We are staring a road trip from Seattle down to San Francisco and were wondering if we had 6 days would these stops be good places to stop at overnight. We have plenty of time for Seattle and San Fran either side of the 6 day road trip so we just get suggestions for stop overs and places to eat would be awesome. We also realize that Medford/jacksonville is out of the way heading down the coast road but we have been told it is a must detour.
*Visit Hoh rain forest
Overnight in Astoria
*Visit Tillamook cheese factory
*Three Capes Drive
Overnight in Newport or Florence
Overnight in Medford or Jacksonville
*Visit Crescent city
Overnight in Cape Mendocino
*Visit Avenue of the giants
Overnight in Sonoma
Any help would be great
We recently did a similar trip last month. I think Day 1 is a little ambitious unless you are getting up super early and only "visit" (not spend much time) in Olympia and the rain forest. The rain forest is wonderful, and worth some time to hike around. I don't know if you have an important reason to visit Olympia, but to give you more time for both, I would spend the night in the Portland area instead. Day two could still basically stay the same.... I'm very familiar with that area.... unless it got too dark to enjoy the drive to Newport and Florence (that is one of the beautiful parts of the coast drive) but if that were so, there are plenty of places to stay before you got to Newport or Florence and being off season you would have no problem finding inexpensive places to stay. We found Medford and Jacksonville wasn't a "must see" as much as we thought, but again, don't know your particular interests. But Crater Lake was WONDERFUL. That said, you're going over some mountains to get there and snow comes early to Crater Lake, and I believe the lodge is closed now. So weather will be a big factor for that. If you think you'll run into issues due to weather, closures, etc., I recommend staying on the coast route and save Crater Lake for another time. We went in the last week of September, right before closing, and the weather was beautiful, there were very few people, etc. I understand that it is a zoo when school is out, but we practically had the place to ourselves. Crater Lake is worth a couple of days to do it right., and the lodge is fascinating if you like the history etc of the old national park lodges.
Gav...........I agree with Lbsowen. It would take me 6 days to tour WA and OR. You will really hate one night in Mendocino and Sonoma. Looking at your profile I assume you might be from Spain. If so you may not be able to return soon but I would make a trip out of WA and OR then return later for the SF, Sonoma, Mendocino trip.
The places you are going are so beautiful they deserve more time. I could spend 6 days on the OR coast. You do have a good plan but you will not be able to enjoy the places you visit as much as you would if you had more time. You will end up arriving at your overnight destinations late and not be able to enjoy a fine meal for dinner. Astoria, OR has great restaurants and there are many, many great restaurants on the OR coast.
If you have plenty of time in Seattle and SF you might want to move some of those days to the trip down to SF from Seattle. Post back what your final plans are and we will help with some restaurants. Good luck.
My very rough calculations suggest that your first day could be at least 9 hours driving! Would be quicker to go around the north side of the Olympic National Park, ie Seattle - Port Angeles - Forks - Hoh via either the Seattle/Bainbridge or Edmonds/Kingston ferries depending where you are starting in Seattle. Guess it depends on how much this is foodie v sightseeing, shame to get so close to the ONP without spending some time in it. As far as food goes for this day, you would be best off stocking up with car food in Seattle, there is little of interest on the Peninsula outside of Port Townsend.
Likewise with your Florence to Medford to Cape Mendocino portion--very ambitious driving days, especially if you want to get out of the car at Crater Lake or in the Redwoods. Many of the roads in this region (especially 101 and the roads connecting 101 to I-5) are slower speed due to the mountainous topography. For example, 199 from Grants Pass to Crescent City is about 80 miles, but it will likely take you 2+ hours. I've done it countless times, and I still prefer not to drive it in the dark or in bad weather. I doubt there would be much stopping to enjoy meals on this itinerary.
The Tillamook cheese factory was great fun in the mid-80s, when I was a kid. Last year I decided to check it out again, along with the neighboring Blue Heron french cheese company.
Tillamook has lots of cheese samples, displays of company history, a working production line you can watch, a gift shop (more cheese, jerky, flavored popcorn, etc.), and a snack bar/ice cream stand. It's all a pretty pedestrian tourist experience in my opinion. Unless you're traveling with an 8 year old, I'd skip it.
Blue Heron sells unremarkable brie, and they have more "gourmet" ambitions. I think they made me a decent sandwich. But overall, I would rate the quality/experience at my local cheese shop in Portland about a 9, and Blue Heron around a 4.