We're headed your way Glowfolk! - Advice on a West Coast Road Trip please

Dear Glowfolk in general (but those on the west coast in particular),

My wife and I (from the UK), are busy planning our 10th anniversary whopper of a holiday and have decided on road-trippin’ from San Francisco to Seattle! Specifically our route will take us to Yosemite, through the avenue of giants, up through Portland, Mt Hood and then on to Seattle.

So… since some of you hail from these parts, I wondered whether you could please recommend amazing, or passably good, things to do en route? In particular, things to do in Seattle would be ace!

Thanks muchly! x


Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1) (Hwy One) (The One)

Cannon Beach, OR


Hey! Portland here! so much to see here…
How much time in Portland? Nature or city?
Nature: Are you more of a hiker, or just roadside attractions? Ocean, mountains, desert, or forests?
City: how many meals? liquor or beer? coffee or tea? art or architecture? big and shiny or just known by the locals?


The winding coast route up California and Oregon is a great drive if you have time. Crater Lake is gorgeous and if you are a beer drinker and like IPA’s, Bend Oregon has about 30 craft breweries in a city of 80,000 people. Century Drive loop starting in Bend gives a great view of Oregon volcanic peaks.

The passes over the Cascades in Oregon are beautiful. The water falls and vistas in the Columbia gorge between Oregon and Washington are must sees.

Of course there is Mount Rainier in Washington and the loop around the Olympic Mountains and the temperate rain forests are worth the time. Both Portland and Seattle are nice, but traffic in Seattle is awful.

Take the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, British Columbia if you get home sick part way thru your trip, you will feel like you are back in the UK.

Take a ferry ride across Puget Sound, thru the San Juan Islands north of Seattle would be my choice route.

The drive over the North Cascades on Highway 20 from Burlington to Winthrop has stunning mountain scenery. Winthrop is a western motif tourist trap but can be a good place for lunch before you turn around before you go back over the North Cascades.

What are the planned dates for your trip?

Have fun!!!


Sequoia/King’s canyon national parks

Lassen volcanic park

Crater lake

Mt St Helens

All really great

The town of hood river, OR is really cool.


All good questions. …yes. Just kidding :smiley:

Maybe only a day and half in Portland tbh (soo much to do!). We’re a bit of both city / nature but not too heavily into big hikes etc. Prefer something well sign posted heh! All of it though nature-wise (we loved Zion Nt Park, and the Colorado Rockies, and the plains of NM equally - all stunning!).

City-wise: MANY MEALS hehehe! beer and gin, and coffee. Architecture & tech (obvs). Locally spots mainly, I feel out of place in really expensive places tbh. Tell us your secrets!


Portland is a big chocolate town. Look around for cafes with tasty treats. I’m partial to moonstruck chocolatiers in the pearl.

(The pearl is a Portland neighborhood)


Oh wow! Thanks, this is awesome. I knew you guys would nail this :smiley:

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Check the PCH before you drive it though. There were reports of closed areas in the last several months due to road damage.


Also, maybe a weird recommendation: I really liked touring the national salmon hatcheries on the Columbia river. Really interesting.


If you like classic arcade games and pinball, check out Ground Kontrol in Portland. It is a pretty damn American experience.


Exciting! That should be a memorable trip! The Northwest is really beautiful. I’m sure you will have a wonderful experience!


Following on the chocolate theme: Lillie Belle Farms Chocolate in (near) Medford, OR is excellent. It’s off Interstate 5 if you’re driving that route go to north.


Day and a half…hmm.
you mentioned Mt. Hood, so on the way you could go to Multnomah Falls in the Columbia Gorge, it’s right off the highway. If you have time to take the historic highway there, you can stop off at Vista house with amazing views of the Gorge (like the grand canyon, except green…and a gigantic river flowing through it). I agree with Hood River being great, lots of breweries there with amazing food.
I’ll PM you with more later on the city.


Muir woods is a must see. The redwoods are amazing. Last year we also stopped in at the jelly belly factory. Fun and free!


Love Muir Woods. Might also consider coastal redwoods national park.

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In Seattle, if you haven’t been to Pike Place Market, it’s worth a visit. Museum of Pop Culture isn’t too far from there (at Seattle Center, which also has the Space Needle) and usually has some good geeky fun happening. Also downtown, if you need to get off your feet or out of bad weather, Cinerama is a terrific place to catch a movie.

Seattle Eater is a great site for checking out the local food scene – look at their Hottest and Essentials lists. We’ve got a few local star chefs here who have multiple restaurants – look up Ethan Stowell, Renee Erickson, Rachel Yang, and Tom Douglas.

If you are interested in getting out of downtown and exploring neighborhoods, you could hit NW Seattle and visit Ballard and Fremont. Both have lots of shops and restaurants. Ballard has more bars (and Full Tilt ice cream + pinball), Fremont has a Lenin statue. Outdoors, Ballard has the Locks and Golden Gardens beach, and Discovery Park in Magnolia is close by. In Fremont you can hang out by the water at the Cut or head over to Gasworks Park.

East of downtown, Capitol Hill is a lot of fun, and there are at least a couple makerspaces there along with a technical bookstore. Volunteer Park is lovely, although the Asian Art Museum is closed for renovations. Lots of restaurants, bars, and clubs. If you continue east from Capitol Hill, you can go to the Arboretum and the Japanese Garden (and, ultimately, Lake Washington).

Hope that helps get you started – sounds like a great trip!


I haven’t seen it mentioned yet, but if you end up near Carmel, stop at Point Lobos State Preserve, just south of Carmel. It is one of my absolute favorite places in California.

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If your route takes you near the Sacramento area, feel free to stop by my studio. I’m always happy to chat with Glowfolk who stop by!*

(*theoretically… hasn’t happened yet. But I was hosted by @PrintToLaser and @lairdknox in their respective towns, and both visits were thoroughly enjoyable!)


Oh, the Boeing plant tour in Everett WA, about 30 north of Seattle. You can see them assembling jets. The building is the biggest in the world, by volume. It’s pretty cool if you like airplanes or technology. I think it is free, but you need to make reservations.