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Finally going to make a west coast trip

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Old 01-12-2018, 01:41 PM
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Old Goat MN
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Default Finally going to make a west coast trip

So the boss has agreed that we will finally make a west coast trip this coming year. Been a long time wish of mine to drive the west coast and now that this will be the 2nd full summer with the Vette we have decided to make it a go. Plans (lol I love how I think I have plans) are for me to drive out to LA or San Fran from MN and pick her up (she is flying due to less vacation to burn just getting there). We will then spend 7-10 days making our way up the coast stopping to see what inspires us as we go along ending with a couple of days in Seattle. Now comes the fun part. She has lived in both Seattle and San Fran but I have never even been out there. Other than a few musts, see the red woods, drive the pacific coast highway and Mt St Helens and Mt Hood I have no idea what else there may be to stop and see. Has anyone else ever made this drive and have any advice? This will be the main vacation for the year so nice hotels are a must and great restaurants or sites to see are important. Couple of thoughts and questions are below.

1. Should I take the time to look at some of Rt 66 on the way out or save that for another trip?
2. Start in LA or SF?
3. Is Napa Valley worth seeing?
4. Your thoughts on best views of the Ocean. Mind you I am a 20 yr Navy vet so I am not amazed by the ocean as much as the coast line.

Any advice would be appreciated. Many months to plan this out but really want to start so that I can plot it out.

Thanks
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:42 PM
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Highway 1 and 101 are a must as soon as they clean up the mud slides.

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Old 01-12-2018, 01:53 PM
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Between the fires and now mudslides some areas are a mess. I'd skip southern CA and go to the Pacific NW.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rmorin1249 View Post
Between the fires and now mudslides some areas are a mess. I'd skip southern CA and go to the Pacific NW.
Hear, hear.

Most beautiful part of the country by far. When I get home this afternoon, Ill shoot you a PM detailing the Must See features of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:07 PM
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You'll have to get on 1 north of the major mudslide. Not sure exactly where it is. Go up 1 when you can, 101 when you can't. The coast is infinitely better than the valley. Hearst Castle is a must. I would suggest taking 101 clear up into Washington around Crescent Lake. It's a great windy road up there. 101 will then swing you south through Port Angeles, Sequim, then take the floating bridge right by my house. Stop by if you want. We can offer you an overnight or two. We have plenty f room. Walk on the ferry boat into Seattle. Don't take the car. Seattle is a mess, but there's plenty within walking distance of the ferry: Pike Street Market, Ivar's, etc. Then take SR3 and SR16 south, hook up to I-5 in Tacoma, and south to Mt. St Helens. Hope it works for you. Your time is kind of tight.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:33 PM
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If you like beautiful coastline Big Sur is a must, especially in a Vette. Only issue is due to the big slide last year you can't come up from the south until at least 9/30/18 per info below pulled from CA DOT website. You could hit Monterey from the 5 and then drive down 20 or so miles then turn around and come back up. Combine that witha night in a nice hotel in Carmel/Big Sur/Monterey and you have a nice day or two. If you golf you need to hit up a course in the area, Pebble is a bucket list course for any serious golfer but not the best course in the area.

Hwy 1 IS CLOSED FROM 4.6 MI NORTH OF RAGGED POINT TO 10.3 MI NORTH OF
RAGGED POINT /AT MUD CREEK/ (MONTEREY CO) 24 HRS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK THRU
9/30/18 - DUE TO MUDSLIDE REMOVAL - MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:35 PM
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if you want so suggestions on Rt 66 pm me. I'm in Minnetonka. We just traveled it inSept.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:39 PM
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I have lived in Commiefornia most of my life and have driven the route in parts several times over the years

The Pacific Coast Highway (CA 1) is a must do, but be aware that summertime coastal fog can detract from the fun. The most consistent weather for that route is spring or fall. The southern portion is coastal plains, partially four lanes, and the geography becomes coast range mountains, two lanes and more twisty the farther north you drive.
The PCH trip takes time due to the winding two lane road but is a definite MUST DO with a 'vette! You can also do it in parts, moving over to US101 or I5 as conditions or the situation warrants, to save time or do side trips. North of Ft. Bragg, CA1 joins US101 to Washington. Using Google Maps gives you the distance and a conservative estimate of the driving time for the trips.

Napa has great wines, but IMO without local knowledge, the tasting experience is overrated, touristy and way overpriced, and the parking lots often are crowded with tour buses and hundreds of tourists... Paralleling it to the west is the Sonoma Valley, which is a much better visiting experience and great wines, including Russian River Pinot Noirs, among the best bottled IMO. In general, I really enjoy the wines from the Dry Creek area - all varietals are consistently good...
Paso Robles, Monterey and Livermore are also excellent wine areas

If you start in L.A., plan a stop in Monterey for shopping and seafood. The Monterey Aquarium is fantastic. If you read Steinbeck's Cannery Row, a stop there is worthwhile, and while it is a bit touristy, its is more tasteful than many similar attractions.
If artichokes are your thing, a stop in Castroville is worth the time.
Approaching the Bay Area, driving up Skyline Blvd (CA 35) gives a great view of the Bay.

Going north to Oregon and Seattle will depend on how much time you have, as the PCH gets really twisty, and you might want to plan a stop midway at Eureka (7ish hours from SF)

Once in Seattle, a ferry trip across to Victoria for a day or two would be high on my list, as it is a fantastic tourist destination.

Your challenge will be to select from the options that will be posted... So many choices!!
ENJOY!!!

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Old 01-12-2018, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by treeman View Post
if you want so suggestions on Rt 66 pm me. I'm in Minnetonka. We just traveled it inSept.
If OP is heading to LA then north to SEA, a route south on Rt66 to LA then back east from SEA on I90/94 would be fantastic!
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rmorin1249 View Post
Between the fires and now mudslides some areas are a mess. I'd skip southern CA and go to the Pacific NW.
I'd tend to agree with this. Start in the Bay Area and head north. I feel like the northwest coast is much more picturesque due to its ruggedness.

Wife and I are planning a trip to visit relatives in the San Diego area next summer and will be driving down the coast all the way from Seattle. I'd like to catch the 101 and drive around the northern end of the Olympics, but may just hop on down by Olympia and come down the rest of the way. Should be an epic trip.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:22 PM
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I live here in California. Here is the ultimate guide. It is broken into two parts. Top 24 stops and a Day by Day (which I recommend). If you click on each day it will show you how to plan your trip, where to eat, sleep and what to look for). Just note as another person said that HWY 1 is closed in a certain section. Here is the ultimate step by step guide for all Corvette owners: http://californiathroughmylens.com/p...-highway-stops

This link also provides you a step by step all the way up to Seattle. If you started from LA, drive around the closure and then continued up the coast as much as possible, you will make a great trip. That guide is just that...a guide. If you follow it to the guide step by step, you can do the entire coast in 11 days. If you don't make all the stops, it could be done in 7, but that would be rushing it from LA to Seattle. Napa Valley is nice if you like wines. You will pass by several coastal wineries along the way. Napa Valley is not a big detour off the coast. Something to think about.

Read that link I provided. Reading it is a vacation in itself. I grew up here in California and I will be taking this trip from San Francisco to Seattle. Then head over to Yellowstone, then work my way back to San Francisco. It is 932 miles from SF to Seattle following the coast line as much as possible. 870 miles to Yellowstone. 1,102 miles from Yellowstone back to San Francisco.

2,823 miles in total. To put it into perspective, driving from San Francisco to New York City is 2,912 miles one way.

For you, I would drive to LA from Minnesota. Hit what you can along the way. I recommend going thru Denver to cross the Rockies. Go from LA to Seattle along the coast. Follow the guide. When you drive home, hit Yellowstone. Seattle to where you live is Hwy 90/94.

Last edited by Carlos Thomas; 01-12-2018 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:44 PM
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Hey Old Goat, you'll have a great time! I grew up (aged really. Never grew up) in Seattle. Go there several times/year and we always hit the PNW on our fall road trips.

You've already received some great advice. I have one other - for the mountains, with no offense to our OR friends, skip Mt Hood, others, and go straight to Paradise at Mt Rainier. One of the most beautiful places on earth - and we've been very fortunate over the years to visit lots of different countries/places. We love Mt Rainier. Stay at Paradise Inn for a night - we've stayed a couple of nights every year for the past several years.

Have fun and enjoy!
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:54 PM
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When we made the trip, we did I-40, hitting Route 66 in AZ. Then stayed in Fresno while visiting Sequoia N.P., Kings Canyon N.P. and Yosemite N.P. Took Hwy 120 over to US395 and then north to Hwy 89 trough Lake Tahoe and then to Hwy 49 working back south to Hwy 41 southwest to San Luis Obispo. Then Hwy 1 up the coast to San Francisco. Spent two nights at the Hampton Inn San Francisco Airport on Gateway Blvd. and took their shuttle bus into the city to sightsee.

Then across the Golden Gate Bridge and onto Hwy 1 north to Washington.

Since you will be starting out from MN, I suggest you take I-35 south and then I-80 west, to I-76 south to Denver.

Take I-70 west into Utah to Hwy 128 to Moab and visit Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks. Then back onto I-70 west to Hwy 72 south to Hwy 24 and east to Torrey, UT and visit Capital Reef N.P.

Then Hwy 12 south and visit Bryce canyon N.P. and then over to Zion N.P.

Then backtrack to Hwy 89 to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. and then Hwy 64 to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. and down to Williams, AZ and onto I-40. Then get off I-40 at Seligman, AZ and take Route 66 to Kingman.

Then Hwy 68 to Laughlin, AZ. great place(cheap) to spend the night at one of many casino/hotels. Then back onto I-40 to Barstow, CA. The Hwy 58 west to Hwy 99 north to Fresno.

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Old 01-12-2018, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ExRedRacer View Post

Most beautiful part of the country by far.
No, it isn't...it's a shithole here.
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:06 PM
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Retired AF vet from ND been planning a similar trip this coming summer but going north to south on the PCH into Northern CA and then cutting over to Reno. I thank all of you for the posts and excellent info.

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Old 01-12-2018, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rmorin1249 View Post
Between the fires and now mudslides some areas are a mess. I'd skip southern CA and go to the Pacific NW.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rmorin1249 View Post
Between the fires and now mudslides some areas are a mess. I'd skip southern CA and go to the Pacific NW.
I think you guys watch too much TV. It makes it sound like half the state is burning and the other half covered in mud.

There are two detours on HWY 1/101 north of LA. The detour related to the Thomas Fire & now mudslides will be probably be lifted soon. That is a 30 mile stretch between Ventura and Santa Barbara.. Then further up on HWY 1 at Ragged Point for 7 miles. That was a major problem and is scheduled to be open in September.

If you want to avoid all that, have you wife fly into San Francisco and then head North. But I would not recommend missing the entire state due to 37 miles of road closures.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:28 PM
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Having lived in CA for 58 years and coordinated many corvette trips as others have said avoid Cali for the most part. You can take Hwy 1 north from the bay area but have to detour around big sur due to last years wash out. The northern route along the coast is spectacular, but work your way up into the Pacific Northwest!

If that does not work out for you, come join our 52 people on a tour of South Dakota Black Hills from Sept. 9-15. The tour is the Western Scenic Tour, you can find it on Facebook.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:38 PM
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Pacific Coast Highway

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Old 01-12-2018, 05:59 PM
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If you have the time, while in southern Oregon, Crater Lake would be a great side trip. And
I concur with the above suggestion to skip Mt. Hood, it's pretty but Rainier is spectacular. And if you want to get a taste of Haze Gray paint, the Bremerton shipyards (Seattle area)have a great mothball fleet viewable from public roads. Seattle has a great aviation museum as well, near the Boeing field. As always, just my 2...
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