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Mid-December Roadtrip

D K
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Mid-December Roadtrip

I will be driving with my dog from Vancouver to San Diego this upcoming December. I've planned a rough itinerary and would like to hear some feedback; it seems like it's going to take me about 6 days to get to San Diego. I'm unsure of the driving conditions or whether these places I've mentioned below would be worth visiting in mid December - I'm open to suggestions.

Day 1: Vancouver, Canada -> Cannon Beach (stay 1 night here)

Day 2: Explore Cannon Beach -> Explore Yachats and stay 1 night here

Day 3: Yachats -> Redwood National Park -> Stay 1 night in Eureka

Day 4: Eureka to Sonoma (I understand it is not recommended at this time due to fire but I'll be here close to December 20); stay 2 nights in Sonoma

Day 6: Sonoma to San Diego

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11 replies to this topic
Eugene, Oregon
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1. Re: Mid-December Roadtrip

Sonoma to San Diego involves getting through the SF Bay Area and the Los Angeles metro area. That's a lot of challenging urban driving conditions for one day. You'll be going in rush hour traffic in both places.

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D K
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2. Re: Mid-December Roadtrip

Thank you so much for your helpful feedback. Do you suggest we stay a night in SF or LA instead of driving straight to SD? Did the previous stopovers make sense (i.e., 1. would it be best for me to stay 2 nights in Cannon Beach or 1 night there and 1 night in Yachats? 2. Do you advise that I stay a night in Eureka or drive straight through to Sonoma?)

Thank you once again!

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D K
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3. Re: Mid-December Roadtrip

Thank you so much for your helpful feedback. Do you suggest we stay a night in SF or LA instead of driving straight to SD? Did the previous stopovers make sense (i.e., 1. would it be best for me to stay 2 nights in Cannon Beach or 1 night there and 1 night in Yachats? 2. Do you advise that I stay a night in Eureka or drive straight through to Sonoma?)

Thank you once again!

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Cannon Beach
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Eugene, Oregon
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4. Re: Mid-December Roadtrip

Let's be clear...do you just want to do this in 6 days or do you have to do it in 6 days?

Because we are talking about unpredictable winter weather, it's tough to say what your driving conditions will be. Rather than get specific about how far to go and where to spend nights, I believe you should stay flexible. Drive each day as far as is comfortable for you. In December you won't need advance reservations anywhere.

Is there a reason to stay 2 nights in Sonoma? It's 7 hours from Crescent City to SF; 5 hours from Eureka to SF.

You can continue down 101 to L.A. or take the faster I-5 route. Either way, I'd want to break it up. Via 101 is more pleasant than I-5 and you could stay one night in Ventura, Camarillo or Thousand Oaks. Then, after a relaxing breakfast the next morning leave after rush hour and have a much easier trip through L.A. and Orange Counties to San Diego.

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Florence, Oregon
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5. Re: Mid-December Roadtrip

I'd be in favor of breaking up the trip with more stops as opposed to 2 nights at one stop.

I'd suggest making a stop on the mid coast of California between Santa Barbara and Oxnard. You might consider taking Highway 1 at Oxnard going South through Malibu and Santa Monica.

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D K
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6. Re: Mid-December Roadtrip

I do not have to get to San Diego in 6 days. I thought taking almost a week to get there from Vancouver was actually taking a fair bit of time. I definitely have some room to be flexible should the weather not cooperate. That being said, I just wanted to have a goal of destination per day. The reason why I chose to stay in Sonoma was because of my 80lbs dog; having been to both SF and Sonoma in the past, I thought the place would provide more of relaxed/laid back atmosphere with more things to do for myself and my dog versus staying a night in SF. If you have other suggestions, please let me know.

I've revised the previous itinerary to below based on your suggestions:

Day 1: Vancouver to Cannon beach

Day 2: Cannon beach to Crescent city or Eureka

Day 3: Crescent city or Eureka to Sonoma

Day 4: Sonoma to Ventura

Day 5: Ventura to San Diego

Thank you once again for your help! Much appreciated.

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Oregon Coast, OR
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D K
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7. Re: Mid-December Roadtrip

Thank you 651eddie. I have never been to Malibu or Santa Barbara, so I'll definitely take that route!

If you have any suggestions or feedback re: the revised itinerary (places to stop by/stay..etc), please let me know. Any information would be helpful as this is going to be my very first road trip to California! Thank you.

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Newberg, Oregon
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8. Re: Mid-December Roadtrip

Be sure to visit the Reagan Presidential Library on your trip. It's about an hour south of Santa Barbara. An outstanding attraction!

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Santa Barbara
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Cannon Beach, Oregon
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9. Re: Mid-December Roadtrip

I like the idea of staying flexible between Cannon Beach and whatever your next overnight might be. Cannon Beach to Crescent City in one day does not sound like fun. There is a lot to see along the Oregon Coast and this would be nearly 8 hours of driving without stopping. There are some nice views and easy scenic stops along Highway 101, but you should consider some time for at least a couple of more leisurely stops along the way and perhaps get off Highway 101 for some of the best scenic opportunities. If it were me, I would stay flexible depending on the weather and spend time somewhere between Yachats and Bandon wherever the weather allows you to actually experience the coast. Cape Perpetua by Yachats, Cape Arago near Coos Bay and Bandon would be my top choices for potential stops along this stretch of coast that would give you an idea of how spectacular the Oregon Coast is.

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D K
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10. Re: Mid-December Roadtrip

Thank you so much this helps tremendously!

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