Driving to Vancouver from the Bay Area

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Road Trip to Vancouver and Back

Dec 2012

Our family (two grownups and a 12 year old) will be taking a road trip this summer from the East Bay to Vancouver and back. The current driving plan is as follows:

  • East Bay to Portland
  • Portland to Vancouver
  • Vancouver to Victoria
  • Victoria to Seattle
  • Seattle to Ashland
  • Ashland to East Bay

We're looking for any and all suggestions of places to stay/eat/visit. We will stay with friends in Portland and Seattle, but otherwise we're open!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

My family did the same trip back when I was around 8 or so. It remains one of my favorites of our annual road trips!

Things that I remember well were stops at Burney Falls and Lassen (near Redding, but off of I- 5), Butchart Gardens in Victoria, tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, Vancouver in general (it is a wonderful city, with lots of walkable areas), walking tour of the old parts of Seattle, and the excitement of crossing the border into Canada. I think your child will really enjoy this trip.

I don't have any specific recommendations for places to stay as it has been some time since I stayed at any hotels in these cities, but I would say that if you are planning to drive from here to Portland in one shot, it can be a very long day. One of the worst parts is getting through Fairfield and Vacaville to get to the 505. I highly recommend leaving really early so you can blast through. It should take an hour from here to Vacaville with no traffic. It can easily take twice as long when you hit all the various slow spots between here and there. Redding or Grants Pass make good stopping points if you want to break that drive up a bit.