We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

West Coast (Seattle-LA)

Jessheim, Norway
Level Contributor
13 posts
23 reviews
Save Topic
West Coast (Seattle-LA)

Hello.

Wife and I will be on our first RoadTrip, we're from Norway, I've lived in California and she in NY when we were a bit younger. Both are in our late 20s. We arrive at Sea-Tac april 27th and leaving from LA morning may 18th.

I would like some help from this awesome community about our itinerary, as I have problems about how long one might use at one place and such. We like hiking, great scenery, outdoor stuff and explore places.

This is what we've planned:

27/4 – 30/4 Arrival at Sea-Tac, driving straight out to Olympic National Park. Drive by Olympia and Aberdeen. We want to stay there for a few days. Thinking about staying around Lake Quinault, or anywhere on the west side of ONP. Want to see Rialto Beach, Ruby Beach, Hoh Rain Forrest, Enchanted Valley trail and Lake Quinault area. Wanting to stay until morning of 30/4 and we can stay longer if that’s recommended as I want to experience much of the place. Is this enough time at ONP? Any other places we can have time to visit as well?

30/4 - 2/5 Portland (Good stop?)

2/5 – 3/5 Lincoln City (much to see here? I'm thinking it might be better to stay one more day at ONP and drive straight for Coos Bay instead?)

3/5 – 4/5 Coos Bay (A good place to visit?)

4/5 – 5/5 Crescent City (Redwoods) Are these three places good stops for Redwoods visits? Maybe shorten it for a day and move on a little faster or what’s recommended? I want to experience these woods.

5/5 – 6/5 Eureka (Redwoods)

6/5 – 7/5 Fort Bragg (Redwoods)

7/5 – 9/5 Sonoma/Napa

9/5 – 12/5 San Fran

12/5 – 13/5 Monterey/Carmel

13/5 – 14/5 Big Sur – Los Osos/Luis Obispo/Solveig

14/5 – 18/5 LA (Universal Studios, Hollywood, etc) Where is it recommended to stay in LA?

I'm sorry if it's a little too much questions, hehe :)

Our focus points are Olympic National Park, Redwoods, San Fran, Big Sur, LA. Are there any other places on this trip that are worth seeing. Any places we can use most of the day driving? Does our itinerary need any changes?

But what I have a huge problem to decide about is if we need to reserve places to stay or if we can drop that and just decide on the ride. I would think that we have more freedom to do more if we don't have any reservations at motels and such, but I want to get a place to stay at Olympic NP before we arrive :)

Thank you for reading and help if given :) I know it's a lot, but I want to calm a few of my nerves and get our plans set. :)

Wednesbury, UK
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
13,500 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: West Coast (Seattle-LA)

Hi and welcome to the forum.

First off let me say that's not a bad plan : ). A few things I suggest you change, like not driving for three or more hours straight of the flight and staying somewhere nearer to SeaTac the first night, and maybe add another night for Olympic overall. By the way, it will probably be wet, of not very wet that time of year, all the way down the coast into California.

We like Kalaloch best and Lake Crescent also in ONP, but Hurricane Ridge will be no good that time of year probably, and Lake Crescent fits with a route to the north via Port Angeles.

Portland area and a tour of Columbia River Gorge is a good stop, but two nights would suffice. I'd avoid Coos Bay, maybe consider Florence or Bandon.

You can stay in Trinidad to see the Redwoods and not move location, maybe consider Mendocino over Fort Bragg.

The biggest thing missing is Yosemite National Park, which is certainly worth the trip inland between SF and Monterey.You need to find at least two nights for that, three is better.

Maybe overall 21 nights.

1 Arrival.

3 nights ONP.

2 nights Portland.

2 nights Oregon Coast.

2 nights Redwoods.

1 nights Hwy1 or wine region.

3 nights SF.

2 nights Yosemite.

2 nights Hwy1, Big Sur.

3 nights LA.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,853 posts
1,049 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: West Coast (Seattle-LA)

Oh dear, you've picked two of the least attractive towns on the Oregon coast :-(

I would strongly urge you to post in both the Washington and Oregon forums for local help. You'll find them here:

tripadvisor.com/ListForums-g191-i3-United_St…

Your focus point is Redwood NP, but you're only allowing two days? Not enough time there! So much to see.

Expect a LOT of rain along the Washington and Oregon and northern California coasts.

Other than the big cities, no you won't have to book ahead except for Olympic NP but I am referring only to your more northern section. Most of California is so heavily populated it is a good idea to book ahead!

I don't car for big cities so would skip Portland, but you may want to spend a day or two there.

Henderson, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,378 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: West Coast (Seattle-LA)

You have a good plan, and are getting good advice...

Spend an extra day in Portland... It is not your typical big city...

Not Lincoln... probably not Coos Bay... maybe Newport (more to do) or Reedsport (old Oregon)

For Sonoma and Napa, consider Hieldsburg for a few nights..

Randy

Jessheim, Norway
Level Contributor
13 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: West Coast (Seattle-LA)

Thanks guys for your help :)

Is there much to do around oregon coast? Maybe we shall have a full day of driving to get down to the Redwoods? Or one night between Portland and Redwoods at least.

I've been thinking about Yosemite, might try to go there as well, been there once before, but was raining a lot and might get some better weather this time. :p Don't mind some rain, get a lot of it here in Norway :)

But about booking ahead, I have so much trouble about how much time to be used here and there and manage to book anything for later on the trip. If we want to change some of our itinerary while on the trip, I'm thinking it's not as easy if we have booked ahead.

Would never thought it so difficult to plan this, hehe, so much to see and do and not enough time.

Jessheim, Norway
Level Contributor
13 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: West Coast (Seattle-LA)

Maybe the best way is to book hotels through hotels.com during our trip?

Like, when we know we're reaching San Fran or LA, that we just log on and reserve a night and so forth. I would think there's always something available early may, so this might make it easier to change our itinerary on the road, and secure a place to sleep the next day :)

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: West Coast (Seattle-LA)

We always make trips like that without making reservations and always find a place to stay. An exception is Yosemite NP were you should make a reservation and don't miss it. Must say we have driven all down the coasts between Canada and Mexico both east (not to Mexico of course) and west but you also can have too much coasts and forests so I certainly recommend to do some inland drives also and also visit Portland. Our last visit to Olympic NP was fantastic but that was in september. Not sure how that is in april. Best to ask on the Washington forum.

Tet

Edited: 08 January 2014, 12:40
Jessheim, Norway
Level Contributor
13 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: West Coast (Seattle-LA)

Thank you very much with your reply Tet. :) Appreciate it. We have decided to only do a reservation for the first days in Olympic NP as we don't want to use our first days looking for a place to stay :)

Thanks all :)

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: West Coast (Seattle-LA)

Maybe try Olympic Lodge in Port Angeles. Very nice and the ground floor rooms have a small patio. PA is perfectly located for a visit to Hurricane Ridge. For a visit to the westside of Olympic NP I'd stay somewhere else maybe Lake Quinault. Also Forks has some lodging.

Jessheim, Norway
Level Contributor
13 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: West Coast (Seattle-LA)

I've reserved our stay at Lake Quinault Lodge, fits well in the area we mostly want to stay, easy driving distance to some of the places as well it seems :)

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: West Coast (Seattle-LA)

To Hurricane Ridge will be a long drive and back to Lake Quinault. Hardly suitable for a daytrip imo. Are you skipping Hurrican Ridge?