Driving to Oregon from the Bay Area

Parent Reviews

Not sure what time of the year you are going, but we did a road trip through Oregon this past summer and the kids (5&2) loved it. We went to Corvallis, the beach cities, Portland then back down through Bend. Great beaches, hiking, biking, Tillamook cheese factory, river activities. Lots of options in Oregon

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Campground/ Cabin/ Hotel between here and Oregon

April 2006

Our family of four (w/ two kids 2.5 & 5.5) are driving from the Bay Area to my family reunion in Hillsboro, Oregon this summer. Instead of flying, we decided to take a leisurely (is their such a thing w/ a 2 & 5 yr old?) drive up the coast and camp along the way in our tent trailer &/or in cabins. We will be on the road from Wed. June 28 until Saturday July 1st. Any recommendations on nice, clean, scenic campgrounds or cabins between here & Oregon? We are going to be hotelling it on the way home-- any recommendations for a family friendly hotel near the CA/OR border or in Northern tip of CA? Margie

We love Patrick's Point campground. It's on the coast, just below the Oregon border. In the redwoods, you camp above a little protected agate beach, and there are *giant* banana slugs. You didn't say how far you are planning to go per day, but if you want a nice short drive your first day, to accomodate all that last-minute stuff that at least in our family always creates a later departure than we were intending, there's a nice campground called Salt Point that's only about an hour-and-a-half out from here (about 10 miles from Jenner) that might suit. Flat hiking/walking trails along the cliff, and a bunch of seals that hang out close enough to the beach to be interesting to watch. Salt Point you can reserve in advance, Patrick's Point I don't remember offhand whether you can or not.

I have done that drives countless times, both up the coast and the I-5 route. I am usually going between S.F. and Seattle, so the drive is a little longer. We like to stay at the Best Western in Ashland. The town is wonderful, tons of great places to eat and a fun town to walk through. The Best Western is nothing special, but is nice with kids. It has a pool, which is a nice way to get all that pent up energy out after a long day in the car. Ashland is full of B's, that can be expensive and probably not great with kids, which is why we go for the chain. The other places we tend to stop for the night are Redding and Dunsmuir. The Hilton (which is a just like any of the other roadside motel/hotels) in Redding has room service at night. The food is not that great, but it is a nice convience if you get in late at night and haven't had dinner. As far as camping on the coast goes the biggest tip I can give you is make reservations. There are beautiful campgrounds all the way up the CA and OR coasts, but summertime is busy! Some names off the top of my head: Sunset S.P. near Coos Bay, OR; Cape Blanco S.P. around Port Orford, OR; Patrick Pt S.P., north of Eureka, CA; and there are a handful of great ones between Florence and Waldport, OR. You also may want to think about cutting over to I-5 south of Portland. The chunk of coast west of Portland can be a nightmare to drive in the summer and the hwy (I think it is 26, but am not sure) that basically goes straight from Portland to the coast can be really slow. I would just pick your stops based on the amount of time you want to spend in the car each day. Then find the closet campground, where you can make reservations. Hope that helps. mary

Lake Siskiyou near Mt Shasta is wonderful-there is a big private, very nice campground, and the lake is beautiful and perfect for swimming.

Car trip to Oregon with a 5-y-o and baby

May 2005

We'd like to do a 1 week to 10 day car trip with a 5 year old and 8 mos old up to Oregon. I'd love suggestions as to good budget minded places to stay with kids as well as places we should visit on the way up & in Oregon. Thanks! Tracey

The Oregon State Park system (www.oregonstateparks.org) is great, they have heated yurts and cabins to rent as well as tent-sites. Very kid friendly (some even have swings/climbing structures), hot showers, laundry etc. If I recall correctly, the yurts (off-season)were something like $27/night...way cheaper than a hotel, and adventures right from your doorway! We stayed in several Oregon parks in October where we ate our way through the very last of the summer's blackberries...if you time it right you may be able to hit the peak harvest this summer! Have fun. anon

There's a wonderful inn along the coast in Newport, Oregon, called The Sylvia Beach House. It's named after the founder of a terrific independent book store, and each room in the inn is patterned after a different author's works. For kids, there's a Dr. Seuss room, but there's also an Agatha Christie room (with clues), a Mark Twain room w/ rope swing, etc. The rooms are really over the top. We stayed in the Edgar Allan Poe room which had a raven and a pendulum over the bed. Dinner at the Tables of Content restaurant is included, and upstairs there's a library with books and games for lounging. One can walk along the wide beach, or visit the local aquarium. Stacey

If you go up 97 (east of the cascades), and you get as far north as Bend, then there is a wonderful indoor and outdoor museum with live animals and other cool stuff called the High Desert Museum. See their web page. Also, on your way to Oregon if you go through Redding, Calif., there is a new museum and garden complex, and butterfly display called Turtle Bay. If you google for the Redding web page you can find info. You can also find info on Redding's new public swimming pool that looks tempting (I haven't seen it in person). another traveling parent