Two things you should know about me…
- I love a good road trip!
- I love planning (my dream job would be event planning)
So imagine how much I love planning a road trip…probably almost as much as I love cupcakes! When I set out to plan this trip from California to Canada via I-5 I reached out to bloggers, asked for advice on Twitter and Facebook, and talked with friends and family and once I compiled it all, I realized this is a really awesome trip!
Let’s hit the road! (Disclaimer: I’m going to be really honest here, I love California, but if you’re going to drive on I-5, you need to know there isn’t a lot to do between SoCal and Sacramento…lots of farmland but not a lot of places to stop. So if you live on the stretch of I-5 between SoCal and Sacramento and know of something interesting to do, PLEASE let me know so I can update this post!)
Sacramento, CA Despite the fact that people probably assume the capital of California is Los Angeles or San Francisco, it is actually Sacramento!
- If you are in Sacramento on a Wednesday you’ll want to check out the November Project in Sacramento for a great FREE workout!
- The #1 suggestion I got from people if you are going to visit is Old Sacramento. Old Sacramento features history attractions, dining, shopping and entertainment. I would love to plan a trip over Labor Day so I could head to Old Sacramento for the Gold Rush Days when the area is transformed to the 1850’s!
- If you like art, I’d suggest heading to the Crocker Art Museum…the first public art museum in the Western United States! Be sure to check the calendar for special events, movies, music, poetry and more.
- For kids and adults alike the California State Railroad Museum is a must see! You can take train rides, explore exhibits that bring railroading to life, and learn about the history of railroading in California.
Shasta County, CA
- As you head north from Sacramento the next place you’ll want to stop is Shasta Caverns. Situated in the limestone beds of Shasta County, CA the caverns allow you to explore via a catamaran, bus and a hike as you learn about the history of the caverns.
- Hiking to Mt Shasta promises gorgeous views! There are a lot of trail options so be sure to check out this site for more information
Ashland, OR Voted one of Fodor’s top small towns in America you don’t want to miss Ashland! Home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, close to some excellent rafting and more, Ashland is a place you definitely need to stop on your way north on I-5
Crater Lake, OR You’re going to need to veer a little off I-5, but Crater Lake is touted as one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon, so you don’t want to miss out! Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America and the views are simply breathtaking!
Heading to Portland, OR Two stops on your way to Portland after you leave Crater Lake are definitely worth making… 1. A visit to Silver Falls State Park, the largest state park in Oregon, offers you the opportunity to hike to some beautiful waterfalls! Silver Falls State Park is located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and while the waterfalls are probably the biggest draw, there are a number of other recreational activities as well! 2. The chance to see the world’s largest airplane in McMinnville, OR at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. Not only is the Spruce Goose the world’s largest airplane, but it is built entirely out of wood and was only flown one time!
Portland, OR Before you head to Washington you’ll want to leave some time to explore Portland or at least eat your way through the city! Here are some restaurants to check out…
And if you’re looking for something a little more casual, here are food cart pods you can check out…
- Cartopia – But head there soon because it will be closing around October 2014!
- Cartlandia – A “food cart super pod”
Not sure if you want to spend all of your time in Portland eating?!? Scott over at Portland Travel Tips shares these 5 Alternative Tourist Attractions including donuts you absolutely have to try!
Olympia, WA Get ready to explore the capital of Washington!
- Stop by Tolmie State Park which offers beach activities, a saltwater marsh, hiking, boating and more!
- Enjoy brunch at Tugboat Annie’s
- Hike through Priest Point Park
- Need more suggestions, here is a list of things to do in Oly WA, as locals call it!
Seattle, WA Of course you’ll need to have coffee when you go through Seattle, but there are also a lot of other great things to do!
- Head to the top of the Space Needle for views of Seattle and beyond from 605 feet in the air!
- Don’t like being 605 feet up in the air? Then head down to Underground Seattle to explore the streets and stores of the old downtown Seattle.
- A trip to Seattle isn’t really complete until you’ve visited Pike Place Market. But don’t just stop to see the flying fish, make sure you leave a piece of your gum on the Post Alley Gum Wall!
Vancouver, Canada Time to grab your passport and visit our neighbors to the north in Vancouver! You’ll want to make sure you don’t miss…
- Walk the Suspension Bridge at Lynn Canyon Park, but don’t look down!
- Queen Elizabeth Park is the highest point in Vancouver and offers not only spectacular views of the city, but outstanding floral displays!
- Stop by the Vancouver Aquarium to explore Canada’s largest aquarium!
A HUGE thank you to everyone that responded with suggestions of what should be included on an I-5 trip from California to Canada! You may have noticed that I didn’t include any cupcake shops along the way and there is a reason for that…this post would have been WAY too long if I included all those shops…that is another post for another day! Is there anything else I should have included on this itinerary? Are there any other road trip itineraries you want me to explore?