Newport to Astoria, Oregon
A truly beautiful drive is from Newport to Astoria, along the Oregon Coast. This isn’t an overly long drive at under four hours, but you can pack a lot in or take your time. The leaves change color and you can see the rocky cliffs of Oregon along your drive. It is by far one of the most beautiful drives on the west coast. While in Newport, stop by the Rogue Brewery and have a tour, a pint, and don’t forget their seafood chowder. Also Oregon Coast Aquarium is in Newport and is a great way to spend a few hours seeing all the marine life found in Oregon. As you head north, stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and indulge in the cheese tasting bar and don’t forget to try their ultra delicious ice cream. As you continue north, there is the infamous taffy in Seaside that you must try before you head into Astoria. Astoria is a quaint fishing town that is full of history, excellent cuisine, and the infamous Goonies house!
Olympic National Park, Washington
Driving around Olympic National Park in Washington can be a great weekend or a week long journey. You can hop on the ferry outside of Seattle and head over to the north part of the park and hit Port Angeles. There are some wonderful tidepooling areas here as well as places to stop for lunch. Continue on to Crescent Lake and check out the Lodge there. Drive slowly as there are waterfalls around quite a few corners, which are even more beautiful as the fall leaves tumble down from their branches. As you continue driving the 101 Freeway, you will pass through Forks, which is where the movie Twilight was filmed. One of my favorite places though on this drive is once you get to Lake Quinault, where you can camp along the lake or stay in the Lodge made famous by the amount Presidents that have stayed there in the past.
San Francisco to Big Sur, California
For a quick, yet beautiful drive, take the California State Route 1 from San Francisco to Big Sur. In under three hours, you can soak up the both the countryside and coast that California has to offer. On this drive, be prepared to see all the wildflowers in bloom and one of the most gorgeous sunsets your eyes will ever see. You can stay in any of the great resorts on the coast, but I prefer to camp at Kirk Creek Campground, which is on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
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