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Oct 6, 2010 10:34 AM

Road trip Seattle to San Francisco

Hi there

I am doing a road trip next month and I have 5 nights to drive from Seattle to San Francisco.
I have a week in each city either end of the trip so there is plenty of time to explore Seattle and San Francisco. My itinerary so far from what I have worked out is.

1st night in Astoria

2nd and 3rd night in Medford

4th night in Cape Mendocino

5th night in Sonoma

Is this a good itinerary would you suggest bettter places to stay on the way. We want to spend as much time on the coast road down as possible other than heading into Medford to explore crater lake and the Kalamath falls hence why i have added to nights in this area and also want to drive the Avenue of the giants too!

Is there any other must stop at towns or foodie things to do on the way

Any help would be great


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  1. Near Medford, and well worth a short detour:

    Rogue Creamery (award-winning artisan cheeses--if you like blue cheese, try the Rogue River Blue, it's out of this world!)

    Gary West Meats (the best beef jerky I've ever had--I can eat the Cajun-style until my lips burn and still want more)

    Medford isn't the most attractive town, but the area is lovely. You might want to look into staying over in Jacksonville, which is an well-preserved old gold mining town. The tourist hordes of summer will have mostly left by the time you get there, so it should be civilized and pleasant. The Chamber of Commerce says they have winery and orchard tour maps of the area.

    DO make the Avenue of the Giants drive--it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. I can't vouch for it recently--it's been years since i was there--but I had a great meal once at the Benbow Hotel, down in that vicinity. It's a beautiful old building with lots of history.


    1. The recs above are excellent, except that Medford isn't near the coast or Crater Lake. And it's on Highway 5, which means a lot of extra driving to get back over to 101.

      Suggest you start with Google maps to get realistic drive times and then add food en route.

      I'd either go down the coast until Crater Lake and then shoot down 5; or start down 5 and go to Portland and then head west after Medford.

      (And if you can, take an extra day out of Seattle and San Francisco, giving you a little more breathing time for the beautiful road trip).

      1. We enjoyed a delightful, and delightfully hospitable, meal at Filio's, in Astoria, with a particularly well-presented grilled Caesar and a lovely, peachy, moscato. Back on the highway, oddball Josephson's Smoked Fish afforded us a variety seldom seen. Loved the sturgeon, but all were a taste of primal Astoria. The adventure to Coffee Girl (drive the dock, don't worry about the ropes an hoses) was better the the coffee, but worth it, in the end. If you can find room for a stopover in Newport, the Cioppino at Shark's is very good, despite its unpromising location in the tourist strip. I cracked up when the proprietress allowed as how it was "said to be" "the best on the coast except for maybe Jack's Fish Spot" (which I also like a lot). Apples and oranges. Each at the top of their own game.

        Do not miss the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Monterrey Bay thinks it's all that (and, OK, it is), but, not only does Oregon nail marine ecology, but the Rogue River brewery runs the consession, where you can pick up a bomber of Shakespeare Stout (do this). Stick to the beer, though.

        Jack's Fish Spot
        1514 Pike Pl Ste 2, Seattle, WA 98101

        1. OK So thanks for all the advice on the last post I posted and due to some oversight of our itinerary we have changed it slightly to make it more achievable each day and allowing us time to visit the towns we are staying at and stopping along the way.

          Updated Itinerary below

          Day 1
          Drive to Astoria from Seattle
          *visit Olympia on the way

          Day 2
          Drive to Florence from Astoria
          *visit Tillamook cheese factory & Newport on the way

          Day 3
          Drive to Crescent City from Florence

          Day 4
          Drive to Mendocio from Crescent City
          *visit Avenue of the Giants

          Day 5
          Drive to San Francisco from Cape Mendocio
          *visit Point Arena and Santa Rosa on the way

          So if any of you all have any recommended adjustments of must stops we may be missing or a better town than our picks and also places to eat in these towns we would be so grateful.


          Gavin & Celeste

          2 Replies
          1. re: chefgav

            Day 4
            Drive to Mendocio from Crescent City
            *visit Avenue of the Giants

            Stop and say hi to Paul Bunyan in Klamath! No, it's not really worth stopping for any period of time. Maybe just to take a picture of Paul and Babe. I don't have any specific recommendations for food for this area. Whenever I go back (I grew up nearby) I just make sure to visit Patrick's Point, Los Bagels, and every brewery in the region. We used to visit the Rumiano Cheese factory, but I don't know if you can still visit since they've moved their distribution to Willows.

            1. re: chefgav

              We were just down there in August. I recommend that, after a drive on Howland Road in Jediadiah Smith Redwoods State Park, you skip Crescent City (there is one decent restaurant, a Thai place, in the whole town) and drive the 21 miles on down to Klamath, CA and stay and have dinner at the Requa Inn. It is a lovely old B&B inn that serves the best food between Gold Beach Or and Trinidad, CA. They serve dinner and breakfast for their guests only. I still think about their chocolate cake. The inn is right on the Klamath River - we saw eagles, sea lions, and a couple of foxes there. It's about 1.5 miles from a spectacular overlook of the Pacific. See their website at

              I hear that the Larrupin Cafe in Trinidad is fabulous but we did not make it that far south on our trip.

            2. You will not be visiting Crater Lake this time of the year. It is snowed in. And Klamath area - unless you know what you are doing and have a very good 4WD - that is no place to be doing day tours right about now. it can be dangerous - and sometimes deadly if you are wandering around. How about heading down the coast. it can be wild and beautiful this time of year and not as busy as it can be during the summer. Lots of Seastacks and small towns to explore. I want to give you advice on where to go food wise along the coast, but I think others are better qualified. I go there a lot, but usually camping.

              I love the Rogue Creamery visit idea. That is a treat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                Uh, it's 47 degrees in Klamath this week? Klamath is on the coast, where the Klamath River empties into the Pacific. You must be thinking of Klamath Falls, OR