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Road Trip from SF to Portland- 4.5 days-camping/sight seeing

Dallas, Texas
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Road Trip from SF to Portland- 4.5 days-camping/sight seeing

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip for my bday this July. We will be road-tripping from San Fran to Portland, and want to catch as much on the way up and back as possible. I have traveled the coast from SF to Big Sur, but haven't done much exploring north of here. I just moved out west last year, and have only visited Portland once before (for one day). My boyfriend is from LA, and hasn't done much northern exploring either.

Anyways...here are some additional details along with what I am hoping to find out:

We will be leaving on a Wednesday afternoon, and hope to travel at least halfway that day (6-7 hours). Camping would be nice but not mandatory---can anyone recommend a good drive-in campsite in the redwoods of NoCal? OR, it would be cool to stay in a quaint little town somewhere along the way for the first night. Any suggestions?

In addition to lodging- what are some must-see spots along the way? Because we live in SF and can go on shorter trips any given weekend, I assume we will take 101 up through Eureka to hit the coast, rather than taking 1 for the lower segment of the trip...so the sites to highlight should really be between Eureka and Portland. Given the time crunch, we are fine with spectacular lookouts, or quick hikes to waterfalls.

We are considering staying on 101 once we hit Oregon, at least Lincoln City, then taking 18 to Portland. Will we be missing anything spectacular by doing this...should we stay on 101 longer and take a more northern road to Portland?

Then there's Portland. We will be there for at least 2 nights. Where should we stay? We will have a car (obviously), but really prefer walkable areas. It would be nice to park it for a couple of days and wander on foot. AND...what are the best places to eat?

Finally...we will have an extra night that we haven't decided what to do with yet. We could head back Saturday and split the trip up again, and catch something different on the way home (perhaps a great spot more inland?), or we could stay an extra night in Portland and spend the extra day exploring more. What would you suggest?

Thanks for all your help!

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1. Re: Road Trip from SF to Portland- 4.5 days-camping/sight seeing

Well, agree with skipping Cal-1 since it is close to you.

Do you plan to camp for sure? May need reservations in state parks. Though if tenting maybe not.

Inland at 18 is good. 101 from Otis north is not on ocean.

Be sure to add Col R Gorge when in Portland area

Vestal, New York
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for Auburn, Finger Lakes
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2. Re: Road Trip from SF to Portland- 4.5 days-camping/sight seeing

You could spend your extra day near Portland exploring the Columbia River Gorge area. If you head back down I-5, Silver Falls State Park near Salem is a great stop.

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3. Re: Road Trip from SF to Portland- 4.5 days-camping/sight seeing

Take the Howland Hill Road to Hiouchi and stay in the motel or at the campground, Either way, make sure you have a reservation because it will be very busy in July. Same goes all along the coast. I take it that you are not doing the Redwoods this time, but primarily the Oregon Coast. Here is an old post, but it could help with your itinerary: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1438848-i12636-k5…

You will miss the beautiful Ecola State Park if you don't go all the way to Cannon Beach.

Also, get "Day Hiking Oregon Coast" by Bonnie Henderson to get a lot of great info about the Oregon Coast.

Rent a bike in Portland to get a good idea of the city.

4. Re: Road Trip from SF to Portland- 4.5 days-camping/sight seeing

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