Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >
Aug 13, 2010 10:18 AM

Updated - Road Trip: SF-->Portland-->Seattle + national parks in between. Help us eat along the way!

(Still trying to figure out the new Chow layout, so thanks for your patience with the re-post. Below is update with more specific stops along the way.)

I'm very exited to be leaving NY for SF at the end of September and taking a leisurely 11-day drive north. I'll search the Seattle and Portland boards specifically (though if you have any places, throw them out there!), but would love to get all of your recommendations for the in betweens like: great local breakfast and lunch options on the road, budget-friendly is good, but will splurge for the real gems! And any favorite dinner spots to relax at the end of the long-driving days, both low-key and local as well as nicer must-eats. All kinds of cuisines welcome, especially pac NW fare.

Looking like this so far:
SFO > Mendocino, CA
Mendocino, CA > Redwood Nat’l Park > Port Orford, OR
Port Orford > Crater Lake Nat’l Park > Grants Pass or Medford
Grants Pass or Medford > Eugene > Corvallis > Portland
Portland > Columbia River Gorge > Portland
Portland > Astoria
Astoria > Port Angeles, WA (maybe we do Portland to Port Angeles in one day)
Port Angeles > Olympic Nat’l Park > Port Angeles (or Seattle even)
Port Angeles > Seattle (route includes a ferry!)

Thanks so much in advance!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Jel, we can work with this. SF to mendocino or Ft. Bragg is good. The state redwood parks are better than the national ones. I would turn inland on 199 (the Redwood Highway; starts as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge) and visit Takilma, home of the Treehouse Resort-
    Onwards to Cave Junction, home of Taylor Sausages and Bridgeview Winery.
    Then, Grants Pass, with Summerjos and Kalyppso, among other tasty places. Then take 238 thru the Applegate to sample wine, ending up in Jacksonville, then Ashland for the night. Do a play and the Peerless or New Sammy's (reservations needed). If it's Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday you can hit our Farmer's market.
    After you've had your fill of the Rogue Valley, head towards, Crater Lake, then Head up 97 to Bend.
    After Bend head West on 20 or 58 via Eugene to the Coast on 20, 126 or 34. Then head north, definitely taking in Astoria. Head back to Portland, enjoy, and then head north to Mt. St. Helens and/or Mt. Ranier and Seattle. Take a ferry from Seattle to Pt. Angeles/ Olympic NP, then return via Olympia/Tacoma and then reflect. :

    2 Replies
    1. re: bbqboy

      I agree that this segment:
      "Mendocino, CA > Redwood Nat’l Park > Port Orford, OR
      Port Orford > Crater Lake Nat’l Park > Grants Pass or Medford "
      is puzzling. Crescent City > Grants Pass > Crater Lake makes more sense.

      If you do want more of the Oregon coast, continue north to Bandon, and then inland to Roseburg, and on to Crater Lake via 138. Cape Blanco State Park near Port Orford is quite nice, but I can't help you with eating near there, since I was camping. There is another thread about eats around Bandon.

      There are some forest service roads crossing the mountains between Gold Beach or Port Orford to Grants Pass, but you need to do some research before taking them. And of course no special eats in the mountains.

      1. re: paulj

        Yep, the deal with the West Coast is you've got 2 big Mountain Ranges running the whole length, and minimal passages thru them. You food oases will be the Rogue Valley, Bend, Eugene. Wine in the Rogue Valley and the Willamette Valley south of Portland, and seafood along the coast(although it makes it inland).
        PS: I realize I left out the Gorge from my routing; but I was aiming for food recs vs. scenery
        in this case.

    2. You need to post the SF to Mendocino part of the trip on the SF board to get good recs.

      It would be helpful to know the day of the week you will be traveling, route (hwy 1 or 101?), and start time ... do you need breakfast on this leg of the trip? Some places are closed on certain days.

      1. Check out Nora's, in Hood River, OR (Columbia River Gorge).

        1. Port Angeles to Seattle
          Two excellent bakeries in Sequim (20 minutes east of PA), Bell Street bakery and Pan D'Amore (also in Port Townsend).
          A slight detour on your route is Port Townsend, a worthwhile destination itself. Lots of good food options, wonderful farmers market 9am-2pm Saturday, as well as lots of fresh produce there is fresh grilled wild coho, excellent tacos, fresh steamed clams and oysters, crab cakes, fish chowder etc, much smaller market Wednesday 3-6pm. Also a good 10am-2pm Sunday farmers market in Chimacum between Port Townsend and ferries.

          My preferred breakfast places in PT are Point Hudson Cafe or the more upmarket Sweet Laurette's. For the best coffee, healthy organic baked goods and an excellent waterfront location go to Better Living Through Coffee. For the road, the main branch of Pan D'Amore and lots of choices from the Food Co-Op. Plenty of dinner options, no stand-outs IMO but I like Silverwater for more formal and a table on the deck over looking the Sound at Sirens.

          Finally, the best ice cream hereabouts from Mora, locations close to both the Kingston (100 yds) and Bainbridge Island (400 yds) ferry terminals. the Dulce de Leche is to die for.

          And do take the route up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, (30 minutes from Port Angeles) touristy but worth it for a spectacular view of the high mountains.

          Silverwater Cafe
          237 Taylor St, Port Townsend, WA 98368

          Food Co-Op
          414 Kearney St, Port Townsend, WA 98368

          Better Living Through Coffee
          100 Tyler St, Port Townsend, WA 98368

          6 Replies
          1. re: andrewtree

            cool. That makes me want to visit PT again.

            1. re: bbqboy

              Thanks for the thoughtful and helpful responses! I'll look into more stuff per your recommends as well, for now, my mouth is watering and I have plenty to start entering into my eat-along-the-way Excel file.

              1. re: Jel212

                Don't forget to post on the SF board for that portion of the trip ... unless just reading the existing posts there was enough.

                1. re: rworange

                  Thanks! I'll look into those other boards too : )

                  1. re: Jel212

                    hey jel, what do you want to find? fruit, fish, vegetables, nuts, meat, wine, beer, candy? other stuff?

                2. re: Jel212

                  Just a tip to upload your Excel file to a Google doc, so you can access it remotely (from a smartphone if you have one) and share it.

            2. Since you did include national parks in your request for information, I can include Mt. Rainier. We just ran around it on the Wonderland trail. 93 miles in 3 days. Beautiful. We ended up the last night at Paradise Lodge. I must say the food was dreadful. Luckily after three days of hard running my threshold for good food was pretty low. That being said, if I were to visit Mt. Rainier, I'd stay and eat outside of the National Park. Not sure where as anything I've looked up didn't have the best reviews. That being said, the trip up to Paradise is worth it. The view and Lodge is spectacular. Go and enjoy a glass of wine. Bring your own picnic.

              8 Replies
              1. re: runninrob

                To eat - bbqboy - any and all of that. Love farmers' markets, etc. Whatever's local and fabulous : ). Still making some tweaks to the itinerary, hence not having posted everywhere else, yet.

                Rainier sounds lovely, other than the lodge food - thanks!

                1. re: Jel212

                  Update: in OR, staying in Ashland 2 nights, then on to Portland for 3 nights, then to Manitou Lodge outside Forks/Olympic in Washington, then Port Townsend Blue Gull Hill Inn (thanks, Andrewtree), then Seattle. Open to more recommends in the specific areas.


                  1. re: Jel212

                    hey jel, stop in at Tease for a late night snack and drink.
                    Don't forget the farmer's market tomorrow at the new ashland armory on E. Main.

                    1. re: Jel212

                      Since my reply above I have eaten at and strongly recommend the Alderwood Bistro in Sequim. A brief review I wrote at the time;

                        1. re: Jel212

                          Sorry for the very, very late reply - life after vacation has gotten in the way!!

                          I loved this leg of the trip - PT was as lovely and quaint as promised. Loved Blue Gull Hill Inn - the proprietor was very kind and well-informed, the welcome brownies were VERY welcome (and tasty) and the homestyle, massive breakfast in the Victorian dining room was a delicious treat (so no other breakfast stops on the way to Seattle)!

                          We were exhausted by the time we drove into town, and ended up at Hanazono Asian Noodle for dinner, since it looked like it had a lot of our favorite go-to comfort food. We had the curry udon soup (hubby loved), stir fry basil/chicken (I loved), and an excellent salad. Everything tasted wonderfully fresh, homemade, and as spot-on as anything I've had in NYC. The only thing I didn't like was the summer roll, which was too cold (clearly had been in the fridge). A very enjoyable meal overall.

                          The night prior we were at the wonderful Manitou Lodge in Forks, WA, which was a culinary wasteland. Desperately-sought dinner was at Smokehouse: lovely, charming waitstaff, surprisingly-wonderful Twilight beer, gross, gross food.

                          Hanazono Asian Noodle
                          225 Taylor St, Port Townsend, WA 98368

                          1. re: Jel212

                            Thanks for the report. Glad you liked Hanazono, I had a really good Thai basil StirFry for lunch there today. And disappointed that Forks is still such a culinary wasteland, haven't been over there this year and hoped you would report a sensational new find!

                            1. re: andrewtree

                              Hopefully the Twilight craze will bring...some food development - the beer is definitely already there : )