Pacific Coast Road Trip – From Seattle to San Diego

By in Life and Time Management on 14 August 2010

Driving along the Pacific Coast has been called America’s Most Beautiful Drive. This classic American road trip covers three states and over 1500 miles. You can take the main highway or wind your way among the more scenic back roads. The interesting thing about this trip is that it covers so many different types of terrain, from rainforest to desert.

Here are some things to see along the way, as well as places where you can stay.

Washington State

  • You can begin your trip at Cedar Lane RV Park where you can hike, ski, or explore the islands.
  • The west coast of Washington State has beautiful, dense forests. Like much of the west coast, this area is protected from development and is accessible to the public.
  • Olympic National Park is a lovely place from which to start your trip. Its ancient wilderness is a sanctuary for all kinds of wildlife and plants. Visitors claim it feels like a sanctuary to them as well.
  • As America’s only rainforest, Olympic National Park is a must-see. It is a temperate rain forest where you can view wildlife in a peaceful setting.


  • Loon Lake Lodge and RV Park in Reedsport is easy to find right off the highway. It is located in a natural setting along the shores of a lake. It is open year-round, and is suitable for tent camping as well as RVs.
  • Experience incredible sand formations at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. You can rent a dune buggy and view all kinds of wildlife and explore the dunes.
  • Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is in Agate Beach, just north of Newport. It is home to a beautiful lighthouse overlooking Cobble Beach.


  • Kamp Klamath on the northern coast of California is in the middle of the Redwoods. Fish for salmon and buy what you need at the nearby convenience store.
  • Along California’s central coast, Cabana Holiday Resort is near some of the major tourist attractions. It has RV sites and fully-equipped cabins.
  • Hearst Castle, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is located in the hills of San Simeon. It was the dream home of millionaire William Randolph Hearst. Its stunning architecture has elements of a Roman villa and a medieval castle.
  • Drive the Big Sur stretch of highway along the California coast. It is said to be one of the most beautiful drives in America.
  • Redwoods National Park is a beautiful place to stop along the California coast. While many of the redwood forests are inland, at Redwoods National Park the trees are near the beach. There are campsites here, and lots of good hiking.
  • In San Diego, you can take a whale-watching cruise. Gray whales abound in these protected waters. San Diego also has a famous zoo.

Other Places to Stay

Between the major cities, you will find hostels, campsites, and even hostels in old lighthouses. The world’s first roadside motel is located along this route, in San Luis Obispo in California. There are historic bed and breakfasts that were once farmhouses.


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