If you want to travel up most of the West Coast, then a San Diego to Seattle road trip will give you the opportunity to see some great sights in this part of America. Driving north on Interstate 5 will take you past a variety of national and state parks that show off the great natural beauty of this region. You'll get to experience everything from flashy big cities to charming smaller towns. There are plenty of points of interest along the way, so you won't have any problem putting together a fun road trip itinerary from San Diego to Seattle.
Sequoia National Park
Not too far into your road trip from San Diego to Seattle, you’ll reach Sequoia National Park. You'll obviously get to see plenty of sequoias here, but you'll also be able to take in the other beauties of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. You won't have to worry about running out of quality places to walk since there are over 800 miles of trails in Sequoia National Park.
Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park is right next door to Sequoia National Park, so you'll be able to double your dose of majestic mountains and towering sequoias. Some of the most popular activities here are hiking, backpacking, rock-climbing, and horseback riding. Whether you want to stroll along a paved trail to see the General Grant Tree or hike all the way to the top of Lookout Peak, you'll be able to find plenty of natural beauty in Kings Canyon National Park.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is the next national park in this line of parks that run through California. Millions of travelers flock to this park yearly because of classic features like Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Glacier Point. Many different trails in the park give you the means to explore the Yosemite Valley and multiple groves and meadows. You can visit the most popular places, or you can go backpacking in the more remote areas of Yosemite National Park.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is in the northern part of California close to Redding. There are, of course, volcanoes here, but this park also features a variety of hydrothermal attractions that fascinate visitors. Geysers, mud pots, fumaroles, and spring-fed pools are all on display here. You should pay a visit to the Drakesbad Guest Lodge in order to relax in a hydrothermal pool, get a massage, and take advantage of several other outdoor activities.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park may be Oregon's only national park, but it's gorgeous enough to represent the whole state well. Crater Lake itself is the deepest lake in the US; its pristine waters are perfect for fishing, swimming, diving, etc. Plenty of options abound on land; more than a hundred miles of trails for hiking and biking take visitors through forests and caves and to the tops of peaks.
Crystal Cove State Park
You can't take a San Diego to Seattle RV road trip without stopping at some California beaches. Crystal Cove State Park is located in the Newport Beach area not far from LA. Beaches, bluffs, and canyons give visitors many different places to explore. Surfing, swimming, hiking, biking, and tidal pool exploration are all big here.
Beverley Beach State Park
Beverley Beach State Park is on the coast near the Newport, Oregon area. Sandy beaches, gorgeous forests, and a picture-perfect lighthouse make this state park a must-see. This is also a great place to camp since they have full-hookup RV sites, a dump station, hot showers, and other amenities. Fishing, surfing, hiking, and biking are fun activities here.
Cape Lookout State Park
Not too far up the Oregon coast is Cape Lookout State Park. The biggest draws of this state park are its lovely beaches and lush old-growth forest. Swimming, fishing, and beach-combing are popular here, as are hiking, biking, and whale-watching.
Cape Disappointment State Park
In spite of its name, you won't be disappointed in Cape Disappointment State Park when you pay it a visit. It's at the southernmost tip of the Washington coast, so it's not hard to reach. Once you get there, you'll find sandy beaches, lovely coves, rugged cliffs, and, of course, a rustic lighthouse. You can explore the park itself courtesy of eight miles of trails; then, you can learn about the history of the area at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
Millersylvania State Park
Millersylvania State Park is close to the end of your San Diego to Seattle road trip. It's not far from Olympia and is conveniently close to Interstate 5. You'll be able to explore 3,300 acres of freshwater shoreline and some nice old-growth areas. Deep Lake is a great place to swim, fish, and boat. Nearly eight miles of dedicated bike trails make this an excellent cycling location.
Downtown Disney District
You can't take a road trip from San Diego to Seattle without visiting at least one Disneyland destination. For a truly magical shopping and dining experience, you'll want to stop by the Downtown Disney District. Whether you want to buy some classic Disney souvenirs at World of Disney or purchase some great sweets at Marceline's Confectionery, you'll have no shortage of shopping options at the Downtown Disney District.
Hain Wilderness is located in Pinnacles National Park, which is roughly an hour and a half south of San Jose and an hour and a half west of Interstate 5. Chaparral, woodlands, and, of course, pinnacles in this wilderness are populated with a variety of flora and fauna. Multiple trails take you through wilderness areas full of pines, oaks, and over 500 different species of flowering plants.
San Francisco is just a little over an hour off of your route, so why not add it to your road trip itinerary from San Diego to Seattle? One awesome place to experience that unique San Fran culture is the Fisherman's Wharf. Top-quality restaurants, shops, and other local attractions are all gathered conveniently together at Fisherman's Wharf.
Another great place to go is Washington Park, which is located in the heart of Portland. Top attractions like Hoyt Arboretum, the International Rose Test Garden, the Oregon Zoo, and the Portland Children's Museum are all part of this large complex. There are also plenty of picnic areas and parks in which to relax.
What San Diego to Seattle road trip is complete without a stop at one of the Seattle area's most iconic features? This active volcano is more than 14,400 feet high; it has more glaciers on it than any other mountain in the contiguous US. It's located in Mount Rainier National Park, so there are plenty of hiking trails and activities to take advantage of around this majestic mountain.
You could easily spend weeks on end exploring the City of Angels, so you'll likely want to take advantage of some of the great campgrounds in the area. You can also find dump stations nearby. Some of the nation's top attractions are right along your route. Disneyland, Universal Studios, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and many other great places are just waiting for you to explore them.
California's capital city is rich in history and culture, so you'll want to check out multiple attractions in the area. Plenty of RV campgrounds are nearby, so you’ll have some great lodging options. You'll also be able to empty your RV at one of the nearby dump stations. Places to visit include Downtown Sacramento, the California State Capitol, and the Crocker Art Museum.
Redding is nicknamed the “Jewel of Northern California,” so you shouldn’t be surprised to find a batch of dump stations and campgrounds available to those who want to explore this beautiful part of the state. You can visit the lovely Sundial Bridge, take a stroll around Turtle Bay Exploration Park, and then head out to Whiskeytown Lake.
Portland is Oregon's largest city, both in terms of size and reputation. There’s no shortage of places to go in this free-wheeling port town, so you may want to take advantage of the local dump stations and campgrounds and stay awhile.
Washington's capital is only an hour outside of Seattle, so it's a great place to stop in order to prolong your road trip from San Diego to Seattle. Dump stations and campgrounds abound, so you’ll have plenty of places to stay while you explore locations like the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and the Washington State Capitol.