Seattle is an ideal spot to start your road trip from
Finnair's new direct route to Seattle opened a world of adventures. Choose your own perfect road trip and head south towards California or north to Canada.
The route from Seattle to Los Angeles — or even all the way to San Diago — spans over three states and 2000 kilometres. In theory, you could drive the length in two days, but about 10 days is the minimum if you really want to enjoy the trip. There is easily enough to see for several weeks – in case you are going for a real once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Once you get going, make sure to stop at Mount Rainier National Park, the stunning and vast natural area with mountains and even glaciers! Your first city stop could be in Portland, Oregon. It is incredibly cool and a great place to enjoy a night out. Heading toward Southern Oregon one of the best areas to visit Willamette valley and its vineyards.
Coming into California, redwoods are all around, stop at Crescent City to see them. Next stop could be in Mendocino, a pretty seaside town. Also make a note of visiting Glass Beach, peppered with colourful sea glass. You also shouldn't pass by Napa and Sonoma, especially if you are a lover of wine and good food.
You might want to consider taking a couple of days of your trip to stay in San Francisco. The drive from there to Los Angeles is one of the most breathtaking you can imagine. Along the way are tons of charming and bohemian towns to visit such as Santa Cruz, Monterey and Carmel.
The wow-moment of the trip is Big Sur. Its scenery alone is worth taking the trip. Make sure you get out of the car and take a stroll along the beautiful coastline. From Big Sur continue the scenic route towards Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo, where the volcanic nature is something truly special. On your way to LA you can make pitstops in the cosy towns of Santa Barbara and Ventura.
Los Angeles is a great last stop of your trip, but if you have the time, you can continue to San Diego. It is much more chilled than LA and a great city to see art, leafy parks or just hang out and relax on the beach after your marathon drive.
If you are looking for a shorter road trip going over the border to Canada is a great option – especially for nature lovers. Vancouver can be reached in a few hours, but you can easily take a couple of days to enjoy the route. The best route option will take you along the coast the whole way and offers lots of stunning scenery.
On the US side of the border, there are plenty of natural wonders to stop and admire. You could make your first stop at the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, a vast natural park with mountains and rugged wilderness. Afterwards, make your way to Chukanut Drive, a scenic route sometimes called Washington's Big Sur. Next, you might want to visit Larrabee State Park, where you can enjoy wonderful sea views and water activities.
Also make sure you don't miss Whatcom Falls Park, with rivers, waterfalls, and lush greenery. You might want to stay in the nearby city of Bellingham and visit its picturesque Fairhaven Historic District with Victorian architecture and cute shops.
Once over the Canadian border, you will enter directly into Southern Vancouver. If you are not ready for city life yet, check out Deas Island Regional Park where you can go hiking, fishing, or horseback riding.
Vancouver is diverse and very cool and is called one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Visit the great museums, such as the famous Museum of Anthropology and the city's fresh seaside walks and parks.
Road-tripping in North America is generally easy. Car rental places are plentiful, and gas is still cheap in comparison to Europe. Make sure that you check rental rules and regulations beforehand. There can be requirements concerning the age of the driver or the type of ID, insurance, or credit card needed for example.
Also, make sure you have cash for road tolls or purchase a road toll pass in advance (separate ones apply in different counties).
Usually, it is easy to find a hostel too. However, if you are planning to stay in some of the more popular cities and destinations along the way, book your accommodation ahead of time. You are guaranteed to find better deals.
Finnair flies directly from Helsinki to Seattle three times per week until 27 October 2023.