If you’re planning a road trip from Los Angeles to San Diego, you’re in for a treat! This is a classic California drive that is filled with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, scenic beach towns, and delicious food stops. In this article, we’ll provide you with all the essential information you need for your trip, including the distance, drive hours, best driving route, stops along the way, and road trip tips.
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Los Angeles to San Diego Drive
The distance from Los Angeles to San Diego is approximately 120.3 miles (193.6 km), and the drive should take you around 2 hours and 26 minutes without any stops. The fastest and most direct route is taking Interstate 5 South, which will take you past cities like Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Oceanside.
However, if you want to take a more scenic route, consider taking the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1). This route will take you along the coast, and you’ll drive past beautiful beaches, cliffs, and ocean views. Keep in mind that the Pacific Coast Highway is a more leisurely route, and the drive could take you up to 3 hours depending on traffic and stops.
Los Angeles to San Diego: How far is Los Angeles from San Diego?
Los Angeles is approximately 120.3 miles (193.6 km) north of San Diego. The distance can vary slightly depending on the route you take.
How far is Los Angeles to San Diego by plane?
The flight distance from Los Angeles to San Diego is approximately 111 miles (178.6 km). The flight time from Los Angeles to San Diego is approximately 50 minutes, making it the quickest way to travel between the two cities.
However, if you’re looking for a scenic drive, we highly recommend taking the road trip!
The Cheapest Way to Get from Los Angeles to San Diego
Taking the bus is one of the most affordable ways to travel from Los Angeles to San Diego. Greyhound and FlixBus offer daily services between the two cities, and prices can range from $10 to $30 one-way, depending on the time of day and how far in advance you book.
Another affordable option is taking the train. Amtrak has a Pacific Surfliner train that runs daily between Los Angeles and San Diego. Prices can vary depending on the time of day, but you can expect to pay around $37 for a one-way trip.
Los Angeles to San Diego Drive – Rent A Car In Los Angeles
Here are some of the rental car companies that you can rent a car from in Los Angeles:
- Enterprise: starts at $39 per day
- Alamo: starts at $42 per day
- Avis: starts at $45 per day
- Budget: starts at $47 per day
- Hertz: starts at $55 per day
- National: starts at $52 per day
Gas prices will also vary depending on where you fill up, but you can expect to spend around $50 for a full tank. This is based on an average of $3.357 per gallon, and a standard car that holds 15 gallons of gas.
Los Angeles to San Diego – Driving Stops Along The Way
If you’re looking to break up your drive from Los Angeles to San Diego, there are plenty of great stops to make along the way. Here are some of our top recommendations:
Huntington Beach, also known as “Surf City USA,” is a popular destination for beachgoers and surfers alike. With miles of wide, sandy beaches and perfect waves, it’s a great spot to spend the day soaking up the California sun. The beach is also known for its iconic Huntington Beach Pier, which stretches over 1,800 feet into the ocean and offers stunning views of the coastline. In addition to the beach, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy, including biking, hiking, and paddleboarding. When it’s time to refuel, there are plenty of food options nearby, including beachside cafes, burger joints, and seafood restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach or an active adventure, Huntington Beach is a must-visit spot on your road trip from Los Angeles to San Diego.
Laguna Beach is a charming coastal town that boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the coastline, sunbathe on the sandy beaches, or take a dip in the clear blue waters. In addition to the beach, the town is also home to a thriving arts scene, with many galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists. For those who enjoy shopping, there are plenty of boutiques and shops selling unique items, as well as several upscale shopping centers. The town is also known for its diverse dining options, ranging from casual cafes to high-end restaurants serving locally sourced seafood and farm-to-table cuisine. With its laid-back vibe and stunning scenery, Laguna Beach is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Southern California coastline.
San Juan Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano is a charming and historic town located along the California coast. The town is known for its beautiful Spanish architecture, which is evident in the stunning Mission San Juan Capistrano, a 200-year-old mission that is a must-visit attraction. The mission is a historical landmark and museum that offers guided tours, exhibits, and special events throughout the year. Besides the mission, you can also explore the quaint downtown area with its many unique shops, galleries, and restaurants. The town has a rich history, and it’s a great place to spend a day learning about the region’s past while enjoying the beautiful scenery and architecture.
A picturesque coastal town that’s great for whale watching, hiking, and beach activities.
This town is known for its beautiful flower fields, the LEGOLAND theme park, and great beaches.
This upscale coastal town has some of the most beautiful beaches in the area and plenty of shops and restaurants to explore.
These are just a few of the many great stops you can make on your drive from Los Angeles to San Diego. Plan ahead and decide which stops are most interesting to you, so you can make the most of your road trip experience.
Los Angeles to San Diego Road Trip Tips
Here are some tips to help make your road trip from Los Angeles to San Diego even more enjoyable:
- Plan ahead: Decide on your route and stops ahead of time, so you can make the most of your trip.
- Pack snacks and drinks: Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you fueled during the drive.
- Check traffic conditions: Traffic can be heavy at times, so check traffic conditions before you hit the road.
- Take breaks: Make sure to take breaks and stretch your legs during the drive. There are plenty of great rest stops along the way.
- Enjoy the scenery: This drive offers some of the most beautiful coastal views in California, so take the time to appreciate the scenery.
In conclusion, the drive from Los Angeles to San Diego is a must-do for anyone visiting Southern California. Whether you take the fast and direct route or the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, charming beach towns, and delicious food options. And if you’re looking to save some money, there are affordable bus and train options available as well. With plenty of stops along the way, this road trip is the perfect way to experience the best of what Southern California has to offer.