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  1. #1

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    Road Trip PDX-DLR

    We have been to DLR many times, but usually fly. For the first time ever, we are driving down from Portland. We want to see things on the road, as well as a day at Legoland and Knott's. Here's my plan right now. I thought I would post it and get some input from you CA natives. Do you think I'm nuts or does this look good?

    Thurs. - Drive I-5 to Grants Pass to 199 to 101, stay the night in Eureka
    Fri. - Drive to Santa Rosa, go to Charles Schulz Museum, eat at Johnny Garlic's, stay the night in Santa Rosa
    Sat. - Drive to San Francisco, go to Disney Family Museum, eat at Hard Rock, sight see for a couple hours, drive to Anaheim
    Sun. - Legoland
    Mon. - DLR
    Tues. - DLR
    Wed. - Knott's
    Thurs. - DLR
    Fri. - DLR till 8 PMish, drive to Tulare, stay night there
    Sat. - go to Fresno Zoo, drive to Medford, stay the night there
    Sun. - go to Wildlife Safari, Winston, drive home

    So what do you think?? Am I crazy? Is the 101 side trip worth it? Are the museum's cool? Is Johnny Garlics good? I will have a 3 and 6 year old in the car. Is this too much?

    Thanx for your help and input!!

  2. #2

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    There are lots of national parks along the way and along the way back. You can get a year pass, and then enter each one for free.
    Take the coast in one direction, and the mountains in the other direction.
    On the coast, you can go to the Redwoods that were used as the moon of Endor in Return of The Jedi, and they're pretty cool in their own right.
    In the mountains there are Crater Lake, Lassen Peak, Mount Shasta, Mount Whitney, Yosemite, etc.

    3- and 6-year-old? Well, everybody learns eventually. No to the museums on your list. Exploratorium in San Francisco instead for those ages.
    Meh to Fresno Zoo.


    Drove up to Seattle and back a few years ago. My kids were older than yours.

    My general traveling recommendation: Find local restaurants. Find locally-owned motels with good online reviews. Why eat or stay at something that's the same as what you can find right around the corner?
    Last edited by sediment; 06-26-2012 at 09:15 AM.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    I used to live in McKinleyville. In the time it takes you to drive from I-5/199 (Redding) to 199/101 (Arcata), you could be in Sacramento if you stay on I-5. 199 is one lane each direction the whole way, except for a couple of sections with passing lanes. The drive south on 101 takes forever too, just one lane in each direction in a lot of areas.

    Pray you dont get stuck behind a bus sized RV, or any other RV for that matter.

    I would stay on I-5 and spend the night in Sacramento, then drive from "Sac" to Disneyland.

    Seems like a lot to me. All the other stops will take a lot of time and it is a slow drive. You could make the other stops a different vacation for another time.

    Way too much for me. Reminds me of a movie... "If it's tuesday this must be Belguim".

    I would need a vacation to recover from vacation. Anyway, have a good time whatever you do.

  4. #4

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Atari Adventure View Post
    I used to live in McKinleyville. In the time it takes you to drive from I-5/199 (Redding) to 199/101 (Arcata), you could be in Sacramento if you stay on I-5. 199 is one lane each direction the whole way, except for a couple of sections with passing lanes. The drive south on 101 takes forever too, just one lane in each direction in a lot of areas.

    Pray you don't get stuck behind a bus sized RV, or any other RV for that matter.

    I would stay on I-5 and spend the night in Sacramento, then drive from "Sac" to Disneyland.
    But the OP said the whole point of driving this time is to see the sights along the way. He's recreating a ritual enjoyed by Americans in the early years of DL...the great American road trip!

    I doubt he would find much of interest in Sacramento or I-5. Sac is basically Portland South: coffeehouses, metal bands, and...um...marijuana. While I-5 is much faster than his planned route, it's 400 miles of nothing.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    Thank you all for your tips.

    Guru reminded me that it really is about the adventure (and I LOL'd at your Portland South comment). So I think we are going to take the meandering route. I have driven 101 here in Oregon many times and am used to the single lane thing. So that doesn't bother me. I might skip the Charles Schulz museum. The Disney museum, however, the kids are going to just have to live with.

    We are only doing 101 from Oregon to SF. Then I-5 the rest of the way. This should be quite the trip, but we are looking forward to it. With the money we are saving driving down, we are splurging and staying at PP, so BONUS!

    If anyone else has any tips of places to stop or eat on the way down or back. I am also open to places around DLR and Legoland. We know the we are going to do In-and-Out at least a couple times, but don't know what else.

  6. #6

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    Here's a navigation tip for the transition from SF: Don't try to cross over the Bay in San Francisco (I-80). That's the main artery and it can take as much as two hours to go the five miles from one side to the other! Instead, stay on 101 and go down to San Mateo, then take Highway 92 into Hayward, then 92 to 580. Once you get out of the Bay, 580 will join up w/ I-5 outside the little town of Tracy.

    The only places of any size to stop and eat during the "drive on the 5" are Santa Nella, Kettleman City, and just before the Grapevine. If you search around this forum a little, you'll find recommendations in other threads. Here's one to get you started.

    Traveling from Sac/Stockton Area to Disneyland during the wee hours?
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  7. #7

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    Excellent tips Guru! Thank you!!

  8. #8

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    i do this drive yearly, we stayed in sacramento after day 1 last year, then sac to anaheim day 2. The first day is more miles, day 2 was more traffic but less miles. Driving for 8 hours each day will take a lot out of you if you're the only driver, it will be tough to add museum trips and such on top of the driving. Bring your own pillow too, don't trust the hotel ones.

  9. #9

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    I'm glad you posted this- we're driving from PDX to DLR in October. My husband was contemplating 101 for a Redwoods/San Fran detour as I've never been to either but we're time crunched so the Grizwold style road trip of seeing the biggest ball of twine & the house of mud will sadly have to wait.

  10. #10

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    Guru - Just curious, that detour you mentioned coming out of SF, we are planning on driving that on Saturday afternoon. Do we need to worry about it then, or is that stretch just a constant problem?

  11. #11

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    Just now seeing this post. We're in PDX and love driving to DL...in fact we are leaving in 13? days for that same trip! We've done 101 once...the kids were not thrilled with it...didn't grasp the 'awe' of trees so old...yet....
    We like to drive to the San Jose area (getting there in the afternoon), check into the hotel and go to the water park there the next day (w/ an In&Out right next door)...it's huge, it's hot and the last 2 times (it's been 2 years) it was extremely family friendly.
    Some times we will take an additional day to do some San Fran touristy stuff, some times we'll just drive the next day into Anaheim.
    We always try to make at least one day for the beach...while we have it here near portland- nothing like the warm beaches/water of So Cal!!!!

    Have a great trip- when are you going?
    Jennifer



  12. #12

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    Thought I would follow this up now that we are back. We took pretty much the route I had originally posted with a few minor changes.

    Thursday, August 9, we left Portland around 6 AM. After a few stops, we got into Eureka around 5ish. Stayed at the Scottfeild Executive Inn. Left around 9 in the morning, drove through the Avenue of the Giants. It was a lot of fun stopping at the kitschy little roadside places. Had the best fish and chips ever at the little restaurant across from Babe and Paul Bunyan. Got to Santa Rosa around 4. Went to the Charles Schulz Museum, then checked in to the Goodnite Inn in Rohnert Park before heading back to Guy Fieri's Johnny Garlic's for dinner.

    Saturday, we left around 9. Crossed the Golden Gate bridge, got lost in downtown San Francisco, and finally made it to the Walt Disney Family Museum. That was really cool. Seeing so much of the original artwork was great. Had lunch at Pier 39.

    Now the long drive to the Knott's Berry Farm Hotel. Got there around 10 PM. Stayed in a Camp Snoopy room. On our second night there, Snoopy came to tuck my kids in to bed at night. On Monday morning, we checked out and drove to Legoland. Had a great time there.

    After building and playing with tons of Legos, we headed back to Anaheim and checked in to the Paradise Pier. We stayed there for 4 nights.

    Now comes the boring trip home. We left DLR around 7 and drove to the La Quinta Inn in Talare. The next day we stopped at the World of Wonders science museum in Lodi. This was just to give the kids a place to play for a little while and we have a science center membership so it was free. After stopping off for olives in Corning, we headed to the Super 8 in Yreka. We also have a zoo membership, so we decided to drive around the Wildlife Safari in Winston before heading home.

    We really lucked out to see little to no traffic on our drive, since most of our time was either in the evening or on the weekend.

    I hope this helps someone with there planning. We really had a lot of fun. There were a lot of things that we would have never seen or done had it not been for the drive. Thank you to all who responded to my posts and offered assistance.

  13. #13

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    wildlife safari free if you have zoo membership? did you get your zoo membership at washington park zoo?

  14. #14

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    Re: Road Trip PDX-DLR

    My membership is from the Oregon Zoo. We got in half off. I paid $24 (I think?) for 2 adults, 1 kid, and 1 free/too young kid.

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