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[Mar. 6th, 2014|04:31 pm]
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I'm planning to drive from Seattle to San Francisco this summer...any suggestions for things to see along the way?

I'm not entirely sure that I want to stop at San Fran, would you recommend a different place to fly out of?

(I'm from New York and have been to CA a few times but would love suggestions!)

Are you planning any trips for spring break or summer?

[User Picture]From: schexyschteve
2014-03-06 10:10 pm (UTC)


We're doing a mini vacation to the Kalahari in Sandusky at the end of March. It's got the largest indoor water park in the US.
[User Picture]From: blackdwarv
2014-03-06 10:40 pm (UTC)


Take a day to stop off in Portland. Plenty of cool things there.
Rent a bike and ride around the waterfront (easy loop). Get lunch at one of the many, many, many, many food cart pods around town. Swing by Powells and spend a couple of hours finding books.

If you want a pretty view, take 101 instead of I-5. Not that the views are bad there, but cruising along the oceanside all day is amazing. (Caveat: Wait until you get out of California first. Every time I've driven 101 in Cali, it's been PACKED.)
[User Picture]From: demonologie
2014-03-06 10:41 pm (UTC)


I'm not sure if Monterey Bay is north or south of SanFran, but if it's north, the aquarium there is amazing.

Edited at 2014-03-06 10:41 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: dawgdays
2014-03-06 11:02 pm (UTC)


Monterey is a ways south of SF, but the Monterey/Carmel/Pacific Grove area is gorgeous.
[User Picture]From: dawgdays
2014-03-06 11:01 pm (UTC)


I have a trip planned to New York City and Washington DC this spring. And two shorter trips to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (which see).

Starting in Seattle and going southward. (Note, Seattle probably gets more coverage because I live here.)

Seattle and environs - the Pike Place Market, the Seattle Waterfront (Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises, Washington State Ferries, Seattle Great Wheel, Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe), Pioneer Square, Chinatown/International District, Seattle Center (Space Needle, Experience Music Project, Science Fiction Hall of Fame and Museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass), Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Art Museum, Museum of History and Industry, Museum of Flight. Japanese Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum. Drive the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge (the world's longest floating span bridge). Snoqualmie Falls. Seattle Mariners @ Safeco Field, Seattle Sounders FC @ CenturyLink Field.

Tacoma - LeMay - America's Car Museum, Washington State History Museum, Museum of Glass.

Between Tacoma and Portland - Mount Rainier National Park, Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Portland - Powell's City of Books, Columbia Gorge (including Multnomah Falls), Portland Japanese Garden, International Rose Test Garden, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Oregon Coast - Seaside is more touristy, Cannon Beach is very laid back (and has Haystack Rock on the beach), Newport has a nice aquarium, near Florence is the Oregon Dunes National Monument

I-5 corridor through Oregon - Highway 99W is the heart of Oregon wine country. Salem has the Oregon State Hospital Museum - the setting for the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Eugene, Roseburg, Grants Pass, Medford are all convenient stopping places. On Highway 199 outside of Grants Pass is the Oregon Caves National Monument. Crater Lake National Park - the lake simply stunning. Ashland has the Oregon Shakespeare Festival - if you like theatre (and it's not just Shakespeare), this is a great spot.

The Northern California Coast along US 101 - Redwoods, California wine country (Sonoma and Napa valleys). Then there are Muir Woods National Monument, Point Reyes National Seashore, and Sausalito.

Heading down the center of Northern California is pretty dull. Though you can stop in Weed, CA, which is humorous because of the name. You could stop at Shasta Dam outside of Redding, or swing over to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Sacramento has some interesting spots, such as the California State Railroad Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, Old Sacramento, Sutter's Fort.

Then you get to San Francisco, and that would be a tome in itself. Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Park (including the California Academy of Science, other museums and yet another Japanese Garden), the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (including the Alcatraz tour), the Embarcadero (including the Exploratorium, the Ferry Building), the Presidio, San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, San Francisco Opera and other theatre venues. San Francisco Cable Cars, "the crookedest street in the world" (walk it, don't drive it), Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. There are TONS of things to do in San Francisco and the areas nearby.

And if you can, hop up into the Sierra Nevada and go to Yosemite National Park. It is simply incredible, and is quite likely my favorite place on the planet.

I know, I know, that's way more than you could possibly do in one trip, but there are lots of things to do. The key decision is coast or I-5 through Oregon.

Have fun!

Edited at 2014-03-06 11:04 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: pickathelitter
2014-03-07 11:24 am (UTC)


What are you doing in NYC? What's my neck of the woods! :)
[User Picture]From: dawgdays
2014-03-07 03:49 pm (UTC)


Oh, good heavens, there's so much to do in NYC, it's ridiculous. We'll be there nine days, and that won't be enough time (though we will probably be done at that point, regardless). Here are the things that we currently have on our list.

- Downtown - Liberty Island and maybe Ellis Island (Immigrant Museum), Staten Island Ferry, 9/11 Memorial, Trinity Wall Street & St. Paul's Chapel, Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park/Castle Clinton, South Street Seaport
- Lower Eastside Tenement Museum
- Chelsea/Meatpacking District - High Line, Chelsea Market
- Chinatown/Little Italy - to poke around, I guess
- Midtown - Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock), Empire State Building, Times Square, maybe the UN, MoMA
- Central Park, of course
- Upper West Side - Lincoln Center (The Met, and maybe Jazz at Lincoln Center), the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Natural History Museum
- Upper East Side - the Museum Mile
- Points north - The Cloisters, Yankee Stadium tour

- Broadway shows - thinking of choosing from All the Way, After Midnight, Cabaret, Chicago, No Man's Land (to see McKellen/Stewart), Wicked
- Other shows - Metropolitan Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Upright Citizens Brigade.
- We're looking into show tapings - The Daily Show and I think there's something else
[User Picture]From: dawgdays
2014-04-17 05:21 am (UTC)


Yeah, we didn't do it all, but we did a lot.
[User Picture]From: faecat
2014-03-06 11:03 pm (UTC)


My household, my parents, and a couple of other friends are all going to Orlando for a week in July - my dad wants to spend his birthday at Disneyworld :)
[User Picture]From: firesidedog
2014-03-06 11:09 pm (UTC)


I have driven the entire Oregon and California coast. See as much of that as possible.
[User Picture]From: pickathelitter
2014-03-07 12:02 am (UTC)


Is there anything in particular that you would recommend?
I've driven from San Diego to Malibu, and I've driven a little South of San Fran, but don't really know much aside from what I've been reading up on.
[User Picture]From: redqueenofevil
2014-03-06 11:24 pm (UTC)


It depends on whether you like outdoor activities or indoor activities. North California has much to do if you like camping, hiking, beaches, etc. For airports you could always fly out of San Jose. They just got a huge remodel, so it isn't a bad airport to fly out of.
[User Picture]From: teefers
2014-03-06 11:42 pm (UTC)


Fly out of Oakland!! It's way less busy, lowkey, easier and shorter security lines, etc. and just over the bridge from SF (like, 20 mins away). They call Oakland "Brooklyn of the West" these days.

Coachella for weekend 1 in April and then Manhattan at the end of May.

Edited at 2014-03-06 11:44 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: pickathelitter
2014-03-07 11:25 am (UTC)


Ah, interesting. We're literally leaving from Brooklyn.
What are your plans for Manhattan?
[User Picture]From: teefers
2014-03-07 03:44 pm (UTC)


lots of restaurants and shopping, the zoo, coney island, central park..
I'd like to check out Brookyln and some other burroughs..

anything else you can suggest that wouldn't be available in the winter? I usually visit every year during the winter so it would be ideal to fill this May trip up with stuff I can't do in Jan/Feb :) Not really into touristy stuff aside from what I already mentioned. Would love to hear about some spots locals like to frequent.

Edited at 2014-03-07 03:47 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: firesidedog
2014-03-07 12:30 am (UTC)


Well any coastal route is going to take longer, so it depends on how much time you have allotted for this trip. I am a California native, so when the wife took a road trip to Oregon we went right up the middle of the state and drove the entire coastal route down. It really is all beautiful. I was really fond of Astoria. Then there are numerous small quaint and non so quaint towns along the way. I thought that southern Oregon was not quite as beautiful.

The northern California coastal route is quite spectacular as well. if you drive past San Francisco and Monterey there is the Big Sur coast, which in my opinion the most beautiful coastline in all of Oregon and California. If I had my druthers I would live there. However I do not have the mega$$$$$$$$. Enjoy your journey.
[User Picture]From: pickathelitter
2014-03-07 11:27 am (UTC)


We are planning for a week, but I'm off for the entire summer and he can telecommute for a few days if we need to extend anything.

We already had Astoria in our plans, so it's nice validation that you say it's good, too! :)
[User Picture]From: noodledays
2014-03-07 12:44 am (UTC)


not sure about spring break yet, but I'd like to do a trip to see my sister in Tennessee over the summer if it works out to be possible. :)
[User Picture]From: hikerpoet
2014-03-07 12:59 am (UTC)


Okay, okay, sisters take priority, but then Boston! There are a bunch of us here or within driving distance.
[User Picture]From: noodledays
2014-03-07 03:05 pm (UTC)


one of these not too distant years, I'd love to take both kids to the east coast, and the Boston area would definitely need to be a stop along the way. :)
[User Picture]From: firesidedog
2014-03-07 12:56 am (UTC)


One more thing we did while in Oregon. We took a jet boat tour up the Rogue river. This may have been the highlight of our trip. This pretty much an all day event. Well worth the money and time. I think it was about 40.00 per person that included lunch.
[User Picture]From: striga
2014-03-07 03:15 am (UTC)


Last time we drove from the Bay Area to Oregon, we stopped at Lassen on the way up, to see the bubbling mud pots, and the lava beds on the way back. If you're a fan of curious natural phenomena, I'd recommend both.
[User Picture]From: jillsmyth
2014-03-07 03:28 am (UTC)


Ooh, we did that (and more) last spring. We drove down the 101 and up the I-5.

Some highlights:
1. The coastline is amazing. So many beautiful views.
2. We stopped in Lincoln City, OR at Jennifer Sears Glass Studio and my hubby did some glass blowing. It's so cool. And they will ship it to your home so you don't have to worry about it breaking.
3. Redfish Restaurant in Port Orford, OR was fabulous with an amazing view.
4. If you are interested in the Redwoods, stop by the Redwoods Park Info Centre in Crescent City, CA. The ranger we talked to was really helpful and even directed us the Klamath River Overlook where we saw some whales.
5. The Avenue of the Giants is cool. The touristy gift places are cheesy but the Redwoods themselves are awe-inspiring. The Leggett Drive-Thru tree is fun (as long as your vehicle will fit!)
6. We didn't have a lot of time in Mendocino, CA but it looked like a real arty community with a ton of small shops.
7. If you do stuff IN San Francisco, stop at TCHO chocolate factory. Their chocolate is AMAZING and the tour is fun and free! (you just have to reserve a spot)
8. Also in San Franciso is Forbes Island Restaurant.
9. Shasta Lake Caverns tour was really cool. Although we went very early in tourist season and had our tour guide all to ourselves which might have made a difference.

We didn't go any farther south than San Francisco but the Winchester House in San Jose looks nifty.

Have fun on your trip!

We going to visit my family this spring. Two weeks driving from province to province, doing a tour.
[User Picture]From: pickathelitter
2014-03-07 11:27 am (UTC)


Thank you! Enjoy your trip!
I've always wanted to see the Winchester house!