10 Day West Coast Road Trip
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Feb 10, 2012 5:42 AM Last Post By: owen32
Feb 9, 2012 3:56 PM
10 Day West Coast Road TripMy friend and I have 10 days to do a road trip up the US west coast and back. We are starting in San Diego and will probably go as far as Seattle. While I am pretty familiar with Southern California, we don't have much knowledge of anything above Los Angeles. We are two girls in our early twenties and will be doing the trip this March. She loves the beach, I love art/music culture and visiting funky little shops. We don't feel the urge to spend a lot of time in national parks, but that being said we definitely want to see some of the beauty that the North West has to offer. We also need suggestions for cheap, cool places to stay. Because we only have ten full days total, we can't really stay in one place long but want to have a great trip. The main cities we want to stop at will be maybe, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle... Besides that we are very open to suggestions, given our interests. If anyone has an example of a similar trip they have done that would be great too! The posts I have read consist of people flying home once they reach their destination but we will be driving both ways and want to break up the trip there and back. Thanks and I appreciate it!
Feb 9, 2012 4:24 PM
1LA to Seattle is roughly 21 hours of driving along the fastest (i/e/ boring) route, excluding delays for food, restrooms, traffic, etc. Sightseeing is extra on that.
In other words, you're looking at about four reasonable days to simply drive to Seattle. Figuring you race back, that's six of ten days simply driving.
Scale back your plans. If you want to see the northwest, fly.
Otherwise, head no farther than say, Orick and Redwoods National and State Parks.
Given your interests, San Francisco would be a great place for you to spend a couple/few days. Santa Barbara is a good 'beach' location, though March may be a little cool at times (and you probably already know, but don't swimming is most likely out of the question).
See FAQ 182.
Feb 9, 2012 10:50 PM
Though your plans are doable, I concur with bzookaj. Scale back a bit or fly to Seattle from SD and drive south.
If flight is not option, then put pedal to metal and do SD to Ashland, OR. Hang there and take in the arts, then go to Grants Pass, OR. Fill up gas tank there. Then go west to Oregon coast on the coast range highway assuming coast range road is CLEAR. Drive it in DAYTIME. DO ask locals about it before you attempt it.
Then go up Oregon Coast. Lots and lots of State Parks to camp at though it could be quite cool and wet. Check out Cannon Beach. Great town for art and Cannon Beach itself is magnificent. If you are both runners you can run along beach almost all the way then catch the road to Ecola State Park. It is about a 10 mile run roundtrip. AWESOME.
Eat lotsa seafood...thousands of seals and sea lions can't be all wrong :).
Go east at Highway 26 (near Seaside, OR) to Portland. You can then do express run home back to SD. It can be done in one long day but two days would be more pleasant.
Make sure that you have car chargers (besides AC chargers) for your cell phones.
Don't forget to send Mom a postcard! She carried you for nine months. You owe her :)
Have fun...so much fun that you still like each other after the trip :)
Feb 9, 2012 10:58 PM
3Thank you for the great tips! Just to clarify, I realize it's a very short amount of time so we do not have any plans set in stone yet. We just want to make the most out of the time we have instead of staying in SoCal. While we are both interested in going as far as Seattle, it's not a must-do. Thanks again and keep the great ideas coming! It's very much appreciated!
Feb 9, 2012 11:14 PM
4Alrighty then, jtn315 :)
That splains things a bit.
Just wondering...what's the interest in Seattle itself?
I know it quite well, btw. :D
Another option for you two would be be to just drive allout up I5 and be in Seattle as
your first stop. Do try not to arrive in Seattle between 6a-9a or 4p-7p on a weekday.
Rush hour can be daunting there. Alternatively, take two days and stay in Mt. Shasta, CA the first night.
(Another grand option is to take Highway 101 at Olympia, WA and go up west side of Hood Canal to Bremerton, WA then take Bremerton-Seattle ferry from there right into downtown Seattle :). VERY cool...esp if you happen to catch a ferry near sunset. The sunsets over the Olympic mountains can be
Then, you would you "know" you have 8-9 days to get back to SoCal.
Feb 9, 2012 11:21 PM
5Well neither of us has been to Seattle and we've hear it's a great city! Plus it seems like a good destination point for a long road trip. Again, it's not a "must"... As we gather more info and do more research we will decide the best plan of action. Thank you so much!! I'm getting excited already.
Feb 10, 2012 4:18 AM
6Ten days of sighseeing from San Diego to Seattle is pretty rushed, but you can do it. Given your ages and interests, another place I'd recommend checking out is Olympia, Washington - the state capitol and small city (has to be the funkiest capitol of all the fifty states with more tattoo parlors than churches - always a good sign).
IN Seattle check out the City Hostel in Belltown - a nice place in a good area.
Feb 10, 2012 5:42 AM
7I would agree that you are trying to do too much. I am spending 18 days going from San Francisco to San Diego in September and probably wont be able to do half the things I want to!
If you are willing to give Seattle a miss you could do San Francisco and the Central coast it would not be so rushed.
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