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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.

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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.

West Coast Road Trip Ideas - Pike's Place Market Seattle Washington stop on a road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle.

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?

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“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.

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