San Francisco is one of the most important cities in the United States and, thanks to its charm and favorable location on the way to visit the national parks, is often preferred over San Diegowhich shares the Pacific Ocean with San Francisco and Los Angeles. In my opinion, however, San Diego does not deserve to be labeled as a secondary choice on California trips.
It is a friendly city full of personality and has very beautiful and inviting beaches here the water is a bit warmer than on the northern coast.
Because of city traffic, the drive can take even more than 3 hourswhich further reduces the time available to visit San Diego. One idea would be to leave Los Angeles after dinnerso that the traffic will be lighter, stay overnight in San Diego and spend the next day sightseeing in San Diego here is our list of things to see in San Diego. The travel time indicated above refers to the fastest way to go by car.
Below, I will show you an alternative route that may be longer but is more fascinating. If you would like to enjoy every mile of your road trip and avoid crossing areas with boring scenery, the solution is to take your time so that the trip from Los Angeles to San Diego is not just a simple transit from one point to another. To be honest, the possible stops along this road are numerous and diverse, so we recommend you read our article on Orange County and especially the in-depth article we dedicated to Laguna Beach.
Because of its location on the ocean with its beaches and natural parks, I believe Laguna Beach is perhaps the best spot in the whole county along the Pacific Coast Highway. There are other enjoyable parts of the drive on Highway 1, including Huntington Beach or other coastal towns, which are well-kept.
The road zigzags through the coastal towns where you may find more traffic. Under ideal conditions, the mile drive between Downtown Los Angeles and San Diego on Highway 1 would take 3 hoursbut between delays and intermediate stops to take pictures and make short visits, the journey can take from 4 to 6 hours, so practically half a day. Therefore, here is what I recommend:.
As it often happens, the fastest road is also the dullest. I have already mentioned the travel time in the first paragraph, and in my opinion, if you are particularly in a hurrythen do not worry about making any intermediate stops, because in the first section up to San Juan CapistranoI-5 — not at all scenic — cuts through suburbs and towns in Orange County without any points of interest.
In fact, even the second part of the journey — although it is closer to the coast — is not particularly interesting either, so you can easily consider this trip as a simple drive from one city to another without any regrets for not stopping along the way. However, if you have some time for one or more detourshere are the possible intermediate stops.
About san diego, california
If you read our article dedicated to Orange Countyyou will discover that there are other places of interest besides the ones located on the coast! By taking a few short detours from the main route on I-5, you can reach some places worth a visit.
If you are interested in visiting these attractions, I have divided the route into two parts: Orange County and North County. In brief, the most interesting part of the drive between Los Angeles and San Diego is the section that cuts through Orange County.
How far is san diego from la: driving, by plane, train or bus
Disneyland in Anaheimby far the most famous attraction in the area, deserves at least a full day and therefore cannot be considered for a short stop between Los Angeles and San Diego. Besides Disneyland, those who are interested can visit:. Where to stay in Orange County. The last stretch of I-5, south of Orange County, continues into the North County from San Clemente to San Diego, and passes through a series of quiet little towns without any major attractions.
Del Mar, Leucadia and Encinitas are good places to stop and break up the trip.
These cities and towns have waterfront clubs, but nothing more. Carlsbad deserves to be mentioned, since it is the location of Legoland Californiabut just as in the case of Disneyland, the theme park cannot be included as a quick stop on this type of itinerary. When traveling around the United States, I tend to recommend drivinghowever, since the distance between Los Angeles and San Diego is not too long, taking a train could be a fascinating solution for those who want to reduce the of driving hours.
There are approximately 12 trains per day from Los Angeles to San Diego, starting at am and the last one is at pm. If you are a movie fan, you may have thought more than once of visiting Hollywood, the place where the story of US cinema was born, but you may not…. Los Angeles is the city of a thousand faces and attractions; it is both exciting and a bit intimidating at the same time.
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Learn how your comment data is processed. Los Angeles to San Diego drive: tips for a road trip.
Using Downtown Los Angeles as a starting point, the distance between Los Angeles and San Diego is mileswhich takes at least 1 hour and 50 minutes without stopping and without traffic. Our Tip:.
Looking for accommodations for your trip from California to other parts of the Southwest? Read our guide that contains reviews of hotels and strategic tips for finding accommodations near major attractions: Where to Stay: Our Tips for the SouthWest Area.
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