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Seattle to San Francicso or a SF-Yosemite-N California loop?

London, United...
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Seattle to San Francicso or a SF-Yosemite-N California loop?

Hello all,

This is a related post to a conversation I started on the Oregon board before I realised there was a road trips forum so apologies for the cross posting.

My soon-to-be husband and I are planning our honeymoon and would like to see the west coast. We will fly in on the 16/17th September and leave on the 2nd October. I would like to drive from Seattle to San Francisco, he's pulling more towards flying in and out of SF and seeing Yosemite, so any advice is appreciated.

As we look at it there are two broad options: Seattle to SF, or a loop from SF via Yosemite and N California. I am reading so many guide books that I just want to do everything and can't make a decision! However, a decision is necessary or we'll be doing neither option.

My very outline itinerary for Seattle - SF is as follows:

2 days Seattle

2 days Olympic NP

2 days Portland

1 day wineries south of Portland, end at hot springs?

2 days south Oregon coast (camp)

1 day N California redwoods (maybe camp)

2 days Mendocino/travelling btwn N California coast and SF

2 days SF

- my concern is that we leave out so much and will spend a lot of time driving

My very outline SF loop is:

2 days SF

3 days Yosemite (camp)

2 days to get to Lassen Volcanic NP (camp?)

1 day Redwoods (camp?)

3 days drive down the coast slowly

1 day wineries in Mendocino

1 day SF

- however, I'm only up to 13 days here, where would you put another 3?

To give you an idea about us, we like landscapes, photography, hiking (anything from 1-6 hours but no carrying the tent on this trip), wildlife, crafting, architecture, good food and good wine and I'd like to be able to camp for a few nights (probably single nights in many places, rather than 1 place for many nights) and we like to be off the beaten track. We don't like crowds or theme parks and I think I don't want to drive more than 4 hours a day most of the time, though would take that up to 6/8 if it was just for one or two days.

Any thoughts on the one trip vs the other would be appreciated as well as ideas to flesh out one or the other.

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1. Re: Seattle to San Francicso or a SF-Yosemite-N California loop?

I'd go for the SF loop...a lot less driving which means more time enjoying your trip. Plenty to do. As for extra days, you can use more than 1 day in redwoods.

Once you decide on which basic route several of us can help you plan your choice.

Wednesbury, UK
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2. Re: Seattle to San Francicso or a SF-Yosemite-N California loop?

HI. Congratulations on your forthcoming nuptials : ).

I agree with DAMcC22, the loop would make for a more relaxed honeymoon, (although the West Coast drive is a fantastic trip...we have just finished doing it as part of a bigger RT) as well as avoiding the one way fee on the rental car.

Have you visited the coast south of SF ( Big Sur) before? You could easily include this also, or add SEKI (if you really like a good dose of Big Trees to go with the Redwoods and those in Yosemite?).

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Seattle to San Francicso or a SF-Yosemite-N California loop?

Tough decision. Love them both. Adding south of SF is a great idea. If you skip some places between Seattle and San Francisco you can add Yosemite.

4. Re: Seattle to San Francicso or a SF-Yosemite-N California loop?

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