Los Angeles to Seattle: a summer Road Trip

Next week is my first full time week back home in Los Angeles so I am starting to plan ahead for the summer about what sort of road trips I want to do. I know my short list includes a drive out to AZ for the Grand Canyon, a camping trip to the PCH between SLO and Monterey (when it opens), and an epic journey to Seattle via the PCH/101 the whole way. On the topic of the epic Seattle journey, I thought out a brief summary of how I would approach the trip with some rough estimates of time. I came out to a 10 or 11 day trip with the following details:

  • 11 Day Trip
  • 2700 miles
  • 48 hours of drive time
  • Along the Coastline/Scenic going North and inland/direct going South
  • 2 full days in Seattle
  • 1 overnight in Portland with half day each day

(Approximate Driving hours)

  1. LA to North of SF - 10 hours
  2. North of SF to CA/OR border - 6 hours
  3. CA/OR border to midway OR - 6 hours
  4. Midway OR to OR/WA border - 6 hours
  5. OR/WA border to Seattle, WA - 6 hours
  6. Seattle - 0 hours
  7. Seattle - 0 hours
  8. Seattle to Portland - 2 hours
  9. Portland to Sacramento - 6 hours
  10. Sacramento to LA - 6 hours

Google Maps:


Now the question is, which car should I take?

The freshly bought, practical, fast car with real seats and storage space that gets 20mpg on a good day
Or the road trip proven roadster that will easily achieve 28mpg while being flogged, equipped with a racing bucket seat and requires “creative” luggage packing.

This trip (should she accept) would be done with my girlfriend since she REALLY wants to go to Portland and Seattle. I could see her deciding to fly to Seattle to meet me and only travel one way home. But either way, I’d be planning to be accommodating a passenger then. So obviously the Miata is at a “practicality disadvantage” but considering it worked for 4000 miles across the country, half that can’t be all that bad! Plus it being most likely late summer (Aug/Sep), the top down weather along the coast will be ideal.


The genesis of this trip idea for me is that I originally planned on driving a Northern Route on my cross country journey and including that whole section along the coast to finish the trip. Since I ended up travelling in November and missing out on that chance, I am looking to still live that journey ASAP.

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