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Roadtripping thru Caifornia to Seattle!

Ok -- I'm hustling up from Los Angeles on November 5th and planning to make Seattle in about five days. It's me and a girl in the small (Honda Accord) car and we will be sticking to the I-5 route pretty much the whole way. SO I'm new to this forum and dying for suggestions of places to get some good, fun food along the freeway. Since time is of the essence on this trip, I need to stick pretty close to the freeway. So those are my parameters -- any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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  1. Howdy,
    Gotta say, first of all, that the driving time from LA to Seattle is 19 hours X minutes if you stay on the freeway. That is a one day drive. I have ridden many more miles than that in a day on my motorcycle.

    5 Days is luxurious no matter what kind of car you have, so long as the damned thing runs!

    So, I suggest you get off the 5, head over to Solvang/Buellton and hit Split Pea Andersen's for lunch. Have the pea soup and a half sandwich. You can order a glass of buttermilk with your meal! They serve little ramikens of toppings that really liven up a bowl of soup. Then head North. Stop in Pismo Beach for clam chowder at the Splash Cafe. Further North is Paso Robles. You should have enough daylight left for a bit of winery hopping. I don't remember any restaurants there, but the Paso Robles Inn had a great selection of local wines that doubtless account for my lapse of memory. Ask at wineries for restaurant recommends. If they know wine, they will know food.

    From there, I would scoot back to the 5 and shoot for Napa. I am sure there are plenty of recommendations for restaurants there, but they will likely hurt your checkbook a bit. Pick up a bottle of William Harrison Cabernet if you can find it for under $50, get some fruit and cheese and have a picnic under a tree. There are plenty of parks up around there.

    Chico is about as far north as I have spent any time in California, other than hectic drives. But if you can make Chico in the morning, then Morning Thunder turns out an excellent breakfast and the Sierra Nevada Brewery has a great menu for both lunch and dinner. Plus good beer.

    From there, I am going to have to pass you off to others from the North who will be more familiar with the territory. Best of luck, drive safe, and have a wonderful trip.

    1. Folks, please keep your suggestions focused on the California segment of this roadrip aside from the L.A. and S.F. areas. We have boards that focus on those metro areas specifically.

      The OP is invited to ask about Oregon and Washington segment of the trip on our Pacific NW board, located here:

      http://www.chowhound.com/boards/show/4

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. Hey everyone!

          Gee, thanks for the great suggestions, axesbowledaslove! We will be trying many, if not most, of your offers!

          I should have been more precise with my words in my original post...as many of you noticed, five days to reach Seattle isn't exactly HUSTLING... hahaha. It is more of a ramble, I suppose, but there is a two or three day stop in Bend, Oregon scheduled in. I should have mentioned.

          And to the forum administrators, I apologize for putting out a thread that covered too much territory for the actual board. My bad. That's what I get for not reading closely enough!

          If anybody else out there knows any gems along the I-5 in California, lemme know! You all are great!

          1. Here's my report from summer 05 on Mt. Shasta City and Dunsmuir:

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            A search of this board for Shasta or Dunsmuir will bring up quite a few others. Please be sure and report back.