This highway runs parallel with the Pacific Coast from San Diego, California to the Canadian border just south of Vancouver, British Columbia. A significant part of its length in California traverses the fertile valleys of the central part of the state where much of the nation’s food supply originates.
San Diego – This popular vacation spot has a splendid climate and many attractions. The Mexican border town of Tijuana is just a few miles south of the city while the pleasant community of La Jolla is only minutes north.
Disneyland – The flagship of the Walt Disney empire is still extremely popular even though much smaller than its other American venue, near Orlando, Florida.
Los Angeles – The "city of angels" has many excellent museums as well as numerous attractions related to the film industry. Check out the height of up-scale shopping on Rodeo Drive or pre-historic creatures at the La Brea tarpits.
Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park – Take a detour onto Rte 99 just south of Bakersfield to make the excursion to this dramatic location where the largest living things, the Giant Sequoia trees, live. Drive along the General’s Highway for a close-up look at these grand specimens, then cut back to I-5 just north of Fresno.
Yosemite National Park – Instead of cutting back to I-5 immediately, take State Route 41 north to this gem of a park, where the incredible sculpting of the landscape by glaciers can be witnessed. Half-dome, El Capitan, and numerous waterfalls will take your breath away.
San Francisco – Detour westward to the "city by the bay" and plan to spend several nights because there are so many things to do and see here. From Alcatraz Island to Lombard Street to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is a tourist paradise.
Lassen Volcanic National Park – This park preserves the area around an active volcano which erupted as recently as 1921.
Crater Lake National Park – The incredible blue color of America’s deepest lake has drawn visitors for centuries. The park is an easy detour from I-5 along State Route 62. The crater of a volcano is the unusual setting for the lake. Meander along Crater Rim Drive for spectacular views.
Oregon Coast – Another worthwhile detour takes visitors west to US Route 101 which skirts the coastline and provides great views and access the beaches and dunes. Oregon’s beautiful coastline is dotted with numerous sea stacks.
Portland – Oregon’s largest city contains a large population of Americans who participated in the "Hippie" culture of the 1960’s. The city itself is attractively "retro" and many examples of this interesting culture can still be seen. Be sure to visit Washington Park, the city’s gem which offers fantastic views of the skyline and snow-capped Mount Hood in the distance.
Columbia River Gorge – While in Portland, venture eastward along the Columbia River for a wonderfully scenic drive and access to other attractions such as Multnomah Falls, Oregon’s tallest.
Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument – The dramatic 1980 eruption of this very active volcano has been seen by many on the news and in documentaries, however, nothing compares to witnessing the devastation which can still be seen in the area surrounding the peak.
Mount Rainier National Park – Another volcano which potentially could erupt at any time, the beautiful glacier-covered peak is a short distance from Seattle and can be seen, on clear days, hovering over the city. Visitors have an opportunity to engage in a multitude of activities within the park.
Olympic National Park – Take a detour near the state capital, Olympia, to sample one of the United States’ most diverse national parks. Visitors will see beautiful, pristine beaches, temperate rain forests, and high mountain peaks, all in the space of a few miles.
Seattle – This All-American city has much to offer the tourist, from vestiges of its past at Pioneer Square to visions of the future at the Space Needle to good-natured fun at the Pike Place Market.