A person in another thread asked me to post my sample 6-day itinerary from Portland to SF. Overall, it is an 8-day trip if you count flight days.
Keep in mind that it is focused on nature sightseeing and short hikes, so if you like shopping or museums or spending time in towns, you will have to modify it. Also, there is way more to see each day than I have listed here. I am just hitting the highlights.
Also, we only care that our motels are clean and comfortable, so no effort is made to find the "best" or "most scenic" hotel towns.
Sunday: Fly to Portland. Drive to Seaside.
Monday: Drive to Newport
-Ecola State Park: plan on spending a few HOURS here exploring the beautiful scenery and nice hikes.
-Tillamook Cheese Factory
-Three Capes Scenic Loop: stop at the Cape Meares Lighthouse for a short hike.
-Devils Punchbowl Hike (if you have time).
-Yaquina Head Lighthouse: short hikes
-Cape Perpetua Scenic Area: lots of hikes to choose from
-Heceta Head Lighthouse: short hike
-Oregon Dunes Overlook Trail: 1 mile hike
Wednesday: Drive to Crescent City , CA
-Shore Acres State Park and Arago State Park: close together on a dead-end road.
-Coquille Point Wildlife Refuge: short trail down to the beach; in the city of Bandon.
-Samuel Boardman State Park: a 10-mile corridor along the sea; lots of viewpoints and short hikes.
Thursday: Drive to Hiouchi, CA
-Stout Grove (near Hiouchi): short hikes
-Howland Hill Road: scenic dirt road
-Lady Bird Johnson Grove: short hikes
-Fern Canyon: dirt road to a beautiful hike; may take some time.
Friday: Drive to Westport, CA
-Short hikes in the Avenue of the Giants, Humboldt Redwoods State Park:
-Big Tree Area: drive on a dirt road to get to this hike
Saturday: drive to SF
-Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg
-Mendocino Headlands State Park
-And now you have earned the right to spend some time shopping and sightseeing in the quaint seaside town of Mendocino!
Sunday: Flight out
Note: we do kinda like "1960's-type" motels if they are clean. The Hiouchi Motel gets good reviews, and it is within walking distance of some beautiful scenery. Also, the Howard Creek Ranch in Westport, CA, seems like a very interesting alternative for lodging.
Thoughts, questions, and alternatives are welcome.