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Old 04-20-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
857 posts, read 1,260,093 times
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I am planning a trip to visit a friend out in Seattle and we are thinking of driving down to CA. I can only take 1 week off of work so what would you guys do if you had 2 people and ~6 days to travel along the west coast including time to drive back to Seattle, or is there not enough time?
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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If you want to do something besides simply drive I-5 and back, then there's not a lot of time in 6 days to do very much.

Consider that Seattle to San Diego is about 1300 miles, which would be about 20 hours of actual driving time ... if you could average 65 mph while driving. Not a very realistic way to spend two days down and two days back out of 6 days available. Plus, there's not a lot to see on I-5 except a long inland stretch of highway ... compared to heading down the coast on Hwy 101, with a lot of scenery, small towns ... and interesting places to stop.

Even at that, there's so much to do and see in the Seattle region, I can't see how you wouldn't have a lot to do within a range of day travel. There's a lot of mountain areas to visit, and there's a lot of culture/musuems/fine dining/fishing/boating/hiking/scenery in the immediate area.

Unless you've got an "itch" to do a lot of driving for the sake of driving, I'd spend most of my time in the PNW, and probably not go much further South than Portland ... perhaps through some of the Columbia river gorge, over to the coast, up to the Olympic penisula area. Even at that, with so much to see in the Seattle area, and the Olympic penisula nearby, and then the islands off of Everitt in the sound .... I'd have a hard time leaving the Seattle area with only 6 days to spend for a vacation.

I've done the Pacific coast many times with a 150mph cruise speed small airplane ... and 6 days isn't enough time to enjoy a trip south from Seattle and back other than the sheer pleasure of flying and seeing the scenery unfold without traffic. So, I'd really look pretty hard at Seattle area options before attempting a pleasure trip to CA from there in a car ....
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:38 PM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,584 posts, read 33,767,121 times
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With only a week, I'd stick to the coast route (101) once you get into Oregon. You can stay on that all the way down the coast well into Calif., but there will be so many interesting places to see along the way, I wouldn't plan on getting farther South than San Francisco, if that far.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,288,860 times
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6 days is not nearly enough to visit California and have time to do anything. It takes two days minimum to drive to the California state border and more to actually get into the urban areas. Take a picture in front of the "Welcome to California" sign, visit one town (you won't have time for San Francisco or Los Angeles areas) and then turn around and drive right back. Sounds like a waste of time and you are better off exploring the Seattle, Vancouver, and San Juan Island areas in depth instead of spending all your time in a car.
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,904,066 times
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If I were you I would slowly mosey across Mt. and Id. on your way to Seattle and don't even bother with Or. or Ca. Get off the freeways and take your time. You are going to wish you had months to explore these areas.







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Old 04-21-2009, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Incognito
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickers View Post
If I were you I would slowly mosey across Mt. and Id. on your way to Seattle and don't even bother with Or. or Ca. Get off the freeways and take your time. You are going to wish you had months to explore these areas.






I see this pics and Deliverance comes to mind.
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,607,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulnevrwalkalone View Post
I am planning a trip to visit a friend out in Seattle and we are thinking of driving down to CA. I can only take 1 week off of work so what would you guys do if you had 2 people and ~6 days to travel along the west coast including time to drive back to Seattle, or is there not enough time?
I grew up in Seattle and moved down to Arizona with my roommate from college. Every time we'd drive down to Arizona, we'd go through California. I can probably help you out a little.

6 days is not enough time to get down to San Diego. It IS enough time, however, to explore Washington, Oregon and Northern California. I, however, would stop at the Oregon/California border and head back. Save California for later.

Day 1. Hang out in Seattle. Tons of stuff to do. Pike Place Market, hanging out near the Seattle Center, finding a fun place to eat near the water. Enjoy the city.

Day 2. Head towards the coast. The Washington and Oregon coasts are some of the most beautiful in the country. They are not sunbathing beaches, but the vistas are absolutely gorgeous. There is so much space that you can literally find a beach entirely to yourselves. Explore the tidal pools and relax. Work your way south towards Olympia (just a few hours depending on traffic) and then head west towards the 101. Take the 101 south along the coastline. Stay near Ocean Shores (my vacation destination every summer since I was 8) or head further until you are tired of driving. It might be wise to stay on the Washington/Oregon border near the beach of Astoria or Seaside (both very small, quaint and beautiful).

Day 3. Work your way down the 101 through Oregon. Stop at Cannon Beach and take in the view. Stop in Tillamook and have some amazing cheese. Stop at the Sea Lion caves near Florence and be amazed at the noise (and smell!) of hundreds or sometimes thousands of sea lions who call these natural caves home. While you are traveling, keep a look out for whales (or take a whale watching trip if it's in season). Killer whales migrate through these waters as well as the gray whales. There is actually a pod of killer whales who live in Washington year round.

Day 4. Look around the coast a little more and then work your way towards the I-5 and stay in Ashland, OR. It's home to the Oregon Shakespeare festival and is beautiful year round.

Day 5. Make your way up to Portland on the I-5 north. It's about 5 hours so you can stop and look around places that interest you. Stay in Portland and enjoy the downtown. It's pretty cool and can compete with Seattle (though not as big).

Day 6. Drive back to Seattle from Portland. Not a long trip (probably 4 hours depending on traffic).

Alternative ideas. Stay in Seattle longer and take a ferry to the San Juan Islands. They are amazing. If you're there in the summer, you can take Killer Whale watching trips or if you're very adventurous, do it in a kayak. You can go from the San Juans by ferry to the city of Port Angeles (at the very top of the Washington peninsula) and enjoy the only rainforest in the USA. Plus, if you're a fan of the book/movie Twilight, you can look for vampires as the town of Forks is not far away. You could literally stay in the Washington peninsula and the San Juan Islands for the entire 6 days.

Incidentally, the California coast is amazing too, but to truly enjoy it, you've got to have more time. Washington and Oregon are plenty and will leave you happy for the time you've got.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:13 PM
 
2,643 posts, read 4,821,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulnevrwalkalone View Post
I am planning a trip to visit a friend out in Seattle and we are thinking of driving down to CA. I can only take 1 week off of work so what would you guys do if you had 2 people and ~6 days to travel along the west coast including time to drive back to Seattle, or is there not enough time?
I would visit Vancouver and Victoria! Vancouver is a great city and it is only a 150 mile drive from Seattle.

Why Vancouver

Stanley Park

Vancouver Photos

Chinatown Vancouver

The Butchart Gardens

http://www.vancouverconventioncentre...r_downtown.pdf
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,512,042 times
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I visit Vancouver, Britich Columbia (see previous person's post) frequently and love the town. But if you want to see "the west coast", Vancouver and/or Victoria will use up a day. Plus if you want to go to Canada, starting June 1st you will need a passport to enter the U.S., and now to enter both Canada and the U.S. you need both proof of identity (e.g., valid driver license) and proof of citizenship (e.g., valid birth certificate).

I live in Seattle. I guarantee that for your six days you will have no time to do anything but drive relentlessly on I-5 to San Diego, get a bit of sleep, and turn around and drive relentlessly back up to Seattle on I-5, having seen nothing, enjoyed nothing, and experienced nothing but a sore butt.

I enthusiastically join the chorus of posters here who recommend that you enjoy Washington.
Mt. Rainier.
Mt. St. Helens.
The rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula.
Ferry rides to the islands -- from Seattle or Edmonds or Mukilteo.
Driving into the Cascade Mountain Range on I-90.
Playing a pick-up game of volleyball on Alki Beach in West Seattle.
In May and June going whale watching from Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.
Driving into the Cascades on I-2.
And a million other sightseeing/tourist possibilities which you can Google.

Have fun!!
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