http://gamingtrend.com
December 20, 2014, 04:32:48 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Roadtrip help! San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver  (Read 1448 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Turtle
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 9485



View Profile WWW
« on: July 21, 2008, 06:36:06 AM »

A little tired of my sheltered life, I decided I need to travel on my own for a while this summer and the window of opportunity for Summer travel is almost over.

So, I decided to go on a road trip up the US West coast to visit San Francisco, CA; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Vancouver, Canada.

While I had been tentatively planned my trip for August 1st ever since Summer began, that date is rapidly approaching and I haven't made any concrete plans and exact dates. More importantly, since I've lived shy and sheltered, I don't know what to do when I reach these places. Literally I don't go out much where I live, let alone cities I've never been to.

Can I enlist some fellow forum goers to help me find things to do along the way and places to stay? My trip plan is for 1-3 weeks with some leeway time. I'm booking hostels and hotels this week as I figure out more details about my plans.

I'm also using this trip as my big journey as an artist, every step of the way I've sworn to document with drawings and paintings of places, people, landscapes and more. That's part of the reason why I'm driving, despite the gas costs, I can lug whatever art supplies I want with me in my trunk. So any good locations for drawing or photography is great.

I'm hitting the books and web, I've already got a travel book for Vancouver. But, more local help would be great. I'm open to different cities too.

My current plan is this:

Day 1-2 - Drive up from Orange County and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Day 3-5 - Drive to San Francisco sight see, visit family and friends in the area.
Day 6-8 - Drive to Portland, visit a friend on a horse ranch along the way, sight see and maybe stop by Eugene, Oregon?
Day 9-11 - Drive to Seattle, see if it's not raining, sight see
Day 12-14 - Drive into Canada, see if they have poutine on this side, explore.

This leaves me about 3-4 days leeway before the 2 day trip back home.

Some family are trying to convince me to take a rental up, leave the car there, then fly back home and I'm considering it.
Logged
lildrgn
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1406


It's not the years, it's the mileage.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2008, 04:39:37 PM »

Well, based on your itinerary, it looks like you'll be in Seattle during the hottest time of the year (85+). I'll save the "what you should do" stuff for the others; they seem to have a good grasp on things.

Though, if you're into wooden boats, we did hit the Center for Wooden Boats yesterday at the south end of Lake Union. It's free, you can rent a canoe/kayak/small sailboat if you desire, and, if it's nice out (which it should be), it's beautiful.

We just did a roadtrip opposite of you, from here to Klamath Falls, OR, to Angels Camp, CA, to Irvine, CA. Good times.
Logged

jersoc
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4812


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 06:41:59 PM »

Oh man, I used to live in WA years ago.

On your way up you should visit Mt Saint helens, the rain forest(probably be a bit detour by around an hour, i'm not sure), maybe Rainer too. contrary to popular belief it doesn't rain that much in WA. So you should probably be fine. When you're there definitely check out the science center and space needle. Pike's place is interesting for nothing more to say you were there. There's some abandon military bases around too. Those are kinda cool to see.
Logged
kratz
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4214



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 08:22:26 PM »

Take a ferry across the sound to Bremerton... just for the ferry ride.
Logged
TheMissingLink
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 6235


TML, for short.


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2008, 08:54:53 PM »

I'll buy you a beer when you swing by Portland slywink
Logged

TheMissingLink on PSN
corruptrelic
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3555


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2008, 09:11:55 PM »

Have fun! Hope those $4+ gas prices don't hit you too hard with all that traveling.
Logged

"A gladiator does not fear death. He embraces it. Caresses it. Fucks it. Every time he enters the arena, he slides his cock into the mouth of the beast."
Turtle
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 9485



View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2008, 10:13:40 PM »

Total round trip estimated gas cost:  $350+ dollars to seattle, most likely around $500 to reach Vancouver.

One of the big reasons why I delayed my trip this long was that I had to get new tires, which ate up the money I set aside to use for gas.

Well, if you're available, a bit of gaming around portland would be fun.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 10:17:34 PM by Turtle » Logged
kronovan
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 7942



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 06:46:32 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on July 21, 2008, 10:13:40 PM

Total round trip estimated gas cost:  $350+ dollars to seattle, most likely around $500 to reach Vancouver.

One of the big reasons why I delayed my trip this long was that I had to get new tires, which ate up the money I set aside to use for gas.

Well, if you're available, a bit of gaming around portland would be fun.

It won't cost you $150 extra to reach Vancouver as it's only about 1-1/2 hours drive from Seattle. Plan on topping up your tank in Seattle though, because gas is definitely more expensive here. When you're here, you'll probably want to do what 90% of all visitors to Vancouver do; check out Stanley Park. I guarantee you probably won't see a park quite like it again in such close proximity to a major urban center. There's also a world class aquarium there, although I wouldn't be able to compare it to the Monterey Bay one. Some other cool places are Granville Island and Gastown.

Vancouver is really most famous for outdoor rec activies. So if you're a hiker you might want to plan some hiking time on the north shore mountains. You can drive to about the 3000' level on both Cyprus or Seymour mountain or Gondola to the 2500' level on Grouse. Lots of hiking trails with great vistas to choose from. Heck even if you don't want to hike the North shore mountains you can drive to the top and get yourself a beverage.  slywink thumbsup  BTW if you're a fan of beer, plan on tasting some of what's available in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver; Pacific Northwest is considered one of the best regions in N.A.

Unfortunately I'm slated to be fishing in the BC interior during the dates of Aug 11-14, but there's always a chance my brother in-law will jam; he's done it before.  So definitely PM me when you're getting close; i.e Portland or Seattle.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 06:54:26 AM by kronovan » Logged
Caine
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 10545


My cocaine


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 04:22:57 PM »

Quote from: TheMissingLink on July 21, 2008, 08:54:53 PM

I'll buy you a beer when you swing by Portland slywink

and i'll buy you a beer when you hit seattle.  there, now you can get refreshed twice on your trip for nothing.  biggrin

tacoma has a glass museum with an S ton of interesting pieces and there's a natural history museum next door.  not sure what activities are going on around that time, but there's always something happening in seattle in the summer.

Logged

wonderpug
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11552


hmm...


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2008, 06:00:53 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on July 21, 2008, 06:36:06 AM

So any good locations for drawing or photography is great.
Here are some suggestions on the trip legs I'm familiar with:

Quote from: Turtle on July 21, 2008, 06:36:06 AM

Day 1-2 - Drive up from Orange County and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Do the 17 Mile Drive when you're in the Monterey area.  There's at least 20 marked points of interest with places to pull over.   Great examples of the California coast, the iconic Lone Cypress, and guaranteed view of a big harem of seals.  It's about $8-10 or so if I remember correctly.

Depending on what you like to draw and photograph, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk might be an interesting place to visit.  It's free to enter the park; you just pay for the rides themselves.  They've got an ancient carousel that's one of the only ones left with the brass ring toss game.  Riders can lean out and grab a ring from a long arm (two or even three if you're advanced!) and then try to toss it in the mouth of a giant clown.  The beach is just a step away if you want to get some surf scenes as well.  Good spot in general for people-watching art.

If you've never seen redwoods then you must go to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, or at least the surrounding area.  If you don't have time to stop in the park, a detour through Highway 9 wouldn't be a bad idea at all.

Quote
Day 3-5 - Drive to San Francisco sight see, visit family and friends in the area.
If you head to Henry Cowell be sure to make it back to Highway 1 at least by the time you pass Half Moon Bay, the drive between HMB and SF has some really great spots.  Just be aware if you're a nervous driver that you'll start hitting some pretty hairy turns with intimidating cliff drop-offs when you start getting close to San Pedro Rock, but at least you won't be on the water side of the road.

If you want to actually take photos of the city, you'll want to either head north of the Golden Gate to Belvedere-Tiburon, or take a ferry out to Angel Island.

If you're looking for the Painted Ladies houses of Full House fame, they're in Alamo Park.  The other usual photo ops are Lombard St, Coit Tower, Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Park--but if you've got family in the area they'll probably already be pointing you in the right direction.

I could recommend a whole slew of state parks in the Bay Area for you if you're interested, but with your timetable I think you'll have your hands full with San Francisco already.

Quote
Day 6-8 - Drive to Portland
All I can add to this leg is that it's absolutely worth the detour to see Crater Lake.  It's been years and years since I visited it, but I was lucky enough to go on a clear day and it was very awesome.
...
I think you're going to have an amazing trip, but it's a damn shame there's not some way to squeeze in 4-5 days of Yosemite, especially since this is your big artist journey.  You wouldn't be the first artist to get inspired there.
Logged
Turtle
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 9485



View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 06:57:27 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions, you guys given me a lot of good ideas.  I'm organizing my final itinerary now and making hostel reservations.

A friend of mine wants to tag along for the SF leg of the trip so now I'm not sure if I'll make Monterey on my way up, but I think I can visit coming back.  Vancouver, as someone mentioned, also has a good aquarium, but it sounds like Monterey has a lot of good spots too.
Logged
PaulBot
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1769


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 03:21:51 PM »

Don't miss the Monerey Bay Aquarium!! Reserve an entire day for it. Did you know that's where they filmed Spock swimming with the fish in Star Trek IV?
Logged

CEO of the GT Post Padders Club
wonderpug
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11552


hmm...


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 03:28:10 PM »

You've got to keep the Monterey Bay Aquarium on your list!  I've been to a fair number of them and the only that's come close is the Osaka Aquarium in Japan.
Logged
gellar
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Online Online

Posts: 9018


I'm a dolphin!


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 03:53:41 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on July 23, 2008, 03:28:10 PM

You've got to keep the Monterey Bay Aquarium on your list!  I've been to a fair number of them and the only that's come close is the Osaka Aquarium in Japan.

Yeah that aquarium is awesome.

gellar
Logged
SuperHiro
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1199

Pants on Fire


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2008, 03:01:53 AM »

Seattle is easy.  Just head to Pike Place, good place to sightsee, people watch, and eat. 

If you want boats, I recommend hitting Aqua Verde in the University district.  You can grab a kayak AND some of the best mexican food in Seattle.   Oh sorry, the ONLY decent mexican food in Seattle.
Logged

Just Hiro will do.
Exodor
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 488


View Profile
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2008, 03:30:20 AM »

Quote from: TheMissingLink on July 21, 2008, 08:54:53 PM

I'll buy you a beer when you swing by Portland slywink

I wonder if there are enough GT/OO/whatever-ers to have a get-together in Portland?

Too bad he's going to miss this weekend's beer festival.
Logged
Simon
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1185


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2008, 05:24:46 PM »

I've been to the Monterey and Vancouver Aquariums. The Monterey one is definitely worth visiting, the kelp stuff alone is worth it. The Vancouver Aquarium is smaller but still pretty cool and they just had a Beluga whale baby born there last month. It's right in Stanley Park so you can easily hit both in one day.

Turtle, if you want to stop in Bellingham on your way to the border for a drink let me know.
Logged
RobbieD
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 228


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2008, 08:49:28 PM »

Other than the aquarium there isn't much worth spending money on here in Monterey. There are several free places along the coast you can visit instead of spending money to drive 17 Mile Drive for the honor of seeing big expensive houses and a few places where you can see the actual ocean, all while trying to avoid running over old people and little children.

If you swing through Monterey on your way home I'd recommend driving down Hwy 1 through Big Sur back down to SoCal.

If you need any Monterey specific info let me know.

I just got back from a two week visit of Seattle (my wife and I are from there) and will recommend you park the car and just walk. Heavy construction going on around downtown so driving is a nightmare, more so than usual. I believe the downtown buses are still free within the downtown area. As most people mentioned, Pike Place Market is a must visit. I'd recommend picking up a Seattle Weekly and The Stranger and looking through them to get an idea of what may be going on in town. If you want to get some good pictures of Seattle head to West Seattle near Alki Beach and Gas Works Park in the north side of Elliot Bay. There's also Kerry Park up on Queen Anne Hill where you can get a great shot of the Space Needle, downtown and Mount Rainier.

Don't forget you will need your passport if visiting Vancouver.
Logged

Turtle
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 9485



View Profile WWW
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2008, 05:57:20 AM »

Well, I'm in a bit of trouble with the California section of my trip plans.  Seems I booked at international hostels so as a California resident, I can't say there.  Now, just before I leave this Sunday I'm frantically going back over every booking and emailing hostels to see if it's correct.  I think I'm okay with the out of state hostels but now with the trip so close I can't find anywhere to stay in San Francisco.  Thankfully I can stay somewhat close to San Francisco at a relative's house, but he's a good ways away and I can't imagine trying to go back and forth every day.

edit: whew, all set.

I've added my itinerary to my blog at vertrucio.blogspot.com.  Just be careful, I do have some risque paintings up on my blog too.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2008, 08:14:04 AM by Turtle » Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.136 seconds with 61 queries. (Pretty URLs adds 0.048s, 2q)