You are currently viewing Road Trip From Los Angeles to Seattle | Road Trip USAPin

Road Trip From Los Angeles to Seattle | Road Trip USA

A couple weeks ago, we took a road trip from LA to Seattle as part of reliving a childhood road trip.

Along the way there are so many amazing stops to make that can become an entire trip in itself. Not to mention all the detours you could take to some of our favorite spots in the US.

Road Trip USA | Travel guide for a road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle.

This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always our own. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.

Last Updated: June 23, 2020

Road Trip from Los Angeles to Seattle

This is the year of road trips for us. We’ve taken some pretty epic cross-country road trips over the past two years. Three of them were Atlanta to Los Angeles. Now that we’ve done so many, it’s hard to believe, but it no longer seems like such a long drive.

Our all time favorite road trip was when we drove along the southern border of the US to San Diego, up to Seattle, then beelined it diagonally across the US back to Atlanta. It took us a month and a half, and I still feel like there’s a lot that we missed in between!

There really is so much beauty just within the States that we have yet to explore. I think we need to take a full year off and just rent an RV. ;)

To help you plan your trip, we’ve put together a list of the best stops and some of their highlights. If you plan on spending more time in any of the locations, or want to see what else there is to do there, be sure to click through to our more details guides.

Best Stops from Los Angeles to Seattle

453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, map

Recommended Time: 3-4 Days
Things You Can’t Miss: 
Griffith Observatory, Venice Beach, Silver Lake
What to Eat: 
49 Fave Places to Eat in LA
Where to Stay: 
Beverly Hills HotelThe Peninsula Beverly HillsKimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles

Whether you live in LA or you’re just starting your trip there, be sure to take a chance to see the city. Whether you’re into beaches, views, art, or shopping, there really is something for everyone. Here are a few guides to help you get started:

Pro Tip: Since the city is so large, it’s best to focus on a specific neighborhood/area during your visit so it’s not too overwhelming.

Los Angeles Griffith Observatory (15 Popular Day Trips from San Diego).
749 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103, map

Recommended Time: 3-4 Days
Things You Can’t Miss:
Golden Gate Bridge, Painted Ladies, 49-Mile Scenic Drive
What to Eat: 
Brenda’s French Soul Food, Tartine Bakery & Cafe, B Patisserie
Where to Stay: Golden Gate Hotel (luxury)Parker Guest House (mid-range)Beresford Arms (budget)Search Airbnbs Nearby

We love visiting San Francisco. It’s a city we’ve considered moving to but still haven’t gotten around to it. We spend most our time in the city eating and exploring the surrounding outdoor areas.

Pro Tip: There aren’t many stops between LA to SF on the 5, but you should stop by Harris Ranch. You can get some delicious steaks and pecan drop cookies.

Can't visit SF without visiting the Golden Gate Bridge + Best Places to Stop on Your Los Angeles to Seattle Road Trip // Local Adventurer

Weed, CA, map

Recommended Time: 1-2 Hours
What to Eat: Lily’s, Phuket Thai Cuisine, Bistro No 107
Where to Stay:
Mount Shasta Resort (mid-range), Inn at Mt Shasta CA (mid-range), Swiss Holiday Lodge (budget)

This is a quick stop worth making just because of how awesome Shasta looks in the horizon. We pulled off at a rest area to picnic and enjoy the views.

Pro Tip: If you want to drive closer to the mountain, take the Lake Street exit at Mount Shasta and head east.

Road Trip USA | Mount Shasta stop on a Roadtrip from Los Angeles to Seattle.

Weed, CA, map

Recommended Time: 2-3 Days
Things You Can’t Miss: Discovery Point, Watchman Overlook, Sun Notch Hike
What to Eat:
Annie Creek Restaurant, Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room, Beckie’s Cafe
Where to Stay:
Union Creek Resort, Crater Lake Inn & Retreat, Sleep Inn & Suites

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US and is absolutely beautiful. We’ve only visited during winter so we had very limited access, but we definitely want to visit again. Check out our guide to help you plan your time there.

Pro Tip: If you’re making this drive during winter, check the road conditions. Much of the park is closed.

Road trips from Los Angeles | Crater Lake National Park stop on a road trip from los angeles to seattle.

100 SW Main St #1100, Portland, OR 97204, map

Recommended Time: 2-3 Days
Things You Can’t Miss: Pittock Mansion, Portland Breweries, Columbia River Gorge
What to Eat:
49 Best Places to Eat in Portland Oregon
Where to Stay: Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel (luxury), The Heathman Hotel, Downtown (mid-range), The Society Hotel (budget)

Beautiful PNW hikes, tons of restaurants, and breweries around every corner will easily keep you busy for a few days. The city is small so you can see a lot in a short amount of time.

Pro Tip: Portland weather can be quite rainy and wet, be sure you are prepped. Check out our How to Dress in Portland guide.

Road Trip America | Stopping at Blue Star Donuts in Portland on our Road trip from los angeles to seattle.

100 SW Main St #1100, Portland, OR 97204, map

Recommended Time: 3-4 Days
Things You Can’t Miss: Pike Place Market, Chihuly Glass Sculpture Museum, Gasworks Park
What to Eat: 
Chuck’s Hop Shop, Tsukushinbo, Taylor Shellfish Farms
Where to Stay: Four Seasons (luxury), The Maxwell Hotel (mid-range), AC Hotel (budget)

You’ve made it to Seattle! See the popular spots like Pike’s Place and The Space Needle, but also spend time exploring some of the other neighborhoods and easy day trips. 

Pro Tip: Seattle is also a great launching point to see Olympic National Park.

Seattle Glass MuseumPin

Detours to Take

We tried to take the most direct route, but if you have some time and want to make a few detours, here are some worthwhile ones:

If you have more than 2 weeks, we even suggest you cut over to the Pacific Coast Highway and do the stretch from Big Sur in California all the way up to Reedsport in Oregon before going back onto I-5 (to Portland). These are some great stops on coast:

If you don’t mind skipping Portland, we recommend doing the entire Oregon Coast drive. Check out our guide to all 363 miles of Oregon Coast!

After Seattle, for our next adventure, we took the Edmonds-Kingston ferry to get from Seattle to Olympic National Park. First time on a car ferry! See our next adventure: what to see at Olympic National Park.

Edmonds Kingston Ferry after our road trip from LA to Seattle.

Essential Tips

  • Make a plan but give yourself some flexibility. Whether it’s because you run into trouble or decide you love a place more than you thought you would, it’s always smart to be able to change your plans as needed.
  • It’s important to wear sunblock even when you’re just in the car all day. A lot of the time, you’ll have sun shining right on you for hours at a time.
  • Have a physical map with you in the car just in case you lose service.
  • If you plan on visiting multiple National Parks, pick up an annual pass to save money.
  • If you’re worried about bathroom stops, these come in really handy!
  • A cooler is convenient to have for snacks and drinks in the car.

What’s an epic road trip you’ve taken? What were your fave stops? What road trips do you want to take?

Did you enjoy this post? Pin it for later



“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust


Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

Local Adventurer on Pinterest Local Adventurer on Youtube

You might also love

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Cami

    Hey guys! We are about to take on our own adventure this summer from San Diego to Washington (possibly go into Canada too!) the goal is to checkout cities, nature, hidden gems, and we have three months, 1 truck, 3 chihuahuas along the route. Any suggestions you may not have mentioned in this post? Or perhaps other articles you have already written would be super useful! Actually any resources at all would be amazing! ps: Maybe we can even meet you guys when we make it to Portland?

    1. Esther JuLee

      Hi Cami! That’s so exciting! Wow, this is a bit of an older post, so I definitely need to update it soon. These are some suggestions off the top of my head, but we really need to sit down and do a guide for each state soon. We recently did the entire Oregon coast, which had so many amazing spots if you want to check that out I would also check out the gorge if you’re swinging through Portland. If you didn’t already know, there are over 250 waterfalls in Oregon, so I would stop by any of them that are on your route If you’re going up the California coast, I would also stop in at Point Reyes, Fort Bragg for the Glass Beach. There’s a tree tunnel just north of there too. In Washington, I’d do Olympic and Cape Flattery. There are just so many things to do, but 3 months is a good amount of time where I feel like you’ll be able to see a lot. Also, Erin and Caroline recently wrote a post about long term travel with dogs ( Hope that helps and let us know when you’re coming to Portland.

  2. Sheryll

    Hi. I was researching on some tips and ways on how to plan a long drive (not a typical road trip) from Los Angeles to Tacoma, WA. My husband is in the military and assigned there. We are going 2nd week of June. This will be our first time going on a long drive/trip. I am just concern with the long hours of drive because we are traveling with our 8 years old son. Since we are not in such a hurry in getting to Washington.
    I am thinking of making a several stop to sleep and rest in a motel/inn. We are not looking for some leisure road trip or wanting to go to some tourist spot to visit. Our goal is to go safely to Washington. I hope you could help us in finding some great pit stops and what route should we take. Thank you in advance.

    1. jacob

      Hi Sheryll! Sounds like it’s going to be a fun trip. There are a lot of good stops along the way. Some of our favs are: Big Sur, SF, Samuel H Boardman, Cannon Beach, Portland. Hope that helps!

  3. Waleed albuhayri

    thank you so much for all the information. i’m planing to go the same way you did. i really like it, and you explained everything in details . Good job. :)

  4. soap

    i clicked on the donut shop link you mentioned and my mouth began to salivate. those donuts look delicious!

    i really like that waterfall photo. that’s in america? didn’t know america could look so beautiful.

    1. estherjulee

      yeah, i’ve been realizing that the more i travel, the more i appreciate what we have in the states. we actually have a lot of different types of landscapes all in one country, and that’s why we’ve been spending most our time this year exploring the states. i don’t even think we have time to hit all the national parks that we want to go to this year. i thought atlanta was really boring until we actually left it, and it made me realize that i took a lot of things for granted. i used to think the grass is always greener on the other side. there are bigger and better things somewhere else.. I still really like this quote “Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.