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San Francisco to Vancouver

London, United...
posts: 4
San Francisco to Vancouver

Hi,

I'm planning a two week trip in mid July, starting in San Fran and ending in Vancouver. I'd like to spend a few days in both cities, as well as a couple of days in both Portland and Seattle. I'd really appreciate any suggestions as to what else to visit within the timescale we have. Would love see some of the coastline (ideally warm beach, and also redwood forest). We were thinking of driving from San Fran to Portland, then taking trains from Portland to Seattle, and Seatte to Vancouver. Is this realistic/advisable?

Any thoughts, suggestions etc would be very welcome.

Thanks

Missouri
posts: 1,041
reviews: 29
1. Re: San Francisco to Vancouver

There is a previous thread about swimming, just below. Basically, there are no "warm beaches" along this route.

Here is a previous thread about the SF to Portland portion. The first two days are redwoods, followed by three days exploring the Oregon Coast. Please note that it focuses on short hikes during the day:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1438848-i12636-k5…

London, United...
posts: 4
2. Re: San Francisco to Vancouver

Thanks. Do you think it would be feasible to do SF to Portland in 2-3 days? If so, what places would you advise we visit along the way?

Missouri
posts: 1,041
reviews: 29
3. Re: San Francisco to Vancouver

Some may disagree, but I think that your itinerary may be rather too "busy" such that you may not have time to "stop and smell the roses". That is up to you, of course, since it is your vacation.

For instance, if you take the "scenic route" between SF and Portland, you will be driving up to 9 hours on a two-day trip or up to 6 hours per day in three days. That means that you will either be zipping by attractions or have very little time to do any "in-depth" touring of them. I am planning a six-day trip between SF and Portland, and even with that I will miss some places that I wanted to explore.

I think that you may need to sit down and write out an itinerary. As far as "what else to visit", seems like you have plenty on your plate already.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 34,357
reviews: 747
4. Re: San Francisco to Vancouver

Hi Bueller01 and welcome to TripAdvisor.

If you have three full days, you can make it from SF to Portland along the coast. The important part in planning is the nights - are you referring to three nights -or- three days and two nights?

Know that you won't have a lot of time to dawdle, but you'll still see lots of beautiful scenery :-)

>> ideally warm beach, and also redwood forest <<

Redwood forest is easy and very dramatic. You'll go right through redwoods not even leaving Hwy 101, although I strongly suggest Newton Drury scenic route. Click on the blue link for more info:

shannontech.com/ParkVision/…Redwood.html

Warm beach? Not so much, although you will find that the air temperature, especially on the southern Oregon coast will be pleasantly warm. Swimming? Our water is just as cold as the North Sea ;-)

London, United...
posts: 4
5. Re: San Francisco to Vancouver

Hi,

thanks for the suggestions. We haven't quite decided whether to stay two nights or three nights along the way. Having read some of the previous threads, my latest thinking is as follows:

Day 1 drive along Highway 1 from SF to Mendocino, then 101 to Trinidad. Overnight at Trinidad.

Day 2 visit Redwood National Park, then drive up to Florence, overnight at Florence.

Day 3 Florence to Seaside/Canon Beach.

Day 4 drive to Portland.

Is this itinerary advisable/realistic? Is highway 1 recommended over 101 for the first leg?

Could we cut out Cannon Beach/Seaside and head straight to Portland on day 3 instead?

It sounds like we may be being too ambitious with our timings. Certainly, I don't wish to spend the entire days driving from one destination to the next.

Thanks in advance.

Missouri
posts: 1,041
reviews: 29
6. Re: San Francisco to Vancouver

Given your limited amount of time, you definitely do not want to drive Highway 1 north of San Francisco. It is beautiful and interesting, but it is constant curves and hills on a relatively small road and it will basically take you "forever" to get where you are going. Spend your time instead stopping and exploring the Humboldt State Park Redwoods and some of the coastal sights around Trinidad if you still have the time. That will be around 5+15 driving time.

As an alternative, take Highway 101 out of SF and then CA-128 to Mendocino and spend some time there exploring the coastal sights, and then onto Trinidad through the Avenue of the Giants at Humboldt State Park. That will be around 6 hours of driving time.

If you have the time on Day 2, drive the Howland Hill Road as a part of your Redwoods visit.

You are hopefully using Google maps of the US to research your driving times.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 34,357
reviews: 747
7. Re: San Francisco to Vancouver

Post #6 idea of 128 to 1 then back to 101 isn't a bad idea, but your first day will still be really long, especially if you include Ave/Giants.

There is no comparison between Highway 1 and 101. The former is one of the most beautiful drives in the USA whilst the latter is a pleasant, mostly freeway route. Note that being a British driver, you *will* be frustrated at the slow cars on Highway 1 :-)

Florence is slightly inland behind sand dunes, so I'd suggest an overnight in Bandon or Yachats, whichever fits in best. Yachats to Seaside area is about 3½ hours drive time and from there to Portland is about 2 or slightly under, depending upon where you're going in Portland.

Trinidad to Bandon is about 3½ hours drive time; add about 2- 2½ more for Yachats.

But your first day from SF to Trinidad via Hwy 1 is about 9 hours or more, not counting stops.

London, United...
posts: 4
8. Re: San Francisco to Vancouver

Thanks both, your advise is really helpful. So based on your feedback here is my revised itinerary:

Day 1 Highway 101 from SF to Trinidad via Avenue/Giants.

Day 2 Trinidad to Redwood State Park to Howland Hill Road to Bandon

Day 3 Bandon to Seaside, via Yachats

Day 4 Seaside to Portland

Do you think it is worth taking in all 3 of the Redwood areas (Ave/Giants, Redwood State Park, Howland Hill Road), or will they all be very similar? If so, maybe we drop Howland Hill Road and visit Brookings instead)?

Many thanks.

frederick
posts: 6
9. Re: San Francisco to Vancouver

not ro crash ops thread, but i am doing the same trip from san fran to portland. i have roughly 14 days to make it to portland. the wife and i would like to spend the majority of our time on the coast, but are up for other adventures. we do plan to make it past portland to olympic national park. we want to spend about 4 days there. any suggestoins about the coast or olympic park would be awesome

Missouri
posts: 1,041
reviews: 29
10. Re: San Francisco to Vancouver

As Ronald Reagan once said, "If you've seen on redwood, you've seen them all". (I'm being facetious.)

If you decide to skip the Howland Hill Road, it will give you more time to explore the beautiful Samuel Boardman State Park, a "linear" park along the coastal bluffs and beaches of Southern Oregon.