Instead of driving the I5 to Los Angeles this time, we took a few detours. Here’s a quick look at how we managed to get here:
- Days it took to drive the I5 to Anaheim this trip – 4
- Hours it normally takes to drive I5 to Disneyland – 19 hours from the Peace Arch border crossing in Vancouver
- Gas for a 2010 Dodge Caravan – $300 (It would have cost about $60 less if we went straight through)
First stop on our drive down the I5 – Vancouver, Washington & Portland
Driving time from Vancouver- Approximately 5 hours
Portland is a beautiful place, full of eclectic art work, street buskers, and a bustling downtown core. Because I like to visit downtown cores but not necessarily sleep near them, we opted to stay in Vancouver, Washington at The Heathman Lodge.
I wrote up a review of The Heathman Lodge for The Vancouver Province, so take a peek at that for full details. It truly was the perfect place to stop and stay while we explored Portland, and it’s far enough out to feel cozy and family-comfortable. A major plus is the jacuzzi tub. All four of my kids fit in it and they had a wild and crazy bubble bath that was the highlight of our time there.
- Powell’s Books – Floor after floor after floor of books. My idea of nirvana.
- Voodoo Donuts – Fresh, crazy looking, and so tasty. Just watch out for the menu if your kids can read.
After Portland, we were on the road again:
Second stop on our drive down the I5 – Red Bluff, California
Driving time from Portland – Approximately 7 hours
There isn’t much to see in Red Bluff, or at least I don’t know what there is to see other than the Hampton Inn Red Bluff that we always stop at. This place deserves a mention though, because it’s possibly the nicest Hampton I’ve ever been in.
Just off the I5, Red Bluff is about 1/2 hour from Redding. We used to stop in Redding and always struggle to find a room, but soon discovered it was far better to drive the extra 1/2 hour.
The pool at the Hampton Inn Red Bluff is beautiful, and you can sit on the deck and look out at the sunset over a farmer’s field. It’s amazing to me that a busy highway is right nearby, because you can’t hear it. It’s just peace and quiet.
The two queen suites are nice, big, and so very clean and new. It’s really the perfect place to stop and recharge.