Last month, Marc and I drove from Vancouver, BC to Los Angeles and we took 8 days to do it. The pacific northwest is rife with amazing things and natural beauty.
Our first day we drove all the way to Portland, OR. We took the scenic route through the olympic peninsula in Washington which was maybe one of the most beautiful parts of the entire trip.
We arrived in Portland late on a Friday night and we stayed at an AirBnB which I loved. It really makes one feel like a local for a couple of days. That’s what I love about it more so than a hotel. I enjoyed Portland a lot. It was very laid back unless you want to go out for brunch. Oh man! What is there to do in Portland? Wait in line for brunch is the answer. We tried to go to a place called Screen Door at 9 am for brunch… Line. We ended up at the Ace Hotel instead which was surprisingly empty. The brunch and the atmosphere were very good. Really, we only had one full day in Portland so we just wandered around did a little shopping. My favourite spot was in the Southeast area called House of Vintage.
The next day we left Portland and headed to Crescent City, CA where we stayed at a roadside motel. Can’t do a road trip without a roadside motel. On the way there we again took the scenic ocean route. Southern Oregon on the coast is quite beautiful as well. A little less built up then the coast in California. We also stumbled upon/stumbled through Dune City, OR. The giant dunes were really something. I’ve heard the dune buggy experience is pretty fun. Maybe if I happen through there again in the sun I would give it a go.
After Crescent City we explored the Redwood parks. They were incredibly beautiful. Saying these things are beautiful feels redundant. Of course they are beautiful! But I can’t not say it.
We spent the next night at an AirBnB in Willits, CA before heading through the Avenue of the Giants and then did the Mendocino coast on our way to San Francisco. I must say if you happen to find yourself in these parts do the Mendocino coast! It’s so fantastical. The beauty of the ocean and the cliffs is so rugged. Maybe more so than Big Sur. I’m sure there’s an argument amongst the locals: Mendocino vs Big Sur.
San Francisco. Our stay in San Francisco ended up extending a bit. Our plan was to stay in this city then take our time on the PCH through Big Sur and down to LA. However we were going to be driving into the crazy rain weather southern California was experiencing. So we decided to hit Big Sur on the way back to Vancouver and extended our stay in SF then just head straight to LA on the main freeway (boring).
We both enjoyed San Francisco a lot. I’d been once before briefly. What I recall most is what we ate. We had a really awesome meal at an Italian Nouveau type restaurant called Baretta. And I had probably the best sashimi of my life at a sushi place called, Tataki. It happens to be a sustainable sushi restaurant. They teamed up with the aquarium in Monterey, CA to create a more sustainable menu. Bonus! If you are in San Francisco for one meal only this is the place I would go. It was so so so good.
Most of what we did in San Francisco was pretty touristy to be honest. It was rainy, so we purchased one of those CityPass deals and went to a bunch of museums and on the one nice day we took a boat ride out and around the Golden Gate Bridge. Normally we don’t do the “tourist” things but we didn’t know a whole lot about San Francisco and what awesome things to do. We had a pretty good time being tourists.