Planning a trip down to Northern California taking Route 101. It will be my boyfriend and I and this will be the first time traveling this route for both of us. I am just starting to research and plan the trip so our itinerary is very short as of right now.
I am looking for any advice, tips and ideas for things to do/see. We love nature, hiking, trying new restaurants (especially Japanese restaurants). Anything you have to share would be great!
I forgot to mention that we are starting from Seattle, WA
I am not sure if you are going to make it all the way down to San Jose, CA, but SJ has a very quaint Japantown. It was written up in Sunset magazine last year. Although it isn't a large area, it has some charm and nice restaurants.
Also, Sonoma, CA is not too far off 101 and has some nice vineyards if you want to stop and do a little tasting or enjoy a bottle overlooking the valley. Just a couple of thoughts. Regardless of what you do, it sounds like a nice trip. Enjoy.
US 101 is an incredible drive! I did chunks of it on my coast to coast trip, and it was a highlight. If you love the outdoors, the amount of things to do is nearly infinite.
1. Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California. Incredible hiking in the tallest trees in the world. Rockefeller Grove provides the best atmosphere, although Founders Grove is easier to access (I took an entire day and did both). Book a campsite and sleep among the redwoods.
2. Cape Foulweather, Oregon. This state park sits on a high bluff with a view of the coast to die for. The entrance road from 101 has a small sign, so look carefully.
3. Newport, Oregon. Very picturesque old fishing village with a huge sea lion colony. Unfortunately, its surrounded by modern sprawl.
4. Redwoood National Park. More hikes in huge trees. I prefer Humbolt to this one because it's less crowded.
5. The Olympic penninsula and Olympic National Park. If you live in Seattle, you've probably seen this area already, but its well worth it for the huge variety. It offers hikes and scenic views from mountains to rainforests to secluded beaches and everything in between. I spent nearly a week in this park.
If you have the time, I highly recommend taking the three to four days needed to drive the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. This is one of the best scenic drives in the world, and the hiking is pretty special too. EVERY overlook has a view fit for a postcard.
Thank you!!! We are not sure yet where we are going to stop but if we make it that far we will definitely have to check these places out!! In response to: Msg #159838
We are stopping in Newport for sure, and I think we will add Cape Foulweather and Redwoood National Park to the list.
Big Sur looks AMAZING!!!!!!! I dont know if we will make it that far on this trip but I definitely have to see it someday (soon)
In response to: Msg #159954
[Edited: 2012 Aug 19 00:44 - Chrrristina:247014 ]
For the redwood parks, Humboldt is better than Redwood National Park in my opinion. More trees and less crowds. Even just driving through, the Avenue of the Giants (the old route of 101) in Humboldt beats 101 through Redwood National Park.
In response to: Msg #160143
I totally agree with Roosta Ezra Erb post.