Mike and I went on a week road trip from Vancouver to San Francisco , something I’ve always wanted to do and decided to jump on the opportunity after falling ill for a few weeks ( that new strain of flu argghhh) and not being able to fly to New Zealand ( too long of a flight having a minor lung infection).
Below you can find a break down of where we stayed, the cost and a few things we did ( other than walk around and check out dispensaries)
Our journey commenced in Vancouver our 24 hour stops were as follows
(We took the I-5 (highway) down and the 101 back ( coastal route ) )
PORTLAND, OREGON – 5.5 hour drive from Vancouver
REDDING, CALIFORNIA – 8 hour drive from Portland
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – 3 hour drive from Redding
ARCATA, CALIFORNIA – 5 hour drive from San Francisco
Drove from Arcata to Portland and stayed in Portland for the night
(7 hour drive)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – 2.75 hour drive from Portland
BACK HOME TO VANCOUVER – 2.5 hour drive from Seattle
Due to Mike’s bad back I was the official road trip driver and I actually loved it!
There was rain, crazy snow storms on the highway and lots of sunny breaks in the sky. The road conditions were pretty good considering the crazy weather. I would recommend to anyone driving to California from Vancouver (specifically San Francisco or Los Angeles) to bite the initial long distance in the butt and drive directly to Portland. This gets the trip going much faster, ensures you get the rest you need and, gives you time to explore Portland!
I pretty much expected Portland to be an over sized Gastown ( neighborhood in Vancouver that mostly consists brick roads, brick buildings, hipsters with beards and tons of craft beer)
OMG talk about dead on. LOL
We began our WestCoast mini road trip by stopping into Seattle to visit our friends at Herban Legends, then continued over to Portland for our first night away. We also stayed on the way back home for one night. I will be discussing both rounds on this one post.
For both trips we booked using Expedia as they had the best rates
Staypineapple at Hotel Rose
1 King bed
Pet fee additional US$25
Parking fee additional US$25
This hotel was ADORABLE!! Included in the pet fee you get a dog bed, a dog toy, a plastic bowl for feeding and a couple bags of treats!
Hotel is located downtown just a little bit out of the center ( 8 min walk to the “excitement”)
Didn’t do too much during this stay as we arrived around 4pm and wanted to rest. After checking out the hotel happy hour we went for a night walk and grabbed some amazing snacks at Westside Grocery, owned and operated by this younger guy who gave us a ton of free candies 🙂 Thanks man
For happy hour we checked out the hotels bar “Bottle & Kitchen” situated in a bright lounge atmosphere. The happy hour menu was pretty decent! Lots of people, even locals were hanging out there which was a good sign. The service was fast and friendly.
Return Hotel :
1 King bed
Pet fee additional US$45
Valet fee additional US$35
LOVEDDDDD this hotel. They even had a luxury pet menu that offered services like pet acupuncture, pet massage, pet grooming etc etc ( like US$75-300 LOL yeah…no)
Hotel Bar “Driftwood Room” was MEH – expensive and extremely dark.
Continuing on our journey the next day we (I) drove from Portland to Redding California 8 hours. Since we did such a long haul without stopping we decided to stay the night!
There are literally no hotels around Redding, mostly motels/inns at the same price as a decent hotel in a populated city.
Booked with HotelTonight
Best Western Plus Hilltop Inn
2 Beds( no choice )
Pet fee additional US$20
Room was extremely clean. Next door there was a CR GIBBS ( American restaurant )
I gave in and had a steak. What the fuck?! It actually was delicious, served ( by my request) with a baked yam that they top with maple walnut butter ( a little too much, ask for it on the side)
San Francisco is only a three hour drive from Redding so obviously we zoomed on over to take use of the full day.
Booked using HotelTonight
1 King bed
Valet additional US$35
San Francisco is my home city and last summer Mike and I would go every month for a full weekend so we really just bopped around as weather wasn’t ideal, finally got to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge for my first time!
Keep note, although cannabis is now legal in California, many places still require that you have your medical licensing ( not an issue for me but was for Mike who wanted to just check out some spots)
We were considering biting the bullet and driving over to Palm Springs but another 8 hours of driving time ( 16 total to entire trip) did not seem appealing to me what so ever. So we turned around and took the coastal route home, staying in Arcata.
Booked with Expedia
Best Western Arcata Inn
2 Beds ( no choice)
Pet fee additional US$20
Again very clean for an inn. NOTHING TO DO/EAT OR SEE after 4pm
There was a tiny mom and pop authentic Mexican Restaurant right across the street located in the mini mall – Valley Azteca Mexican Restaurant DELICIOUS AND CHEAP MARGARITAS
Onwards to our last stop, Seattle
Booked directly on SPG member site
Valet Parking additional US$35
I actually already love Seattle and want to make Seattle trips a more regular thing since a lot of hotels are dog friendly, weed is legal ( recreationally ) dope concerts are usually hosted there and the shopping (while staying downtown) is abundant. We had a chill night, checked into our room then went straight across the street to a games/arcade center called GameWorks.
It was wack there, I actually felt unsafe, we couldn’t relax and have fun there, even in a spot meant for children. I ended up tossing my winning tickets and calling it a night. Mike did win a powerpuff doll from the claw game which Pablo appreciated.
The next day we drove home!
This road trip really opened up my eyes to the poverty that is America. You can see (on every block) how much America does not care about the poor, the homeless, and the mentally ill. It was/is heartbreaking. This trip also made me realize that Motels/Inns are a perfectly fine option and you do not need all the extra bells and whistles for a good nights rest.
Please if you do end up going on a road trip, keep some bags ( plastic) in the seat behind you, fill them with your left over foods and your hotel freebies (the soaps,lotions,sewing kits) if you do not use them and HAND THEM OUT. When I was driving there was always someone begging on the side of Highway/cross connecting points ( highways turning into streets when entering towns) these people are grateful for anything and a little bit goes a long way.
*** I am the ultimate hotel bargain shopper and will not book until I am certain I have the cheapest price. If you are interested in any discounts- download the HOTELTONIGHT app – and use code RQUINN64 for $25 off your first booking!
Until next time, keep chasing those dreams.