Driving in the car to and from Seattle is not very interesting. It is much more exciting to visit different places along the way, of which there is an abundance in the United States.
An important part of that journey is finding people who are willing to drive 1,400 kilometers one way. Most people are not willing to do this. But it is better to try to find people who will share with you the joy of such an unforgettable adventure. If you are planning your trip from Silicon Valley, you should know that San Francisco parking is not very affordable, just like in another tourist city.
The easiest way to get to Seattle from San Francisco is on Highway 5. It starts at the Mexican border in the southernmost part of the United States in San Diego, and ends in the northernmost part of the U.S. at the Canadian border, crossing the three westernmost states: California, Oregon, and Washington. The road is flat, straight, pothole-free, and usually two lanes each way. It is very easy to rent a van in San Francisco. And for your convenience, you can take a rental van San Francisco to Seattle.
Even ten days is not enough time for such a route. There are plenty of interesting and beautiful places to see along the way as you drive through the three western states. Here’s a short list of places to visit.
Sacramento is the capital of California. Not Los Angeles, with its Hollywood and Malibu, not San Francisco, with its red bridge and Alcatraz, but Sacramento.
Sacramento is an old city by American standards. It is located in the central valley of California. It is very hot there. In Sacramento, you can stop, grab a bite to eat, catch your breath, walk through the Wild West and Gold Rush historical quarters, and visit the railroad museum. After that, you can drive on. To get around all of these points, use the services of passenger van rental.
The Sacramento Railroad Museum is an interesting place. It has a lot of cars, locomotives, and different exhibits that are related to the railroads.
There is a large mountain in the northernmost part of California. Its name is Mount Shasta. At its foot is a cute little town of the same name. American towns far away from big cities often look very pleasant. Stop there, take a walk, and visit the local cafes. And finally, admire Mount Shasta. It is just beautiful.
Shasta is regularly climbed. And there are a lot of campsites around it. You can drive up there. Chances are there will be a toilet and maybe even water, and the local forester will sell firewood if you suddenly run out of it or forgot to buy it in the supermarket. It’s all very convenient. But some camping sites have to be booked in advance. If you forget to do that, then it would be better to use a rental van, where you can easily spend the night.
In northern California, there is a beautiful national park called Redwood, where there are huge sequoias, the tallest trees in the world. They look very picturesque—huge plants over a hundred meters high with wide trunks, several meters in diameter. Especially impressive are fallen trees – their trunks are wider than humans, and it can be difficult to climb them.
Portland and Vancouver
Portland is the capital of Oregon, and it’s located in the very north. It’s a laid-back riverside city that attracts a lot of laid-back people because of its cheap living. It is said to be a good town for young people looking to retire. Furthermore, it’s a nice place to walk, and there’s a beautiful Portland Japanese garden.
Portland is on the river, and if you cross it, you end up in the city of Vancouver, which is already part of Washington State. Yes, Vancouver is not only in Canada.
Crater Lake is a mountain lake of amazing beauty. It still has snow in the summer. It’s hard to say anything about it, you just have to look at it and spend time there. In the vicinity of the lake, it is better to stay with tents. They say it’s better to book your place a year in advance.
And here is our destination. Much has already been written about Seattle. It is a pleasant and cultural city. It is known for the fact that Boeing and Microsoft work in its surroundings. Accordingly, the main characters of Seattle are engineers and programmers. It is memorable for its picturesque location in the hills between the shore of the bay and the lake.
For hot drinkers, there’s the first Starbucks, the Space Needle tower with a huge queue, the Boeing Museum with tours of the factory itself, cute streets, a central market, and mountains all around.