Hop on I-5 North and get on your way from San Francisco to Seattle in around twelve and a half hours. Since this is such a beautiful part of the country, with numerous national parks, scenic vistas, and iconic destinations, a one day drive just won't do. Take your time to explore all this drive has to offer with a weeklong trip. Wish you were going for 7-days but only have a long weekend? Check out our 3-day itinerary of this drive.
Drive Time from San Francisco to Seattle: approximately 16 hours
Distance from San Francisco to Seattle: approximately 960 miles
Day 1: Because San Francisco is such a beautiful city, it's hard to decide which iconic spots to see. Even though Fisherman's Wharf is a popular tourist attraction, you should still take a few hours to explore the shops, museums, and restaurants. Pier 39 has over 60 specialty shops, fresh seafood restaurants, and the best views of the playful sea lions that bask in the sun on the floating docks. Take a few extra hours to explore Union Square. This one-block plaza offers shopping, dining, and public
San Francisco is also famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, which you'll have a chance to explore as you visit Presidio, located just South of the bridge. A variety of options are available to visit the bridge, including walking tours and rental bikes.
Day 4: Once you leave Crater Lake National Park, you want to continue traveling on I-5 North for around four hours and 45 minutes and 268 miles to Portland, Oregon. Portland is Oregon's largest city and offers plenty of activities for every traveler. If you feel the need to relax and unwind, Portland Japanese Garden offers a place to stroll among waterfalls, ponds, streams, fragrant flowers, and shady trees. When you're hungry, you'll want to check out one of the 31 breweries and countless food trucks throughout the city.
Day 5: From Portland, it's just two hours and 45 minutes and 173 miles to Seattle. Once there, take some time to enjoy the shopping and dining at the historic Pike Place Market. Hop on one of the ferries traveling around the Puget Sound, and you'll see a unique view of the city and surrounding mountains. Take the 35-minute ferry to Bainbridge Island and get a lovely view of Mount Rainer on a clear day. Once you're on the island, you'll find boutique shops and cozy cafés in the small town of Winslow.
Whether you have three days or five, the road trip from San Francisco to Seattle is worth the time. From breathtaking coastal views to historic national parks with one-of-a-kind attractions, you'll see some of the best spots this country has to offer with these itineraries.