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Suggestions Please - Seattle to SLO, I-5 or 101?


Any excuse for a road trip
Apr 29, 2015
Puyallup, WA
Traveling to SLO from the Seattle area to pick up my son from college and I'm trying to decide which route I'd rather take. I'll be driving south on Wednesday and Thursday, so could potentially hit traffic depending on the time of day.

Route planners suggest taking I-5 most of the way, splitting off north of Sacramento, the 101 route would be about 25 miles shorter and 30 minutes less -- which on a 1,000 mile drive is not that much difference. I'm planning on making it a two day solo drive south, with an overnight in either Mt. Shasta or Corning, depending on how traffic through Washington and Oregon slows me down.

I'm not in a huge rush, and will be turning around and heading back from SLO on Saturday, and could potentially take the other route north. As a Tesla geek, I'm tempted to swing by the Kettleman City Supercharger. As an engineering student, I'm sure my son would get a kick out of it, too.

Is there anything I should watch out for with either route? We made a Seattle - Santa Cruz round trip in my S85D about 18 months ago, and Seattle - Yellowstone since, so I'm quite familiar with multiple supercharging trips.



beep! beep! 💉
Mar 7, 2016
SF Bay Area
Playing around with google maps, it looks like Bay Area traffic can easily erase any time advantage on the 680/101 route. Unless you can time it to avoid any possible traffic in the Bay Area, I'd take I-5 all the way to 41.
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Any excuse for a road trip
Apr 29, 2015
Puyallup, WA
That's what I was inclined to do. I'm not trying to turn this into an all out sprint, but I don't want to have to spend too much time concerned about traffic if there are other equal or better options. My few trips to the Bay Area have taught me that trying to time traffic there isn't likely to work out very well.


Feb 23, 2016
San Francisco, CA
Take I-5, avoid they bay traffic...

EDIT: Or fun alternative if you have the time -- detour to 395 on the eastern Sierra and enjoy the views (possibly cut over through Yosemite).


Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
101 is a beautiful drive both north and south of the Bay Area but can be a real pain in the ass from Sonoma County to Gilroy.

The Kettleman SC is a neat novelty for a Tesla geek but otherwise basically just a supercharger with vending machines. If you were so inclined you could cut over on SR 152 over Pacheco Pass and catch 101 near San Juan Bautista.
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Active Member
May 17, 2014
Central Valley
If you do decide to take US101, take it northbound. That is the free direction over the Golden Gate Bridge, and there will not be nearly as much traffic on a Saturday as there is during the work week.

And the motel in Mt. Shasta City is must nicer (and pricier) than the one in Corning. Or you could make Redding and use a destination charger overnight to start the morning fresh and bypass Corning altogether.

US101 is a fabulous drive, but it is two lanes throughout Oregon down to Crescent City and intermittently two lanes between Crescent City and Eureka. There are also occasional stretches south of Eureka that are still two lanes. Look at California road conditions to view all the construction/maintenance that is going on now on US101.

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