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Road trip from Sac to Seattle.

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Road trip from Sac to Seattle.

My husband and I must be in Seattle for a Saturday and Sunday conference in April. We would like to drive to Seattle from Sacramento and take in a few sights. I am not sure how to best plan this trip or how long is really needed but could do at least 7 days and possibly one or two more. We have passports and we have a hotel for our conference Friday and Saturday night. I grew up in Northern California and at 50 have never been to Portland or Seattle. I must go to Victoria because it is a place my mother always wanted to go and never made it there, just gotta fit that in! Here is what I would like to do:

Oregon Coast ideas

Portland ideas

Seattle (just one day)

Victoria BC

I would be so appreciative for any and all advise!

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1. Re: Road trip from Sac to Seattle.

" I am not sure how to best plan this trip" And therein lies the problem, as we are not trip planners. So, you must do some reading, some research and come up with an itinerary. If you read the California, Oregon and Washington forums, along with Oregon Coast, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, BC you'll gain the knowledge required. Also, on the right side of each of the forum pages, you'll find links for specific areas.

After you have created an itinerary, please post it on Calif, Oregon and Washington forums. Maybe the Road Trip forum, and we can help you fine tune it. Good Luck. Chuck.

Destination Expert
for Seattle
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2. Re: Road trip from Sac to Seattle.

I'd think you'd spend two days each way driving. Adding the Oregon coast would be a minimum of two nites, Victoria, one day and seattle one day. Not sure you have time for what you've planned in such a small windown of time. Personally I'd fly or consider the train one way and drive back.

Fortaleza, CE
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3. Re: Road trip from Sac to Seattle.

I'd be curious as to what kind of itinerary, including how far you'd drive each day, you had in mind.

The two-day conference is mandatory. The visit to Victoria, which I presume you'd want for at least two nights, is highly desired. I think that would easily eat up the time of your trip.

http://goo.gl/maps/zv1xU I think this looks like way too much for a 7-day trip, since you'd take time for the conference and to visit Victoria and, presumably, would want to take at least 2 days to drive to Seattle and at least two to drive back from Victoria.

Train would be scenic (though you'd cross the Siskiyous at night). Flying to SEA and renting a car there makes the most sense to me. I don't know if the Washington State ferry from Anacortes, north of Seattle, through the San Juan Islands to Sidney, near Victoria, will resume by then, but there are also the BC ferry from near Vancouver, and the Black Ball ferry from Port Angeles.

Edited: 2:09 pm, February 07, 2014
Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Road trip from Sac to Seattle.

Also consider doing the route in reverse. Driving south along the coast you'll be on the right side to pull over and stop more easily. Also when I was looking at this a couple of years ago, the one-way car rental from SEA to the SFO area was much cheaper going south than coming north (although that was in Sept, possible it might be the other way around early in the season).

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Road trip from Sac to Seattle.

In April weather will play a role - almost certainly it will be rainy on the coast.

As you're coming from Sacramento, I'll throw out a little heresy and suggest you skip the coast. Frankly, you live close enough to the northern California coast and redwoods that it doesn't require a huge amount of effort to travel there on a weekend or a long weekend, whereas in the context of this trip the coast is a definite detour.

It's also not clear whether you have the flexibility to include the Seattle weekend days in the middle of the trip or closer to one of the ends. For example, you could push the pedal and get all the way to Seattle in around 12 hours of freeway driving. Not restful, but not hugely grueling either. (Or you could get as far as the Willamette Valley and then have an easy second morning into Seattle.) That way you could use the balance of your time (5 days?) to make your way back south in a more leisurely manner.

As for Victoria, traveling by car ferry from Seattle (several alternative routes but no direct ones) takes most of a day in each direction, while the high-speed Victoria Clipper takes around 3 (bumpy, noisy, boring) hours each way. Since this is a "bucket list" side trip (from the sounds of it) then I'd bite the bullet, save the time, and simply fly on scheduled floatplane service from downtown Seattle to the Inner Harbour at Victoria - http://www.kenmoreair.com/ . Counting the cost of ferry tolls, gas, etc. you might find that a day trip rate is tolerable; it's certainly scenic and a unique experience.

In lieu of the coast, I'd recommend returning to Sacramento by a less-traveled route, and one with better weather. After leaving Seattle, travel east over the Cascades to the Palouse region where in April the rolling hills are covered with young wheat, giving one of the most beautiful scenes in the American west. Visit Palouse Falls, then travel west along the Columbia River to the Columbia River Gorge, just east of Portland. In April all the many waterfalls along the Gorge walls will be in full flow - amazing, and the Hood River Valley (below beautiful Mount Hood) will be full of blooming fruit trees.

I'd then consider going south past Mount Hood then to US 97 back to California, re-joining I-5 near Mount Shasta. Being on the east side of the mountains, in April this will be a dryer and very scenic route, with some very interesting towns en route.

This is a non-traditional route but one that I think would be enjoyable at this time of year.

Possible map - http://goo.gl/maps/V8Peu

Palouse landscape in spring - http://gardyloo.us/20130409_190a.JPG

Palouse Falls - http://gardyloo.us/20130409_300a.JPG

Columbia Gorge - http://gardyloo.us/20100509_5a.JPG

Mount Hood from Hood River Valley - http://gardyloo.us/20100509_85a.JPG

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Road trip from Sac to Seattle.

Yes, I was also going to suggest that, given your overall time, you leave your car in Seattle and either take the Clipper or fly to Victoria, just for the day or possibly an overnight depending on how the rest of the trip comes together.

7. Re: Road trip from Sac to Seattle.

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