We are going to the States from 6th of May to 7th of June. The first three weeks we will tour south of San Francisco with family we are meeting there. After that we have around 2 weeks left up our sleeve to explore the north by ourselves. Ideally we would like to drive from SF to Vancouver and back but wonder if the time is too short? If realistically do-able, should we do the coastal route on the way up and inland the return trip? And what places are a must see? We've never been to the States before and it is all a little overwhelming trying to plan this big trip. Any suggestions are most welcome.
Take Amtrak to Vancouver and see some of the city and Vancouver Island as time permits.
You won't need a car in the city in fact it's quite expensive to park one overnight and if you want to head outta town rentals are ubiquitous.
Thanks for your reply. Problem is we've already booked a car for the full 5 weeks, fully paid up front. So whatever we decide on doing it will have to be by car. I'm just wondering if the time is too short to travel there and back and still see some places.
I think that is way more then enough time to do. About two years ago, I went from the ab/sask border area through about 10 states and three provinces in 18 days. In places like arizona it is a lot of desert like grounds so you don't see much, we drove as well. I actually stayed in San Fran for four days. It was so much fun. If you don't already have the towns planned out or if you do, I could give you some ideas of what to see to do in them. We explored a lot and did a lot in that short time span. If you want to PM me, I could give you some tips : )
That is a very generous amount of time for that trip, but the area is very large, and you'll be able to relax and really see it well. I believe you will enjoy the coast more than inland, but the inland areas of N. California, Oregon and Washington have beautiful lakes, mountains and rapid rivers. Stay off of the terribly boring Interstate highways and explore the backroads for the most rewarding trip. The truth is that most people rush through in a few days, and only glimpse this area. The Pacific NW has quite a large concentration of Native Americans that is only matched in the American Southwest. When you tire of this area, there is still British Columbia to see. Puget Sound where Seattle is located is quite peaceful and beautiful - I recommend the San Juan Island chain near the Canadian border - you can ferry there on your way to Victoria, BC. Don't forget the many dormant volcanoes for some awesome views and cooler temps. I live in this area (Portland) and have still not seen many of these sights myself. If you like to fish, we have plenty of salmon awaiting fishermen!
Thank you all for your quick replies and great suggestions. It is a relief to know there should be enough time, we don't want to simply rush there and back. Now we have to sit down and do some serious planning. Any great places along the coastal route/inland that are a must see? And are there any places better to avoid (roads far too winding or so)?
Once again, thanks to all for your help
[ Edit: Edited on 13-Feb-2012, at 14:40 by turando ]