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Northern California, Portland, Seattle road trip

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Northern California, Portland, Seattle road trip

We are planning a trip to the west coast at the end of July into August (2014). We wanted to fly into San Francisco, rent a car and drive seeing the sights along the coast and hitting Portland and ending in Seattle. Any suggestions for an itinerary? Not sure how many days we will need to do all that. Would likely have 7-10 days. We haven't booked airfare and our dates are somewhat flexible. We are a family of 5 (3 girls-12, 17 & 19). Is it better to travel up the coast on route 101 vs route. 5? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Pasadena, California
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for Pasadena
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1. Re: Northern California, Portland, Seattle road trip

While in the Portland area, take a drive up the Columbia River Historic Highway (I think it is called). This is not a highway, but a scenic road built in the early 20th century; it passes by many waterfalls, including the largest, Multnomah Falls; has gorgous views of the Columbia Gorge, and lots hiking opportunities. You might want to continue east a bit to the little town of Hood River, and a drive on the road with views of Mt. Hood. There will be lots of info on this on the Portland Oregon forum.

The problem with Oregon is that there are beautiful things inland (Crater Lake, etc) and along the coast. Hard decisions!

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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2. Re: Northern California, Portland, Seattle road trip

You could spend 3 days in just the redwoods! Here are some things to do and see. Click on the blue links and they will take you to TripAdvisor Attraction Review pages. They are roughly south to north order as you drive along 101 in California. Richardson Grove near Garberville is where the redwoods start:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32419-d64… (Richardson Grove area)












Napa, CA
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3. Re: Northern California, Portland, Seattle road trip

"Is it better to travel up the coast on route 101 vs route. 5?"

I-5 is not on the coast so 101 would be your choice for a coastal route. But in California, 101 doesn't see much of the coast either. You would need to drive Hwy 1 for that. Hwy 1 is a slow road that needs two days minimum to do it justice as it goes north from San Francisco to the redwoods.

So, take a look at a map and see the distances and prioritize what you want to see. 7 days is really not enough time to do the trip properly and even 10 is probably the bare minimum. One thing you might consider is to just go to Portland and leave the Washington part for another time.

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4. Re: Northern California, Portland, Seattle road trip

Thanks to all of you for your responses. Lots to consider! Looks like we may have 10 days to 2 weeks now so we can take the time to fit in some extra things.

5. Re: Northern California, Portland, Seattle road trip

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