We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Seattle down to San Francisco

Niagara Falls
Level Contributor
4 posts
30 reviews
Save Topic
Seattle down to San Francisco

We are looking at flying into seattle and either driving down and stopping along the way all the way to San Francisco. Or perhaps a train? Any ideas of how long our trip should be and if there is a train that goes that way? And how long the drive is?

Thanks

Mentioned in this post
San Francisco
San Francisco
California
8 replies to this topic
Renton, WA
Level Contributor
4,573 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Seattle down to San Francisco

www.amtrak.com/coast-starlight-train

We drive from the Seattle area to the Bay area a couple of times a year and go via the coast because the freeway is so boring. However, it is possible to make it in one very long day via the freeway. The Oregon coast is too scenic to ignore. Because there is nothing much in southwest Washington we bite the bullet and take the freeway as far south as Kelso/Longview and then follow the river to the Megler Bridge that connects the two states.

Mentioned in this post
Seattle
Seattle
Washington
Seattle
Level Contributor
48,755 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Seattle down to San Francisco

If you just get on the freeway and drive it straight thru I think most would consider it a 12-14 hour road trip.

Yes Amtrak (is the train) takes you there as well.

I live in Seattle and when I visit friends in SF or the Bay Area... I fly. Even that is a 2+ hour flight.

Mentioned in this post
Seattle
Seattle
Washington
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
67,877 posts
122 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Seattle down to San Francisco

Hi

>>how long our trip should be<<

That's like the question: 'How long is a piece of string?'

What do you want to do on this trip? It could be an incredibly long day, or a few days, or a week, or several weeks. You know that you'll pay a one way drop fee for the rental car, right?

Here is a link to the multi-state Road Trips forum:

https:/…ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Trips.html

On the full TA website (not the app), look at the topics in the Top Questions on the right side of that page. here are some additional "West Coast" ideas that have been suggested to other folks: www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c224772

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
Level Contributor
9,397 posts
200 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Seattle down to San Francisco

Amtrak's Coast Starlight leaves Seattle around 9 a.m. daily and arrives in Emeryville 24 hours or so later with bus connections across the bay to points in San Francisco.

Coach fares aren't bad, but sleeper accommodations get pricey.

There are fairly frequent flights to SF. Nonstop are about 2 hours or less. Economy airlines are fairly inexpensive. Personally, I'm not a bus fan.

Driving, your routes are totally up o you. What are your time frames, budget, travel style, interests, etc.?

Mentioned in this post
Seattle
Seattle
Washington
San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
820 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Seattle down to San Francisco

If you have the time - at least a week - the drive down the coastline (as Bob said, from Astoria on down, or maybe from Otis/Lincoln City on down) is a great adventure. The topography & culture you encounter as you make this drive varies and never fails to interest/entertain. Some in a mind-boggling way, others in more simple ways. As indicated above, the multi-states road trip forum is the best place to get a nice array of suggestions/cautions for the trip.

Mentioned in this post
Astoria
Astoria
Oregon Coast, OR
Lincoln City
Lincoln City
Oregon Coast, OR
Seattle
Level Contributor
48,755 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Seattle down to San Francisco

Hoping papillon checks back in and let us know more about what they are hoping to do & how long they have to do it.

A couple weeks of sight-seeing? Or just getting from point A to B.

I did the Coast Starlight once just the short stretch Seattle down to Portland and really enjoyed that particular train (has the observation car, dining car, sleepers, etc.). But if you have the time you could see a lot more in your own car, like Bob's suggestion in the first post.

Mentioned in this post
Seattle
Seattle
Washington
Niagara Falls
Level Contributor
4 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Seattle down to San Francisco

Thank you for all the information, as I just started my research I cannot fully answer all the questions, but we have about two weeks, and there are seven of us....4 adults and 3 teens. We all have different interests, but some are of course the must sees, nature and parks, wine, and shopping!!! We would like to do the most scenic route possible, and we will be renting I guess a van. We have ruled out the train, as we would like the freedom to stop where we choose. We would like to stretch out a bit, and stop and stay as we go.

.

Edited: 12:39 pm, June 10, 2018
Seattle
Level Contributor
48,755 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Seattle down to San Francisco

Thanks for the details. I think 2 weeks, a van, and a 7 people with those interests can make a great itinerary. I will let others with more experience road-tripping this area continue to help.

Willamette Valley in Oregon could be a nice area to visit for your "wine" part.

Mentioned in this post
Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley
748 Reviews
Portland, OR
Oregon
Oregon
United States
Reply to: Seattle down to San Francisco
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
;