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Seattle to Santa Ana

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Seattle to Santa Ana

Planning a trip to Santa Ana,CA to visit family and 2 days in Disneyland during winterbreak. Leaving from Seattle and planning on taking 3 days to get down to Santa Ana. Traveling with a 2 yr old and 10yr old so will be making lots of stops. Thinking of doing I-5 down through OR, cutting over to 101 at Grants Pass for the night, spending some time at the Redwood Forest, then down to San Francisco for a night before getting to Santa Ana. Any advice? Places to stop so the little one can run around? Worried about the weather so any advice there would be helpful as well. Have read through many posts already so want to put out there that flying is not an option and realize it may be difficult with our little one which is why we are planning lots of stops and overnight stays. Thanks!

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1. Re: Seattle to Santa Ana

Hi and welcome to TripAdvisor. By taking that route, you've got your days pretty evenly divided although your first day will be long (about 9 hours+ drive time).

You should not run into any snow unless there is a cold snap that hits the four mountain passes along I-5 in Oregon. Those are all between Canyonville and Grants Pass and are 1,700 feet to 2,000 feet high, so it needs to get quite cold and wet to have snow on them.

Rain might be another matter but as you go south it should be drier :-)

I might suggest trying to bypass SF rather than going right through. For the best way around the terribly congested city, ask on that forum. To get to it, use the drop down box on the California forum that says "Jump to a more specific forum", and select San Francisco.

One good place to let the kids run at Crescent City is the city park. It's on Front Street very easy to find. Click on the blue link to read reviews about it:

tripadvisor.com/…REVIEWS

You'll find rest stops all along your route in the rural areas. Usually they have grassy areas away from the cars where kids can run around and play.

If there is any way you could add a day to each of your drives it would be more comfortable for all of you . . . otherwise you may all get a bit tired and cranky as it's a very long way in that short of time :-(

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2. Re: Seattle to Santa Ana

Thank you half-Brit, very helpful info! We are leaving on the 21st with hopes of getting there by Christmas eve. On the way back we have as much time as needed. We may take your advice and bypass SF on the way down and maybe hit it on the way back up.

Troutdale, Oregon
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3. Re: Seattle to Santa Ana

Hi, Miabellah,

I agree, Half Brit does have great ideas.

Since you have more time on the way back, then I would suggest the following...

You go straight I-5 all the way and take your return trip as Half-Brit suggests. This way it's about 18+ hours driving total to drive according to MapQuest. I find that it is usually shorter because speed limits change along the way.

We usually stop in Grants Pass which is only about 4 hours from here (I used to live there). It is a river town in the mountains. Then we stop just past Sacramento if need be. (we've driven clear to there once.)

But with the 3 + hours driving from Seattle, maybe Ashland would take you closer. Our trip ends up in Santa Clarita so not your direction, but further on I-5..

If you get an early stop, that would put you in Santa Ana fairly early on Christmas Eve.

I wish you well on your trip.

Mrs O

Edited: 2:11 pm, November 26, 2012
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4. Re: Seattle to Santa Ana

You're most welcome :-) If you have more time for your return trip, then I would suggest taking I-5 all the way on your southern drive. It's faster. There is more chance of snow over Siskiyou Pass and also through Shasta, CA. Use these websites to check road conditions:

Oregon- www.tripcheck.com

California- www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/statemap.htm (Section 2)

The scenery is pleasant enough until you get south to about Red Bluff and from then on it goes from okay to just plain old dull. Sacramento usually has heavy traffic so try to avoid during commute hours.

You might want to take 99 instead of I-5 when you get down to Stockton / Manteca area. It's all freeway and there are many more towns which may work better for you if you're not booking your lodging ahead of time.

Once you're in the LA area, you might want to take 210 to skirt around the downtown LA traffic.

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5. Re: Seattle to Santa Ana

If it gets cold by then, be sure to monitor the weather forecast for the day you plan to drive the 5 over the mountains between the central valley and LA. We've had a very warm and dry year so far, but snow or sleet can close that pass overnight. If a closure is projected, you'll want to aim to be over the mountains before mid-afternoon. Otherwise you'll have a *very* long detour, or an uncomfortable night at a truck stop.

Troutdale, Oregon
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6. Re: Seattle to Santa Ana

I agree we have chased that sign and made it though but just in time.

MRsO

7. Re: Seattle to Santa Ana

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