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James asked

Los Angeles to Vancouver

Hi am thinking of doing a road trip from Los Angeles to Vancouver over 2 weeks in august 2018. Can anybody give me advice? It would be my wife and myself were both from the UK am used to driving as am a truck driver. We would like to travel up the coast road and stop and do some sight seeing. What company's would be good to use to hire RV from? Can we hire a Rv in the states and hand it back in Vancouver? Where would be some good place to visit?

Los Angeles (California) Vancouver (British Columbia)

6 Answers
answered by
Carla from West Covina

Sorry this is in reverse order, as I answered for someone else doing the reverse route.


- Take the ferry from Port Angeles or Vancouver to Victoria and visit Empress Hotel for tea, Butchart Gardens, walk around the Parliament building area

- Walk or bike ride at Stanley Park

- Lunch and snacks at Granville Island

- Grouse Mountain was kind of fun and they have a restaurant there with the most amazing view

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Forks / Olympic National Park / Washington

Olympic National Park

Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center

- Make sure to go to La Push (Washington) beach  "First Beach" Try to go at Sunset. It is blow-your-mind beautiful. I think this is considered Olympic National Park area as well


Pike Place Market

Space Needle

- The original Starbucks location

Chihuly Garden and Glass


Portland / Oregon

- Haven't spend much time there but it is definitely a nice city.

- Get a donut at Voodoo DoughnutsThey are famous and the line will be down the bock, but a cool thing to do.

- Go see the smallest park in the world Mill Ends ParkGoogle it. It's ridiculous and oh-so-Portland-weird.

- 40 minutes East of Portland is one of our nation's most scenic drives and hiking area! Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. There are so many waterfalls, and several that you literally see as you drive by.

- Have a meal at Multnomah Falls 

- Stay at Skamania Lodge  if you can. It's amazing there. Sweeping views, roast marshmallows at their fire pits, treehouses, jacuzzis, golfing. They have their own on-property hiking trails. Or just go for a meal and enjoy the scenery.

- Go on one of the many, many hikes in the gorge area. There is also a steam paddler boat ride on the river

Oregon Coast

- Tillamook Cheese Factory- fun side trip, free, quick visit

- Haystack Rock - If you are in the area during low tide, definitely see this

- Tidal Raves restaurant at Depoe Bay: world's smallest harbor + the restaurant has amazing views. Also, grab some fudge from their fudge shop.

-  Thor's Well- If you're in the area during high tide, this would be cool.

Sea Lion Caves: Maybe. I went as a child and LOVED it, but reviews online are hit or miss. It really depends on if the seals are out


California Drive to San Francisco

- Make sure to drive through the redwood area

- Drive the Avenue of the Giants 

- If you have time, stop off at Trees of Mystery . A little touristy, but fun

- Have a meal at the moonraker's restaurant at Best Western Lighthouse Hotel in Pacifica. If you stay the night in this town, make it a breakfast and get there semi-early to get a table by the window. It's almost like you're dining in the ocean, the water is so close.


San Francisco

I have been here a few times, so many attractions to note. But here are my favorites:

Ghiradelli Square

Book well in advance for a tour of Alcatraz

Cable Car Museum

Drive down the crooked Lombard Street

Fisherman's Wharf

Golden Gate Bridge

Have a meal at Cliff House

Land's End for amazing views (this is where Cliff House is)

Fort Point National Historic Site(It's a fort at the base of the golden gate bridge!)

John Muir National Historic SiteAmazing!!! Go early, hard to find parking


Big Sur / California Coast

- They say the prettiest part of the drive is from Carmel By the Sea down to San Luis Obisposo make sure you are hugging the coast here. This entire trip will alternate between the 1 highway and 101 freeway.

Monterey Park, Carmel by the Sea, etc. are cute seaside towns, great for relaxing and shopping/eating.

- Along the way is Hearst Castle, but I found it to be a disappointment. They only show you like 2 rooms on the bottom floor and the magnificent pool is/was drained and might still be drained and so a BIG let down. I did not think the price and time this excursion took was worth the money at all, but it is famous and perhaps other people feel differently.

- Nearby Hearst was Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery which was cool and free, and quick. You can see tons of elephant seals lounging and playing

- MUST eat or have drinks at Nepenthe in Big Sur!! In general, if you like the outdoors, spend some time and stay the night or few days in Big Sur.

- There are lots of fun/funky hotels, inns and camping sites in Big Sur but not a lot of "attractions". Just pure God-given beauty.

- After Big Sur you can hit up Solvang, which is a cute Dutch town.

- And Santa Barbara - great scenery, wine tasting, FOOD, etc.

Yosemite Valley (California)

This is in central California and may be out of your way, but it is AMAZING. Best National park in the U.S. It gets very very busy so book accomodations and restaurants as far in advance as you can. 


Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vancouver (city)
  2. Empress Hotel (restaurant)
  3. Butchart Gardens (attraction)
  4. Stanley Park (park)
  5. Granville Island (island)
  6. Capilano Suspension Bridge (attraction)
  7. Olympic National Park (park)
  8. Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center (attraction)
  9. La Push (Washington) (neighborhood)
  10. Pike Place Market (attraction)
  11. Space Needle (attraction)
  12. Chihuly Garden and Glass (attraction)
  13. Voodoo Doughnuts (restaurant)
  14. Mill Ends Park (attraction)
  15. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (attraction)
  16. Multnomah Falls (attraction)
  17. Skamania Lodge (attraction)
  18. Tillamook Cheese Factory (attraction)
  19. Haystack Rock (attraction)
  20. Tidal Raves (restaurant)
  21. Thor's Well (attraction)
  22. Sea Lion Caves (attraction)
  23. Avenue of the Giants (attraction)
  24. Trees of Mystery (attraction)
  25. Best Western Lighthouse Hotel (hotel)
  26. Ghiradelli Square (attraction)
  27. Alcatraz (attraction)
  28. Cable Car Museum (attraction)
  29. Lombard Street (attraction)
  30. Fisherman's Wharf (attraction)
  31. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  32. Cliff House (attraction)
  33. Fort Point National Historic Site (attraction)
  34. John Muir National Historic Site (attraction)
  35. Carmel By the Sea (city)
  36. San Luis Obispo (city)
  37. Monterey Park (city)
  38. Hearst Castle (attraction)
  39. Nepenthe (restaurant)
  40. Big Sur (city)
  41. Solvang (city)
  42. Santa Barbara (city)
  43. Yosemite Valley (California) (attraction)
likes (3) thanks
answered by
John from San Diego

Note that it's currently not possible to drive from Los Angeles to the Bay Area on CA-1, the coast road.  It is currently closed because of a major slide and a washed out bridge around Big Sur.  Keep an eye on this website for status of the road closure:  and check this site for a route that bypasses the washouts.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Los Angeles (city)
  2. Bay Area (attraction)
likes (1) thanks
answered first by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie


Fly in to Las Vegas. Rent car in Las Vegas. Return in Seattle. Rent another car in Seattle. Go to Vancouver then drive back to Seattle return car there. Forget rv. Rent a Grand Caravan instead. Gets 30 mph. Get a Hilton Honors Reward Credit Card. Get a Southwest Airlines Card. Book Hotels under that brand. Fly Southwest in the USA.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Las Vegas (city)
  2. Seattle (city)
  3. Vancouver (city)
likes (1) thanks
answered by
Freida from Richmond (Canada)

It's beautiful along the coast and drive the Highway 101 , but it might be too late to book a RV camp site for Aug, and i don't think you can find a campsite when you are here in Vancouver, so i agree with Hazel that you better rent a car and book a hotel. You must stop by the Seaside in Oregon. I live in Vancouver and i think you must go Whistler, it is a lovely place and good for visitors all year round.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Highway 101 (attraction)
  2. Oregon (attraction)
  3. Vancouver (city)
  4. Whistler (city)
answered by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

I can save you some time and cash. Plan trip north from las vegas to 15 to 84 to Portland CA is expensive and less scenic. Salt Lake CityPark City, Snow Bird are scenic. 84 is scenic. You wont spend hours in traffic going 20 miles.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Portland (city)
  2. Salt Lake City (city)
  3. Park City (city)
answered by
Janelle from Charleston

As long as you remember what side of the road we drive on over here, you'll find driving in the USA easier than in the UK.  It's not easy though...sometimes my mum and dad have the occasional lapse and end up on the wrong side of the road :-D 

I'd recommend flying Norwegian from Gatwick to LAX...loads cheaper than BA.  There are plenty of long-distance RV companies to choose from, but for a sightseeing trip up the coast I'd recommend renting an economy car and staying in hotels.  The cost is about the same (what you'll pay for a mid-range hotel room each night is about the same as what it costs to fill up an RV's fuel tank), it's much friendlier to the environment, and many of the scenic secondary roads (e.g. California Highway 1) don't allow RVs.  I'd recommend overnight stops in any of the following (from south to north): Santa Barbara, Paso Robles (if you're into wine), Cambria, Big Sur, San Francisco, Mendocino, Eureka (California), Crater Lake National Park, Portland, Seattle, Port Angeles, Olympic National Park and Victoria.

Most rental car companies will not allow you to rent a car in the USA and return it in Canada (and if they do it'll cost you an arm and a leg), so it might be a good idea to rent the car in L.A., return it in Seattle or Port Angeles, take a ferry to Vancouver or Victoria and rent another car there.

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