After an indulgent time in Seattle, it was time to start our road trip from Seattle down the Highway 1 towards San Francisco. We were more excited with this part of the journey even more so than our other road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We planned our drive over 6 days, with a stop in Portland for some duty free shopping, which had to be said because when I found out that Portland was a tax-free city, I couldn’t not make a stop!
Day 1: Seattle to Hood River
Our destination for Day 1 was Multnomah Falls. It really is a detour on our Highway 1 road trip as it is located inland in the Columbia River Gorge area. With gushing waterfalls and spectacular hikes, we figured this part of the trip will be very different to the scenery along the Oregon and California coast. It was just beautiful!
I have to let you in on a secret – I don’t think the majority of travellers would take the time out to do this drive so if you have some time up your sleeve like us, I highly highly recommend it. I would imagined that most of the cars driving past us would most probably be locals, so if you’re driving on a weekday it is magnificent! There are hardly any other cars on the road so you can take your time – it is like your own little personal road trip! We were literally in heaven! It’s always the best when you have the roads to yourselves!
We didn’t think we would be able to get there as quickly as we did but we arrived at Multnomah Falls quite late in the afternoon and somehow, even though the roads were quiet, there was quite a number of tourist buses on site! How we didn’t come across any of them while driving is beyond me! Lucky we were staying in the area so we knew we would get another chance to check it out the next day – making a mental note to get there super early!
White Salmon Steelhead Ranch Alpacas
We stayed at Steelhead Ranch Alpacas for a night and loved it. It is a working Alpaca Ranch with loads of alpacas and also a friendly working dog on site. The couple that runs it are really nice too and happy to chat. We have never stayed at an alpaca farm before, or actually, on any farm so we were very interested in how things work and they were more than happy to share! We actually wished we were staying longer so that we could check out more of the area!
Location: 1376 Highway 141, White Salmon, WA 98672
Price: From AUD$150/night. Book Steelhead Ranch Alpacas on Airbnb
Day 2: Oregon Scenice Bypass to Portland
We did all the hard yards driving to get here yesterday so today, we’re taking the scenic route on the way to Portland. It takes about 1.5 hours to get back to Portland (say what?!) so we had plenty of time except we knew we had to get to Multnomah Falls before everybody else and we were aiming to get to Portland by midday anyway so a bright and early start it is then!
Views from Hood River
Even so, we still had time to stop to take it some of the awesome sights in this area! This is one of the reasons why I wished we were staying longer to explore the area!
There are plenty of waterfall stops along the Oregon Scenic Bypass. We picked Horsetail Falls because it sounded pretty! It was an easy trail to get to the waterfall itself – perfect for a morning walk!
We got to Multnomah Falls early-ish and we were so glad to see no tour buses yet! It is the area’s top attraction being the highest waterfall in the area at 620 feet! There are multiple of other waterfall to see as well on your way to Multnomah. I don’t think we’ve ever been in an area with so many waterfalls in one spot. It feels like they’re building you up to their biggest attraction which is pretty cool!
As I said before, we were really stopping in Portland for its tax free shopping so we had a day there before we set off back on our journey. Having a shopping list helps speed things up and we also did manage have a lovely dining out experience at Le Pigeon too.
Day 3: Portland to Yachats
The Lookout at Cape Foulweather – Myrtlewood
Cape Foulweather (very aptly named as the weather was such on our visit) was discovered by Captain James Cook on his third voyage of discovery in the Pacific. This was a random stop that had the cutest house with a beautiful scenery to boot! Shame about the weather while we were there but given its name, it sounds like rain and high wind is a common occurrence. Even so, it is worth a stop just for the view!
Overleaf Lodge & Spa
This is a lovely and beautiful lodge that we stayed at. The 804 coast trail is right on its doorstep so if you’re into walks and checking out the stunning coastal scenery, this is one of the best places to stay!
Location: 280 Overleaf Lodge Ln, Yachats, OR 97498, USA
Price: From $260AUD/night Book Overleaf Lodge and Spa here
Day 4: Bandon
I don’t think we knew it when we booked our accommodation in Yachats that we were right on the 804 coast trail. We didn’t know anything about the trail really at that point until we saw the fabulous ocean vistas and tidepools from our room.
We took a stroll after dinner and even though the weather was still foul-ish, the scenery was still absolutely stunning and I managed to catch some pretty awesome shots as the sun sets! The weather had cleared in the morning so after breakfast, we set off for a walk before checking out in the opposite direction in the morning so we saw the best of both weathers! Win win win!
Our next stop was Cape Perpetua. It is a volcanic remnant sighted and named by James Cook in 1778.
Famous for its dramatic rock formations an crashing surf, the area contains numerous trails that explore ancient shell middens, tide pools and old-growth forests. The view from the cape are incredible!
Without planning to, we actually ended up about 2 hours there just exploring! There are plenty of walking trails so there was quite a bit to do and see there so if you’re planning to check Cape Perpetua out, make sure you allow plenty of time!
We did the Captain Cook Trail (1.2 miles round trip) down to tidepools near Cooks Chasm, where at high tide the geyser-like spouting horn blasts water our of a sea cave.
A quick pit stop at Heceta Beach to capture this stunning landscape!
Day 5: Arcata
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
A short detour off signposted on Highway 1 for spectacular scenic drives through untouched ancient redwoods trees. We stopped at the Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway to check out the trees and gosh, they are majestic!
Day 6: Mendocino
Humboldt Redwoods State Park & Avenue of Giants
This was one of the places of our list to stop at! I think majestic or magnificence doesn’t describe how we feel seeing these amazing trees! Did you know that this park boasts three-quarters of the world’s 100 tallest trees!
Ten Mile State Marine Reserve
Mendocino, to us, is like the Hamptons of California. Not that we’ve been to the Hamptons but if we were to imagine what the Hamptons would be like but on the west coast, Mendocino would be it. A quaint and pretty little town amazing seacliff views.
Blue Door Inn
Such a pretty little inn! We just bought our first home on this trip and aww, I want our house to look like this place. All the furnishings are on point!
Location: 10481 Howard St, Mendocino, CA 95460, USA
Price: From AUD$270/night Book Blue Door Inn on Booking.com
Day 6: San Francisco
Salt Point State Park
It being just over a 3 hours drive from Mendocino, we leisurely drove towards San Francisco taking in the spectacular views our last time. We stopped whenever we felt like it (probably more times than we should). It was the perfect ending to our road trip!
We were so happy to be back in San Francisco revisiting the places from our last trip here. Our new highlight this trip was watching the San Francisco Giants play at the AT&T Park. It was awesome seeing a baseball game!!
Oh wow! This is one massive post! I hope that this helps you if you’re planning a similar trip. If you need to know anything else, ask me in the comments box below and I’ll try to help you out! Have fun!