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Marsha from Largo asked

Best stops for leisurely drive

My adult sons and I are planning a road trip from Las Vegas to Portland the end of September. I am looking for the best route to visit as many cool places as possible. I'm thinking of driving up through CA to OR and we would like to see nature as well as unusual spots. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as we have never been to CA or any places in between.

Las Vegas Portland   Lake Tahoe

2 Answers
answered by
How much time do you have and what are your interests?  There are 3 possible routes.
You could go up the oregon coast and load up on tidepools, seastacks, lighthouses, hiking and cool towns.  Things I would consider are the Redwoods (North CA actually), Bandon (town and seastacks), Cape Perpetua (coastal features), Newport (town, Aquarium, Hatfield Science Center), Depot Bay (whale watching), take 3 capes loop road and have a beer in front of a seastack at Pelican Brewing, Tillamook Cheese Factory,  Manzanita (town and beach), Cannon Beach (town, seastacks, Ecola state park), Astoria (town, column, food, beer, river views).
If you go up I-5 I'd consider Ashland (town, food, see a shakespear play), Jacksonville (old west town), you'll pass 3 valleys full of vineyards, Silver Falls State Park (short hike to tons of waterfalls).
If you go up the dry high desert side of the cascades on 97 you can load up on views of volcanos.  Things I would consider are stopping by Crater Lake National Park, geologic features near Fort Rock or Newberry Crater, take in the views off the Cascade Lakes Highway, Bend (food, beer, floating the Descutes River), visit Smith Rock and maybe the Cove palisades.  Then you can get to Portland either by 1) going over Mt. Hood (hiking, views, drive up to Timberline Lodge, or 2) go up to Hood River (town, food, beer, views), and drive through the Columbia River Gorge (hiking, views, massive # of waterfalls many can be accessed a few feet from your car).

Comments (2)

Thanks for all the info! I think the first option sounds amazing. I'm planning on 4 days.

I wanted to follow up. The trip was amazing. We drove through Death Valley, took Tioga pass through Yosemite, took every back road to Fort Bragg Ca and up the coast. Ended up coming into Oregon sooner than planned for my son to meet an online gaming friend he had been playing online games with for 9 years! Your responses on my question helped me plan what turned out to be a 9 day roadtrip of a lifetime for myself and my boys. I cant thank you enough.
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answered first by
Dave from Houston
Take US95N along the eastern side of California's Sierra mountains. You'll go right by Death Valley which might be worth a look. Take a detour through the back door to Yosemite National Park one of the prettiest mountain drives in the USA. From Reno take a detour and drive the road around Lalke Tahoe for more amazing views. Instead of going through Eugene, veer to the right on Highway 97 and stop in Bend Oregon, a lovely spot.

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