Classic California + Oregon Road Trip

California + Oregon Road Trip

A California + Oregon road trip has always been on my bucket list – highway 1 to be specific.  A road running along the Pacific coastline (insert drool emoji).  I put together our (me + my travel gal pal, Karine) itinerary along with a few stories + tips from our coastal adventure.

California + Oregon Itinerary 


  • Day 1 – San Francisco to Trinidad – 334 miles via Highway 1
  • Day 2 – Redwood National Park


  • Day 3 – Oregon Coast – Trinidad to Umpqua National Forest – 295 miles
  • Day 4 – Umpqua to Bend – 128 miles
  • Day 5 – Bend
  • Day 6 – Bend to Portland – 164 miles

Starting Point – San Francisco 

Golden Gate

The first day was driving from San Francisco to Trinidad on Highway 1 (with a few stops along the way). We didn’t make it too far before our first pit stop – Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point (click for Google Map direction). Easy to find + great views of the bridge (hence the above photo).

Onward! We headed slightly west onto highway 1 and were immediately in beauty shock. This was our view!!!

Highway 1

“Designated an All-American Road—among the nation’s most scenic.” -National Geographic 

AGREED! It was incredible.

Sidenote: This section of Highway 1 is VERY curvy + slow moving. We never drove over 30 mph. Which was a blessing because we were able to take it all in, but it took us almost 12 hours to go 334 miles. Worth it you ask? Yes!

One of my favorite stops of the entire Highway 1 drive –  Point Arena. We stopped at the Fishing Pier…holy sh*t! Here was our view…

California Highway 1

Recommendation: There are so many cute coastal towns + viewing points. In retrospect, we should have spent at least two days doing this drive so we could have made even more stops.

Day 2: Redwoods National Park

We stayed overnight in Trinidad – just a short drive to Redwood National and State Parks. We started at the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Visitor Center and took the Prairie Creek Trail, then followed the Big Tree Loop and down the Cathedral Trail to make one big loop. This hike was fairly easy + took approximately three hours + exposed us to some of the tallest trees in the world! It was magical.

This is now on my “Top 5 Places I’ve Traveled” list. Hands-down. (None of my photos do these huge giants any justice).

Day 3 – Oregon Coast 

Oregon Coast

We hopped onto the Pacific Coast Highway + made our way up the Oregon coast. See photo above – just insane! Right after we crossed the Oregon border, we made several stops along the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. Highly recommend stopping at Arch Rock and Natural Bridges. Quintessential Oregon coast view.

We continued up the beautiful coastal highway until cutting over East at Bandon, OR. We continued East until we immersed ourselves in the Umpqua National Forest. We stayed in a tiny cabin, in the middle of the woods.

Day 4 – Umpqua National Forest

Umpqua Hot Springs

We woke up early + made our way to Umpqua Hot Springs. We traveled there in March – the off-season + a foot of snow on the ground. The Forest Service does not plow so the two mile road up to the trail head was closed. So we trekked the two miles in the snow to the trail head and then climbed the final half mile up to the spring. There are seven pools located on a mineral deposit situated above the North Umpqua River. Definitely worth the hike!

Day 5 – Bend

Another beautiful drive. Traveled through the forests + made our way to Bend.

Favorite spots in Bend:

  • DRAKE – The brussels spouts and mac ‘n cheese are drool worthy.
  • Dudley’s Bookshop & Cafe – We stumbled upon this place + drawn in by live bluegrass music. Such a cool spot.
  • The Victorian Cafe – Best eggs benedict I’ve ever had. Enough said.

Final Destination – Portland

And that wraps our California + Oregon road trip! My top three favorites from this trip:

  1. Redwood National Park – Pure magic!
  2. Oregon Coast – Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor
  3. Highway 1 – Just driving + enjoying the scenery of the countryside + the small towns.
Portrait Photo