If you come back with your route, which hwys you will be driving on, then we can help you with stuff to do and towns to syop in. Chuck.
We don't really know. We would probably like to see the coast and beaches, 2-3 nights in San Francisco, wineries, redwood forest, historical sights and other scenery. No route planned at this stage. Hoping for some ideas for things to see and do and places to stay. In our early 60s and reasonably fit.
Rosemary and Philip
Maybe check the Road Trips forum. You'll find many posts for that stretch
From Santa Barbara, drive Hwy 101 until you get to san Luis Obispo. Then take Hwy 1 and allow two nights to get to San Francisco.
North of San Francisco, take Hwy 1. It ends in Leggett, then you'll be on 101. Allow one night between SF and Eureka area. For redwoods, allow two full days minimum. Then continue north and take Hwy 199 inland, heading toward Bend. Stop in Ashland for Shakespeare Theatre. Spend a couple of nights in Bend. Continue north, then go west along the Columbia River Gorge to Portland. Then north on I-5 a few hours to Seattle.
Wineries - Oregon produces award winning wines in several different areas of the state - lots of variety. California's famous (and expensive) wine country is north of SF. There are also other wine producing regions.Edited: 03 March 2014, 20:32
Thanks for your input it sounds like a great plan
The difficulty is that you have some fantastic coastal sights all the way up, and then you have some beautiful mountain and inland destinations that run parallel all the way up as well, but are about 2 - 4 hours inland, so it isn't really practical to drive back and forth between the coast and the mountains and you need to make some choices.
I'd recommend you start with the state tourism websites for California, Oregon and Washington and just see what they promote as their highlights and which ones most appeal to you. You can certainly cross from the coast to the mountains, but you will miss things as you do this, so choices are necessary.
12 days is a good length of time to do this drive and there is certainly plenty to look at. However, you will probably get better feedback if you do some research and map out a rough itinerary. Give some thought to coast vs mountains (and its quite possible to do a bit of both) and then just sit down with Google maps and plot it out.
Some things to research: Oregon - Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge, Coastal Dunes, Cannon Beach
Washington - Long Beach, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Olympic National Park.Edited: 04 March 2014, 03:49
I happen to know there are scenic coasts in NSW esp south of Sydney. Now with your trip I'd do as H-B and Vancouvite also said. Drive up the coast and take last part inland Oregon for most diversity.
Thanks to all you guys. I think you are right. We actually live on the beach in Sydney so maybe more inland would be a better option
one tip ii'd give is that in may, the coast between santa barbara & san fran can be foggy in the mornings and it's so beautiful, you don't want to miss the sites. so try to keep the itinerary flexible so that if you wake up and it's foggy try to wait a few hours into the morning to head out.
Crater Lake in May is still snowbound. You can access it from the south, but not drive around the lake. Mt St Helens opens about mid May I think, as it too gets tons of snow. Mt Rainier will still be snowy in May.
You might be interested in John Day Fossil Beds Nat'l Monument - Painted Hills and Sheep Rock units: