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Old 08-09-2017, 08:24 PM
 
769 posts, read 712,914 times
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Hey all,

So, I have some vacation time coming up soon (a week/9 full days off), and I am thinking about doing a fairly spur-of-the moment road trip to CA from Seattle. I was once on such a drive for a family trip as a teenager, but we took I-5 the entire way (down to LA/Palm Desert & Palm Springs). I would like to take the scenic coastal route of 101/1 instead. Most likely, I would take a rental car down, and catch a one way flight back home from from LA/SD (As having to drive back too wouldn't leave me enough time to do some of the things I want to do/see).

My question is if it's a drive that is worth taking the entire coast for, or if I should mainly only drive on 101/1 in CA? I am familiar with Astoria and Canon Beach in Oregon (and there are definitely some scenic parts there), but otherwise am not familiar with much between there, and the northern end of CA.

My rough route plan was to take I-5 down to southern WA, head over to the Astoria-Megler bridge, and work my way from there to San Francisco. From there, I would keep heading south, with a stop in Big Sur, and eventually end up in LA or SD (time depending). Just curious for some more info on other places along the Oregon coast/northern CA coast worth stopping at, in addition to planned destinations, and any other advice for someone doing this drive.

Lastly, is this drive a bit too ambitious of an idea to squeeze into 9 days? An alternative idea was to fly to SF, and make the drive from there to Big Sur and SoCal (and most likely just drive back to SF for the flight home) in a slightly shorter trip - I'm just wondering how much I'd be missing out on between Astoria and SF, other than scenery?

Thanks for any input!
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
453 posts, read 733,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flightoficarus87 View Post
Hey all,

So, I have some vacation time coming up soon (a week/9 full days off), and I am thinking about doing a fairly spur-of-the moment road trip to CA from Seattle. I was once on such a drive for a family trip as a teenager, but we took I-5 the entire way (down to LA/Palm Desert & Palm Springs). I would like to take the scenic coastal route of 101/1 instead. Most likely, I would take a rental car down, and catch a one way flight back home from from LA/SD (As having to drive back too wouldn't leave me enough time to do some of the things I want to do/see).

My question is if it's a drive that is worth taking the entire coast for, or if I should mainly only drive on 101/1 in CA? I am familiar with Astoria and Canon Beach in Oregon (and there are definitely some scenic parts there), but otherwise am not familiar with much between there, and the northern end of CA.

My rough route plan was to take I-5 down to southern WA, head over to the Astoria-Megler bridge, and work my way from there to San Francisco. From there, I would keep heading south, with a stop in Big Sur, and eventually end up in LA or SD (time depending). Just curious for some more info on other places along the Oregon coast/northern CA coast worth stopping at, in addition to planned destinations, and any other advice for someone doing this drive.

Lastly, is this drive a bit too ambitious of an idea to squeeze into 9 days? An alternative idea was to fly to SF, and make the drive from there to Big Sur and SoCal (and most likely just drive back to SF for the flight home) in a slightly shorter trip - I'm just wondering how much I'd be missing out on between Astoria and SF, other than scenery?

Thanks for any input!
No. 9 days sounds like a great amount of time to drive down the coast! It is one of the greatest drives in the US and you should just jump on and off I5 and discover the coast as you will.
Will you be camping?
Will you want to stay in hotels?

The Shasta/Six Rivers area is one of the most beautiful unrecognized parts of the country in my opinion.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:19 PM
 
6,550 posts, read 4,090,047 times
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The drive is gorgeous. Be aware that Highway 1 is closed indefinitely in Big Sur due to landslides. You can't drive all the way through it; you have to detour.

Check this site for closure information: Highway 1 Conditions in Big Sur, California
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:40 PM
 
769 posts, read 712,914 times
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Well, looks like I'll be doing a partial version of this drive! The rental car market in my area is completely sold out for the month! So, I'm shortening things a bit/driving my own car (And saving SoCal for a fall visit). But, it looks like I'll be embarking tomorrow morning for the Bay Area, with a stop around the CA/OR border to crash overnight - Planning to view the eclipse Monday morning before heading to SF .
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,628 posts, read 3,975,776 times
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Where to start...there are so many places to stop in Oregon. I'd definitely recommend the Dellenback Dunes Trailhead of the Oregon Dunes and Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint...both in Oregon.
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
5,558 posts, read 3,707,108 times
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Have a great trip. Keep in mind the CA/OR border is outside the total eclipse area, but you will see some darkness in this area. Once you get south of Eugene you will be out of the total eclipse area. Be prepared for higher traffic volumes tomorrow on I-5 from Washington into Oregon SB.

I have done the 101 trip several times and it is much better in Oregon than California, as it turns inland after Eureka in CA. Highway 1 is the coastal route south of Eureka at Leggett, but can be slow and go. Just for future reference...
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:57 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,946 posts, read 7,605,059 times
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It is a great trip route!

A few years ago we drove to my brother's house in Portland from San Diego and we drove through L.A. To Santa Barbara, stopped at THE famous taqueria and made our way to Paso Robles for the night then to San Luis Obisbo (I would stop at Hearst Castle and take a couple of the tours) then to San Francisco to stay with our friends there and in their weekend house in Healdsburg (yeah, they are wealthy). Then off to the coast and the redwoods, the word awesome was specifically created to describe this area, every other use of this word is hyperbole! If you haven't experienced it seeing it first hand will change your life. Off to the Smith River and camping. The Oregon coast is ridiculously beautiful and desolate, with a small highway system but well worth every moment that you are there.

Do it, you will never forget it.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:01 PM
 
769 posts, read 712,914 times
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Well, I'm back home now. Unfortunately, time became more of an issue at the last minute (It was a pretty unplanned trip, after all!), and much of the coastal driving had to be skipped this time. I decided it would be better to do the whole coast thing with a rental car via a one-way drive (and fly back) than try to rush through everything with my own car on a roundtrip, and not really take the time to enjoy the stops along the way.

The good news though, is that I was still able to enjoy some of the coastal scenery in northern California (albeit on a foggy day), as we shot over to Crescent City from Grant's Pass (This area of I-5 certainly has some nice mountain scenery of it's own), and took 101 down. Finally getting a chance to see the redwoods in person was a truly majestic experience as well! Had a great time in San Francisco too (that might make for a separate thread). Overall, the trip was still a rather nice little retreat from home .
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