The Hart-Rios Family Road Trip: Seattle to San Francisco

Rachel Hart
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Editorial director Rachel Hart and family road tripped from Seattle to San Francisco

Rachel Hart’s shorthand-style, iPhone travelogue highlights from her summer 2013 road trip with her family. (Expect exteme brevity, perhaps more than a few inaccuracies and omissions due to dozing off in the car).

Our trip was abridged and modified from Tom Uniack’s amazing itinerary from Seattle to San Diego. Find his itinerary and several others in our May 2014 Road Trip issue, on newsstands Thursday, April 24 and online on May 15).

Drive to Portland, stay overnight (we were at The Deluxe). Breakfast at Tasty and Alder. Leave Portland. Take 99 South for a while, going through wine country. Then veer off through 18 through Dundee. Lots of wineries there. Beautiful.

McMinnville—darling small town. Just had time for a drive by. Saw Evergreen Air Museum nearby that Tom Uniack writes about in his piece. Spruce Goose located here.

Stop by Farmer John’s Fruit Stand for milkshakes and smoothies.

Lincoln City:
Boiler Bay Beach
Nicer part: Whale Pointe
Whale Cove Inn

Small, good town to visit for:

Rogue Ales Brewery and restaurant
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Oregon Coast Aquarium is cool—Tubes you can walk through and see sharks and other fish. Nice outdoor area with otters and puffins. Love that you can do it in an hour.

Hilarious/cheesy Aquarium Village group of shops, nearby, though most were shuttered.

Smelt Sands State Park--adobe resort (did I mean to type adorable? I can’t remember.)

Picture perfect light house on cliff here.

Love. Cute downtown area.

Wheelhouse is an old-school restaurant for which we are grateful that managers were willing to feed a hungry family rolling into town late at night (10 p.m.!)
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Amazing candy shop. They have cheese fudge! Apparently best seller but even I, girl from Wisconsin, couldn’t bring myself to try it.

Love the beach. Lots of huge Haystack Rock-like rock formations but cooler, and with caves, puffins, sea stars. Like Canon Beach but prettier rocks and fewer people.

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Face rock is so cool. Kids loved this place. Bandon was the hightlight of Oregon Coast for us.

Port Orford:
Museum of shipwrecks
Griff’s seafood
View at end of highway is cool

Prehistoric Gardens


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Trees of Mystery park in Klamath. Big Paul Bunyan statue, worth the tour with small kids.
Take 765 alt scenic route
Fern canyon: where Jurassic park filmed (we missed it)
Ah Pah interpretative trail
Mile marker 128.5: corkscrew tree!
Big tree wayside and cathedral trees trail
Elk Prairie campground. Lots of elk!!

Many burl shops.

Chandelier Tree:
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One of those trees you can drive through

Avenue of Giants—beautiful drive, where you can see more giant redwoods.

Point Arena:
Pier Chowder House
Beautiful view!
Ocean cove rentals, cute cliff

Cute expensive looking area, one restaurant.

Point Reyes:
Lots of great coastal clam shack-type places.
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Rachel Hart's boys enjoying the beach at Point Reyes

Yreka, California:

Gold mining-themed town, historic town looks like a movie set.
Strings Italian restaurant, delish.

Next door, there is an odd "museum" of private collection of dolls and memorabilia. This was by far the strangest stop on our tour. They have scores of Coca Cola memorabilia, a giant dinosaur and life-sized Mickey Mouse. Dolls galore, including—brace yourself—a too-close-to-lifelike-for my-comfort-wax replica of a dead infant dressed in burial garments in a bassinette, complete with mannequin of the mother in mourning. I asked the owner about that item and she said she had it custom made "because she didn't have one in her collection." That was when we slowly backed out of the place.

Palate cleanser: Big band in concert in the park the night we were there.

Magnotti’s pizza by slice
Of course, the Shakspearean theater. No time for a play, though.
Creek runs through downtown.
Brilliant fabric store, with cheeky (literally) patterns

The drive back I-5, we drove through olive farm country and stopped at a couple of olive oil shops.

We kept track of funny coffee drive through names along the way:
The Human Bean in Coos Bay
Brewed Awakening—I forget where
One lump or two in Port Orford
Miner Perk in Yreka, Calif.