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2002 MY03 XS
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm currently in the process of putting together my itinerary for my families road trip from my sisters place near Whistler, down the west coast to LA, and thought that I'd see what suggestions you had.

We're already planning on heading down Highway 1, as from what we've read and seen on the net, it looks to be something not to miss. We'll be going via Seattle, taking in some of the natural scenery like Mount St Helens, down to San Francisco, and finishing up in LA, where we'll experience the sites for a few days, including taking in a Lakers game, and Disneyland of course.

What suggestions do people have for things to see, places to stop, even places to avoid?

Wish I could hire a Foz for the trip.:icon_razz:

Update:

Here's our itinerary.

January 25-28 - Vancouver, BC - Canada
January 28-31 - Seattle, WA - US
January 31 - February 19 - Pemberton/Whistler Area, BC - Canada
February 19-24 - En Route WA, OR, CA - US
February 24-25 - San Francisco, CA - US
February 25-26 - En Route CA, US
February 26-March 2 - Los Angeles, CA - US

Drop me a line here if you've got any ideas/are interested in meeting up on our journey.

For the sections where we don't have a specific location listed, we've got a few ideas of places we'd like to check out on our way south, but no specific bookings, so are somewhat flexible.
 

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2004 FXT 5-speed MT
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Hi -

I'll take a shot at this:

- Hwy 1 in northern Oregon has quite a bit of traffic, and in Northern California (north of LA) and Central California (south of Monterey to San Luis Obispo) is very scenic BUT is also very slow, twisty, and can have thick fog that prevents seeing any of the sights (not to mention makes it hard to see the road!).
- Remember February is winter here :>) Mt St Helens will be snowed-in. Snow will come down to sea-level in BC, WA and OR and down to 1000 meters elevation in Northern California. Inland, the winter snowline in Northern California will be between 1500 and 2000 meters. Above this elevation snowdepths can measure in meters. Mountain roads may be closed all winter, and tire chain laws (in California, at least, that means chains in your vehicle, whether needed or not) are strictly enforced.
- There are good websites and toll-free phone numbers with road conditions in all three of the US states you'd pass through. Don't laugh, mudslides have often closed 100-mile stretches of Hwy 1 for months in winter.
- The north coast is essentially a rainforest. The south coast is much dryer, but don't be misled by annual rainfall figures, there are 6 months of no rain.
- Quite a few US rental agencies offer Foresters or Outbacks.
- As to things to see and do, it depends on your interests. Everyone should like the Redwoods and beaches along the Northern California coast. Ditto San Francisco. Do enter the city along Hwy 1, over the Golden Gate, rather than from the East Bay (although the latter is fun also if you can come into the City twice). If it's at all clear, do take the last exit north of the Bridge and head up the hill above the bridge towards to the ocean side. Spectacular views of SF, the ocean, the bay, with old WWII gun emplacements embedded in the hillsides.
- In San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf is the old tourist area and pretty much run down but still crowded. Further south (south of Pier 39) along the Bay waterfront is a good walking area that takes you under the Bay Bridge and to the Giants baseball stadium. No games of course in February but still worth seeing.
- South of SF, Carmel is scenic, and Santa Barbara is perhaps the first town where you'll feel like you're in Southern California. It should be warmer at least. If you're tired of the ocean, you can go inland and check out the Carrizo Plain National Monument especially if you have a Subaru or other 4wd.
- Theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios are self-apparent, but there are also mountains and desert within a day's drive of LA. Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, Idyllwild and Angeles Crest are some choices I would personally put ahead of Disneyland :icon_biggrin: Also Santa Monica or Venice Beach.
- I suggest using Google maps satellite view to get a feel for the terrain. Some parts of this route are incredibly desolate; other are as crowded as anything in the US.

-dman
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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Hi -

I'll take a shot at this:

- Hwy 1 in northern Oregon has quite a bit of traffic, and in Northern California (north of LA) and Central California (south of Monterey to San Luis Obispo) is very scenic BUT is also very slow, twisty, and can have thick fog that prevents seeing any of the sights (not to mention makes it hard to see the road!).
^^ What he said... I wouldn't plan on taking Hwy 1 exclusively, especially in Northern California. February is storm season here, so be prepared for slides and road closures on 1 depending on weather conditions. Hwy 1 will also take you twice as long to drive as other main highways like 101 or I-5 because of its narrow, twisty nature.

If you'd like to check out Northern California's wine country (Napa & Sonoma), look us up, Roo and I live in Sonoma County (about an hour north of SF) and we'd be more than happy to show you around for a day.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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If you decide to come to downtown Seattle shoot me a PM. I can bring you up to my work which is nearly 800ft above the city in the tallest building we have. You can see everything from up here and get a real feel for the region.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback so far.

Well, the reason for the timing is we're taking the opportunity to experience a Winter Olympics, having been to the Sydney Olympics back in 2000. We'll probably be heading down to Seattle for a few days early in our trip, being late January, early February, prior to the games, then back across the border prior to the games, so will take you up on that, sea-scooby. We're also flying back from LA on March 2, hence why we're leaving BC just prior to the end of the games, so we've got time to experience things on our trip south.

dman, a crossing of the Golden Gate is definately on the cards. pleiad7, we're not taking Highway 1 exclusively, but have heard about how good the section between San Francisco and LA is. At least I think that's the section?! I believe a visit to Sonoma is on the cards, so will definately be in touch. We're not really pressed for time, so may as well take the longer way and experience a bit more of what the west coast has to offer.

Keep the info coming. Thanks all!:Banane35:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, things are progressing with this nicely at the moment.

Looks like we'll be in Seattle late January, including the last weekend. I could attend a meet if anyone in the area's keen to do something then.

We'll be making the journey down from Pemberton to LA starting on the 19th of February I believe, and taking a week to enjoy the sites on the way down, going via Sonoma into SF on our way south.

Any more suggestions?
 

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I don't know if you're family is a skiing/snowboarding family, but I'm sure plenty of people, specially seascooby in the NW; can put you onto places to get to for riding/skiing (baker!) before you make your way down to LA. And if you are looking for some wineries on the way down just say the word and I'm sure plenty of folks on here (including myself) will point you in the right directions.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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When you get the dates settled I can definitely set some stuff up for you if your interested. At a minumum we could get a little meet together if you want to hang out with some Subie freaks!

As far as mass transit, it is decent in Seattle, but it mainly relies on buses. You can get around the city pretty easily, but having a car would make life much easier.
 

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The Olympics...I hope it does not bankrupt BC/Vancouver.

Montreal just paid off their 1976 Olympic stadium.
Not sure we did yet... just the maintenance and repairs cost a fortune. Plus we don't even have a baseball team anymore to cover some of these costs.
I believe it's now mainly used for RV shows, and as a mega flu shot clinic these days...

Anyhow, I'm sure the 2010 Olympics will be just amazing in Vancouver, and there's a cost to that all the visibility that Canada will get from the event.

Great trip idea btw, I hope you enjoy it!
 

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We were going to do LA to Vancouver for the winter olympics but the bank account wouldn't allow it. You're right about Hwy 1 between SF and LA being nice. Plus you'll be on the coast side of the highway on your way south. Along with the Lakers game, check out a Kings hockey game too. Tickets are cheap!

While you're in Whistler, why not hit up Whistler-Blackcomb?
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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I hit up the Olympics when they were in Salt Lake, so I'm personally going to pass on Vancouver. It is WAY to crazy, and with the US dollar so weak Canada is insanely expensive. last time I went to Whistler $1 USD was worth $1.50 CAD. Now the Canadian dollar is worth more than the US dollar.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay. The pieces are falling in to place quickly at the moment.

Just looking at booking our nights accommodation in San Francisco at the moment.

We're planning on doing the Alcatraz evening tour, with the ferry over leaving at 4:30pm. So we can make this, we're looking at staying somewhere nearby.

The Sheraton near Fishermans Wharf has a deal finishing today for $99 a night. Anybody know whether this is a good option, or can suggest anywhere else? We're going to need two rooms no matter where we stay.

So, Franciscans, what say you?
 

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Excellent choice, the evening tours at Alcatraz is where it's at! Roo and I did this for his birthday a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. They open up areas of the prison that are not normally accessible to the public and sometimes have guest speakers/story tellers.

Can't help with the choice of hotels, but I'm sure someone else will chime in.
 

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Everytime I've used hotwire.com (3 x's or so) and searched for the financial district I ended up with the Westin for $100... Pretty nice digs and not too far off from the touristy things + it's next to SFMOMA and other attractions. I think the one time I did a search in the downtown/northbeach/chinatown area it gave me the Hilton which was nice too for about the same amount, and even closer to alot of the attractions you'll want to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks for that.

Our accommodation is now sorted for San Francisco on February 24 for one night, as well as Seattle from January 28 for three nights.:woohoo:

Can't wait!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thought I'd give this a bump, as we leave in under a month.

Any more suggestions from anyone?

Should I put up an itinerary of sorts in the first post, for anyone interested?

I'd be keen to meet up with some people along the way, time allowing.
 

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My family and I did the West Coast in Jul/Aug 2000 from LA to Jasper and back down the middle via Spokane - John Day etc in a Ford Windstar, 5,500 miles in 14 days.

We started out on 101 and went as far as Crescent City before cutting up through Grants Pass on 199 to I5 and then on up to Vancouver and Jasper.

Klamath (101) which is between Arcata and Crescent City has the "Trees of Mystery" & "The End of the Trail Museum" all at the one location and is well worth a visit, there is a Hotel or Motel directly opposite the museum, you can't miss it just look for these 2 monuments:



for the love of me I can't remember the name of this guy and his bull. :icon_redface: ............. Paul Bunyan, took an email to an AK mate to find out though. :biggrin: :biggrin:

Another nice little place to stop off at is Eureka, we were there for the 4th July 2000 and the people were just fabulous and the food at Kristina's Restaurant at 250 West 5th Street was to die for, I had the most tender & tasty piece of steak in my life there and my sister-in-law ordered a banana split and it was enough for her plus another 4 adults.

Which ever way you go, have a safe and enjoyable trip.
 

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I drove up hwy1 a few weeks ago on a Thursday and there was hardly anybody else on the road.
 

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I drove up hwy1 a few weeks ago on a Thursday and there was hardly anybody else on the road.
Yup this is the off season. And please realize references to Hwy1 or 101 are just too vauge in its 1000+ miles.

Once in Seattle take ferry west, drive north and ferry to Victoria Is and then ferry to Vancouver
Getty Museum in LA and SantaMonica
Mulholland Drive and Topanga Cyn in LA:rock:
John Muir Woods near SF
Yosemite National Park
Rent Bikes and cross the Golden Gate
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Kayak rental in Monterey Bay
17 mile drive in Monterey
Point Lobos State Reserve
Hearst Castle in San Simeon
Channel Islands
 
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