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Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

Toronto, Canada
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Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

Hi Everyone,

So the two of us are pretty much set to arrive in SEA Sept 1 and depart LA the 16. We are quite aware there is a lot of distance to cover and an infinite amount of sites to see and places to experience. But we feel we have picked what interests us the most while leaving some adventures for another time :) We will be camping and staying in motels/hotels, with camping only being a place to sleep under the stars. We don't plan on doing any cooking ourselves aside from marshmallows and hotdogs on a stick. Is this reasonable as I don't forsee any problems finding meals along the way. Were experienced campers and backpackers so were only looking for some comfort in the major cities really. My fiance does suffer from "hangriness" though so snacks in the car is a definite must.

Itinerary

Sept 1: Seattle. Hotel Five. Lots to see and do. No shortage of ideas here.

Sept 2: Travel to Lincoln City. Aiming for motel on the beach. Stops at Cape Meares area and Cannon Beach.

Sept 3: Travel to Crescent City. Aiming for Jedediah Smith State Park. Various stops along the way (ie Heceta and Cape Perpetua, the longest being a sandrail tour outside Florence)

Sept 5: Travel to Mendocino (this is our 5 year anniversary btw). Aiming for Van Damme as it is convenient for a sea cave kayak tour the next morning. Stops at Patrick's Point and Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Sept 6: Travel to San Francisco. Haven't quite narrowed down any stops along this leg with the exception of Hog's Island Oysters. Could use some tips here. No shortage of things to see and do in San Fran.

Sept 9: Travel to Yosemite. Yes, site has been booked :) No shortage of things to do here.

Sept 11: Travel to Salinas. Vision Quest Ranch. We love animals and have never been up close with an elephant, especially in a respectful way...

Sept 12: Travel to Cambria or Pismo. Undecided as Pismo would make it easier the next day to get to LA. No shortage of stops to make along the coast here.

Sept 13: Travel to LA with a stop in Santa Barbara for lunch. No shortage of things in LA.

Sept 16: Home to Toronto.

Now my concerns:

Can anyone suggest a few stops between Mendocino - San Fran? Were the outdoorsy activity type and have no interest in any manmade tourist traps of sorts. I'm aware of Muir Woods but I hear its crawling with tourists and can be a pain if you didnt arrive first thing in the morning. I think we will get our redwood fix in Northern Cali. Not particularly looking for wineries unless someone can suggest something interesting and not far off hwy 1...

Actual driving time. Is google accurate assuming I'm staying along hwy 1, sticking to the coast? Most concerned about this between Crescent City and San Francisco. I'm also assuming I won't be doing 65 mph, or could I? :) Not sure if google takes that into consideration.

Also open to any other ideas anyone might have in regards to the itinerary..Feel free to comment!

Thank you so much!

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

I think Google is pretty good in general. US 101 between Crescent City and Eureka is pretty slow as you're in and out of redwood groves. Eureka itself is slow going - signaled streets and creeping traffic past shopping malls, then you get back on freeway (or freeway-ish) heading south most of the way to the SR1 turnoff at Leggett, and SR 1 past that is reeeally slow through the hills out to the coast. You should definitely make time to take the Avenue of the Giants turnoff to see the Founders Grove and other groves; sticking to the freeway is fast but you're really missing things.

SR1 from Mendocino to SF is pretty slow, and for good reason - it's very scenic. If you have time (and I don't think you'll have much - pretty high speed stuff as far as SF) you could divert to Pt. Reyes - http://www.nps.gov/pore/index.htm - for as much or as little time as you can make available.

Lincoln City wouldn't be my choice for stopping points on the coast, but YMMV. Have a look at Newport or Yachats instead.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

Thanks for the info. I feel like Newport or Yachats might be a lot for our first day of driving and take away time from spending a good part of a morning/afternoon in Cannon Beach. Especially since were just using Lincoln City to sit on the beach and sleep by it. Is Newport or Yachats really worth going the extra mile just to sleep?

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

For a honeymoon I'd pick Cambria before Pismo Beach. If you can afford try to stay along Moonstone Beach there and do the boardwalk for 1 mile. Very romantic location and Cambria is a cute little town. Pismo beach is more geared towards families with children.

Along Oregon coast we stayed Tllamook (cheese factory) Newport and Brookings and the drives in between with the sightseeing took most of the day. Seattle to Lincoln City already is some 6 housr driving and I certainly would want to make a stop in Astoria. Through Portland will be a faster drive but you mentioned Cannon Beach. All slow driving on 101.

Tet

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

Personal opinion, but Lincoln City is a strip mall attached to some nice beach. Frankly, given the rest of your trip, I'd make a beeline to the southern Oregon coast the first day and skip the northern in the interests of time. Hustle down I-5 to Oregon Hwy 38, one of the fastest, and certainly most scenic, connections between the freeway and the coast, and spend the first night in Bandon. Bandon is the most attractive town along the central/southern coast, and south from there the coast just keeps getting better and better all the way to California.

As it is, traveling in one day from Lincoln City to Crescent City is doing yourselves no favor - you won't have much time at all to see the many parks and attractions on offer. US 101 is slow going in many areas, and not all that scenic for much of the drive - the beaches are separated from the road by thick vegetation and often some residential properties. There are "oh wow" scenic spots to be sure, but the density of them is much higher in the Newport area and between Port Orford and the CA state line.

If you stick to your original plan, then yes, IMO Yachats is indeed worth the extra drive. Look at the Fireside Motel - http://www.firesidemotel.com/ - for accommodation.

western WA
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5. Re: Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

Yes, your "morning in Cannon Beach" is unlikely, since you have to drive down from Seattle. If you haven't bought tickets yet, fly to Portland instead. You're only spending half a day in Seattle, which isn't enough. From Portland to Cannon Beach is a short drive, made longer by (my family's) mandatory stop at Camp 18 restaurant to see the logs if not eat the cornbread...

South Beach is a great campground in Newport with good beach access. You can build a fire on the beach (at least we have in the past - fire rules are changeable). Beverly Beach in Lincoln City is not as nice, right on the noisy highway. They both have showers and toilets, though. I'd also vote against Lincoln City as just a "meh" on the coast. You can't really just flop on the beach as you describe, because you have to park your car somewhere. Also, Oregon is prone to sneaker waves or rogue waves, which could be deadly.

Some consideration should be given to the idea of skipping Cannon Beach, as the drive through Tillamook is slow, unscenic and dull. The road from I-5 to Lincoln City is flat and speedy.

Edited: 25 April 2014, 18:06
Norwich, United...
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6. Re: Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

Just a note that Ca1 from Leggett to the coast is very slow and twisty as it crosses the coastal mountains. The good news is that it's only about 25 miles and once you reach the coast it improves enormously. You might want to have a look at it on StreetView (I tried to post a link but unfortunately the forum system could cope with its length, anyway you can easily find it yourself).

Edited: 26 April 2014, 12:04
Norwich, United...
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7. Re: Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

Just a note that Ca1 from Leggett to the coast is very slow and twisty as it crosses the coastal mountains. The good news is that it's only about 25 miles and once you reach the coast it improves enormously. You might want to have a look at it on StreetView (I tried to post a link but unfortunately the forum system couldn't cope with its length, anyway you can easily find it yourself).

Edited: 26 April 2014, 12:05
Washington State
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8. Re: Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

John259259

>>I tried to post a link but unfortunately the forum system couldn't cope with its length<<

Use TinyURL or one of the other websites like that to add a link to a forum reply. Classic Google Maps has a chain link symbol in the upper left that you can click, then tick the box for ShortURL. Here is one: http://goo.gl/maps/S0jO7

Norwich, United...
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9. Re: Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

Many thanks to the previous poster, excellent suggestion.

So here it is:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps…

10. Re: Honeymoon Road Trip, SEA to LAX

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