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Driving from Portland to Santa Monica

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Driving from Portland to Santa Monica

My daughter and I are thinking of flying into Portland and driving to Santa Monica. We have 2-3 days to do this. Would appreciate advice on most scenic route, suggestions on towns to stay in, motel suggestions and any places we must stop to see. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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7 replies to this topic
San Francisco, Ca
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1. Re: Driving from Portland to Santa Monica

Because of the distance between Portland and Santa Monica, you don't have time to do an entirely scenic drive. You could do the Oregon coast, then take an inland route through the California redwoods, then continue on Hwy. 101 south to Santa Monica. This will be 20 hours of straight driving, however, so at least 4 full days of driving with stops for sightseeing, breaks, meals, etc.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Driving from Portland to Santa Monica

why would you want to do this over 2 days ? Where is the time to see much on close to a 1000 mile drive ? One way rental car and perhaps one overnight stop.

Do you just want to drive and drive and drive.

Santa Monica, CA
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3. Re: Driving from Portland to Santa Monica

Doesn't Southwest Airline fly between Portland and LA? That's what I'd do. Or choose San Francisco as your end point instead.

Elk Grove...
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4. Re: Driving from Portland to Santa Monica

As said, 2 days is only enough to drive straight from Portland to Santa Monica taking the quickest route. 3 days is not enough to do the scenic drive. It is tight even doing half of the scenic drive.

Eugene, Oregon
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5. Re: Driving from Portland to Santa Monica

See my response on the Oregon forum.

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6. Re: Driving from Portland to Santa Monica

That;s going to be a straight-through drive on I-5. You will only see gas stations, gas station bathrooms, roadside motels, and fast food joints.


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7. Re: Driving from Portland to Santa Monica

Concur with the others, your plan is totally nuts. It takes an entire week minimum to tour that distance properly. 2-3 days means you won't be able to stray far from Interstate 5 to go see anything. For example, Yosemite requires a day because of its distance from the freeway, severe traffic congestion, and a nasty parking shortage, but you don't have any time to spare to deal with that.

Edited: 11 June 2017, 15:47
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