Suggestions for west coast routing


Well-Known Member
Hey all, just planning to do a bit of a longer sightseeing trip down into the states as part of my 300nm xcountry for the CPL. Any suggestions on "must see" areas or airports? We're departing from Victoria (CYYJ) on the West Coast of BC, and clearing customs most likely at BFI, then its the open road (or air) from there.

Most likely would like to work our way down through Oregon to Cali, then maybe over to Vegas for a day and up on our way back to Canada.

Definitely want to make it a memorable trip; probably won't be seeing those areas again for a very long time!
Inland (I-5) or the coast. Of course, VFR allows you the most options. It's very scenic where ever you decide.
For some reason I completely overlooked that you are asking for suggestions of what aprts to stop at. I'm a museum junky so I would suggest KPAE which has several museums plus a tour of the Boeing plant.

Tillamook, OR has a very good museum. And the Evergreen museum at McMinnville, OR is probably the best museum along the coast. Petaluma, CA; Livermore, CA (a free beer if you know why [hint: the plaque out front says why]); and MER (used to be Castle AFB) are good. Castle is well worth the stop.

I like UKI for fuel.
Napa...You will indeed get a free bottle of wine with fuel purchase at bridgeford flying services, I have recently confirmed this rumor, but the fuel is pricey there. Petaluma is better on fuel price and has the two-niner diner! Shelter Cove (0Q5) is beautiful, but not many amenities. Monterey is a great spot, but if you make it down that way, try Half Moon Bay (KHAF). There is a restaurant on the field, but instead, walk down to the end of the runway and into town (only a quarter mile or so) and there are a ton of oceanside restaurants and fantastic's a great fly-in spot
0Q5 on the Northern CA Coast is one of my favorites. Stop in for some great fishing, fresh seafood, and a campground right off the South end of the runway.

You might want to consider clearing customs at FHR--way less crowded and a lot more scenic...anyway, airports/areas I'd recommend seeing are FHR, AST, S16 (look it up, it's literally one-of-a-kind), SPB, and TMK. The San Juans are amazing to fly around--aerial whale watching is quite fun--and the Pacific coast is always cool too. Just watch the winds!
You are going to deal with a lot of fog and weather issues on the coast. I would second clearing at Friday Harbor. Go to Eastsound on Orcas. Tillamok has one of the best flying museums I have ever seen, and McMinville is cool too. In the Valley here in CA, KAUN has a great restaurant for lunch.
Thanks for all the input; last couple times we've cleared customs, FHR has been way too busy to accommodate us while BFI has had plenty of time available all the time so we'll see how it goes. Definitely not looking forward to the weather though. Hopefully VFR OTT is possible for most of this area.