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7 days long enough?

New York City, New...
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7 days long enough?

Hi all,

I'm planning a 7 day birthday roadtrip from SFO to Victoria in August. And I'm already wondering if that's too ambitious. The trip is for me and my boyfriend, both young adults (mid/late 20s). We'd likely fly into SFO (from NYC) and rent a car there. I'd love to visit Portland, Seattle, and Victoria at the very least, but I wouldn't mind exploring Napa on my way up to the Pacific Northwest. From what I read it makes sense to leave the car in Seattle and take a train or ferry into BC. We would probably have to drive back to SFO to return the car and fly home. In terms of activities, I love a mix bag: natural attractions, touristy stuff, wineries, water is a must (beach), and local spots.

This sounds like a lot even as I type, but I'm early in planning and am more than open to suggestions or tips. Is 7 days enough?

Thanks everyone!

Lewes, United...
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1. Re: 7 days long enough?

Is this a one way trip, or a return to SFO to fly back to NYC?

If a loop, 7 days in way too short. Depending on if you wish time to explore San Francisco and Seattle cities, even the 1 way would be short. It seems your interests are more focused to the NW area, so why don't you fly into SEA for Seattle? There are other regional airports in Washington state, too, to consider, if Seattle looks pricey, such as Bellingham which could work well for Vic Is.

SWT

New York City, New...
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2. Re: 7 days long enough?

To answer your question, it's probably the latter. I'm thinking the expense of dropping off the car and flying out of Seattle would be too much, especially if we start in San Fran.

I'm open to flying into other areas. So far flights to SFO were cheaper than PDX and Seattle. And I figured we could also check out wine country in CA on the way. If I were to still do this itinerary (SFO to Victoria) what's the minimum suggested timeframe?

Thanks for your feedback!

Lewes, United...
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3. Re: 7 days long enough?

How would you plan on getting to Victoria? Via Vancouver, the ferries are much more frequent and take cars. From northern Washington state, say wending your way from Seattle, some of the ferry frequencies make it more of a challenge, the Port Angeles to Victoria is frequent enough but you need to get to Port Angeles by several other ferries or a long drive around and up the Olympic peninsula. There's also Anacortes via the San Juan Islands and on. From Seattle, the Victoria Clipper is passenger only.

As a loop, I'd say you're looking at a minimum of a 2 week trip, but that's assuming you are interested in seeing the many, many sights along the way. In addition to the Washingon coast and the areas already mentioned in my ferry comments, the Oregon coast area has lots to recommend it, and there's lots in northern California, not least the Redwoods. If you do a loop you could go one way following the coast and the other inland, catching destinations like Crater Lakes NP, etc.

You say mid/late 20s. Do know, if you both plan to share the driving, that rental companies charge a daily young driver fee on top of the rental cost.

If it's a one way trip, and you want to head into Canada at the end, then leave the car in Seattle and take the train to Vancouver from there, as the one way fee will be lower. If you will return to the USA in the car, wherever you return to, then there's no reason to not drive the whole way to Vancouver and beyond.

SWT

Tacoma, Washington
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4. Re: 7 days long enough?

Actually port Angeles ferry is the easiest one and shortest ....you can also travel without car. Seattle to victoria what ever way you take will take 4-6 hrs.

As for your travel....sure SF to SEA/PDXis a vary long day drive. Then going there and back on the interstate takes up 2 days of your 7 days. 5 days left to see 3 cities plus other areas.

Portland Seattle have wine areas

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: 7 days long enough?

Just in driving time alone, you are using 6 days. That's with no stops at all to do anything other than eat, sleep and fill the car with gas. Let me turn this around, and just see if my plan makes any sense:

Hi! I'm flying into NYC and I have 7 days. I thought I might rent a car, see Washington DC, visit Charleston and Raleigh and finish with a visit to Jacksonville, FL, then drive back to NYC to fly home. (this is actually a slightly shorter journey, and you don't have to work in the additional delays of the ferry, but you can see what you are talking about in terms that may be more familiar to you)

West Grey, Ontario
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6. Re: 7 days long enough?

Welcome to TripAdvisor, 10states_1year;

Ensure that the car rental company notes on the rental agreement that they authorize you to take the car into Canada. You may be asked by Customs when entering Canada, or when re-entering the US, for this documentation.

Just a reminder…citizens of the United States require one of the following to cross the border by land.

• U.S. Passport

• U.S. Passport Card

• Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL)

• Trusted Traveler Program Card

For complete details;

http://www.knowyourborder.gov/

Best Regards

New York City, New...
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7. Re: 7 days long enough?

After your suggestions and chatting with a housemate who's familiar with the region, I think I'm going to nix SF, and probably fly into a Washington -based airport. Still want to stick with Portland, Seattle, and Victoria areas. I'll drop by the individual state boards for area activities.

While I'm less concerned about the age for renting a car, I will look to see which rental companies allow travel into BC. Do you all know any off- hand? You have given me a lot to consider. Thanks for the warm welcome!

Sb: I've done a road trip before from NYC to Dallas over 7 days. We had several stops (Chattanooga and Birmingham were my favorites) and we really got to experience the South. The big difference there was that I had a one - way flight back to NYC. No looping or rental car involved. So this info definitely helps me.

Thanks!

Oregon Coast
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8. Re: 7 days long enough?

Whew, I'm glad you no longer intend to try to cover so much ground in your 7 days. It's still tight, but check into an open jaw to Portland and out of Seattle. That would save you most of one day returning to Portland. It's about 4 hours between the two cities and Seattle traffic is horrible.

An alternative might be flying into Seattle and taking the Bolt Bus to Portland and back to Seattle. Portland has a good public transportation system so unless you want to drive around outside the city you won't need a car.

Do post on the Washington forum :-)

Park the car in Seattle and take the ferry to Victoria without the car. That city has a good bus system and you won't need a car. It's expensive to take a car on the ferry.

Overall, you do not have a lot of time!

Vestal, New York
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9. Re: 7 days long enough?

Even with your paired down itinerary, you don't have enough time unless you either skip Portland and concentrate on Seattle/Victoria or skip Victoria and concentrate on Seattle/Portland.

10. Re: 7 days long enough?

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