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Old 07-27-2014, 12:09 PM   #1
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Seattle area and Pacific Coast

Hello Everyone-

My husband and I are heading to the Seattle area and then south along the Pacific coast as far as Los Angeles. We know we can't see everything in a month so please tell us your favorite places to visit, campground recommendations and best routes.

I am wondering if it is feasible to stay in a campground north of Seattle and then visit Vancouver, Canada for day trips? We also wanted to visit Victoria, Canada. Just thinking it would be easier to leave the coach in the US instead of crossing the border. If you have experience with this please let me know.

We are traveling in our 45' motor home with a toad.

Thanks so much for your suggestions.


Stuart & Leslie
08 Holiday Ramb Navigator, 45 ft, Cummins ISX 600, 2014 Cherokee Limited, Cashmere. Roadmaster Sterling, SMI Airforceone. Full-timing since May 2014
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:44 PM   #2
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We travel with our 40 DP and 26 ft. Enclosed trailer to the area every summer. We love John Wayne RV and Marina in Squim, Washington. Easy access to Victoria, the upper NW and Seattle. Beautiful location

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Old 07-27-2014, 10:42 PM   #3
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Or go just a little further to Port Townsend. Both these places have ferries that go to BC. Or north of Seattle to Anacortes.
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Old 07-28-2014, 02:44 PM   #4
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What are your interests? Historic sites? Grand vistas? Breweries?

The car ferry to Victoria is out of Port Angeles. Do not expect to take the MH onboard.
Drive your toad up the road to Mt. St. Helens. Great visitor centers about the 1981 eruption.
Lots of history around the mouth of the Columbia River. The Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon is full of fascinating stuff.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:14 PM   #5
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From Port Angeles you can easily 'do' Victoria in a day. The ferry ends at the busy harbor with lots to do there and nice restaurants. You can get a city bus that will take you out to Buchard Gardens. It's a beautiful city. Staying in the area with your 45' would be best in Sequim or Port Townsend. Both towns have lots to do and you'd be near Olympia Nat'l Park - Hurricane Ridge area for another day tour and some nice hiking at the top. Also, you can easily visit Seattle for a day tour from the two above-mentioned towns.

You can take a ferry from Bainbridge Island (drivable) and the ferry stops right at the Aquarium/Pike's Market area. Then you can pick up the monorail that will whisk you to the 'Needle'. Parking is not easy in Seattle so we found this the best way to tour.

Also from Port Townsend you can take an early ferry to Oak Harbor with your car - very reasonable - and then drive up to Anacortes/Bellingham.

Staying on the Olympic Peninsula is very convenient for visiting many places. Highly recommended. If you're an Escapees member they have a park in Chimacum near Port Townsend.
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:08 PM   #6
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Victoria - Royal BC Museum - Viking exhibit we're going to that!
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:31 PM   #7
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We just got home from a 3 week trip to Washington in our MH. It was our first long trip in the MH and we had a great time. If we were to do it again we would spend more time in the Washington area as they had great Campground with full hookups that were very inexpensive and the people and scenery were great. We came down the coast after leaving the Seattle area and crossed the bridge from Washington to Oregon on Highway 101...It was beautiful, but they are working on the brigde so there may be some delays...The 101 south along the Oregon Coast is beautiful but a slow ride in the MH due to the road...you will find many good RV parks (Bullards Beach was great $28 per night for full hookups) along the way and there aren't many you will not like, it's just a matter of how long you want to drive on a particular day and what you want to stop and see. The bottom line is I would stay in washington and Oregon as long as you can, Once you hit California it is not nearly as nice and everything is real dry...You won't be seeing the greenery and river views you just left. The half Moon bay area in Ca was nice and the drive south to Monterey was really nice on the Highway 1....when you get to Monterey i would advise you get back on the 101, and not take a MH through Big Sur on the Highway 1...If you get back on the 101 you will go thru abouut 150 miles of farmland but will end up back on the coast in the Pismo Beach area which is about 150 miles from LA. Pismo Coast Village is a nice spot if you can get in, I would call ahead ($65 per night).....We are from California so anytime we can get out of Ca in the summer we do...Have a great trip...Mike
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:12 PM   #8
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If you are a member of the VFW, the post on Whidbey Island near Oak Harbor has a nice campground. The Moose Lodge in Eureka has one also. In Eureka is

Blue Ox Millworks - Eureka, California

Be sure to see Ferndale, a collection of beautiful Victorian houses.

In Tillamook

Tillamook Air Museum

and the cheese factory (I was disappointed)

I can't think of the names, but there are 2 Victorian mansions in Eureka worth seeing.
Jim and Darlene Wright
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:16 PM   #9
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Thank you all for the great suggestions.

Stuart & Leslie
08 Holiday Ramb Navigator, 45 ft, Cummins ISX 600, 2014 Cherokee Limited, Cashmere. Roadmaster Sterling, SMI Airforceone. Full-timing since May 2014
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:51 PM   #10
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I don't want to pee on onyone's parade, but from our perspective as residents of the northern tip of Washington, we find 101 along the coast not very inviting. Most of the towns are small and there's not much historical stuff to stop for. Of course, Forks is the site of a very popular TV show, but not one we watch.

If we're going to the Oregon coast, our usual route is to take I-5 as far as Longview, cross the Columbia on the Longview bridge, then take highway 30 to Astoria.

If you're already visiting Seattle, I'd suggest taking the ferry from downtown across to Bremerton, then taking SR 3, then 101 south. About 17 miles south of Shelton, take 108 then 12 which will take you to Aberdeen. From there, you can take the Western loop of 101, across the bridge to Astoria and start your Oregon Coast trip.

Astoria is the northern end of the Oregon coast, and we've done it a couple of times all the way through to Brookings and then from Crescent City, back across the mountains to I-5. A wonderfully scenic trip. I'd strongly support the previous poster's recommendation about the Tillamook Air Museum. Even if there weren't any airplanes in it, the building itself is worth a visit. It's over 300 feet across, 1700 or so feet long, has no internal column supports and is all wood construction. During WW2, it housed 6 US Navy blimps, fully inflated.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:00 PM   #11
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Ancient Redwoods RV Park near Redcrest, CA ...right on the 32 mile Avenue of the Giants. No cellular, but being amongst the trees is almost spiritual.

Take the 44 mph Jet Cat ferry from Vallejo to Fisherman's Warf in SF and back. Drive the motorhome over the Golden Gate bridge and down US-1 to the Monterey area. From there it is best to take your toad to Big Sur and back. Take Hwy 101 from there.

Wine Country RV Park in Paso Robles, CA...next to the Firestone vineyard. Take the toad to Piedras Blancas beach just north of San Simeon...and see thousands of giant elephant seals basking in front of the boardwalk.

Spend at least one night at Malibu RV Park, up the hillside from Malibu Beach. The view out the front windshield is spectacular.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:17 PM   #12
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I live in Oregon near Portland. If you are coming soon, welcome! What time of year are you going? Best weather is July 5 - late September. October can be 'iffy' weather, as can June. September is often an incredible time.

From Seattle, you can consider taking the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria: Clipper Vacations Travel Deals: Victoria Clipper Ferry, Hotels, Vacation Packages. I wouldn't recommend attempting to stay just north of Seattle and drive in/out of Canada. The border crossing, typically the portion back into the US can be a long wait. It became much longer after 9/11. If you feel you must do that, there are good camping options near Bellingham, Washington that you can consider. (I used to live in Bellingham and made several trips in/out of BC over the years). Don't forget your passports! Much has been said about Seattle as far as activities. Obvious ones are: Seattle Center (EMP, Space Needle, etc.), Ride the Ducks (WWII amphibious vehicle), Columbia Center (view), Pikes Place Market, Blake Island, Safeco field Mariner's game, Waterfront, Ivar's (seafood), etc. Consider a walk-on ferry ride for the experience or a harbor tour. There is a Seattle City Pass available for various discounts.

I'm going to talk here more about lesser known items in Oregon. Travel Oregon | From Mt Hood to the Oregon Coast, Explore Oregon

Oregon state law is that the beach is considered public land. Resorts can't section off a part of the beach for private use. This means tons of state parks and beach access opportunities. Among my favorite camping spots that I frequent on the north & central coast are: Fort Stevens State Park (Astoria), Beverly Beach State Park (south of Lincoln City), Devil's Lake State Park (inside the Lincoln City limits), South Beach State park (south of Newport).

"Must see" sites on the North & Oregon Coast include:
Multiple lighthouses along the coast are accessible to the public.

Astoria: Columbia River Maritime Museum, Fort Stevens and the Peter Iredale shipwreck, Astor Column (awesome view), Fort Clatsop (Lewis & Clark winter camp), Astoria Riverfront Trolley. Catch a lunch of Fish & Chips from Bowpicker across from the museum (takeout only, not a fancy place at all but best tasting in the area). There are some incredible Victorian style homes in Astoria. You can drive on the beach from Fort Stevens to Gearhardt. I've even seen motorhomes do it, but I don't recommend that. Fort Stevens has an incredible Civil War reenactment over labor day weekend.

Seaside: Visit Seaside, the Oregon Coasts Favorite Vacation Destination! is more of a tourist trap, but fun. The promenade and prom street are where most of the restaurants, souvenir shops, arcade etc. are. Remember no sales tax in Oregon. Some folks I know personally like the thousand trails RV park in Seaside.

Cannon Beach: Cannon Beach, Oregon - Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce and Information Center | Cannon Beach, OR - Cannon Beach has the most photographed monolith in Oregon - Haystack rock. This is typically the photo you see when you see images of the Oregon Coast. Many art studios, and such are in town. Irish Table is a great small restaurant. Get there early if you want a chance at a table. Mo's is a very casual seafood restaurant nearby that is in several towns along the Oregon coast. Most known for it's clam chowder. To be honest, it is "meh", not as good as I have had, but it is a tradition of the coast and right in Canon Beach. Canon Beach RV park is nearby and includes a shuttle. We typically stay there when visiting Canon Beach and Seaside; includes a shuttle across the highway into town. Several other state parks are nearby.

Continuing down the coast are several additional views. Nehalem Bay State Park several folks enjoy for camping (I've not stayed there yet). I agree that Tillamook Air Museum (former blimp hangar) is enjoyable and of course you have to get some fresh cheese curds or ice cream at the Tillamook Cheese factory. There are some good clamming beds near to Tillamook. A friend has caught a large salmon on the Trask river (driftboat) and I've done the same in Tillamook bay.

While we are on the topic of air museums, if you can afford a little time, I highly recommend the Evergreen Air & Space Museum Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum | Wings & Waves Waterpark | McMinnville Oregon that is about 1 hour inland from the coast @ McMinnville. This houses the Spruce Goose, a number of WW2 & cold war era aircraft, Russian, missiles, SR71, etc. The 'wings and waves' waterpark (waterslide from a 747 on the roof) is a hoot. Over 300 wineries are in this area of Oregon. Willamette Valley Wineries This valley is known globally for the high quality of its Pinot noir. Many have tasting rooms and expansive views. Nice meal nearby? Consider the Painted Lady. Welcome to The Painted Lady Restaurant / Newberg, OR There are RV parks near the Air & Space Museum but I also like Champoeg State Park - the site where the Oregon Territory (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, part of Montana) became part of the US by 1 vote.

There are so many other good places to visit in Western Oregon and Southwest Washington if you continue inland to Portland, Mount Hood, Central High desert (Bend, Sisters, Crater Lake) and the Columbia Gorge, but you said "coast", so I've limited to only one diversion.

Back to the coast from the Spruce Goose on highway 18 you will arrive at Lincoln city on 101. If you head north, Neskowin offers some nice views with romantic sunsets @ proposal rock. Nearby is tasty fare & pizza at Hawk Creek Cafe.

Lincoln City: http://www.oregoncoast.org/ has several shops, factory outlets, etc. To the north of town is Roads End State Park, where there are good tide pools (at low tide) to view. It's a walk on the packed sand from the park continuing north to reach them. We've enjoyed paddle boarding on Devil's Lake, nearby beach access from the campground and the worlds shortest river, blowing glass at Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio in Lincoln City, Oregon and much more. Turn right off of 101 on 51st street (Taft district) to get a taste of "yesteryear" on the Oregon Coast.

Continue on to Depoe Bay where, depending on the time of year, you can ride a charter to catch fish, view wales, enjoy some kettle corn or whatever. Tidal Raves is a great eating spot with an incredible view (perhaps the best from a coastal restaurant in Oregon). Depoe Bay Restraurant Tidal Raves Beverly Beach state park mentioned earlier is not far away. Be sure to stop at Devil's Punchbowl State Park and Otter rock south of town. There is a small Mo's stand nearby for lunch if desired.

Continuing south to Newport, Discover Newport there are many places to enjoy, such as the Oregon Coast Acquarium, Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Hatfield Marine Science Center, among others. Lunch and a tour of Rogue Brewery can be fun. Rogue Ales & Spirits South Beach State Park is nearby for camping.

Ok - enough for now...

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