Not Martha

seeking West coast road trip suggestions

Next month we’re headed out for a coastal road trip, we’re taking Highway 1 and Highway 101 along the coast from San Francisco to Seattle. It’s going to be epic. I would love to know if anybody has suggestions on places not to miss. I’ve scoured Ask Metafilter for suggestions on this very route and found a bunch of information – one, two, three, four and five. But have you been? Did you find something really great? Oldey timey diner? Ice cream stand? Underrated beach? Tide pools? Regional brewery? Bit of strange American history? Treasure maps?

Any suggestions are very much appreciated!

· comments [150] · 08-30-2010 · categories:travel ·

150 responses so far ↓

  • 1 brie // Aug 30, 2010 at 3:02 am

    I’ve driven from Vancouver to San Francisco twice and both times I stopped in Crescent City California and stayed at the Curly Redwood Lodge. We booked ourselves a room there solely on its name and the fact it was allegedly constructed from the timber of a single redwood tree! Crescent City is a little rundown and not very touristy, but it’s great. There is a good tacqueria right down the road from the “lodge” and you can walk across the street to look for sea lions along the shore. There’s also a sea mammal rescue centre close by that is both adorable and a little heart-breaking. If you drive towards the redwood forest (Crescent City is at the Northern gateway to the forest) you can see the excellent Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues. Pure cheese.

  • 2 Adrienne // Aug 30, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Black Fish Cafe in Lincoln City!

  • 3 Hilary // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Arcata, CA is well worth visiting for plenty of good cafes (no chains allowed in the town proper). It has a redwood forest right near “downtown” that’s perfect for an hour of walking among redwoods. Eureka’s Old Town has a cute little LYS called Yarn.

  • 4 Sarah // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:53 am

    If you’re camping on your way down, I cannot recommend this campground highly enough- It’s right on the beach, you feel like you’re driving through Jurassic park on the ten mile drive from the highway to the coast, and some very nice elk wander through the campground all the time. On top of that, it’s a little remote so it’s not very crowded- and when we went the bathrooms were really nice and clean! It’s Gold Bluffs Beach Campground, not very far south from the Oregon/California border. It is probably my favorite campground that I’ve ever been to. Ever.

    http://redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=1723

  • 5 Lauren // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Ooooh! I can’t wait to see what recommendations you get, my husband and I are doing this jaunt next year!

  • 6 Ivy // Aug 30, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Mendocino is freakin’ adorable. It’s so cute. Also, check out Glass Beach, which is just north of Mendocino. It’s covered in beach glass. Literally, covered. So amazing to see.

    Also checkout the City of 10,000 Buddhas monastery, just out of the SF area. It’s a little more towards the east bay, but worth a trip. You can go in the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas, and they have tons of peacocks all over.

  • 7 Carrie // Aug 30, 2010 at 6:57 am

    fern valley which is somewhere near eureka is pretty awesome

  • 8 Lindsey // Aug 30, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I love climbing the giant sand dune in Pacific City (Oregon) and then grabbing a beer at the Pelican Brewery, right on the beach. The brewery is very well respected in Oregon. The town is just a little off 101. Also, we always stop at the Tillamook cheese factory when we’re in the area, and take their free self-guided tour while eating some ice cream. Oh, and if you’re into cheese curds, they’re only available fresh from the factory.

  • 9 Catalina // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:08 am

    I was living in Vancouver many years and there are great walks in Vancouver island and in the gulf islands (you can do kayaking there, Mayne island is one of my favorites; sea otters will come to swim with you!)

  • 10 Sherene // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:09 am

    In Fort Bragg, try Heron’s By the Sea for nice seafood with good views of Noyo Bay. In this same area is the lovely Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens with paths that wander through plantings to cliffs overlooking the water. An alternative to the botanical garden is MacKerricher State Park where you can stroll along a boardwalk path to a pretty overlook of the beach, climb among the rocks to explore numerous tide pools, and observe the many seals that snooze and play there during the day. This park also has a nice sand beach you can walk north on for as long as your legs can carry you to collect shells and sand dollars. It’s fairly picked over by now, but Fort Bragg also has a glass beach that anyone in town can tell you how to get to if you want to collect some sea glass.

    From Fort Bragg, you can take a nice scenic drive on hwy 20 as it twists and turns it’s way up to Willits, then head North on 101 as it winds through the Redwoods toward Eureka. If you find yourself with an appetite in Eureka try the Samoa Cookhouse for a neat experience and a little logging history.

    Hope you have a wonderful time :)

  • 11 regina // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:15 am

    i might be a dork for saying it but GOONIES BEACH!! there is a huge state park with great trails leading down to the beach. i think the real name is haystack beach?

  • 12 Stephanie // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:22 am

    These might be off your path but 2 things I really enjoyed during my trip to Portland: Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Full Sail Brewery.

  • 13 Grace // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:30 am

    You’re so lucky! That is the hands-down best part of the country, IMO.

    Places I’d consider seeing are:
    Haystack Rock in Astoria
    Redwood National Park (DO NOT MISS)
    Tillamook cheese factory (if you’re into that kind of thing)

    Mostly, though, just be willing to stop in some of the little towns you’ll pass through, when you see something cool. And stop and look at the water as often as time allows.

  • 14 Megan // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:30 am

    My favorite beach in Oregon has no sand: it’s Yaquina Head Lighthouse park. The lightouse & interpretive center are pretty cool, but there’s a set of stairs down to a beach on the south side of the parking lot. The beach is entirely made of smooth, black rocks about the size of your fist, and when the tide comes in, it sounds like applause! There’s usually sea lions and birds out on the nesting rocks within view of the “beach”, too, and awesome driftwood to sift through (I still wear a “bracelet” of driftwood I found there several years back). Enjoy!

  • 15 mrscharlemagne // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I third or fourth the Tillamook cheese factory suggestion! Also, it’s a little south of San Francisco, but the Monterey Bay Aquarium is most certainly worth an extra two days.

  • 16 Trixie Biltmore // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Haystack’s at Cannon Beach – both Astoria and Cannon Beach are very cool though. (I’m an Oregonian.)

    Go to Marsh’s Free Museum in Long Beach and take a picture with Jake the Alligator Man. If you can get a reservation, stay overnight at the lightkeeper’s house on Heceta Head and eat the amazing breakfast they serve there (7 courses!) plus of course the old lighthouse is so cool. Sea Lion Caves is funl if the sea lions are there- it’s old and funky. Newport has a cute little aquarium that is worth going to.

    In Northern California, stop by Ferndale, especially if the kinetic art race is going on. The Scotia Inn is great and it’s in what was until recently the last company-owned town in the US.

  • 17 Seanna Lea // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I’m with Shanee. I was really hoping this meant you were going to be in my neck of the woods and then I looked at the map.

    It’s been about 2 million years since I lived on the West Coast (San Jose, Sacramento and Tustin, CA, and Coos Bay, OR), so I will love to see any pictures you share.

  • 18 LJ // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I love the sea lion cave just north of Florence. Its amazing and HUGE!
    There are also some lovely light houses on the route. There’s one near Florence and another near Point Arena, CA.

  • 19 Anne (in Reno) // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:03 am

    As a west coaster this sounds much more exciting to me than what I originally thought you were going for ;)

    Stay at a McMenamins when you are in Oregon at some point, also Mo’s for chowder and the Rogue Brewery for their tasting room, both in Newport .

  • 20 Amy R. // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Manzanita, OR – iced coffee (with coffee ice cubes) at the Manzanita News & Espresso (great selection of magazines, if you’ve exhausted your car’s library). Or a fantastic burrito at Left Coast Siesta. And if you just need healthy snacks for the road, hit Mother Nature’s Natural Foods. (Manzanita is just a bit north of the Tillamook Cheese Factory).

    Also stop in Astoria. The Astoria Coffeehouse and Bistro (astoriacoffeehouse.com), just off Hwy 30, maybe a mile or two east of the 101, is great. A group of us ate there after Hood to Coast this weekend, and everything on the menu was excellent. They even brought us a basket of mini buttermilk biscuits (and butter and honey) when we first sat down! Super cute.

  • 21 Susan // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:22 am

    We love staying in Ashland. It’s a great town to walk around & stretch your legs. We had a great dinner there at Amuse restaurant.
    For something on the lines of offbeat and quirky, check out the Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka – claims to be the last operating lumberjack cookhouse in the west. The food is not gourmet, but the experience is fun.

  • 22 anotherKate // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I’m from the southern OR coast and return to visit fairly regularly. It gets brushed over in the rush from Newport to the Redwoods, but it’s worth checking out.

    Many people will tell you to go to Mo’s for chowder. I am not one of them. Go to the High Tide Cafe in Charleston, OR for chowder, pick up some souvenirs/treats at Chuck’s seafood, and then drive on out to the end of Cape Arago highway. There’s also a section of the coast trail there if you’re feeling adventurous.

    Bandon is probably the most touristy town on this end of the coast. Cranberry Sweets is kind of fun (lots of samples) and there’s a decent Thai restaurant–nothing to go out of your way for since you have plenty of Thai in Seattle, but not a bad choice if that’s what sounds good. The Bandon Dunes is a ridiculously swanky golf course just north of town, but there’s a Scottish-style pub there (with Scotch and Scotch eggs.)

    As you drive south you’ll pass a jam stand/store called Misty Meadows. I make my own jam so I rarely buy any, but they do have some interesting local choices (blackberry, coastal huckleberry, cranberry, etc.).

    Cape Blanco is definitely worth a stop (and it’s a beautiful campground if you’re planning to camp.) Check out the Hughes House and climb up into the lighthouse if it’s open. It can be incredibly windy out on the point.

    Check out the dock in Port Orford. They pull all the boats out of the water every night which is fun to watch. I don’t know if it still happens, but they used to bring in sea urchins which was cool. There’s a good dive-y fish & chips stand down there too. Humbug Mountain is a nice hike with a fabulous view, if you’re the hiking type.

    If you’re feeling very touristy the jet boat rides out of Gold Beach are spendy but fairly unique. If you’re on the first boat you have a good chance of seeing bears, bald eagles, etc.

    I think those are the high points. If you’re really looking for a splurge you should also check out Tu Tu Tun lodge near Gold Beach.

    Have a wonderful trip!

  • 23 Sarah // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:47 am

    My husband and I just did this trip in July, it was amazing! We’re seriously making our 10-year plan to move to Yachats, OR. If I had to suggest one must-see, I say have a meal at Nepenthe in Big Sur, the view is incredible.

    This book was indispensable in suggestions for places to eat & stay: http://amzn.com/1598802046

  • 24 Shannon // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:55 am

    How long will you be in SF? It’d be nice to see you guys – I think the last time was at our wedding brunch!!!

  • 25 Sarah // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Ugh, just realized you’re stopping in San Francisco! Sorry! Still worth the trip if you’re continuing south.

  • 26 Emily M // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I took a shortened version of your trip 3 years ago. I started in Seattle, went up to Vancouver & Victoria, then down to Washington state again and all the way around the coastline down through part of Oregon before looping back to Portland and back up to Seattle.
    I agree with all the votes for Tilamook 100%. Based on your trip layout, I’d recommend altering it slightly to continue following the coast up through Olympia National Park. Cape Flattery was by far the highlight of my trip – one of the coolest places I have ever been and a memory I will not forget. I stayed in the park for several nights at the Log Cabin Resort which was awesome and had the best local food. Whatever path you end up on – roadtrips are the best and you will have quite the adventure!

  • 27 regan // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I am upset that we never did anything like this while living in the Bay Area. Have a great time and take plenty of pictures to share!

  • 28 Bri // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:58 am

    If you’re up for it, there are quad/dune buggy rentals and sand boarding on the dunes south of Florence. I don’t know how much of an action packed trip you want to have but it’s a fun option!

    Heceta Head Lighthouse is a great stop too. It’s beautiful and the wildflowers are still going strong as of a week ago.

    If the tides are right, you should stop at the Devil’s Punchbowl at Otter Rock. It’s just off of 101 and has amazing tide pools. If the tides are low enough you can clamber over the rocks and get into the punch bowl. Just don’t stay long once the water starts coming back in, you wouldn’t want to have to swim it! There’s also a Mo’s there for clam chowder.

    Depoe Bay is a great spot for whale watching. You can either go out on a boat or stay in the interpretive center and see if you can spot them. There are specific periods in the season where the whales are more numerous, so depending on when you go you may have a great show!

    As for food: You’ll have a hard time going wrong at any of the breweries on the coast. Rogue in Newport is one of my favorite places to have a beer on the deck and just relax.

    Have a great time!

  • 29 shawn // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:08 am

    oh! if you’re looking for a place to stay right around the california/oregon border, alfred a. loeb state park in brookings, or is fantastic! they are dirt cheap, uber clean, and have electricity, beds, heaters and a porch. they also have a romantical view of the river, which is my favorite sound to fall asleep to.

    don’t miss the oregon sand dunes! they’re other-worldly and beautiful. a quick 1/2 hike is enough to inspire you for years, though if we had enough time we would have totally rented dune buggies.

    do not go to the sea lion caves in oregon. they’re boring and expensive, especially compared to the display of gluttonous sea lions you’ll see for free off the fishermens pier in sf.

    i’m sure you have a long list of places to eat in sf, but swan’s was a highlight – a neighborhood joint where the fish preparer knew everybody and their uncles and made us the best crab cocktail + sourdough + anchorsteam meal i’ve ever had.

  • 30 em // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Confusion Hill – Gravity House
    75001 N. Hwy. 101
    Piercy, CA 95587
    707 925-6456

    My kids and I had a really fun 20 minutes at this place. It costs $5 a person, and it’s just a little two room area, but it’s hokey and fun and felt a little bit like time travel into the fabulous 60′s.

  • 31 shawn // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:09 am

    oh! i forgot to tell you what’s in loeb state park! they’re CABINS.

  • 32 Nikki // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I’m with Regina…no Mo’s for clam chowder…go to JP’s in Cannon Beach if you want good clam chowder.

    Seaside, OR…stop at bell buoy for teriyaki salmon jerky.

    Cannon Beach, OR…Waves of Grain Bakery for the best mochas ever (get the homemade marshmallow to top it)

    The Goonies beach is Ecola State Park. Nice hike, but you can’t take dogs. FYI. And don’t let your lover push you over the edge of the cliff. Seems like a lot of people try ;)

    Florence definitely for the sea lions!

    I’m headed to SF on Wednesday, I’ll let you know my recommendations! Sounds like an awesome road trip!

  • 33 Nikki // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Oh oh, if you’re stopping in Portland at all.. Pambiche for Cuban food. Get the maduros. And Screen Door for brunch!

  • 34 Kimberly // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:17 am

    The only time I’ve driven that route was in the 4th grade on a two week vacation. I fondly remember the Tillamook Cheese Factory tour and the Olympia Beer factory tour. Both were fascinating and I would love to see them again. :)

  • 35 kim // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I think everyone else has pretty mentioned everything, but definitely on the drive a bit south of Eureka/Arcata, take the route through the Avenue of the Giants. You’ll drive right through the Redwoods instead of around them, and it’s really beautiful.

    Once you’re in Arcata, stop into Cafe Mokka for the cheapest most tasty hot cocoa, soup, and dessert treats. It’s super cozy and cute inside. (They also double as a Finnish hot tub sauna! You can rent a private redwood tub– the perfect place to relax after a long hike!)

    If you’re into vintage clothing, there’s a place in Eureka called Flashback that’s owned by this very eccentric woman. It’s basically an old house covered and I mean completely littered with vintage clothes. It’s fantastic.

  • 36 megan // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Thank you so much everybody, these are exactly the sorts of suggestions I was hoping for. You all rock so hard.

  • 37 Kate // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:59 am

    In Santa Rosa, CA – the Russian River Brewing Company. AMAZING beers. Get the full sampler and you get about a zillion small glasses, one of everything they have, for a really reasonable price. They also have these incredible things called “Beer Bites” – balls of hot pizza dough with cheese and garlic.

    And nth-ing the redwoods near Eureka.

  • 38 Michelle // Aug 30, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I drove from Malibu to Newport on 1/101 in May, and I’ve driven north from Newport several times. ou’ll love it! Here are a few favorites:
    - In Tillamook, take 131 and head south on local roads for a few miles before mtg back with 101. You can do this again in North Bend (near Coos Bay).
    - Yaquina lighthouse, *don’t*miss* if it’s low tide, otherwise, it’s still amazing, but so is just about every other beach.
    - Rogue brewery in Newport. Eat in the bar area (constructed from reclaimed wood from shipwrecks!), Calamari & fish tacos.
    - cape perpetua — trails for every mood. from half mile flat to ~5 miles strenuous. enthusiastic docents & nature walks.
    - the dunes
    - Bandon is kitschy but fun. you can find something on yelp here.
    - the redwoods (duh). get a map, do at least one coast drive and at least one walk a mile or so inland (the landscape changes).
    - I stayed in Eureka on the way north. it was kind of depressing. If you’re looking to stay after a day at the redwoods, stop in Arcata.
    - Gotta run, will try to come back later for the Arcata to SF leg. Take care!

  • 39 Angela // Aug 30, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Otis Cafe in Otis, OR (in between Lincoln City and Neskowin)–tiny cute place with delicious huge breakfasts and amazing bread (at least, that was the case a few years ago). Get the black bread.

    We love Oceanside, OR (just west of Tillamook, kind of off the beaten track). Quiet little town with its own tiny beach and a tunnel to another beach where you can hunt for agates. Nice B&Bs there. Actually, that whole “three capes” lo0p is really nice.

  • 40 kendra // Aug 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Even if you aren’t camping, check out the cabins and yurts at some of the state parks along the Oregon coast:
    http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/cabins.shtml
    We camped our way up the coast a couple of years ago and saw many of the lovely state parks. Have a wonderful trip.

  • 41 nissa // Aug 30, 2010 at 10:32 am

    This is the route that my Mom & I are following next week, it’s always a beautiful trip:

    http://www.roadtripusa.com/routes/pacificcoast/pacificcoast.html

  • 42 TheBon // Aug 30, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Trees of Mystery!! It’s in the Klamath, California and it is hands down 100% hardcore old school roadside attraction kitsch. Giant talking Paul Bunyan? Check. Giant Anatomically Correct Babe the Blue Ox? Check. Also, lots of neat redwood, references to Ripley’s Believe it or Not and a tram ride up to a spectacular view.

  • 43 ann // Aug 30, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I’d check out WildSpring in Port Orford. It’s a Big Sur-inspired “eco-retreat” and is very cool. Kind of a splurge, but totally worth it. The dunes in Florence are also great.

  • 44 Brittany Kaye // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:04 am

    You are going to have such a great time! About five years ago my mom, brother and I made the trip from Seattle to Portland, driving along the coast. I have so many wonderful memories from that trip! We didn’t have much of an itinerary but followed the scenic highways. I remember LOVING the lighthouses in Oregon and stopping at state parks to eat our homemade lunches. Astoria was so beautiful. Best of luck with planning your trip!

  • 45 Kai // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I love Astoria – beautiful historic homes, giant ships heading up the Columbia River, great seafood (Columbian Cafe is my favorite place for fish) and a really cool tiny city feel. The Commodore hotel has a really affordable Eurovibe – and my must stop corner is on Duane and 15th where in the morning I can stop at the Blue Scorcher Bakery and Cafe for amazing baked goods and breakfast – and later in the day the Fort George Brewery has really really good pub grub and delicious beer.

  • 46 Traci D. Haley // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

    You HAVE to stop in Seaside, Oregon… they have a great saltwater taffy place with over 100 flavors… but Seaside itself is just a plain cool place to visit.

    Also, I know it’s been said already, but the Tillamook cheese factory is a must — it’s a bit more inland, but way worth the detour. The air museum is there, too, and was pretty fun for a meander, if that type of thing interests you.

    And when you’re in Seattle, you should totally eat at Ipanema… it was awesome.

  • 47 Traci D. Haley // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Oh, and if you do go through Portland at all, might I suggest the Portland Zoo — I had such a fun time last time I went. Best zoo I’ve ever been to!

  • 48 Christy // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I’ve taken this trip twice and love love LOVE it. It has to be my favorite part of the country for sure.
    Skip Mo, it’s to chain-y. In Newport try The Whales Tail, it’s a little pricy but so gooood.

    My hubby and I feel in love in Gold Beach so that is a really special place for us.

    Cape Foulweather is awesome. The views are stunning and it has a totally cute kitchy gift shop.
    Have a great time.

  • 49 sarah // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:41 am

    eat lunch or dinner at the “tidal raves” in depoe bay oregon. start with an appetizer of seahawk bread, then have yummy fish + chips (and the best tartar sauce EVER) and finish your meal with a warm fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream. a HUGE lunch, but so so delicious! tidal raves is on the ocean side of the road, and every table has a fabulous view. i’m not much of a fan of the rest of little town, but that restaurant is not to be missed.

    have a fun trip!

  • 50 Kelly // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Stop by Jimella’s Seafood Market, just north of Long Beach, WA for lunch. (Go early, it fills up quickly, it’s half cafe/half market.) Excellent local seafood (pan-fried oysters, penn cove mussels) and yummy desserts (my last visit was a rustic polenta crust cherry tart)

    Ok, now I’m hungry and dreaming of my next coastal road trip. :)

  • 51 Entropy's Bitch // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Astoria is a lovely town to take a walk in. Wonderful Victorian buildings. My thoughts are to just make sure you get some quiet time in the redwoods.

  • 52 Judy // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Stop by B Bryan Preserve in Point Arena, CA. 100 acre preserve dedicated to the preservation of Critically endangered Zebra and African antelope. You can even stay there.

  • 53 mcauliflower // Aug 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Great suggestions!
    Echoing:
    + skip Mo’s for chowder.
    + make sure to check out the Devil’s Churn (distinct from the Devil’s Punchbowl). At the Churn- path to the right is the churn, path to the left is to tide pools.

    And- don’t forget to stop the car and any curious little stand and such :)

    Bet you’re going to develop an awesome google map from this.

  • 54 Karen // Aug 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Just outside Tillamook, OR is the Cape Meares lighthouse and a short trail to the Octopus Tree! I love this tree.

    http://capemeareslighthouse.org/html/octopus_tree.html

  • 55 megan b. // Aug 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    We did Seattle -Arcata last year, camped 1/2 the time, and hoteled a bit.

    Highly recommended: The Ester Lee in Lincoln City, OR. Funky time capsule motor lodge right on the water. Cheap and fantastic- with kitchens and fireplaces. Ask for a cottage room. http://www.esterlee.com/

    Also a must: the smoked salmon stand on the klamath (?) reservation on 101 between Paul Bunyan and Trinidad. It’s in an old gas station, on the west side of the road. Heavenly road snackin’ goodness.

    I’m dying to do this road trip again, actually!

  • 56 Heidi // Aug 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Screaming Mimi’s ice cream in Petaluma, CA. They make their own ice cream and it’s all natural with flavors like Lavender and Cassis.
    http://www.screaminmimisicecream.com/

  • 57 Amy B. // Aug 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I did a simular trip when I worked at the YMCA of Greater Seattle – only I took 11 teens on a 10-day trip up and down the coast.

    These were a few of our stops… http://www.yelp.com/list/road-rules-pacific-coast-highway-myers-flat

  • 58 Rochelle // Aug 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Also in Ft. Bragg is the North Coast Brewing Co. I’m not sure where it would be on the scale of “must see” but my husband and I every so often make a day trip (from SF area) just to sit in the bar and have some beers. Have fun!

  • 59 Joanna // Aug 30, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    My suggestion is to stop in Florence Oregon. I haven’t read all the comments…so I’m not sure if this already mentioned. My family used to stop there “back in the day”. It is a lovely coastal village on the Oregon dunes. We would stay at Honeyman state park. They had excellent hot showers and very friendly people. Our neighbor one year showed us how to boil crabs…so the next day we went and caught crabs and had a great dinner. It was so memorable.

    http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_134.php

  • 60 Elizabeth // Aug 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I took a road trip the opposite direction in June! I drove from Sequim, WA to San Francisco, CA and Los Angeles, CA. I would definately recommend going to Port Angeles, WA and Sequim, WA on the North Olympic Peninsula. There is the Olympic National Park, with Crescent Lake, Sol Duc Hot Springs, Quinault Rainforest and mineral and freshwater pools. Also, my parent’s own a bed & breakfast right in between Sequim and Port Angeles, WA called George Washington Inn (www.georgewashingtoninn.com) that I recommend you stay at! It is an exact replica (on the outside) of George Washington’s home in Virginia, Mount Vernon. Good luck planning your trip!

  • 61 Marika // Aug 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Hug Point south of cannon beach is super cute. The darlingtonias near Florance are pretty cool and the sea lion caves are also pretty neat. Have fun.

  • 62 Mel // Aug 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I have driven this route a few times having lived in SF and now back in Portland.
    SF-North
    Tomales Bay…get some oysters! Grill ‘em on the bay.
    Arcata, CA super cute hippie town with a way cute little hotel and at least one brewery
    Bandon – just a super cute beach town
    Tahkenich (sp?) – South of Hwy 126, can park and hike your tent out to the dunes for the night, way cool place.
    Cape Perpetua – Hobbit trails….way cool hiking, views of coast in a temperate forest with really overgrown huge ferns and other plants.
    Sea Lion Caves, you just have to do it.
    Oregon Coast Aquarium….worth it just for the jelly fish exhibit alone.
    Manzanita – cute cute town
    Neahkanie Mtn.—nice hike to cliff edge
    Tillamook Cheese Factory, just fun if you have never done it or not in a long time.
    Seaside…can be skipped, but the best fudge ever is at Tom and Larry’s near the beach on Broadway.
    Astoria- another cute town, Goonies was filmed here.
    Long Beach- longest beach in the world…and you can drive on it, nuff said.

    Have fun!

  • 63 Kate // Aug 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I agree that you should NOT go to Mo’s…it’s really terrible stuff. Stop at Lost Coast Brewing in Eureka for a beer/some food, if you go through Ashland, OR eat/drink at Caldera!

  • 64 Richard L. // Aug 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR is a must stop. Bend is a nice little town to walk around anyway.

  • 65 Lydia // Aug 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    One of my favorite places along the coast, just north of San Francisco is the Marin Headlands, close to Sausalito. There’s a great beach there, and great views of the Golden Gate bridge at sunset. If you need a place to stay, the hostel inside the headlands is really special and inexpensive!

  • 66 Johanna // Aug 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Agree with the suggestions for Fort Bragg – here are some more: Cowlick’s Handmade Ice Cream (try the mushroom), Triangle Tattoo Museum, 1st Friday Art Walk if you’re there the first Friday of the month (free wine tasting and snacks in the shops and galleries), Oddities self-guided walking tour – maps in many shops and the Visitor Center. Check out the fortbragg.com web site and their Face book page to see what other visitors like.

  • 67 Ed // Aug 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Just did part of this trip two weeks ago and agree pretty much across the board with Mel. (62)

    1. Tomales Bay and Pt. Reyes Station are classic West Marin towns with bakeries, shops, bbq oysters, etc. Check out the rooms at Nick’s Cove Cottages and Restaurant.
    2. You can also follow 101 through Sonoma and Healdsburg, before taking Highway 128 through the Anderson Valley to the Mendecino coast and Highway 1. Very low key wineries along the way with tastings of sparkling wines and great pinots (try Talouse vineyards).
    3. Mendocino is the most picturesque town on the California coast. Great market for picnic supplies downtown. Bookstore, gifts, bakery, etc. Ft. Bragg has North Coast Brewing, one of the best beer makers in California. We stayed at the Andiron Inn, funky and relatively inexpensive.
    4. Eureka is way overrated, worth 30 minutes to see the Victorian homes.
    5. The Redwoods are not overrated. Be sure to drive the scenic parkway instead of Highway 101. The little town of Klamath has a drive-thru tree and a decent chili-burger at the downtown cafe.
    6. Southern Oregon has the most amazing rock formations and hidden beaches. Just take it slow.
    7. Bandon, Oregon is great little tourist city with an incredible beach. The 2 Loons Cafe has excellent breakfast and lunch, and the Alloro Wine Bar is a shockingly good Italian restaurant for such a remote location.
    8. We loved the Oregon Dunes between Coos Bay and Florence.

  • 68 Ann Stoermer // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I just blogged about this a couple weeks ago. We adore Bodega Bay and stop at the best taffy shop! We also frequent a pizza place in Petaluma.

    Check it out!
    http://intheinterestofannie.blogspot.com/2010/08/bodega-bay-and-best-taffy-in-world-at.html

  • 69 Stephk // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    … also recommending the Samoa Cookhouse in Humboldt. Good food and cool setup. :)

    http://www.samoacookhouse.net/

  • 70 caroline // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I’ll echo the recommendation for oysters in Tomales Bay — Hog Island Oyster Co. has picnic benches and grills out back.

    Keep heading south and stop at Marshall (blink and you’ll miss it) for awesome chowder and/or more oysters at the Marshall Store (right on Hwy 1, ocean-side). If you stop in Tomales, the deli has great coffee and fantastic food (mostly local produce/meats — try the Stemple Creek burger — the lamb is also great), and Strauss Family Creamery ice cream.

    Are you going through the Lost Coast section? It’s definitely the scenic route. :)

    In SF:
    ~Tadich Grill for a piece of SF restaurant history and some great cioppino
    ~Swan Oyster Depot if you’re in the mood for standing in line for a counter spot for some excellent chowder/oysters/seafood
    ~Magnolia brewpub in the Haight for cask ales and great food
    ~Marnee Thai (a few locations) for Thai that’s brilliant, and not all curry and pad thai (angel wings!!!)
    ~Curry Village in the Sunset — to-die-for chicken saag and super wonderful owners
    ~the Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel for a bit of kitchsy-tiki fun

    Do you have time to head across the bay?
    ~ Ici in Berkeley for phenomenal ice cream (seasonal flavors change regularly, they also have a stand a the Thursday farmer’s market on Shattuck/Rose)
    ~Cafe Colucci in Oakland for Ethiopian/Eritrean

    There’s so much good stuff! Have a great time :)

  • 71 caroline // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    One more–

    In Berkeley, check out Gather for great, local, sustainable eats.

  • 72 JodyRudaker // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    We took the same route last Sept/Oct, then cut across and went thru Texas. Let me know if you need some good hints for that part of the world).
    1) I second Curly Redwood Lodge. Built from one tree – so mid-century cool! http://www.curlyredwoodlodge.com/
    3) Nepenthe for wine, snacks and amazing ocean views. http://www.nepenthebigsur.com/
    4) Do not miss: oysters and beer on the side of the road at The Marshall Store on Tomales Bay http://www.themarshallstore.com
    5) Inland a bit, but zin tasting in Paso Robles was great: Folks at Grey Wolf are from Seattle and awesome, can’t go wrong with Turley, Castoro people were hilarious and generous.

  • 73 Beth // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    I did a similar trip a couple years ago. The drive on highway 101 is definitely worth it! Really beautiful. The Redwoods are definitely worth seeing, and any scenic by-ways in that area are worth taking. If you want campy fun, Garberville, CA has a neat store called The Legend of Bigfoot. So, if you are into that campy sort of thing, check it out.
    Bend, OR has lots of beautiful scenery. Crater Lake is really pretty.
    If you like sand dunes, the Oregon Sand Dunes, just south of Florence, OR are quite fun. There are lots of vehicles to rent which you can ride out on the dunes.
    The Tillamook cheese factory is fun to check out. Also the Octopus tree is really neat to see. Garibaldi, OR has some nice beaches, plus if you like ice cream and salt water taffy, The Picnic Basket is a good place to get them.
    Lots of other great things have already been mentioned, like the sea lion caves, the Newport Aquarium, etc.

  • 74 JennyBakes // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Camp18 – cinnamon rolls. My husband and I have serious cravings for these now that we are far far far from the Oregon coast.
    http://www.camp18restaurant.com/

    I have great memories of beach drives. Smoked fish from the pier in Astoria. Cheese from Tillamook. Magical chai from a tiny shop in Cannon Beach (surely not there any longer, this was 10 years ago).

    It is a beautiful drive. When my family did it we’d stop at every freaking waterfall along the way. Enjoy!

  • 75 d // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    I second the recommendation for WildSpring in Port Orford. Possibly one of the most serene and amazing vacations we’ve ever had. http://www.wildspring.com/

    Also in Port Orford, The Crazy Norwegian (right on the main drag through town) has chowder and fish & chips that I still daydream about. http://www.yelp.com/biz/crazy-norwegians-port-orford

    And a very, very short and easy hike to the Port Orford Headlands yielded of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen (and I grew up in Sonoma County, so that’s saying something).

    Sounds like a great trip, whatever you decide to do. Enjoy!

  • 76 mkjt // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Go to Shore Acres in Coos Bay Oregon it is a very beautiful garden.

  • 77 megan // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    These continue to be awesome, thank you all so much!

  • 78 Sharon // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    All the places listed above – Yachats, Point Arena (check out the wharf), Glass Beach, Pacific City – all neat places. But I would suggest, if you have time, don’t cut inland to Seattle, but go all the way to the tip of Washington, stop in the Hoh Rain Forest, Neah Bay, go around along the Straits – Port Angeles, Hurricane Ridge, Dungeness – such a beautiful part of the world.

  • 79 Rob // Aug 30, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Stop at the Dunes near Florence Or and ride a dune buggy. http://ridetheoregondunes.com/rentals-quads.html

  • 80 carrie // Aug 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    We love Pacific city and the pelican brewery. If memory serves they have gingerbread French toast. Right on the beach. I think we drank beer while sitting in the sand. The giant sand dune will help work off any beer or French toast. Also, depoe bay is worth a stop to watch tour boats navigate through a narrow channel. Have fun! I think you will fond there is not enough time.

  • 81 Amy // Aug 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Hobbit Beach is an amazing wild beach — you walk under a thicket to get there. http://www.boscomountainphoto.com/-/boscomountainphoto/article.asp?ID=4214

    We stayed in cute motel in non touristy oceanside, oregon, walked down stairs to the beach.

  • 82 janice // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    We travel from Vancouver BC to the Oregon Coast every summer. It is one of our most favourite places on earth. Cannon Beach is probably the most beautiful beach area for photos..Haystack Rock is spectacular and there are lots of great galleries and restaurants in town. Seaside is a fun, although touristy beach town. The beach is expansive. There are lots of fun candy and treat stores along Broadway (chocolate dipped Twinkies and bacon for example). We had fun renting beach bicycles there. Old Town is a cute little shopping area in Florence with great views of the bridge crossing the river. The sand dunes are amazing…you need to do a dune buggy ride! We sandboard every summer as well. I would pass on the sea lions in this area (so touristy and smelly) and see them on the docks in Newport, Oregon or in SF. There are great antique stores in all the little towns along the 101 (Lincoln City, Yachats, Waldport, etc). The lighthouses are amazing too…worth stopping to get out and walk around. Lincoln City has great tide pools along the beach. There are also great glass blowing and glass fusion studios there where you can make your own fused glass plates (we are all ready planning on making sushi plates next summer) or blown glass balls or bowls. I have to say that we like Mo’s. The chowder may not be the best but they are all charming and in great locations along the coast. If you like to surf, Lincoln City has lots of surf shops- we did lesson at Otter Rock which is probably the best place for tide pools and caves. This is where the punchbowl is too. So cool to see! Enjoy your trip!

  • 83 Debbie // Aug 30, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    I echo oysters north of SF–Tomales Bay Oyster Co. is might have fewer crowds than Hog Island. Not too far from Tomales Bay, the towns of Olema–Olema Inn restaurant is awesome–and Point Reyes Station, go to Toby’s for produce and gourmet market. Also, Cowgirl Creamery is here for cheese. Point Reyes Lighthouse for a small cardiovascular challenge up the steps to a historic lighthouse. Lots of hiking and trails filled with brown bunnies in Pt. Reyes.

    Santa Rosa is home of Charles Schulz/Peanuts. Check out Redwood Empire Ice Arena, “Snoopy’s Home Ice”, the Warm Puppy coffee shop inside and Snoopy’s Gallery and Gift Shop across the parking lot, with Peanuts comic artifacts and display on the second floor (free). The Schulz Museum (admission fee) is nearby.

    Have fun! I am taking all of these wonderful comments and hope to plan a trip based on these too one day!

  • 84 Lenore // Aug 31, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Detour from Hwy 1 and go to Navarro Winery in Philo, CA. Yum. Have some wine or really good grape juice sent home for you.

    Stop at Fern Canyon in Redwoods nat’l & state parks: expect to drive on dirt and through creeks (we did it in a Prius–it was fine) and then walk in the creek (you will get your feet wet). It’s amazing.

    I also recommend going inland to Crater Lake if you haven’t done it yet.

  • 85 Paula // Aug 31, 2010 at 12:23 am

    So many good suggestions. We love stopping at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport and combining it with lunch at the very nearby Rogue Brewery. If you sign up for Rogue Nation citizenship, you get a discount on your beer! And if you’re really into sea life, Hatfield Marine Science Center is just a few blocks away too.

    In Bandon be sure to try Coastal Mist…their desserts and drinking caramel are not to be missed.

    If you’ve never stayed in a yurt, the Oregon coast is a great place to try it out. Many of the OR state parks have yurt accommodations – it’s a fun change of pace (and beats tent camping!) You might be able to snag a reservation on a weekday.

    Have a fantastic trip!

  • 86 Melissa // Aug 31, 2010 at 12:35 am

    I know you said things not to miss. But please don’t be sucked in by the god awful “seal caves” in Oregon by the coast. It was seriously the worst tourist trap I’ve ever been to in my life. You probably have already seen way better amounts of seals. In the wild! Without a giant metal screen between you and them! Without a ridiculous “cave” that is halfway made out of cement and has a gift shop and costs way too much to get in. Please do not waste your dollars here. It was just ridiculously bad.

  • 87 what I’ve been reading « lost, for a little while // Aug 31, 2010 at 12:55 am

    [...] notmartha has a post up asking for suggestions on places to stop while driving Highway 1 and Highway 101 down the coast of Cali. Definitely gonna keep an eye on the responses she gets. [...]

  • 88 Sheri // Aug 31, 2010 at 1:01 am

    My boyfriend and I just moved to Seattle from SF by way of West Marin by way of San Rafael by way of Rohnert Park. We’re avid day trippers.

    You’re going to want to circle a bit north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Inland route (Sonoma, Napa, etc. near 101) is just awesome. So is the coastal route (Highway 1). You’re going to want to hit both and take your time.

    1) Inland: Occidental. Eat at the Union Hotel for an enormous, homemade Italian multi-course meal, namely homemade ravioli. One time when I was there, there was an Italian wedding going on. The tables had 5-foot-tall silver candleabras. Do not listen to those who say Negri’s, the Italian place literally across the street, is better. It is not. On the way out of Occidental, in Freestone, is the Wild Flour Bakery. I cannot describe the bread; it is insane. Wheaty and fruity and nutty and sugary and doughy and awesome. Then, you’re going to get to Two Rock Valley, Valley Forge (where you can get more old-style Italian food if you need some of that). If you don’t take that route, you’ll get to Petaluma, where you can eat ridiculous sushi at Hiro’s, or you can eat Armenian food (pomegranite chicken, yo) at Aram’s, or you can shop for heirloom seeds at the Seed Bank, or you can just walk up and down Petaluma Blvd. and Western Ave. There are many, many, many beautiful houses, most notably on D Street (where the richest egg barons built their mansions at the turn of the 20th Century). Petaluma will take you to 101, and from there you get to…

    2) Marin. Now, this is the beaten path of Marin, not the unbeaten path of West Marin, which I will get to. Novato is the northernmost town in Marin, and Downtown Novato is becoming a very cute place to hang. There are a few Marin-y boutiques, some great restaurants (a cool Italian bistro called Grazie, an Indian place called Anokha, and some other more ritzy places). South of Novato is San Rafael, and the downtown there is fantastic. All the old buildings are there, and they’re equally divided by original tenants and new businesses trying to make a go of it. It’s awesome. The best Puerto Rican food EVAAAR is there – Sol Food. You will be sorry if you miss this, mostly for the decor alone. It’s totally your style. South of San Rafael you’ll get to Larkspur, which has a cute tiny downtown area, and then Mill Valley. Mill Valley is a tiny little hamlet tucked into the redwoods, with lots of high-end shopping and dining (Tyler Florence actually moved there a few years ago and has taken over one of the restaurants). Mill Valley has the Throckmorton Theatre, which seats about 250 people. Tuesday night at the Throckmorton is a comedy night with Paul Begala. Paul Begala is friends with some big name comedians (Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, etc.) who sometimes show up unannounced to practice their stand-up routines. I saw Robin Williams there a few years ago and I will never be the same. After Mill Valley is the usual Sausalito, but what most people don’t know is that in Sausalito you can visit the Heath Ceramics store and shop, and also the Army Corps of Engineers relief map of the SF Bay Area. It is huge and amazing and you’ll stare at it for hours. Skip downtown Sausalito. I didn’t have to tell you that though.

    3) West Marin. Ah, this is where I left my heart. If you take Highway 1 down from Bodega Bay, you’re going to get to Tomales, which others have already said has a great cafe that doesn’t look like much but has some of the most amazing food. Next door is a very tasty bakery that makes an awesome brownie. Down from Tomales, I don’t know. There is Nick’s Cove, which I haven’t been to, but it seems like a tourist trap. It’s spendy. Next is Point Reyes Station, with an awesome Saturday Farmer’s Market (if it’s still going when you’re down there, you should go… they have a chef demonstration in Toby’s Feed Barn. Last year Alice Waters did a demo, and I think Bobby Flay for some reason). Go hit up the Bovine Bakery, Into the Blue (kite shop owned by a man who really knows kites), Cowgirl Creamery, and my favorite pizza in the whole world, Point Reyes Cafe. The owner brought his dough starter in a suitcase from Italy, and built the wood-fired oven himself. They use all local ingredients, which are really something amazing. Keep heading south on 1 and then turn left at the intersection in Olema, onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd. You’ll follow SFD over an amazing hill very quickly, where you might see some really dramatic fog rolling over, and then you’ll quickly enter Samuel P. Taylor State Park. The campground there, Camp Taylor, is one of my favorite places to camp. Paper Mill Creek runs through it, and even if you just drive by at sunset, you’re going to love seeing all the campfires twinkling up the hill amongst the redwoods. There are excellent hiking and biking trails through the park. Keep going East and you’ll get to Lagunitas just outside the park. If it’s still warm, you can park on the side of the road right outside the park (literally on the outside of the sign marker) and walk in to the Inkwells, which are natural pools of water in the rock there that are great for swimming if you’re nice and polite and don’t bother the man who owns the property. Incidentally, Lagunitas is of the brewery fame, but they don’t make the beer there anymore, sadly. I think they make it in Petaluma now. Lagunitas will dump you quickly into Forest Knolls, which has nothing to see, really, except my old apartment behind the Take-n-Bake pizza. Ah, memories. Forest Knolls takes you to San Geronimo, which takes you to Woodacre, and then you’re in the middle of the San Geronimo Valley, which is tiny and absolutely beautiful. I miss it so much. About 9 minutes east of there, up a small, steep hill, is Fairfax. I’m retiring to Fairfax. It’s a hippie town with tons of great restaurants, shops, a beautiful park in the center of town, and I think there’s a beer festival in October. After Fairfax, take Center Blvd (not Sir Francis Drake; Center used to be the rail line that ran from Woodacre to San Rafael… it feels like you’re driving on train tracks, and all of the houses are beautiful) to San Anselmo, which has more great boutiques, restaurants, and houses. You can walk around the Robson-Harrington House; it’s like living in The Secret Garden. My boyfriend and I used to spend hours wandering through the unkempt old gardens and taking photographs.

    After that, you’re back in either San Rafael or Larkspur.

    And I’m homesick! Wave to all my friends! I’ll keep Seattle warm while you’re gone.

  • 89 Sheri // Aug 31, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Above, I said Paul Begala hosts a comedy night… this is just not true. Though maybe it should be. I meant Mark Pitta. This is what I get for reading my email distractedly while posting long, rambling travel guides. I cannot stress the rambling enough… my bad. But have fun.

  • 90 Clair // Aug 31, 2010 at 3:13 am

    I think I am offering repeats, but still read. Love the Goonies – stop by Astoria. The Tillamook Cheese Factory is a MUST! I love watching cheese being made and eating ice cream. The squeaky cheese is awesome with its cute logo. If you like beef jerky pick up Werner’s at the cheese factory or at other places in area. It is my fav and the prices at the cheese factory are the same as grocery store prices so don’t be nervous to shop for road trip treats there! There is another smaller cheese factory, Blue Heron Cheese, next to the big cheese factory that has wine tasting and petting zoo – I really loved the cranberry wine that was from Southern Coastal Oregon and driving by the cranberry bogs is interesting but I know less about them. From Tillamook you you could take the scenic loop on Hwy 1 and go to Pacific City to the Pelican Brew Pub. Good beer, good eats. There is lots of camping all along the coast state parks in Oregon, if you aren’t planning on much camping consider a yurt! In California when you drive through the Redwoods do all the touristy things like the drive-thru tree, the Trees of Mystery, and the large elk heard. It is a chance to see the trees and be touristy, but with nature! One thing I’ve never done on the trip down 101 is go to the Charles Shultz Museum in Santa Rosa. I’ve stopped in Santa Rosa and really loved it there, but didn’t know I was missing out on Snoopy!

  • 91 Terry Mock // Aug 31, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Enjoy Port Orford overlooking Oregon’s spectacular south coast – http://www.enjoyportorford.com/

  • 92 DP // Aug 31, 2010 at 8:36 am

    so if your coming down the 101 thru eureka and on to Ukiah, which is where the City of 10,000 Buddhas is that someone mentioned above, you could take either the 20 or Orr Springs Rd west to the coast. (Ukiah is 2 hours north of the Golden Gate) Then you will be in the Fort Bragg/Mendocino area. But if you take Orr Springs Rd there is a def off the beaten path place you could stay called Orr Hot Springs. Its a very chill place to relax and get some great soaks in. They don’t have a website but just by word of mouth they do plenty of business. You have to bring your own food with you so make sure to stop in Ukiah at Safeway, Raleys, etc. – there is a communal kitchen with all the utensils, where you can cook and store your food or get one of the few cabins with their own kitchens. They have everything – you just bring the food. This place is in the middle of a forest so there’s no city lights to block out the gagillions of stars and it’s so, so quiet.

    Mendocino County was once home to many a commune and I get the sense that this place was born out of that era. Very laid back but not so laid back that’s it’s stuck-in-time funky. Once you walk thru the giant entrance gate you know you are somewhere special. It’s really more like a retreat place then anything else. There are individual and groups tubs, a pool for swimming carved out of a giant rock bed, and dry and wet saunas. Clothing is optional for the tubs which made me a little uncomfortable at first but you get over it really fast. Nobody gives a shit what anyone looks like.

    In Fort Bragg I like the restaurant at North Coast Brewing and the Franklin St Cafe. In Mendocino be sure to get a meal at The Mendocino Cafe. Both towns have a lot of really good places to eat, just ask a local. The entire village of Mendocino is a historic district and Fort Bragg is more working class but doing a good job at becoming it’s own tourist destination…this is where the famous glass beach is. The botanical gardens is on hwy 1 right between the 2 towns.

    Fort Bragg is about a 5 minutes drive North of Mendocino so hit FB first, then Mendocino, then make your way back to Ukiah and the 101, via the 128 and 253, thru the Anderson Valley…home of Scharfenberger Cellars, Roederer, Navarro Vinyards and lots more. It’s about an hour to an hour and a half drive from Ukiah to the coast, depending which route you take and all of them are gorgeous… You’ll go from rolling vineyards, thru the forest, to the sea. On Orr Springs Rd there are lots of places to stop and pick wild berries – very pastoral countryside and the unspoiled Montgomery Woods, home to the worlds tallest tree, unmarked of course.

    have fun!

  • 93 DP // Aug 31, 2010 at 8:48 am

    oh i should mention the beaches in mendo/fort bragg. Lots of them are not terribly accessible – cliff side sort of thing, but there are plenty of lovely beaches to walk on too. In Fort Bragg, after checking out Glass Beach, get back on the 1 and go North until you see a couple motels, one is called Surf and Sand lodge. Right before it is a public parking lot…there is a good beach there or you can continue to walk north on the logging road, past the motels, for about 20-25 minutes until the logging rod opens on to a huge beach with very few people. I think it’s called ten mile beach. You can’t drive to it which is why there are so few people there. It is just gorgeous. In Mendocino the headlands are beautiful, but again they are up on a cliff. If you just go a tiny bit south of of the town, off the 1 take a left and head down to Big River. (If you go over a huge bridge south of town you’ve gone too far). You can park down there and walk under the bridge to the beach, or my favorite…walk the beach east up the river. The third beach option is to continue south on the 101 to Navarro. You will never find a place more covered in driftwood…like crazy piles of it. You’ll see the beach first from up high on the hwy, then take the bridge across the Navarro River (there’s a sign for Elk). Turn immediately right after the bridge and continue down the little rod to the beach. Some practical info…there is a public restroom in Mendocino up in the Village, but Ten Mile doesn’t have any facilities. Navarro Beach is a state owned park so there are some maintained porta-potties there.

  • 94 DP // Aug 31, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Yikes! I meant continue South on the 1, not 101, to Navarro.

  • 95 Amber // Aug 31, 2010 at 9:46 am

    For tide pools, you can’t beat Half Moon Bay – a little above Santa Cruz (which is also very nice and has a boardwalk). I have a lot of great childhood memories from both locales. If you end up in Santa Cruz, get a sandwich from Erik’s deli. You won’t be disappointed.

  • 96 Jenny // Aug 31, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Stop off in Petaluma for sure. It is the most adorable little town off of Hwy 101, around 45 minutes outside of San Francisco. Amazing little downtown area with great old architecture. Apparently where Petaluma is located is on secure bedrock, so its the only place in the area not affected by the 1906 earthquake, so LOTS of amazing pre 1906 buildings in the Downtown. Super cute french boutique hotel downtown, The Metro. You can stay there for around $100/night. Also the restaurants and cute shops downtown are a must see… very eclectic and FANTASTIC food. Central Market specializes in slow food, Water Street Bistro is adorable french style cafe with the most amazing chocolate scones I have ever tasted. There are a bunch of art galleries, and when I was there on a Friday night there was a guy dressed all old timey playing ragtime jazz/blues on a mobile piano. Plus there was a theater that had live music… didn’t make it there but was told they have big names there pretty often. Also found a great state park – Helen Putnam that had great trails, adorable little pond and incredible views. I climed up this ancient oak and watched the sunset over the hills… a moment I will remember for a long time. Also, it you like Italian food, don’t miss Cucina Paradiso. OH! And if you like to dance and drink the night away, their downtown has like 12 bars in walking distance and there was no cover charge at most of them. After Petaluma we went out to Bodega Bay, which is just a straight shot on Washington St, it turns into Bodega Ave and that turns into Hwy 1. Bodega Bay is an adorable little beach town, a great place to stop. And Schoolhouse Beach has the BEST tidepools ever… plan it on a low tide and prepare to be amazed! Have fun!

  • 97 Miss Grace // Aug 31, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I live in Santa Cruz, CA, so am necessarily biased, but Santa Cruz is positively lovely, as is the whole Monterey Bay. Go to the Aquarium in Monterey!
    Go to Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz!

  • 98 Megan in Wallingford // Aug 31, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Nthing the Mendocino suggestion. It’s an adorable town. We stayed at the Stanford Inn, which is a vegetarian (breakfast)/vegan (dinner), pet-friendly hotel with amazing organic gardens and resident pet llamas, horses, etc. It’s a splurge, but it was a delight.

    We did this trip (only as far as Mendocino) in March, and it’s wonderful. Just give yourself plenty of time to stop during your driving days. It will take you much longer than you think to cover ground, because you’ll want to stop on various beaches and among the redwoods.

  • 99 Megan in Wallingford // Aug 31, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Oh, and if you drive back more directly (i.e., cutting over to I-5 at some point), spend a night in Eugene. It makes that last day trip back to Seattle pretty painless, and it’s just a great town.

  • 100 Allie // Aug 31, 2010 at 11:35 am

    The best new place to eat on the Oregon Coast is in Newport: http://localocean.net/about
    It is absolutely amazing…Do not go to MO’s! Tidal Raves is OK in depot bay…Charlize Theron filmed some movie there (at the Tidal Raves restaurant) a few years ago…Florence is fun if you have never been in a “dune buggy” or sandboarded down a dune!

  • 101 Rebecca // Aug 31, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I would not miss the Heath factory and outlet in Sausolito. My most favorite store in the whole world.

  • 102 Kathleen // Aug 31, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    When in Newport at Nye Beach you should breakfast at Cafe Stephanie. They bring you scones to nibble on while you decide what to have. They also have a lovely lunch too!

  • 103 Caitlin // Aug 31, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I just did this trip, and you HAVE to see the Avenue of the Giants. It’s a scenic alternate off hwy. 101 in the redwood forest. Sooo amazing!

  • 104 Janina A. Larenas // Aug 31, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I know people have already said it, but seriously. Do not miss glass beach. I spent hours there collecting nothing but white and milk-glass beach glass. It is such an amazing and overwhelming thing that you pretty much have to pick a single color to hunt for, otherwise you might as well just be dumping fistfulls in a bucket.

  • 105 Annsunny // Aug 31, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I have two suggestions, from a trip in Northern CA a few years ago. In the Arcata/Eureka area, there is a place called Cap’n Zach’s Crab House. It’s super fresh seafood, served on a table made out of a cable roll, with a plastic bucket in the middle for shells. It’s a casual, fun place. We were sent there by a local.
    Also, In Fort Bragg is North Coast Brewing Co. A fine microbrewery, and the restaurant was excellent.

    I loved that part of No Cal.

  • 106 Ellen // Aug 31, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I would not miss:
    1) Arcata, CA – Blue Cafe in the town square has yummy organic breakfast, but it tends to be crowded in the mornings
    2) Eureka, CA – Lost Coast Brewery, Eureka Books in Old Town has some very cool, well-kept, original antique books & prints of prohibition art and logging culture
    3) Westhaven Beach north of Arcata, CA – has some cool little coves and pretty views
    4) Humboldt Lagoons – beautiful views & stretch of beach
    5) Crescent City, CA – this is actually kinda a dwindling small seaside town that has seen better days and most of it is pretty sketchy, but if you’re comfortable with that, there are some kitschy interesting remnants of 60′s roadside culture that one might consider photo-worthy.
    6) A friendly tip – With the days getting shorter try to reach your sleeping destination before dusk, especially around the Humboldt area, because once the fog rolls in, it is a b****! to drive through the fog bank as Hwy 101 gets pretty windey and there are lots of blind turns. At night, its just not a pleasant drive.
    Good luck! Have fun! Get some good pics!

  • 107 Jen // Aug 31, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Oregon Caves National Monument. It’s about 45 minute drive east of the Highway through the redwood forest (stunning) and along the river (gorgeous). The old National Park Lodge is there and quite a romantic place to stay. Do the caves tour, do a little hiking, eat at the old time soda fountain, relax in the old lodge. It’s rustic, rooms have no TV’s and only tubs for bathing in some rooms, but it is quite an amazing place!

  • 108 susan dennis // Aug 31, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Smack in between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz veer off to Pescadero and go to Duartes (http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/214/duartes-tavern) and have friend artichokes. Heaven.

  • 109 jenney // Aug 31, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I’m from Santa Cruz and have done that drive several times. It’s beautiful!
    The trees in Redwood SP are well worth a drive-through.
    I love Point Reyes National Seashore, it is one of my favorite places anywhere, and Point Reyes Station is a charming town, as is Bolinas, right nearby.

    We moved to KY 15 months ago and this comment has left me very homesick!

  • 110 just barrie // Aug 31, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    One tip I should’ve followed for myself on this epic trip (we went all the way to San Diego) is to plan for weather. We went in June and it rained almost every day – ruining our view for most of the trip. I brought silly hats that made the trip more bearable on the real dreary days when we couldn’t even see the pretty rocks.

    I used to be more of a flight by the seat of her pants kinda gal, but as I get older I’m realizing I just like to know where I’m staying and where we’re going, so we don’t have to figure it out when we get there. I hated using the iphone because it would lose reception all the time, so finding hotels were super annoying. Next time, we’ll have a better plan so my face isn’t staring at a phone for most of the time.

    That said, I honestly can’t remember the hotels we stayed at but I do remember that Astoria was the greatest small town we visited and the yurts along Oregon coast were sweet (some with the best hot showers ever – even better than most of the hotels we stayed at).

    Honestly, you can get really overwhelmed by all the suggestions. Or at least I did. Have some destinations in mind, figure out a few places to put your head, but once you get there just see what happens. Best to have your own experiences rather than a checklist. That’s what I learned on this trip. The better moments we had were when we didn’t follow someone’s tip and just went exploring on our own.

    I hope you have a great time. Take pictures. Remember everything.

  • 111 susan y // Sep 1, 2010 at 1:28 am

    I echo what ‘just barrie’ said. I drove almost this exact stretch almost a year ago alone (drove from San Diego to SF along I-5, then SF-Astoria along the 1/101 and cut back in to Portland & Seattle).

    I had a very loose idea of what I wanted to go see & do, there were really only a few spots that I HAD to see (Avenue of the Giants, any lighthouse, Cannon Beach) that were along the coast, everything else I really just took in stride. I told myself that whatever happens is meant to happen, because if I tried to plan too much into it, I would inevitably get upset and stressed if it didn’t pan out. So I just planned a route, read up some beforehand, and when I was driving, pulled over when something caught my eye & fancy. Obviously there are many things that I missed off the beaten path, but that wasn’t the point for me, I wanted this trip to develop itself. And because of that, it think it was the best trip I have ever done in my life.

    I hope you have a beautiful time, and I can’t wait to see what develops for you :)

  • 112 lisa // Sep 1, 2010 at 10:18 am

    If you’re going to pass Pescadero, DEFINITELY stop at Arcangeli Grocery, where they make this delicious artichoke rosemary bread and you can get it fresh out of the oven. You will devour it!

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/arcangeli-grocery-co—norms-market-pescadero

  • 113 Britt // Sep 1, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Yachats, Oregon (between Florence and Newport) is lovely with tidal pools and great blowholes and the like. Yachats Inn has some pretty reasonable rooms with kitchens and waterviews.

    Just south of Yachats, Strawberry Hill is a “lookout point” that is really a great walk down to the water with sealions and such. Highly recommended.

    ENJOY your trip!

  • 114 Natasha // Sep 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I did a similar trip a couple of times… It’s great! Cool town in Oregon, on the coast called Pacific City- giant dune you can climb up . Someone above mentioned Gold Bluffs beach. That’s the best place..Jedidiah Smith State park, where they filmed Return of the Jedi…the actual Ewok forest. Cool spot a couple of miles away from Jed Smith- Stout Grove. The girthiest redwood on record is there, Stout Tree. I got married in front of it. Have a great time!

  • 115 Clearly Composed // Sep 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Mendocino is beyond charming and the shrimp salad on a croissant at the Mendocino Hotel is so yummy! I swear that charming lil place can lower anyone’s blood pressure after 15 minutes there. Oh..and I can’t remember the name but there is an amazing chocolate shop right in town. Anyone in town can point the way. :)

  • 116 simone // Sep 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

    If you go to Portland, my favorite place is Suzette’s for crepes (chocolate crepe with homemade nutella and homemade cinnamon ice cream…mmmmmm! oh yeah, delicious savory ones too) and McMenamins Kennedy School ( a former school turned hotel/bars) Lovely soaking pool at McMenamins too. Also, Pok Pok for Thai food:
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/pok-pok-portland#hrid:JweG-2LO032MkzChyuna0w

    http://www.mcmenamins.com/166-kennedy-school-soaking-pool

  • 117 Jill // Sep 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

    If you are in Willits, CA – just north of Ukiah and Santa Rosa I recommend this cute little sandwich shop! It is called THE LOOSE CABOOSE CAFE. It is wonderful. My Dad and I stopped there on our trip through the Redwoods last year.

    OH, and you need to check out the Redwoods! My parents grew up in Garberville, CA. Cute little town that has been left in the 50′s.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/loose-caboose-cafe-willits

  • 118 vera // Sep 2, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Loved Yachats in Oregon and the Sea View Inn just south of Yachats.

  • 119 vera // Sep 2, 2010 at 11:38 am

    p.s. Speaking of Pescadero, there is also Pie Ranch, their store is open on weekends, best pie! Also, third Saturday each month is their work day and barn dance, you should check that out if you are there at that time!

  • 120 kathy // Sep 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    In Southern Oregon, we had great food at Barnacle Bistro. We just pulled off the road and lucked out with this place. http://www.barnaclebistro.com/ I had a fantastic burger, and my buddies ate fish dishes. I abstained, but my companions were really pleased with the beer selections (including Oregon beers).

    In Arcata, CA, I really like Cafe Brio. http://briobaking.com/cafe.php Nice, well made pastries! The town is a trip with lots of young dopey types, but pretty boring if you ask me. Everything except the wacky strip of bars, closes pretty early.

  • 121 Karolyn Loncon // Sep 2, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I’ve done the coastal trip from Palm Springs to Seattle. My all time favorite place was Santa Barbara. Gorgeous!! There was an amazing Italian restaurant on the main drag of downtown Santa Barbara. It was across the street from Z Gallery – another of my fave stops. The food was to die for – I still dream about it, and that trip was in 2002. I hope we can go back to Santa Barbara again some day, and if we do, we’ll definitely go to that Italian restaurant. I hope it’s still there!

  • 122 Willa // Sep 3, 2010 at 6:49 am

    So, I think you might have enough suggestions but I wanted to correct one thing: Screaming Mimi’s is some of the best ice cream I have ever eaten but it is located in Sebastopol, CA, not Petaluma. If they have it, definitely get the olive oil ice cream, I had it with a scoop of Campari-Grapefruit sorbet.

    Echoes:
    –Samoa Cookhouse, yes.
    –Occidental: Union Hotel is OK if you want big family italian, I honestly don’t think the pasta is that good. They have a great golden garlic pizza and the tiramisu dessert is wild and huge.
    BUT, even better: Across the street and down a little is the Barley and Hops tavern which has amazing, creative, fresh brew pub food and awesome beers on tap. Definitely drink Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brew. Company, it’s on tap at many bars in this area.

    In general, I definitely recommend staying on Hwy 1 as far as possible, all the way down through Bodega Bay, Two-Rock valley (a great drive, lots of cows and sheep) and cutting inland to go through Petaluma. This route avoids Santa Rosa and it’s heinous traffic. (The only thing worth doing in Santa Rosa is the Russian River Brewery and you can get many of their beers on tap elsewhere.)

  • 123 Jennifer // Sep 3, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Winchester Mystery House in San Jose!

  • 124 Colleen // Sep 3, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I was just at Cannon Beach! Haystack Rock is something to see: http://colleenmcdevitt.blogspot.com/2010/08/haystack-rock.html

    My road-trip ended there after coming all the way from Missouri! http://colleenmcdevitt.blogspot.com/2010/08/great-america-road-trip.html

  • 125 Lindsey // Sep 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I live in Humboldt County so obviously I think this is the best place EVER. Someone said to stop at Fern Canyon.. definitely a good suggestion, plus there’s a giant elk herd that lives nearby. Don’t get too close, though- whenever I pass by there’s always tourists trying to get too close, just waiting to be trampled to death. :)

    Trees of Mystery in Klamath is right on the 101, so you will definitely notice the giant Paul Bunyan and Babe statues. If you get out, you can converse with Paul.

    The Arcata Plaza is a good stop for people watching and there are some cool shops.

    Eureka has a ton of Victorian homes, which seems to be a hit with people from out of town. Eureka is also home to Old Town, with a gazebo, waterfront, and tons of neat shops.

    The further south you go, you’ll hit the redwoods. Take the scenic Avenue of the Giants. You won’t be disappointed. It will all be obvious on where to turn.

    In regards to comment 105: Cap’n Zach’s no longer has a restaurant.

  • 126 Lindsey // Sep 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Oh, and if you *really* want some tidepools they’re at Patrick’s Point State Park. There’s a heck of a hike involved. Agate Beach is right there, too, so you might find some agates while you’re at it.

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Undiscovered-California-Getaways-Patricks-Point

    You could always just skip the hike and catch the touch tide-pools at the Humboldt State University Marine Laboratory in Trinidad.

  • 127 Doug // Sep 3, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Plan on several brief roadside stops north of Florence, Oregon, including: Devil’s Churn, Cape Perpetua Viewpoint, Devil’s Elbow State Park and Lighthouse.

  • 128 Maggi // Sep 3, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Otis Cafe, Oregon off the highway. the Sterns of Roadfood suggested, and we loved the space and the food. Eggs for sure.
    Green Salmon in Yachats, Oregon for very good coffee (and treats)
    42nd St Cafe in Long Beach,WA Outstanding food.

  • 129 amanda // Sep 4, 2010 at 5:30 am

    If you are driving through Port Arena stop by Franny’s Cup & Saucer on the main street. Beautiful and delicious cakes & cookies. The lighthouse is also really spectacular – you can do a tour right to the top!
    If you do end up in Avenue of Giants right near the end is road side stall selling sensational fresh blackberry icey poles (this is probably an obscure Aussie expression – hopefully you can guess what I mean). You can suck on these while wandering around the huge vege garden or else meander up the road to climb the 100 year old walnut tree.

  • 130 Kira // Sep 4, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Stop in Astoria, OR. Cute little fishing town–where movies like Goonies & Kindergarten Cop were filmed. Grab coffee at Coffee Girl–right on the water. Climb Astor Column for great views. 45 minutes away is Cannon Beach–most gorgeous beach I’ve ever seen.

  • 131 Judy // Sep 5, 2010 at 9:13 am

    My, you have lots of suggested stops. Hope you have a great trip. My husband and I grew up in Long Beach, WA, so I’m hoping you take a left turn at the Columbia River bridge to vist this great peninsula. Cape Disappointment State Park is a great camping spot as well as Andersen’s RV park. 42nd Street Cafe, The historic Shelburne Hotel and the little diner on the beach approach in Ocean Park are great eateries. The upper end of the peninsula is a great place to see the workings of the oyster industry on Willapa Bay. Beard’s Hollow, North Head Lighthouse, Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, soooo many things to see…

  • 132 Fiona // Sep 5, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Here’s a post I just did about Cannon Beach.
    http://fionamade.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/97-degrees-and-8-hours/
    Also – Otis Cafe is the real deal diner.
    Have a great trip!

  • 133 Alexa // Sep 6, 2010 at 2:27 am

    So many suggestions! :) Glad you’re coming to our neck of the woods…literally, I grew up near the Redwoods in Southern Oregon.

    I’d like to encourage you to stop in this really small, cute towns on your way up into Oregon. First, stop in Gold Beach for a Jerry’s Jetboat ride! (Absolute must…104 mi trip into the white water and you’ll probably see bears, elk, etc!) Grab lunch there at Gold Beach’s Barnacle Bistro, Port Hole Cafe, or Port Orford’s Crazy Norweigans (30 min N of Gold Beach). Be sure to roam around downtown Bandon. On your way to Bandon from Port Orford, stop at the Langlois Market. Their hotdogs are famous! Posts #22, 75, 120 really hit the nail on the head for a great idea of our southern coastline.

    This one is out of your way but quite worth it: Out’n'About Treesort… beautiful treehouses to stay.

    I know several of these points were mentioned before but they’re important to reiterate: Skip the sealion coves. You can get a much better experience walking around downtown Newport on the docks..and you get closer. Avoid Mo’s…it’s nothing compared to the small businesses mentioned before and the South Beach Market in Newport.

    Above all, have a phenomenal trip! :D

  • 134 Erin // Sep 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I agree – you HAVE to stop at Canon Beach, Oregon and visit Haystack Rock (shout out to “Goonies”!!). Right next to the parking lot at Haystack Rock is Mo’s where you can get ah-may-zing clam chowder!! Here’s a link to Mo’s: http://www.moschowder.com/home.cfm?dir_cat=77606

  • 135 Bri // Sep 6, 2010 at 10:54 am

    We just got back from a weekend in Newport. We spent many hours on the beach flying a kite and getting sunburned. Other than that we ate, and ate well. The one place I have to tell you about is Saffron Salmon on the bayfront in Newport. The view is great and the food was fantastic (and not too too spendy). Get the marrionberry cobbler with Tillamook ice cream if you go. Just trust me on this one. Save room. And their clam chowder is much better than mo’s, not quite so cloyingly cream filled. Hope you have a great time!

  • 136 Margaret // Sep 7, 2010 at 9:34 am

    It’s been said already but the Monterey Bay Aquarium is worth the day trip.
    And, strike me dead, but I would blow off the whole Napa/Sonoma wine pilgrimage. Use the time to see the other suggestions.

  • 137 Joe Lencioni // Sep 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I was just out there in April and stopped at a place in Astoria, OR called Drina Daisy. Really really delicious Bosnian food and a good beer selection. We chatted up the waiter about beer and he brought us free samples of rare beers that weren’t on the menu.

    http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=5841915947911797771&q=drina+daisy&gl=us

  • 138 Jennifee Geisinger // Sep 7, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    If you go a little further-up to British Columbia Salt Springs Island is the best place EVER!! There’s a little hostel there where you can sleep in treehouses! And everybody hitchhikes. LOVED IT.

  • 139 giddy girlie // Sep 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    My friend just came back from SF and visited the Camera Obscura (http://www.giantcamera.com/) by the Cliff House. It’s $2 but a must-see!

  • 140 Ransacked Goods // Sep 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Try the Poodle Dog Diner in Fife WA (very funky), the Pine Cone Diner and Cow Girl Creamery in Point Reyes Station CA, the Pelican Inn in Muir Beach CA (very old time pub). I love the glass beach in Ft. Bragg CA too.

  • 141 medha // Sep 9, 2010 at 11:20 am

    my husband spent 2 weeks in weed, ca recording an album with his band and swears by the Hi-Lo Cafe. I havent tried it myself but he still talks about it and stops in there if hes passing through.

  • 142 kelly // Sep 10, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    HI! A must thats in Washington is OCEAN SHORES… and then RUBY BEACH.. they are both amazing places to see.

  • 143 Kendra // Sep 11, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Pelican Pub & Brewery in Pacific City, Oregon. You can sit out on the back deck with a cold beer and watch the sunset and listen to the waves…

  • 144 Amanda // Sep 11, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Wow! What an awesome book you could put together with this stuff! I’m originally from the Bay Area (707 y’all) now I live in Florence, I’ve made this trip QUITE a few times…first suggestion, bring a barf bag…or two, or four…I know not everyone gets car sick, but everyone in my family does, so they are kind of essential for the 101…you’ve gotten great suggestions so far, my favorite spot is Fort Bragg, the glass beach is awesome and Headlands Coffee house is great! I would urge you not to pay to ride the stinky elevator down to the stinky smelly sea lion caves in Florence, you can see them for free if you just try hard enough, they’re all over the place up and down HWY 101…The Waterfront Depot has the best food in Florence hands down! They have an amazing crab encrusted halibut for around $10 that puts Mo’s clam chowder to shame. I hope you have a safe trip, feel free to email me with any Florence area questions :) cali8172@live.com also check out my photography site, it’s chock full of Florence area pictures http://www.amandalaustin.com
    Happy Trails!

  • 145 AF // Sep 12, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Larabee State Park in Bellingham was a neat place for tide pooling. We saw a giant purple star fish and some other cool creatures. Doesn’t take a lot of time there, so you may want to plan something else in that area.

  • 146 Rachael // Sep 20, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I just wanted to reiterate the importance of stopping in Nye beach. It really is a great beach/town. Cafe Stephanie is good as someone else said but if you arrive later then Cafe Mundo is incredibly cool. And there is a really great hotel there where each room is themed based on famous authors. It is the Sylvia Beach Hotel. There is also the West Coast Game Park that is just outside of Bandon, Oregon – That is a great little town.

  • 147 roadawghd // Oct 2, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    My husband and I rode up to the San Juan Islands in Washington state to visit our nephew and his family there. Wow! the islands are spectacular!We took a ferry ride to Orcas where they live and rode around to the top of the island and could see 360 degrees! (great cafes with great food also).We travel ala easy rider on our HD from Los Angeles every year for our 5 weeks vacation somewhere and love this ride. In Oregon I fell in love with capn cook inn(Lincoln City) which is a restored motorlodge and very reasonable. Also in Astoria dont forget the museum of Maritime history(2-4 hrs depending how deep you get with culture/history) which is awesome. We have also rode thru Mt St Helens & Mt Rainer in Washington , if you… can do it! It will take your breath away. My best suggestion is to travel by motorcycle because then you become part of the scenery and feel,smell,breath the beautiful fresh air. Be safe & have a great time.

  • 148 Prepared for Travel // Oct 18, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Oswald West State Park, just south of Cannon Beach is not to be missed. The long walk through the moss covered trees makes you feel like you are in the rain forest. I was there this summer and it was amazing. Once you get to the beach you’ll find it’s a hidden cove with a lovely beach. Great spot for a picnic!

  • 149 danica // Oct 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    ooh not sure if it’s too late yet but BEVERLY BEACH campground! You sleep in a freaking YURT and it’s only like 19 bucks a night, we saw the most AMAZING lightening storm there…it was fantastic, tilamook cheese is great too. We did the same trip (but from vancouver island to San Fran) in 08, when I was pregnant with our first baby.
    Such a fun trip!

  • 150 Travel Girl // Dec 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I assume you had a great trip, but for further reference: In northern California, if you are at all as interested as I am when it comes to sea glass and secluded “beaches”; you MUST visit the city Fort Bragg. They have a beach called Sea Glass Beach. You would never know it was there unless you had previously heard of it. After parking on W Elm street, you walk for a good while down a gravel pathway. At the cliff, you can go straight down the edge to a regular beach OR you can turn left right next to the lumber yard fence and walk a ways down. Eventually, looking over the cliff you will see a sea of sea glass! The entire beach is sea glass for a good 2 feet deep as well. Its not sharp so you can walk on it barefoot and take as much as you please. The area used to be a dump site for ships and the sea glass is the only thing that has survived the decades. Enjoy!

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