to Crater Lake, but not south toward the gold country. We had never considered that but now we will! jpie-I am particularly interested in finding a location to use as a base. We were thinking somewhere in the Bay area but we know nothing about any of the neighbourhoods. Since we will have a car-parking is essential, but parking it and using transit in SF is very appealing. I was looking on VRBO yesterday for short-term rentals, but again we are at a loss as to which area: Noe Valley, Nob Hill or???? Maybe it would be better to be at a base outside the city.....We just aren't sure. Please keep the suggestions coming!

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