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Road trip Summer 2012

Dublin, Ireland
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Road trip Summer 2012

My husband and I are hoping to visit Northern California this summer and would really appreciate some help in planning our trip.We hope to travel in late May for three weeks.

We are anxious to know if this is a good time, weatherwise, to do this trip and as we hope to go from Seattle to San Francisso in the three weeks, is is feasible?

We are interested in seeing national parks, beautiful scenery, and taking in some culture along the way in the various towns/cities we may visit.We are keen foodies and enjoy our wine also!

Any advice as to time spent in various places to get a taste of them,plus interesting places to stay ( not chain hotels if possible, but not camping either!) would be very much appreciated.

We have a reasonably healthy budget though any deals we might hear of would be great!

We plan to fly to Seattle from Dublin ( Irl) , stay 3 nts then move on down to Portland for 3 nts. Any tips as to what is unmissable in these cities?

Where would anyone suggest next? We would like to see Yosemite National Park and or Crater Lake, would 3 nights in both places be ok? Where to stay?

We are not familiar with this part of the West coast so any advice would be really great.

Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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1. Re: Road trip Summer 2012

Three weeks is enough to make the trip, but not enough to do everything that will be recommended. Let's start with your last comments. One night would be enough for Crater Lake. Three nights in Yosemite would be great. However, you'll need to make reservations for Crater Lake Lodge and/or Awahnee right now! In fact, it might be too late already.

If you can't get reservations you may have to settle for lodging outside the parks and just do day trips in and out.

You have some serious decisions regarding national parks to make. Olympic National Park is huge and can't be conveniently included in your itinerary. Nor can North Cascades. You can see Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens (which is a national monument) on your way to Portland. Crater Lake is Oregon's only National Park, but the Columbia Gorge is a national scenic area and, going down the coast is Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area..

You also have to decide whether you want to go down the Oregon Coast (definitely recommended) through the redwoods (another national park) to SF; or take a more central route through the Willamette Valley or high desert via Bend, to Crater Lake (nowhere near the coast).

And Yosemite would really be beyond SF and considerably SE. So, do some additional research and establish some priorities. Can you do it all? Not likely.

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Road trip Summer 2012

O'poppa always gives great advice-

regarding timing, note that late May and even early June isnt quite 'summer' in the northwest. It starts more towards July and ends about Sept/Oct. Most of the mountain locales, especially Crater Lake and perhaps Mt Rainier, will still be on 'winter schedules' and summer roads will not be open(i.e. only south entrance at Crater Lake will be open). Not sure about further south- probably ok at Yosemite.

Plan on cloudy conditions- although you are probably used to this... Of course it could be bright an sunny. The most reliable sunny weather occurs between July and Sept. Although at that time it might be quite hot in California...

Eugene, Oregon
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3. Re: Road trip Summer 2012

I guess I focused on "summer" and missed "late May." Chinookgrrl is right on target about the conditions, particularly at the higher altitudes.

Golden, Canada
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for Regina
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4. Re: Road trip Summer 2012

Since the trip covers parts of northern California no real concerns over it "being too hot" any time of year. Portland is hotter than San Fran for starters.

Anyway, May is a bit early for this area, summer gets you into "fog season" so really fall is best. If May works best for you then it can still work pretty well, Yosemite especially is horribly crowded in the summer which unofficially starts about the last weekend in May (the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the US).

However, May is prime waterfall time and that bodes well for Columbia River Gorge, Silver Falls SP, and of course Yosemite... even better if you don't need Tioga pass to be open to proceed east...

Oregon
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5. Re: Road trip Summer 2012

I would not bother trying to do Crater Lake in May. long trip there from coast.

Agree Mt Rainier, Mt St H then Portland and the Col R Gorge, then the coast. and Redwood. For sure do Yachats to Florence and Port Orford to Brookings on coast. You can decide whether Silver Creek Falls fits you and to coast from there. If you con't go to Silver Creek hit coast at Lincoln City.

I know you have probably seen a lot of coast in Ireland. but Oreg coast is different, At least the coast I saw in Ireland from Galway to Donegal (Malin Head) to Dublin

Dublin, Ireland
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6. Re: Road trip Summer 2012

Thank you to all the people who so kindly took the time to answer my post ! As you can imagine here in Ireland we are well used to 'rainy, cloudy, overcast ' conditions so I would have a preference for sunshine for our ' summer holiday'............I note our summer is not as clearly defined as yours, it must be something to do with the fact that we can never depend on having sunshine no matter what the month!!!

Possibly a road trip north of San Francisco is the way forward..........not quite getting as far north as Oregon.

Really appreciate your comments. Finally, is there any site I can find Californian hotels which are NOT chain hotels but which are 'funky, differnt, interesting' but dont cost an arm and a leg?? We have Mr and Mrs Smith and Alaistair Sawday, Can anyone help please?

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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7. Re: Road trip Summer 2012

Right off the top of my head, I can't think of any one website that gathers information about non-chain hotels. There are many B&B websites. B&Bs here tend to be upscale, small and set up much more like 'guest houses' than just somebody with an extra room or two.

If you are switching your holiday plans to include Redwood National Park on the far northern Calif coast, you'll bump into me there, too :-)

There are several lodgings in that area that I'm familiar with which would fit your description . . . but could you give a USD figure for "arm and a leg"?

Would this match the sort of place you are looking for in both style and cost?

http://www.requainn.com/

If you ask this question in the areas/towns along your new proposed route, you will find that TripAdvisor posters can give you lots of infomation about lodging - and you may very well find exactly what you are looking for.

Oregon
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8. Re: Road trip Summer 2012

We went to Carlsbad CA in Dec. I found the CA boards to not be real helpful, partially my fault cause was not sure how to use CA boards well.. I went to Carlsbad forum, but only a couple of people there. the big CA board goes way too fast to find stuff. Your post will move to second page very quickly and becomes hard to find. . I finally tried San Diego board and found a little more help.

In 2009 we made driving trip to Clear Lake, Monterey, Angels Camp. and home. we did get some help with Monterey. but found same problem

Perhaps if you picked Eureka board you might get help for N Calif. I lived in Redding for 5 years and have visited Redding board a few times and not a lot of activity there when I checked.

I used TA for trip to Boston in Sept and got good help I could follow. In Nov 2010 went to Sedona AZ, and got good help. Those boards are sort of fast moving, faster than Oreg and Wash. but not too fast.

Edited: 02 February 2012, 21:11
Dublin, Ireland
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9. Re: Road trip Summer 2012

thank you for your reply. will get onto it now as I want to get things booked. it looks like we are going to concentrate on the san francisco area and north of SF. I think I was a little optimistic in my idea of distance! perhaps Seattle and Oregon another year!

10. Re: Road trip Summer 2012

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