me and a friend (2 girls from Barcelona) just booked a flight to spend our summer holidays in the States. We plan to do a road trip from Seattle (where I have some family) until San Francisco, including Las Vegas, LA, and maybe a short trip to Mexico.
I have two questions!!
1. Which places are musts that we cannot miss? (we'll spend a month there)
2. What is the best option as to buy or rent a car? Should we go for a camper? Or just bring a small tent and camp in campsites? (Is is much cheaper to camp rather than stay at a motel?)
Any advice welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyone who has done the same route? THANKS
Well, if you plan to end up in San Francisco, you'll do quite a bit of back tracking. I might suggest starting in the south and working your way north as the weather gets hotter. If you have never been to Seattle before there are many great things to do! There is the Olympic national forest which is great for walks and relaxation, and closer to the coast than Seattle itself. Highway 101, or 1, is a great scenic drive. I would recommend that if possible. In Seattle try by the U district for bars and nightlife, and Pike's market for fresh produce and fish. Plenty of wonderful restaurants in Seattle! In San Francisco, I would recommend staying a few nights at least, and try the public transportation. Walking is valuable too. Unless you like city driving, or know of some good free parking!! Anyway, best of luck to you, sounds like a great trip!
Thanks THEROOK! In fact I know Seattle quite well, I did my highschool sophmore year there (11 years ago!!!), that's why we are starting our trip there!
What do you suggest about buying/renting a car? I had thought of buying it in Seattle (with the help of my host family there) and then selling it in SF (we could plan to stay there for a week or so so we have time to sell the car again - but there's always the hassle of having to sell it before your flight!). What do you think?
Any more stops along the way that are well worth it? Sacramento? Yosemite?
i'm in the san francisco/san jose area. if you're desperate, you can crash at my parents house. we can party in sf or sj. keep in touch dudes.
My Husband and I flew to Portland Oregon last September and rented a car for two weeks of road traveling. But for long holidays I don't know unless they give good rates for long term rentals.
As for stops along the way, as you drive South from Seattle (which I DEARLY LOVE), you will want to spend some time in Oregon, either going all the way down on Interstate 5, or the coastal highway which is beautiful but can be a little contentious, because much of it is two lane. We alternated from Interstate 5 back and forth to the coast, which involved 50 -60 miles of travel through gorgeous wine country, and headed east to visit some of Oregon's magnificent waterfalls and it's wonderful jewel, Crater Lake.
Much to see in Oregon even before you hit beautiful California. The Redwood National Park is right across the border of Oregon/California. You will want to spend time there and then on down to SF. Yosemite and Sequoia are something to behold also, but you will find Yosemite especially crowded during the summer months.
Enjoy your travels. We would go back in a heartbeat ourselves. There is nothing like the Pacific Ocean and the other "eye candy". IF you are heading to Southern California you will want to visit San Diego.
Be sure to have plenty of money, as things can be expensive. But rest assured you will take back brilliant memories. BE SURE TO TAKE CAMERAS!
Thanks wayfarer!! I can't wait to start the journey!!
meterpai, let's keep in touch so you can show us the nightlife in SF!!!!! We would be there towards the end of august. Do you think it would be easy to sell a car in SF? Any suggestion?? Any specific dealer? Would we get much less than what we would have paid?
Take a "side trip" out of Portland up the Columbia River Gorge, it's on
Interstate 84 out of Portland. Stop at all the scenic spots, most
especially Multnomah Falls.
Look on your map in N. California and cut across to Hiway 101
and drive thru the giant redwoods country. Or maybe leave I-5 in
Medford OR and go to Hiway 101 there and drive down the OR & CA
coast. Spectacular scenery. Alternatively, go over to 101 from
Eugene. Long way around and lots of traffic thru all the small coast
towns during tourist season, but some really GREAT OR coast scenery.
When you get to the redwoods, S. of Fortuna, CA, look for the
"Avenue of the Giants". A MUST see, it's (I think) about 40 miles or so
and full of scenery & Giant redwoods, will runs parallel to hiway 101
and will connect back to 101 at the other end.
(I live across from Seattle now in Port Orchard and used to
live in Fortuna & Scotia in N. CA) If you have time, the Pacific Lumber
Co. in Scotia used to give freebie guided tours of the lumber mill, the
largest redwood lumber mill in the world. Interesting and worth a stop
if you can swing it, but I wouldn't take up a lot of time for it.