The West Coast is known for its many natural wonders, so it’s not surprising that a number of cities would have an affinity towards one another. San Francisco and Seattle are two such areas with their own unique characteristics which makes them interesting to explore together or separately.
The “driving from seattle to san francisco in one day” is a trip that many people take. The distance between the two cities is around 800 miles. It takes about 10 hours of driving time.
A road journey from Seattle to San Francisco is a must-do if you want to discover why the Pacific Coast is such a popular destination in the United States. This is one of America’s most iconic itineraries, including both the coast and some of the country’s best parks and woodlands.
From Seattle to San Francisco, the 960-mile journey takes 20 hours and 30 minutes. The towns of Portland and Sacramento, as well as the Mt. Hood, Willamette, and Siuslaw National Forests, and Redwood National and State Parks, are among the drive’s highlights.
Check out all of the material below for fantastic inspiration, information, and activities to do along the route to help you plan your spectacular road trip.
What is the distance between San Francisco and Seattle, and how long will the journey take?
|Route||Distance||Time to Drive|
|The quickest route (via I-5)||810 miles||13 hours|
|Pacific Highway Route (via Highways 1 & 101)||940 miles||30 minutes and 20 hours|
The car journey from Seattle to San Francisco takes 13 hours and 810 miles if you follow the shortest route feasible. This route never deviates from the highway, so apart from a few highly advised deviations, it’s a very simple and beginner-friendly trip.
If you have more than a couple of days to spare, driving down the coast is a considerably more picturesque option that will add roughly 8 hours to your journey.
Olympic National Park is a serious candidate for the United States’ most beautiful park.
Although this trip might potentially be completed in three days, it is recommended that you spend at least two weeks seeing both the beachfront and the many interior sights surrounding Highways 1 and 101.
One thing to keep in mind along this route is that the coast can be rather windy, which may make the trip challenging (not to mention less picturesque) on a wet day; keep an eye on the weather forecast and schedule your stops appropriately.
The best route from Seattle to San Francisco for a car trip
The The best route from Seattle to San Francisco for a car trip is definitely the coastal one – while taking the interstate can also take you to some incredible places, nothing can match the combination of the Pacific Coast to the west and the chain of parks and forests to the east.
The quickest path (via Interstate 5)
Take Interstate 5 north out of Seattle and travel through Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument on your route to Portland. Before reaching Medford, continue south via the Willamette and Umpqua National Forests.
Visit the Klamath and Shasta-Trinity national forests from there, and consider taking a diversion to Lassen National Forest if time allows. After passing through Dunnigan, use Interstate 505 south to Vacaville or take a detour to Sacramento.
Take Interstate 80 through Fairfield after arriving in Vacaville, then cross the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge. Drive the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge and pull into San Francisco not long after going through Wildcat Canyon Regional Park.
The Pacific Route (Highway 1 & 101)
Take Interstate 5 out of Seattle and continue it to Longview, passing through Capitol State Forest and Gifford Pinchot National Forest. From here, take Route 30 west to the Columbia River and continue west until you reach the shore.
Cut via Oswald West State Park and through the Tillamook and Siuslaw State Forests, as well as the Rogue River-Siskiyou and Six Rivers National Forests, along Highway 101.
Before going onto Highway 1 and heading into Mendocino, stop at Redwood National and State Parks and Humboldt Redwoods State Park. From there, stop by Jackson Demonstration State Forest before continuing south.
Explore Point Reyes National Seashore after passing via Salt Point and Sonoma Coast State Parks. Return to Highway 101 after traveling through Muir Woods National Monument and over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco.
Between Seattle and San Francisco, the best spots to stop are
The road journey from Seattle to San Francisco is jam-packed with fantastic stopping alternatives, so reserve a few hotel rooms along the route. The following are some of the greatest resorts on this wonderful itinerary:
Take in Portland’s stunning skyline.
The most sensible destination to spend a weekend on your road journey from Seattle to San Francisco, particularly if you’re taking the interstate route, is Portland, Oregon’s biggest city. The Duniway Portland is the hotel to stay at if you want the greatest rooftop view of Portland’s architecture.
This hotel’s rooms are the perfect mix of basic and beautiful, and the social spaces are as lavish as they come. Before traveling into town, you can burn some calories at the excellent fitness center after recharging your batteries at the bar and Jackrabbit Restaurant.
Portland’s autumn splendor is rivaled by few cities on the West Coast.
Nothing beats the soothing view from the terrace for a good time, particularly when it’s accompanied by an excellent live performance by top-notch musicians. You may also take a yoga class or go wine tasting for something a bit more low-key.
This hotel is incredibly generously priced, in addition to being situated in the most action-packed portion of Portland; when combined with the great facilities, The Duniway is undoubtedly the finest hotel in the whole region.
Spend a once-in-a-lifetime night in San Francisco.
San Francisco is one of the most well-known cities in the United States, so it’s no wonder that it’s home to some of the state’s most opulent hotels. Book a hotel at the St Regis San Francisco if you want to stay in the greatest accommodations and be pampered by the best service the city has to offer.
One of the finest ways to start your day is to wake up to an unrivaled view of the city’s magnificent architecture, and St Regis’ spectacular rooms allow you to do exactly that. You may start your morning with a visit to the magnificent Remede Spa after you’ve awoken.
San Francisco’s architecture is spectacular, but its natural views are as so.
The Grill Restaurant has everything you might want for a dinner, and it’s all within walking distance of your hotel room. If you’re looking for something a little more opulent, have a beverage in the Lobby Lounge before diving into the massive pool.
In terms of location, the St. Regis is one of the greatest in the city, being adjacent to both the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges, making it the ideal gateway to San Francisco’s major attractions as well as surrounding towns.
As you would guess, the hotel is a little on the pricey side, but if any resort in the region is worth its money, it’s this one.
On a road journey from Seattle to San Francisco, there are many sights to view.
The three-day road trip from Seattle to San Francisco is jam-packed with exciting activities and adventures. Additional nights in the aforementioned destinations might easily increase your stay on this tour. This would result in a more leisurely vacation with more time to take it all in.
- Mt Rainier National Park – The most scenic part of the Cascade Range is beautiful no matter the season.
- Olympic National Park – This park is famous for having some of the most varied terrain out of any attraction along the Pacific Coast.
- Portland – This city’s parks, gardens, and downtown area are sprawling with events and activities throughout the year.
- Mt. Hood National Forest – This iconic forest houses The Timberland Trail and the titular Mount Hood volcano.
- Siuslaw National Forest – The ultimate combo of dunes, forests, and sweeping ocean waves.
- Redwood National & State Parks – A scenic chain of forests that define the beautiful California coast.
- Humboldt Redwoods State Park – The world’s largest assembly of old-growth redwoods is an absolute must-see.
- Mendocino – This beautiful coastal city features the iconic Mendocino Headlands State Park, among other nature vistas.
- Point Reyes National Seashore – One of the region’s definitive coastal vistas and home to some of California’s most beautiful beaches and forests.
- Six Rivers National Forest – Explore the fantastic Six Rivers National Forest, with over 350 miles of wild and beautiful rivers running through the area.
- Shasta-Trinity National Forest – California’s largest national forest also features the largest manmade lake in all of the States.
- Redding – Known as the trails capital of California, this city is a hiker’s paradise, boasting over 300 days of sunshine per year.
- Lake Tahoe – This lake makes for an ideal sunbathing and swimming spot in the summer and the perfect ski location in the winter.
- Yosemite National Park – One of the most well known National Parks on the planet, full of incredible wildlife and mesmerizing landscapes.
- Sacramento – Among other things, California’s capital is known for its abundance of fascinating museums.
Redwoods National & State Parks are among California’s greatest national treasures.
When is the best time to travel from Seattle to San Francisco?
The optimum times to travel from Seattle to San Francisco are paradoxical; the route’s unique geography and San Francisco’s unusual temperature follow a different set of laws than your typical oceanside tourist destination.
Forests and parks are a distinguishing element of any road trip, apart from the fact that every shoreline drive looks better when the weather is warmer. With that in mind, if you don’t want your access to these locations to be severely restricted, you should avoid driving in the winter.
In terms of San Francisco itself, there is essentially no bad season to come; in the spring and winter, a heavy jacket will suffice to keep you warm against the coastal breeze, and otherwise-expensive hotels will reduce their rates.
Lombard Street is one of San Francisco’s friendliest neighborhoods.
The pleasant atmosphere and plethora of exciting activities make summer an enticing season to visit The Golden City. The weather in the upper 60s is just mild enough to spend time outside, therefore this is when the majority of visitors visit the city.
The warmest season in San Francisco is generally the autumn, when temperatures reach approximately 70 degrees and there are still lots of summer visitors. This could be the greatest time to go if you want to spend the most of your time at the beach.
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The “seattle to san francisco road trip 2 days” is a two-day journey from Seattle, Washington to San Francisco, California. The drive includes stops at Snoqualmie Falls and Mount Rainier National Park.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many days does it take to drive from San Francisco to Seattle?
A: It takes about 34 hours and would take 18 more minutes to reach the Canadian border.
Where should I stop driving from Seattle to San Francisco?
A: You should stop driving in Seattle at 1pm and start driving in San Francisco at 3pm.
How long does it take to drive the Pacific Coast Highway from Seattle to San Francisco?
A: 14 hours.
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