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Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

belmont, mi
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Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

My husband and I are thinking of making this dream drive. What time of year is best? How long should we allow? We are in our 40s and like to hike and take photos. Thanks!

Eugene, Oregon
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1. Re: Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

Best time of year depends on your activities; however, most would say for Oregon that July-September offer the most opportunities for sightseeing and hiking in good weather. You specified SF as one end of the trip. Is the other Portland? Will you be flying into SF and out of PDX?

So many questions for you to consider. #101 through Santa Cruz/Sonoma, the Redwoods and up the Oregon Coast to Astoria to Portland would be the bare bones itinerary, but it could take a week or more, depending on your interests, budget and preferences. Add on, perhaps, the Columbia Gorge/Mt. Hood Loop, Mt. St. Helens, Willamette Valley wine country and time in both SF and Portland...and, well, you could map out additional weeks.

Do a little research, figure out your budget and how much time you can afford to spend on the trip and let us know a bit more about your interests and you'll get lots of advice on where to go/stay, what to do and see, etc.

Also, if you have time, consider a roundtrip route that would allow you to see other parts of Oregon, such as Crater Lake. You might save enough on the roundtrip flights and return of the rental car to its original location, to make it possible to afford a few extra days on the road.

London
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2. Re: Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

We have just returned from the fowolling trip:

portland oregon 4 days, then hired a car and drove the coastal road to SF. We stopped off at:

Astoria: stayed in cannery pier hotel, very nice.

Drove to seaside......... ok then onto cannon beach: a must!

Newport: stayed at The Elizabeth Inn. nice view of the beach, cab into town ate at Sharks resturant and onto Rogue brewery, very good!

Roseburg: Holiday Inn, fine. Not much here only stay overnight.

Mount shasta: best Western Treehouse. nice.

We were planning to drive to Crater Lake, but the weather was not good there.

4 nights in SF.

Great time, with stunning scenery!

belmont, mi
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3. Re: Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

We are the bare beginnings of planning. The most time we could take is 2 weeks, and that might be pushing it (two kids in college on the east coast means most of our time is spent driving that way from our home in Michigan.)

If you have suggestions of must-sees, we're open to that...or we can get back in touch when we have more plans laid out.

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

with only two weeks at the most- a one way trip would be the best option. likely you will need to follow 101 from Portland down to SF- possibly down to Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay.

there too many state parks to choose from along the Oregon Coast- click on a few to get started. a few of the local posters will have good ideas once you have a basic itenerary in line.

www.oregonstateparks.org/searchpark.php

A minimum of 3 days is good to explore the oregon coast-without feeling extremely rushed- and do some hiking as you are interested in that. More might be better-esp if you plan on doing a few day long hikes(how long of hikes do you like?)

Redwoods NP/State Park system a must in N California.

I am not familiar with the North Coast of California, but Monterrey bay is prettty spectacular...

Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

When I travel I am faced with the problem of wanting to do too many things and not having enough time. I tend to do a lot of planning so that I can see everything I want to, but I also plan extra time for side trips.

I first figure out how much time I have to spend, then plan what to do each day, based on time available. I can promise you, the forums can *more* than give you plenty of options in each place...you may have a hard time deciding which would be your best bet.

Nevermind what the maps say - Oregon Coast is a bare minimum of 2 days - but 3-5 is more reasonable. The 2 day version in in the car from dawn to dusk and not seeing anything other than what is out the window. Not my preferred method of travel.

SF to the Oregon border is a bare minimum of a day, but better with 2-3 as a more reasonable minimum.

Of course both of these would be greatly improved by extra days.

Personally, if you are getting as far as the north Oregon coast, and like to hike & take pictures I really think it would be a shame to miss the Gorge just east of Portland. That would add a minimum of 2 days (one to get there, one to actually see it)

That brings us to 8-10 days. Is that a workable time line for you?

Once I decide on how many days, then I figure out where to stop each day - Something like this:

Night 1: San Francisco

Night 2: Crescent City

Night 3:

Night 4: etc

Once I get it listed out that way it make it much easier to see what to do and possibly adjust a day here & there - I add in the 'Day' portion of the trip

Day 1: Travel to SF

Night 1: San Francisco

Day 2: Redwoods, skunk train, etc

Night 2: Crescent City

Keep us posted as you continue the planning.

Eugene, Oregon
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6. Re: Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

It's at least 5-6 hours from SF to Crescent City. Taking the Skunk to Fort Bragg and/or Northspur and back toWillits is at least a 4-5 hour activity (and you have to be in Willits in time for the morning departure). That's a total of 10-11 hours, with no time allowed for meals, hiking or exploring the redwoods.

Most people would not include the Skunk on such an itinerary, unless you were going to make the SF-Crescent City leg of the trip a 2-3 day stopover.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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7. Re: Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

>>It's at least 5-6 hours from SF to Crescent City. <<

Ummm, I don' t think anybody could make it from SF to Crescent City in 5 hours - or even 6 - unless they were traveling with lights and siren, LOL.

"Best" time of year in my opinion is September after Labor Day. It's not quite so busy yet still has very good weather. Summer after July 5th is fine too but busier. How much time are you planning to spend in the big cities?

Eugene, Oregon
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8. Re: Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

half-Brit is right...guess I was thinking Eureka, not Crescent City. Wish, sometimes, that I had a siren, though.

Puyallup, Washington
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9. Re: Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

When we were in Fort Bragg last Setpember, the Skunk train wasn't running. The mayor had been murdered out around the tracks by a man living in the woods and he had not been caught yet. Check ahead of time.

Also, taking 101 is faster than getting off onto highway 1 between San Fancisco and Legget. Not as pretty but the Legget to Mendocino part of Highway 1 was much much more twisty and windy than we expected! I had to take ginger caps for car sickness... something I have never had before.

It is also usually suggested that you drive this trip going north to south. The view is better for the passengers.

September is usually the best time weather wise for the Northern Califonia coast and San Francisco. It is typically socked in with fog in July and August for a good portion of each day. Even for us it was still foggy, as all the weather was behind what it should usually be doing by 2 -weeks. Never did see the Golden Gate bridge. Drove over it, but coudln't see it fromthe lookout for all the fog. Ok on either side. But even that was pretty amazing.

Do a search online for Redwoods (Avenue of the giants is a must!), DelNorte, and Humbuldt Counties. Oregon 101 has a good mile by mile web site too. Also look up Oregon Coast.

Feel free to private message me if you would like more info.

Linda

Edited: 01 December 2011, 12:52
Beaverton, Oregon
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10. Re: Itinerary for Route 101 Oregon to San Fran

Crescent City to SF is seven hours mininum, maybe more. The best weather will be August and September, and I vote for post-Labor Day so the crowds will be lighter.

The drive on 101 along the coast is longer than it looks. It is not all 55; much of it is slower. But that's how it should be.