Downtown San Diego skyline in California, USA at sunset

Road Trip from Atlanta to San Diego

San Diego, California, is 2,150 miles west of Atlanta, so a road trip between them is sure to be an awesome cross-country adventure. The from Atlanta to San Diego offers a chance to explore mountains, deserts, canyons and beaches as well as charming towns, stunning national parks, and vibrant, bustling cities. Upon reaching San Diego, you'll be rewarded with beautiful coastline, perfect weather year-round and more options for great dining than you could possibly get through!

The 2,300-mile road trip from Atlanta to San Diego takes around 34 hours to drive. It can take you past Birmingham, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Santa Fe and Albuquerque; or New Orleans, San Antonio, Big Bend National Park and El Paso.

Either route on this road trip will showcase America's natural beauty and history in truly epic proportions. So read on for our expert take on which way to go, where to stop and stay on your way to San Diego, plus the best things to see and do on your road trip. We'll even cover the best time of year to embark on this classic journey.

How far is San Diego from Atlanta, and how long will the road trip take?

While there are many ways of journeying across the US from Georgia to California, we have chosen our two favorite routes, which manage to combine incredible cities with a huge variety of terrain and natural beauty.

The Northern Route - which passes through Birmingham, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque - is 2,225 miles long and should take you around 33 hours to drive.

You'll of course need to factor in plenty of stops along the way, and this route has an abundance of interesting options, each with its own highlights: from Civil Rights monuments in Jackson, Mississippi, to the famous art galleries of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The driving experience on the Northern Route is varied, with some mountainous areas which add to the scenic beauty of this road trip but can also prove moderately challenging, especially in winter.

The Southern Route is a slightly longer road trip at 2,335 miles (and 34 hours' drive time) but with generally flatter terrain which some drivers will prefer. Like the Northern Route, it is blessed with plenty of cities en route, as well as national parks including Big Bend in Texas.

And you won't be short on fascinating places to stop overnight on the Southern Route either. With vibrant New Orleans, quirky Marfa and historic San Antonio all directly en route, you're overflowing with interesting attractions all the way to San Diego.

Best road trip route from Atlanta to San Diego

Known for its eclectic food and stunning, sunny beaches, San Diego draws visitors throughout the year. Bursting with international flavors (hello food trucks!) and plenty of things to do, it's not hard to see why this is a popular destination.

When it comes to choosing a route from Atlanta to San Diego, both our Northern and Southern Routes have many points in their favor. On the Northern Route, you'll get the chance to follow parts of legendary Route 66, stopping in at classic roadside diners and drinking that classic road trip atmosphere.

ATL sign at night

You can also learn about the Civil Rights movement in the Deep South, hike in numerous national parks and choose from many upscale dining and hotel options in cities including Memphis, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque and Phoenix.

Most of this drive is on major interstates and highways, which means that while this is a long journey, the roads should be generally well-maintained with plenty of amenities and your drive should be a smooth one.

The Southern Route is a similarly stellar experience. Towns and cities en route include New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, and Tucson.

If you've never experienced the culture of New Orleans' French Quarter, dined on San Antonio's River Walk, or seen the unique galleries and art installations in Marfa, Texas, then this could be the route for you.

As with the Northern Route, this route benefits from well-maintained highways and plenty of services en route. Major interstates, highways, and some two-lane roads, generally well-maintained. Whichever option you go for, your road rip to San Diego is sure to be a fabulous one!

The Northern Route

Embark on an exciting road trip from Atlanta, GA, to San Diego, CA, passing through Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM. Starting in Atlanta, you'll head west on I-20, traversing Alabama and Mississippi. Stop by Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, AL, to explore their historic sites and museums. Continue through Mississippi, visiting Jackson and the historic Vicksburg National Military Park.

A pusher boat in the Mississippi River near the Vicksburg Bridge in Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA.

As you enter Louisiana, visit Monroe and Shreveport before crossing into Texas. In the Lone Star State, explore the bustling cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, then head west on I-20, passing through Abilene and Lubbock. In Amarillo, check out the famous Cadillac Ranch and Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Transition to I-40, traveling through Tucumcari, NM, and visiting the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum. Reach Santa Fe and explore its rich art scene and history. Continue to Albuquerque, where you can enjoy a hot air balloon festival or hike in the Petroglyph National Monument.

Continue west on I-40 through Gallup, NM, and then drive into Arizona. Visit the Petrified Forest National Park and Flagstaff, which offers access to the stunning Grand Canyon. Lastly, head southwest on I-8 towards San Diego, where you'll complete your journey, enjoying the beautiful coastline, world-class attractions, and vibrant culture of Southern California.

The Southern Route

Head west from Atlanta on I-20, and cruise through Alabama and Mississippi before reaching New Orleans. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, music, and cuisine of this iconic city.

Continue your journey westward on I-10, entering Texas and making your way to San Antonio. Discover the rich history of the Alamo and the beautiful River Walk as you explore this charming city. Press on towards Marfa, a small town nestled in the high desert of West Texas. Known for its art scene and the mysterious Marfa Lights, this remote gem is worth a visit.

Stay on I-10, heading further west to El Paso, a border city steeped in culture and history. Take a moment to appreciate the striking beauty of the Franklin Mountains and the Rio Grande river. As you approach the final stretch of your journey, follow I-10 along the southern edge of New Mexico and Arizona until you reach San Diego, CA.

Here, you can relax and enjoy the stunning coastline, pristine beaches, and world-class attractions of this beautiful Southern California city.

Best places to stop between Atlanta and San Diego

On a road trip as epic as this, you'll need to stop more than once along the way. While we aren't giving you a full itinerary, we've chosen our favorite stopover locations for either route, plus our top picks for things to do while you're in town, and our recommendations for where to stay.

Enjoy the artsy vibe of Santa Fe

Located around two thirds into your journey, Santa Fe is a fantastic place for one of your stopovers en route to San Diego.

Known for its rich history, art, and culture, Santa Fe is a creative hub that's perennially popular. From picturesque Canyon Road, with over 100 galleries and studios, to the atmospheric Santa Fe Plaza, this city is brimming with art and history.

Old vintage wood signboard with text saying Welcome to Santa Fe hanging on a branch

Also make sure to check out Georgia O'Keeffe Museum while you're in Santa Fe. Celebrating the life and work of one of America's most influential artists, the museum hosts a vast collection of O'Keeffe's paintings, drawings, and personal belongings.

When it comes to getting some rest, Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi is one of our favorite places to stay in Santa Fe .We love the Rosewood Inn's Southwestern design, which creates are warm and inviting atmosphere, featuring handcrafted textiles, local artwork, and traditional kiva fireplaces for an authentic Santa Fe experience.

The hotel also enjoys an excellent location. Situated near the historic Santa Fe Plaza and its unique shops and galleries, the hotel is also within easy walking distance of top attractions, including New Mexico Museum of Art (which focuses on regional pieces and artists) and the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the U.S.

Step through history in San Antonio

A stop in San Antonio breaks your Southern Route road trip to San Diego into two roughly equal parts.

San Antonio is perfect for a stop on this journey, thanks to its rich history and great options for an evening out.

While you're in town, we think that Canopy by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk is hard to beat . With stylish, fresh decor and beautiful views across the city, this hotel is a fantastic vantage point and base for exploration.

San Antonio, Texas, USA cityscape at the Riverwalk.

The San Antonio River Walk is just a stone's throw away from the hotel, and this is lined with restaurants, shops, and vibrant nightlife, making it a must-visit destination.

The Alamo is also about a 10-minute walk from the hotel, and this historic mission and fortress is an iconic symbol of Texas independence. Explore the site and learn about its rich history through exhibits and guided tours.

And if your thirst for history still hasn't been quenched: La Villita Historic Arts Village is a mere 5-minute walk away. This charming, historic arts village, featuring local artisans, galleries, is a unique and fun shopping experience to enjoy while you're in town.

Where to stay when you reach San Diego

Once you reach your destination, we recommend staying at Pendry San Diego . People love the hotel's stylish, modern, and luxurious rooms and top-notch service.

The cherry on top is the Pendry Hotel's Rooftop Pool & Lounge, which offers a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the San Diego skyline.

Within walking distance of the hotel, you'll find the best that San Diego has to offer, including the lively and historic Gaslamp Quarter, which is just steps away and offers a variety of shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.

The Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, California USA. it extends from Broadway to Harbor Drive, and 4th to 6th Avenue

The iconic Petco Park is also just a short 10-minute walk away. Home to the San Diego Padres, why not catch a game or take a tour of the stadium during your stay?

And if that's not your thing, there's also the USS Midway Museum within comfortable walking distance. This maritime museum showcases the legendary aircraft carrier, USS Midway. Explore the ship's past through exhibits, interactive displays, and guided tours, and get a real feel for San Diego's importance in US maritime history.

Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, historic Old Town and Gaslamp Quarter, gorgeous beaches including Coronado Beach, Del Mar City Beach, Mission Beach and La Jolla Cove.

Things to see on a road trip from Atlanta to San Diego

There's no denying that this is a really long road trip. You'll be on the road for at least 33 hours, whichever route you take. Just think of all the things you can see and do en route to San Diego, though!

With such a broad range of towns, cities, terrains and attractions on offer, it could feel overwhelming to try and narrow down a list of must-do activities. Never fear! We've got you covered with our shortlist of favorites between Atlanta and San Diego.

On The Northern Route

  • Birmingham, Alabama - Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Vulcan Park and Museum.
  • Meridian - Discover the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum and Bonita Lakes Park as well as a fabulous children's museum in this city.
  • Jackson - Explore the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
  • Dallas - explore the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Dallas World Aquarium as you take on this Texan giant. Also check out its neighbor, Fort Worth, with its Stockyards National Historic District and the Kimbell Art Museum.
  • Lubbock - Visit the birthplace of Rock n Roll legend Buddy Holly and the museum dedicated to him, as well as the Silent Wings Museum in this small but culturally-rich city.
  • Amarillo - Check out the famous Cadillac Ranch (an iconic public art installation featuring ten graffiti-covered Cadillacs half-buried nose-down in the ground) and the Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
  • Santa Fe - A world-famous cultural and artistic hub. Visit the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the Palace of the Governors, and the New Mexico Museum of Art.
  • Albuquerque - From the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to the Petroglyph National Monument, and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque is a first-class city to visit.
  • Petrified Forest National Park - A truly unique park featuring petrified wood, colorful badlands, and ancient petroglyphs.
  • Grand Canyon National Park - A must-see natural wonder, the Grand Canyon National Park is a short detour from the route, but offers breathtaking views and hiking opportunities.
  • World's Largest Pistachio - Located near Alamogordo, New Mexico, this 30-foot-tall pistachio sculpture is a great photo opportunity at McGinn's Pistachio Tree Ranch.

Outdoor shop/market in Santa Fe

On The Southern Route

  • Bellingrath Gardens and Home - A beautiful 65-acre estate with stunning gardens near Theodore, AL, with walking trails, and a historic mansion, offering guided tours and seasonal events.
  • French Quarter, New Orleans - The historic heart of New Orleans, famous for its vibrant architecture, music, cuisine, and nightlife.
  • Oak Alley Plantation - A historic plantation in Vacherie, LA, featuring a stunning antebellum mansion, beautiful grounds, and exhibits on the history of the property and its inhabitants.
  • Atchafalaya Basin - The largest wetland in the United States, offering opportunities for wildlife viewing, swamp tours, and outdoor fun.
  • San Antonio - visit the famous Alamo fortress, a pivotal site in the Texas Revolution, featuring exhibits and guided tours. Be sure to also follow the San Antonio River Walk, a picturesque urban waterway lined with shops, restaurants, and attractions, perfect for a leisurely stroll or boat tour.
  • Natural Bridge Caverns - A stunning underground cavern system near San Antonio, offering guided tours and various adventure activities.
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Fredericksburg - A popular destination for hiking and rock climbing, featuring a massive pink granite dome and beautiful vistas.
  • White Sands National Park - A unique desert landscape with dazzling white gypsum sand dunes, offering opportunities for hiking, photography, and sand sledding.
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park - vast subterranean network of more than 100 caves, featuring stunning limestone formations and guided tours.
  • Saguaro National Park - Home to the nation's largest cacti, this park offers beautiful desert landscapes, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing opportunities, not for from Tucson,.
  • T ombstone, Arizona - A historic Wild West town, featuring the legendary O.K. Corral, reenactments, museums, and other attractions for a glimpse into the Old West.

White Sands National Monument New Mexico, USA

Best time to go on a road trip from Atlanta to San Diego

In our opinion, the best time to travel from Atlanta to San Diego via Santa Fe is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and fall (September-October). These periods offer a combination of moderate temperatures, favorable weather but lower tourist volumes across the route.

Spring provides pleasant temperatures, with average highs ranging from 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit in Atlanta, 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit in Santa Fe, and 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit in San Diego. You're also less likely to encounter severe weather, such as thunderstorms, which are more common in the Southeast during the summer.

Fall is also a great option, as it offers comfortable temperatures with average highs of 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit in Atlanta, 60-75 in Santa Fe, and a lovely 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit in San Diego. Fall also sees less traffic, while the changing foliage is truly beautiful.

The International Balloon Fiesta ( in Albuquerque, on the Northern Route) is also held annually in October. This event features hundreds of hot air balloons filling the sky, creating a stunning spectacle for visitors.

Huge crowds beneath dozens of ascending balloons at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

With San Diego's year-round sun and warm temperatures, however, you really can't go wrong when choosing a time to visit. Whichever route you choose, and whichever month you travel in, you are sure to have a memorable trip, full of things to see and do. Enjoy!

Join our email list!

By joining our email list, you give LazyTrips permission to use your email for sending you newsletters, emails and updates including for marketing purposes. Your email will not be provided to third parties.

Car Insurance

Home & renters insurance, car repair estimates, read car content, jerry data & research, atlanta to san diego road trip.


  • Key trip details
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Memphis, TN
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Amarillo, TX
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Grand Canyon, AZ
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • San Diego, CA
  • Roadside assistance

Compare auto insurance policies

Key trip details.

Atlanta to San Diego Route

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Amarillo, Texas
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Grand Canyon Village, Arizona
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • San Diego, California
Pro Tip: Make sure your car is ready for this epic Atlanta to San Diego road trip. Have a professional mechanic give your car a thorough inspection, and consider investing in Jerry’s roadside assistance before you head out.

Start in Atlanta

Where to stay in atlanta.

  • Staybridge Suites Atlanta (from $98): Affordable and accommodating, this chain hotel is conveniently located just a block away from Atlanta’s world-renowned Fox Theater and is within walking distance of the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola, as well as the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Illuminarium is a short drive away, too.
  • The Georgian Terrace (from $132): A beautiful three-star hotel just up the street from the aforementioned Staybridge Suites, the Georgian Terrace offers upscale rooms but at a higher price point. 
  • The Kimpton Sylvan Hotel (from $156): This swanky hotel is a bit further from downtown, but has excellent four-star rooms at three-star rates.

Where to Eat in Atlanta

  • Home Grown GA Restaurant ($): Their chicken biscuits have made national news and they’re easily the most family-friendly restaurant on our list. Their chicken and waffles are world-class!
  • Antico ($$) Antico serves the most authentic Italian pizza you’ll find in Atlanta. Keep in mind this is real Italian pizza, not American-style pizza. If the menu looks confusing, just remember “rosso” means red sauce and “bianche” means white sauce. You probably want the margherita pizza with or without pepperoni. That’s an easier introduction to authentic pizza.
  • Slutty Vegan ($$): The name isn’t exactly family-friendly and neither are the names of the meals you’ll find on their menus. But this famous counter-serve joint serves up the absolute best plant-based burgers you’ll find in the Atlanta area. Even the most devout carnivore will be duped by these meatless meals.
  • Canoe ($$$): Canoe is an upscale New American restaurant with great seafood entrees, but it’s their ice cream desserts that they pair with the meals that really clinches their spot on our list of must-visit restaurants in Atlanta.
  • Bones ($$$$): A renowned mainstay of Atlanta’s food scene, Bones is an upscale steakhouse (with a dress code) that is serving up a brilliant selection of steaks and wines. Bones is pricier than we like to recommend usually, but if you’re looking for a nice celebratory dinner to kick off your Atlanta to San Diego road trip, make it Bones.

What to do in Atlanta

Centennial Park, Atlanta

  • Center for Puppetry Arts : Kids will go bananas over this fun puppetry workshop, where they can see Kermit and the Muppets and countless other thrilling exhibits. Tickets are $22 per person, and worth every penny!
  • The Fernbank Museum : One of the most well-rounded museums you’ll find in the country, the Fernbank Museum features everything from dinosaurs to science and technology in a fun, interactive space that’s thrilling for visitors of all ages. General admission tickets for children ages 3 to 12 cost $18, while adults cost $20.
  • The Michael C. Carlos Museum : Another famous museum, the Michael C. Carlos Museum features captivating historical exhibits, including ancient statues, mummies, and art. General admission tickets cost just $6 for seniors, students, and kids ages 6 to 17, and tickets for adults are $8.
  • World of Coca-Cola : Pepsi fans may want to skip to the next attraction. The World of Coca-Cola showcases Atlanta’s internationally celebrated fizzy export in a way anyone and everyone can enjoy, even if you’re not a fan of soft drinks. General admission tickets cost $14 for kids (3 to 12), $16 for seniors, and $18 for adults.
  • Illuminarium : One of only two Illuminariums in the world (the other being in Las Vegas), this amazing facility uses cutting-edge video and sound projection to immerse you in a fully 360-degree world like nothing else you’ll experience without requiring a special high-tech helmet. You’ll even smell—yes, smell —the show being presented. It’s something everyone needs to try! Tickets cost $30 for youths and $35 for adults.
  • Centennial Park : Atlanta was home to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, and Centennial Park still stands as a major tourist attraction. The park is free to explore, and definitely something everyone visiting Atlanta should experience!

Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry

Atlanta to memphis.

Pro Tip: Tupelo, Mississippi is a nice town to stop off in for a pitstop. It’s also the birthplace of Elvis Presley!

Where to stay in Memphis

  • The Guest House at Graceland (from $110): This extraordinary four-star hotel is just up the street from Graceland. It features suites designed under the guidance of Priscilla Presley and a 464-seat theater that puts on movies and live music performances, often from big-name stars.
  • Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis (from $169): The only hotel directly on Beale Street, this upscale inn puts you right at the heart of the action in Memphis, with stunning views of the city and the Mississippi River.
  • The Peabody (from $199): Have you ever seen those ducks who march through that one hotel’s lobby every day? Well, this is the hotel. But you don’t visit the Peabody to see mallards. This is an elegant hotel with a spot on the National Registry of Historic Places. 

Where to eat in Memphis

  • Dyer’s Burgers ($): Dyer’s serves up one of America’s most iconic burgers and has been doing so since 1912. Try out their legendary double-doubles and shakes.
  • Blues City Cafe ($$) : You can’t visit Memphis without spending some time in a vintage juke joint, and Blues City Cafe is the Elvis puns intended. Be sure to try a cup of Memphis Soul Stew!
  • The Majestic Grille ($$): Widely regarded as one of America’s best brunch spots, the Majestic is part-restaurant, part-movie hall, with vintage silent films projected through a classic theater space. Elevated dining watching old Buster Keaton movies? Sign us up! Have the kids try the grilled cheese. Actually, adults should try the grilled cheese, too.
  • Itta Bena ($$$): Upstairs from BB King’s Blues Club is Itta Bena, a dimly lit cabaret and dinner club where you’ll find this restaurant’s sophisticated takes on classic southern dishes.

What to do in Memphis

The Jungle Room, Graceland

  • Visit Graceland : The estate of Elvis Presley is the second-most famous residence in the United States (the first being the White House, of course). And each year, countless Elvis fans and music buffs make pilgrimages from all over the world to see this gorgeous home. 
  • Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum : An incredible museum highlighting the city’s deep musical roots, visiting this cool Smithsonian-affiliated museum is an absolute must. Tickets are just $13 per adult and $10 per youth.
  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music : For serious musicians, Studio A at Stax is hallowed ground. And today, you can visit that very studio and explore some of the instruments used in this legendary studio’s famous recordings. Tickets cost $10 per child (9 to 12) and $13 per adult. Kids 8 and under are free!
  • National Civil Rights Museum : An important tour through the history of civil rights in America, with important exhibits showcasing the struggles of people of color and offering invaluable insights into the long fight for equality. 

Memphis to Little Rock

Pro Tip: If you’re short on time and have two drivers, you could skip Little Rock. But this makes the drive seven hours long and might be extreme for many drivers.

Where to stay in Little Rock

  • The Little Rock Marriott (from $158): A large chain hotel from a trusted brand, the Little Rock Marriott is within walking distance of the Clinton Presidential Library and a short drive to Little Rock’s other attractions.
  • The Capital Hotel (from $250): Just across the street from the Marriott is what many consider to be the finest five-star hotel in Little Rock—maybe even the whole state of Arkansas. This stately hotel first opened in 1876 and has provided a luxurious stay to countless important visitors ever since.

Where to eat in Little Rock

  • The Corner Diner ($$): The perfect spot for breakfast and on the way between our recommended hotels and the Clinton Library. If you didn’t try chicken and waffles for breakfast in Atlanta or Memphis yet, this is your last great chance!
  • Buenos Aires Grill and Cafe ($$) : Excellent, authentic Argentinian fare with great options for kids and what might very well be the best steaks in Little Rock.
  • South on Main ($$): Great counter-served food with cocktails and occasional live music. An ideal dinner restaurant for adults. Try their insanely yummy brisket melt!

What to do in Little Rock

Central High School, Little Rock

  • William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum : Little Rock’s biggest tourism draw, former President Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library features a museum and history buffs will love to visit. Tickets for kids ages 6 to 17 cost $6 each, and tickets for adults cost $10.
  • Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site : Little Rock Central High School was the site where, in 1957, a group of black students—the Little Rock Nine—had to be escorted by Federal soldiers past local national guardsmen ordered up by the governor. The school is still active with students, but the park has free access, and there are free guided tours as well.
  • Ride a Metro Streetcar : When you think of streetcars, you probably imagine San Francisco. But Little Rock has an active streetcar collection that bustles locals and tourists from one destination to the next. A one-way ride costs $2.70, or you can buy 10 rides at once for $25.

Little Rock to Oklahoma City

Pro Tip: The Ozark region can be easily reached on this stretch. If you’re interested in a detour, take exit 64 and follow US 64 to AR-21 north, which will take you to Ozark National Forest. 

Where to stay in Oklahoma City

  • Hampton Inn Oklahoma City Northeast (from $60): Cheap, clean, comfortable rooms. This is a hotel with rave reviews belonging to a trusted chain, and with its incredibly convenient location near Frontier City, you really can’t go wrong.
  • Bradford House (from $100): With just 36 guest rooms, this quaint OKC hotel almost has a B&B vibe, with a great little restaurant for brunch or evening cocktails. Make sure you book your stay well in advance!
  • Omni Oklahoma City Hotel (from $165): Looking for something a little more upscale and current? The stylish, sophisticated Omni Hotel is close to the heart of the city and has all the amenities you’d expect from an Omni Hotel.
  • 21c Museum Hotel (from $180): This swanky hotel feels like it would be more at home in Toronto, New York City, or Chicago. Not only is this a fancy, ultra-modern 135-room hotel, it’s also a contemporary art museum with an excellent in-hotel restaurant, Mary Eddy’s Restaurant .

Where to eat in Oklahoma City

  • Belle Kitchen ($): A quick, cheap, yummy breakfast. What more do you need to start your day? Belle Kitchen has been featured on the Cooking Channel’s show “Cheap Eats” for delivering precisely that.
  • Waffle Champion ($$): This trendy, busy breakfast spot has a broad menu of options, and great breakfast sausages. Kids will love their sweet waffles.
  • Social Capital ($$) : You probably wouldn’t think “family-friendly” and “beer garden” are two phrases that could ever mingle, but they manage to strike up a nice conversation at Social Capital. This trendy but affordable restaurant is a nice choice for lunch with or without the kids.
  • The Jones Assembly ($$): This joint just oozes cool. The Jones Assembly has a great menu and live music in the evenings. But just one look at their dinner menu screams out this chic restaurant’s personality. It’s an absolute must for groups of adults traveling together.

What to do in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum : A solemn remembrance of the largest domestic terror attack in US history. This museum tells the story of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Tickets cost $12 for kids ages 6 to 17 and college students and $15 per adult. 
  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum : This museum explores the history and culture of the west, with exhibits showcasing art and artifacts that bring the westward expansion to life. Admission for children ages 6 to 12 cost $5.75 each while tickets for adults cost $12.50 each.
  • Ride a Bricktown Water Taxi : A really fun way to explore OKC, the Bricktown water taxi takes you on a guided tour down the Bricktown Canal. Kids five and under ride for $4 each, youths 6 to 12 for $10, and adults for $13.
  • Frontier City : OKC’s Six Flags amusement park, with a unique western theme. It’s a bit of a drive from the other attractions, but well worth it, especially if you’re traveling with kids or young adults. Ticket prices fluctuate but typically start at $29.99 each. Parking also costs $20.

Oklahoma City to Amarillo

Pro tip: It was actually Route 66 that put Amarillo on the map. The city has been a popular stop on America’s most famous road for decades. 

Where to stay in Amarillo

  • Big Texan Motel (from $60): When traveling any stretch of Route 66, you want a genuine motel experience...but you might not want to sleep in your typical rundown motel. Enter the Big Texan, a fun western-themed motel next door to Amarillo’s most famous steakhouse. The rooms are straight out of the 1870s—apart from running water and flat-screen televisions, that is. This is a cool, affordable place to stay.
  • The Barfield, Autograph Collection (from $159): Not after that authentic motel experience? Amarillo has several chain hotels, but the nicest of them is arguably the Barfield, a sleek luxury offering that flirts with the west, but keeps things contemporary through and through.

Where to eat in Amarillo

  • The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery ($$): You simply can’t talk about food in Amarillo without starting with the Big Texan. This world-famous steakhouse features a gut-busting challenge: eat a baked potato, a salad, a buttered roll, a shrimp cocktail, and a massive 72-ounce steak, and your $72 dinner is free. 
  • FAVs ($): One of the best spots for lunch or dinner in Amarillo, FAVs has a diverse menu including vegetarian and vegan options. Their smoothies are top-notch!
  • Ye Olde Pancake Station ($): The quintessential breakfast spot when passing through Amarillo, period. As their name implies, the pancakes here are stellar.
  • What to do in Amarillo

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park : If you’re reading all of this and wondering when you get to the Grand Canyon, Palo Duro will definitely tide you over for a while. This is the second-largest canyon in the United States, with gorgeous red rock cliffs dotted with trees. Everyone ages 13 and over must pay $8 to enter, while everyone 12 and under is free. There’s also camping here, too!
  • Don Harrington Discovery Center and Space Theater : A fun, interactive children’s museum featuring a planetarium. Tickets for kids ages 3 to 17 cost $9 each. Tickets for students, seniors, and military cost $11, and tickets for adults sell for $14.
  • Wonderland Amusement Park : Open only from April through September, this fun amusement park with carnival-like vibes will easily keep the whole family laughing and playing all day. 

Amarillo to Albuquerque

Pro Tip: Albuquerque has a high crime rate. Stick to the tourist areas and be sure you keep your car alarm armed just to be safe.

Where to stay in Albuquerque

  • The Monterey Motel (from $90): This surprisingly sleek motel is a far cry from the outdated and sometimes grubby motels we all try to not look at while driving by. The Monterey has comfortable, clean, modern rooms and is a great choice when traveling on a budget.
  • The El Vado Motel (from $120): The El Vado Motel was one of the very first motels ever built in New Mexico on Route 66, dating back to 1937, and easily its longest-lasting. With several “food pods” onsite leased to restaurant startups, the El Vado is another great Old Town motel with stylish rooms.
  • Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town (from $169): Located in Old Town and just across the street from Sawmill Market, this lavish four-star hotel has a restaurant and resort-style swimming pool.

Where to eat in Albuquerque

  • Flying Roadrunner Bakery ($): A great little bakery for breakfast, with sandwiches, breakfast tacos, and pastries galore. Oh, and coffee. Sweet, glorious coffee.
  • Old Town Pizza Parlor ($): Finding good pizza this far west can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s a challenge Old Town Pizza Parlor scoffs at. Their pizza and calzones are excellent and will easily satiate the fussiest pizza aficionado you’re traveling with.
  • Sawmill Market ($$): The cornerstone of a local neighborhood revitalization effort, Sawmill Market houses a wine bar, a brewery, and 17 local eateries and shops in a location that originally opened in 1903 as a lumber yard.
  • High Noon Restaurant and Saloon ($$): With its unique menu blending American and Mexican foods with local fare, High Noon is a vegetarian-friendly new American restaurant with what very well might be the best steaks in Albuquerque.
  • What to do in Albuquerque

Petroglyph National Monument

  • Explore Old Town : Take a stroll through history in Albuquerque’s cultural mecca, Old Town. Explore old pueblo buildings, learn about New Mexico history on guided tours, visit shops and museums, and find great food all in this rad little neighborhood.
  • Petroglyph National Monument : The petroglyphs here were created by Native Americans and Spanish settlers and date back as far as 700 years. There are no fees to enter the National Monument.
  • Indian Pueblo Cultural Center : This museum introduces you to Pueblo culture through exhibits, live events, guided tours, and more. There’s a restaurant and art store here too! General admission tickets cost $7 for youths ages 5 to 17 as well as students and seniors. Tickets for adults cost $10 each.
  • The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History : This fascinating science museum is centered around nuclear science, with New Mexico having played a key role in the Manhattan Project and atomic research. Tickets cost $11 per child (6 to 17) and $15 per adult, with discounts for seniors, veterans, and active military and their dependents.
  • Route 66 Casino : The Route 66 Casino features slot machines, table games, restaurants and bars, and even has fun spaces for kids. 

Let Jerry find your price in only 45 seconds

Albuquerque to grand canyon village.

Pro Tip: It’s recommended you take occasional breaks and get out of the car when driving long distances. Stop off somewhere well lit and preferably populated and stretch your legs for a bit!

Where to stay in Grand Canyon Village

  • Yavapai Lodge (from $118): A travelodge keeping true to the traditions of route 66, Yavapai Lodge feels just dated enough to feel nostalgic while being contemporary in all the ways that matter. With the Yavapai Lodge’s convenient location, it’s best to book a room here well in advance.
  • The Red Feather Lodge (from $125): The Red Feather Lodge is down the road a ways on route 64 in Tusayan. It’s a six-minute drive, or you can take a shuttle bus to the village. The Red Feather is nicely equipped with amenities and conveniently situated near several restaurants in town.
  • El Tovar Hotel (from $278): You might mistake the overwhelmingly rustic swagger of the El Tovar hotel as kitsch, but this celebrated inn dates back to 1905 and is about as authentically western as hotels can get. This three-star hotel almost feels like a museum. The rooms are a little dated, but in a charming way. This is our top choice for staying in Grand Canyon Village.

Where to eat in Grand Canyon Village

  • Foodie Club ($): “Fast and good” is the motto at this alternative to the fast-food joints you’ll find in Tusayan and the upscale sit-down restaurants in the Grand Canyon Village. Foodie Club has great diner options, including an all-day breakfast, all at a reasonable price. We highly recommend them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • Fred Harvey Burger ($): Operated by the Grand Canyon Lodges, Fred Harvey Burger is a casual, family-friendly lunch spot specializing in burgers, beyond burgers, fries, and options for kids like hot dogs and popcorn chicken.
  • El Tovar Dining Room ($$$): A proper upscale restaurant in the El Tovar Hotel. You’ll need to reserve a table to eat in this steakhouse.

What to do in Grand Canyon Village

Yavapai Point

  • Yavapai Point : Considered by many to be the most beautiful view of the Grand Canyon, Yavapai Point will take your breath away with its absolutely stunning views. Few spots on Earth can make you feel so small, yet so connected. 
  • Yavapai Geology Museum : This museum at Yavapai Point offers huge views of the Grand Canyon, a geology museum, and a bookshop. Admission is free of charge. Visiting this small museum is a must, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
  • Take a Hike ! : Grand Canyon Village has several trailheads in the area with varying degrees of difficulty. The famous Bright Angel trailhead will take you nearly eight full miles!

Grand Canyon Village to Phoenix

Pro tip: It can reach upwards of 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer in Phoenix. Make sure your car’s air conditioner is working well!

Where to stay in Phoenix

  • Best Western Plus Scottsdale (from $100): You would never believe it without seeing it, but this inexpensive Best Western hotel has excellent rooms and a world-class pool area. It’s a little far from the attractions and too close to the Scottsdale Airport for our liking, but the rooms are cheap, nice, and unfussy. If all this driving hasn’t exhausted you, consider this cheap, nice hotel.
  • FOUND:RE (from $130): A chic, upscale boutique hotel with inspiring art on nearly every wall, FOUND:RE is a hotel you could easily imagine in NYC or London. It puts out incredibly youthful vibes. A great option for young adults, art lovers, or anyone looking to be downtown near the heart of the action.
  • Cambria Hotel Phoenix (from $141): Just up the street from the Musical Instrument Museum, the Cambria Hotel has sleek, modern, executive styling, great on-site dining, and easy highway access.
  • Orange Tree Resort (from $150): If you’re a golfer, we don’t need to suggest what you’ll want to do while visiting Phoenix. You likely already know that Phoenix is a golfer's paradise. Orange Tree Resort doesn’t just offer stunning locally-styled rooms, but an ASGA-rated golf course!

Where to eat in Phoenix

  • Nami ($): A great breakfast spot and bakery with a fully vegan-friendly menu.
  • Coco’s Bakery Restaurant ($$): A west coast chain predominantly found in Los Angeles, Coco’s has all the quintessential breakfast offerings, and it’s very family-friendly too. They do lunch and dinner as well, but breakfast at Coco’s is where it’s at.
  • Tru Burger ($$): They may only have two locations in Phoenix right now, but with amazing Angus and bison burgers, loads of vegetarian and vegan options, and next-level salads, don’t be surprised if you see these popping up elsewhere someday.
  • Durant’s ($$$$): Fine dining in Phoenix has a name, and that name is Durant’s . This world-famous downtown steakhouse is pricey, but the perfect spot if you need a nice evening out. There’s no dress code at Durant’s, but anything less than business casual will turn heads in all the wrong ways.

What to do in Phoenix

Goldfield Ghost Town, Arizona

  • Musical Instrument Museum : With fascinating musical instruments spanning more than 6,000 years of human history, it’s worth visiting Phoenix just to see this incredible museum. General admission for one day costs $10 per child (4 to 12), $15 per teen (13 to 19), and $20 per adult.
  • Heard Museum : The Heard Museum celebrates American Indian art and culture with moving and educational exhibits that truly captivate and inspire visitors. Tickets for children ages 6 to 17 cost $9 each, senior tickets are $17, and adult tickets are $20. American Indian visitors always get free admission.
  • Ride the Dolly Steamboat : Since the 1980s, the Dolly Steamboat has been taking visitors on grand tours of Canyon Lake. This fun, charming paddling steamboat will thrill kids and adults alike. Tour prices vary but start at $25 per ticket. The twilight dinner cruise for $64 is especially enchanting.
  • Visit the Goldfield Ghost Town : We love immersive history towns like Colonial Williamsburg and Deadwood South Dakota, and Goldfield is easily one of the best in the country. This was actually a real mining community once upon a time, but today it’s filled with shops and actors who have shootouts in the streets. Super fun! 
  • Explore the Great Outdoors : Phoenix is well known for its plethora of awesome hiking trails and outdoor activities. Go explore the desert on an ATV or UTV . Try white water rafting (don’t worry, it’s safe enough for kids). And if that’s a little too outdoorsy for you, take a tour through the desert in a Tesla !

Phoenix to San Diego

Pro tip: If you’re hoping to break up this lengthy drive a little, consider making a pitstop (or even an overnight, if you have the time) in Yuma, Arizona.

Where to stay in San Diego

  • The Porto Vista Hotel (from $100): In southern California, a lot of hotels have taken to incorporating 50s, 60s, and 70s nostalgia into their designs. The Porto Vista puts a modern spin on this concept with comfortable, approachable, functional 21st-century rooms accented with hints of retro essence. 
  • The Dana on Mission Bay (From $110): Named for Dana Point, which in turn is named after Two Years Before the Mast author Richard Henry Dana, The Dana on Mission Bay is right near Mission Beach and Seaworld. It’s easily the most family-friendly hotel on our list.
  • The La Pensione Hotel (from $130): Another hotel in Little Italy, the La Pensione Hotel is a great alternative to the Porto Vista and Tower23.
  • Tower23 Hotel (from $180): Looking for a nice hotel right on the beach? Tower23 is your best bet. It has a great restaurant too, called JRDN. 

Where to eat in San Diego

  • Breakfast Republic ($$): A popular local chain, Breakfast Republic has three convenient locations close to the San Diego Zoo. If you find a list of restaurants with the best french toast and Breakfast Republic isn’t on that list, it’s quite frankly not a very good list.
  • Harbor Breakfast ($$): Some of us aren’t morning people. We don’t wanna hustle and we definitely don’t wanna bustle. Harbor Breakfast is a laid-back, relaxing place with an inventive menu. Despite the name, lunches are great here too!
  • Pete’s Seafood and Sandwich ($$): This unassuming restaurant may not look like much from the outside, but inside, you’ll find some of the best lobster rolls and clam chowder you’ll ever have the pleasure of devouring. 
  • La Puerta : ($$) You can’t visit SoCal without sampling some authentic Mexican food, and it doesn’t get much more authentic than the menu at La Puerta. If you enjoy a blend of sweet and spicy, try their pastor quesadilla, which fuses pineapple and jalapeno to make one of the yummiest entrees you’ll find on this road trip.
  • Monello Italian Restaurant ($$): We adore Monello’s slogan: Timeless, not trendy . That perfectly captures the essence of this Milanese restaurant. With authentic northern Italian meals at affordable prices, Monello is an easy contender for the best restaurant in San Diego, at least on our scorecards.

What to do in San Diego

Mission Beach, San Diego, California

  • Visit Mission Beach : San Diego’s picture-perfect boardwalk, Mission Beach and the Belmont Park area are super fun for the whole family, with food, shops, and even a rollercoaster. The mission beach area is a neighborhood so it’s free to enter, but you’ll likely spend money while visiting.
  • The San Diego Zoo : If the San Diego Zoo isn’t the most famous zoo on Earth, it’s definitely a top contender. This enormous zoo has guided bus tours, a sky tram, and a “Kangaroo bus” with regular stops at some of its biggest attractions. Tickets start at $52 per child ages 3 to 11 and $62 for everyone 12 and over.
  • Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum : The USS Midway aircraft carrier was converted into a floating museum, one that will captivate kids for hours. General admission costs $18 for kids ages 6 to 12, as well as anyone with a military ID. Tickets for everyone else cost $26 each.
  • Seaport Village : Looking to escape the usual tourist hotspots? Seaport Village is a quaint area with shops, restaurants, and more. Take the kids for a carousel ride and be sure to grab some treats at the Something Sweet Candy Shop , too.

Coast to coast protection with Jerry’s roadside assistance

“When I started shopping for insurance for my new car, the estimates I received were around $150. Jerry found me full-coverage insurance for $102. This is NOT a joke!” ––Auden D.

card cover

San Diego to Arizona Road Trip

San diego to yellowstone road trip, dallas to albuquerque road trip, read advice from car experts at jerry.

card cover

2017 Genesis G80 3.8 AWD 0-60 Time


Tips for Driving With Your Dog


How to Check and Decode a Mini VIN

Browse questions from car experts, how many subaru impreza 22bs were made.


Is the Kia 100k warranty transferable?


What happens if my control arm breaks while driving?


Browse More Content

Insurance resources.

  • Is Jerry Legitimate?
  • Types of Car Insurance
  • Car Loan Payment Fluctuations
  • Buying a Car With No Credit
  • How to Lower Insurance Premiums
  • Bad Insurance Decisions
  • Why is Car Insurance so Expensive?
  • Buying a Used Car
  • Adding a Name to a Car Title
  • Removing a Name From a Car Title

Insurance for Your Car

  • Bmw 330I Insurance Cost
  • Infiniti Ex35 Insurance Cost
  • Chrysler 300C Insurance Cost
  • Chrysler Voyager Insurance Cost
  • Pontiac G3 Insurance Cost

Insurance in Your State

Insurance in your city.

  • Temple PA Insurance
  • Groves TX Insurance
  • Maplewood NJ Insurance
  • Calexico CA Insurance
  • Poplarville MS Insurance

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

Car insurance by make, car insurance by model, car insurance by state, car insurance by city, car loan by make, car insurance by company, car loan by state, car repair by service.

Jerry Signup Testimonial

  • © Roadtrippers
  • © Mapbox
  • © OpenStreetMap
  • Improve this map

Road trip from Atlanta to San Diego

 driving distance = 2,140 miles, driving directions from atlanta to san diego.

 Travel time from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA Find your next Scenic Drive

  • Scenic Drives

Road Trip Planner


Find a Scenic Drive

  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Unlimited stops
  • Plan trips worldwide
  • Divide your trip into days
  • Export to GPS or Print
  • — and more handy features! provides forest passes for several National Forests and passes for other parks.

Ready for Every Adventure

Having an America the Beautiful Pass is the easiest and most cost-effective way to visit over 2,000-federal recreation sites. Often called a National Park Pass, it offers 1-year unlimited entrance to so much more, and includes National Parks, National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, Bureau of Land Management sites, Bureau of Reclamation sites, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites! Share time outdoors with family and friends. Make memories exploring the diverse, natural beauty of our public lands.

How it works. BBB Business Review

  • Plan a Road Trip
  • Plan a Flight
  • Find an Airport
  • Where to Stay
  • All Questions


Distance between Atlanta and San Diego

Driving non-stop from atlanta to san diego.

How far is San Diego from Atlanta? Here's the quick answer if you have friends taking shifts as driver so that you can make the entire trip by car without stopping.

Nonstop drive: 2,140 miles or 3444 km

Driving time: 30 hours, 28 minutes

This is a really long drive, so it's not very realistic to drive nonstop. To get a better idea of how long this road trip would actually take, scroll down to calculate how many hours it would be if you drive with stops .

Flying non-stop from Atlanta to San Diego

Now let's assume you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line between Atlanta, Georgia and San Diego, California. Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula. For a long distance, this appears as a curve on the map, and this is often the route that commercial airlines will take so it's a good estimate of the frequent flyer miles you'll accumulate as well.

Flight distance: 1,891 miles or 3044 km

Flight time: 4 hours, 6 minutes

The straight line flight distance is 249 miles less than driving on roads, which means the driving distance is roughly 1.1x of the flight distance.

Your plane flies much faster than a car, so the flight time is about 1/7th of the time it would take to drive.

This is a medium length flight, so unless you have a nice private jet, you might be booking a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. Scroll down to see a more realistic calculation that takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time .

Atlanta to San Diego road trip

Realistically, you're not going to want to drive without stopping all the way from Atlanta to San Diego, especially if you're the main driver. So let's say you're actually planning a road trip to San Diego, and you need to stop along the way to rest. Plus if it's a real road trip, you might want to check out interesting stops along the way, eat at great restaurants, and find a hotel to stay overnight. That's what Trippy is perfect for, helping you figure out travel plans in detail.

Based on the length of this trip, we think you could spread out this fun road trip over a number of days.

Road trip: 5 days of driving

With the full itinerary planned out, we can estimate your total travel time for this trip.

Travel time: 33.5 hours on the road with 4 overnights

Start in Atlanta .

Drive for about 2 hours , then stop in Birmingham (Alabama) and stay for about 1.5 hours. Next, drive for another 3.5 hours then stop in Jackson (Mississippi) . Stay overnight. The next day, drive for about 6.5 hours , then stop in Dallas and stay overnight. The next day, drive for about 3 hours , then stop in Abilene and stay for about 1 hour. Next, drive for another 5 hours then stop at Carlsbad Caverns National Park . Stay overnight. The next day, drive for about 2.5 hours , then stop in El Paso and stay for about 1 hour. Next, drive for another 4.5 hours then stop in Tucson . Stay overnight. The next day, drive for about 3.5 hours , then stop in Yuma and stay for about 1 hour. Finally, drive for about 3 hours and arrive in San Diego .

Atlanta to San Diego airports and flights

In the quick calculation above, we assumed you had a private plane and just wanted to know the time in the air from city to city. But for most of us, we're going to be flying on a commercial airline (whether it's first class or coach). So that means we really need to account for all the extra travel time getting to the airport, waiting for our flight, and making it to the destination.

To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we've put together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventually you'll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airports and flights. But for now, here's an example we've selected to give you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.

Departure airport: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Arrival airport: San Diego International Airport (SAN)

With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to and from the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.

Getting to the airport: 24 minutes

Getting to your destination: 6 minutes

Now finally, let's look at an actual flight from ATL to SAN on Delta Air Lines and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.

Commercial flight time: 4 hours, 33 minutes

So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Atlanta to San Diego including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.

Total travel time: 7 hours

Plan a trip to San Diego

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to San Diego, California. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in San Diego . Trippy has an entire Q&A community where you can post questions and get answers from expert travelers or locals who know the area. For instance, you might be interested in the answers to this question: Cat is with me need cat friendly hotel . If you're looking for a place to stay, you might want to check out Hotel Del Coronado . A great place to eat might be The Prado at Balboa Park . Trippy members can suggest things to do in San Diego like Balboa Park . Check out some of the questions people have asked about San Diego like LOCATION . Click the button below to explore San Diego in detail.

How far is it the other way?

The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line (or driving the same roads back and forth). But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse directions to get the distance from San Diego to Atlanta , or go to the main page to calculate the distance between cities .

If you happen to know Atlanta, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about Atlanta!

More info on this route: elevation from Atlanta to San Diego drive from Atlanta to San Diego road conditions alternate routes Google driving directions

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Restaurants
  • Things to do
  • Things to Do
  • Travel Stories
  • Rental Cars
  • Add a Place
  • Travel Forum
  • Travelers' Choice
  • Help Center

Road Trip Atlanta to San Diego - Road Trips Forum

  • Tripadvisor Forums    
  • Road Trips Forums

Road Trip Atlanta to San Diego

  • United States Forums
  • Europe Forums
  • Canada Forums
  • Asia Forums
  • Central America Forums
  • Africa Forums
  • Caribbean Forums
  • Mexico Forums
  • South Pacific Forums
  • South America Forums
  • Middle East Forums
  • Honeymoons and Romance
  • Business Travel
  • Train Travel
  • Traveling With Disabilities
  • Tripadvisor Support
  • Solo Travel
  • Bargain Travel
  • Timeshares / Vacation Rentals
  • Road Trips forum

road trip from atlanta to san diego

My husband and I have made arrangements to take 2 weeks off of work and are planning to take the family on a road trip from Atlanta to San Diego and back again. We have made arrangements to stay in Oklahoma City to begin with so we are going to go from Atlanta to Oklahoma City and then we are thinking of taking I-40 the rest of the way there with a trip to the Grand Canyon along the way. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where we should stop for the night and eat along the way. Of course we are trying to do this the least expensive way possible since gas is so high these days.(The Oklahoma City hotel is free for the night and we are staying with family in San Diego but the route back to Atlanta will be out of our pocket). My husband and I are both going to take turns driving so the distance wont be so grueling. Any input would much appreciated. The kids are looking forward to this trip.

' class=

It is 13 hours of driving not counting stops, lunch, etc. to Oklahoma City. Drive that route to Memphis often. It is slow along part of I 20 toward Birmingham.

Albuquerque is a good stop and will find affordable hotels and a couple of Cracker Barrel restaurants which are affordable.

Will need to look at booking either in Grand Canyon or close by in Tuscyan or even in Williams in order to maximize your time there.

For the trip back you might like something different such as travel along I 10. Plenty of affordable hotels on the outskirts of San Antonio, Houston and throughout Mississippi. We travel that route out to Texas. Beware of traffic in and around Baton Rouge, LA.

You are talking about in two weeks almost 5,000 miles and 70 hours of nothing but driving. Way too much for me especially with kids.

Hi Jennifer,

If you think gas prices are high in GA, just wait till you're paying over $4.00 per gallon here in San Diego. :)

If you don't already have the Gas Buddy app for your smart phone or tablet, you may want to get it. It will list the gas prices at stations around you based on your phone's GPS location. Here's a county-by-county summary of gas prices on their website:

Also, as you won't have much time for sightseeing along the way, you can use this site to find quirky attractions along whatever route you select:

Just curious... When are you making this trip? That may influence some recommendations.

road trip from atlanta to san diego

Yes, that's a packed roadtrip and some very long stretches on your way. Many places for R66 along I40

Thanks everyone for your input! I have found gas buddy and it is going to be my best friend on this trip. My brother lives in California so I am aware of the crazy gas prices but not looking forward to forking over that kind of money but it will be worth it. We are leaving first week of July and I know people think we are crazy for attempting this but I have some great, well behaved kids and I think they are going to really enjoy this. People just don't do this kind of things with their kids anymore and they grow up so fast. What better way than a road trip for them to see the country. I wish we could do a longer trip but it was hard enough for my husband and I to mange getting two weeks off at the same time from work so two weeks it is.

Well, bring a cooler for on the road and if you think gasprices are high in the USA come to Europe once and pay twice as much......

You definitely need a reservation for Grand Canyon NP if not too late already If all booked phone for cancellations @ 888 297 2757 Other lodging in Tusayan

if you want to stay at a special place between OKC and ABQ try Blue Swallow motel in Tucumcari on R66 Cheap and nice. For stops on the way west of OKC, there are many but you don't have much time. Maybe R66 museum in Clinton, The Big Texan for food in Amaraillo, Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarilla and Blue Hole Santa Rose NM. In AZ you'll find Petrified Forest NP on your way and Holbrook with its WigWam motel, La Posada hotel in Winslow for great food (and Standing on the Corner if you are an Eagles fan) Meteor Crater and Walnut Canyon before Flagstaff. Take us89 north and drive the loop via Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki NM, Stop at Cameron Tading post and enter GC by its east entrance.

I fully understand why you want to bring the kids on a Road Trip!

I'm moving from Atlanta to San Diego Saturday and was wondering what was the gas cost for you.

Maybe try already mentioned in post #2

Thanks so much. I wasn't familiar with that site. 👍👍👍👍

Soooooo, how did it go? Belatedly finding your post but thinking about trying the same thing in august. Probably could fly for much less but the idea intrigues me!

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity.

  • Sat Nav for Colorado/Utah/Vegas trip 12:59 pm
  • 16 days Roadtrip - Southwest USA 12:53 pm
  • Route 66 LA to Chicago 12:52 pm
  • Driving through Nashville 12:18 pm
  • Road Trip To India - Emmanuel Katto 9:03 am
  • 21 Day Road Trip from MN to Grand Canyon & Yosemite today
  • Texas (Flight to Houston) - New Orleans - Nashville yesterday
  • Ohio to Tennessee the less bridges the better! yesterday
  • Best route Apr 26, 2024
  • Washington DC to Atlanta Apr 26, 2024
  • 8 seater can rentals Apr 26, 2024
  • Cheap tickets Poland - Denmark Apr 26, 2024
  • FL to MN in August 2024 recommendations Apr 26, 2024
  • I-80W for an older Rav-4? Apr 26, 2024
  • Planning a road trip
  • Tips for driving in the USA
  • Tips for foreigners: Renting or buying a vehicle in the USA?
  • Suggestions for a South West USA road trip
  • Suggestions for an East Coast USA Road Trip
  • Suggestions for a West Coast USA Road Trip
  • Suggestions for a 'Deep South' road trip
  • What are safety concerns and precautions when experiencing nature in North America?
  • What should I pack for a road trip in the USA.?
  • Do I need to book hotels ahead or can I book hotels as I travel?
  • Should I rent an RV to save money on a road trip?
  • Route 66 - how long do I need and where should I stop?
  • Planning a road trip- lodging in the national parks
  • Thinking of a long, family road trip in the west? Read this trip report for ideas
  • Road trip ideas from Memphis down thru MS to New Orleans
  • ***Visiting Canada From the USA***
  • Cannabis - Entering Canada
  • Campervan Tips for a Road Trip


The driving time from San Diego, California to Atlanta, Georgia is:

30 hours, 28 minutes.

Average driving speed: 70.2 mph Kilometers per hour: 113 km/h This is based on typical traffic conditions for this route.

  • San Diego to Atlanta drive
  • road conditions from San Diego to Atlanta
  • flattest route from San Diego to Atlanta

Change your driving speed:

mph     km/h    

Map of driving directions from San Diego, CA to Atlanta, GA

View a map with driving directions using your preferred map provider: Google Maps , Bing Maps , or MapQuest . You can use to find out how far is it to drive from San Diego to Atlanta with full directions.

More trip calculations

  • Driving Distance
  • Cost To Drive
  • Reverse Driving Time
  • Places To Stop
  • Hotels near Atlanta, GA
  • Flight Duration
  • Distance To Fly
  • airports near Atlanta, GA
  • airlines flying to Atlanta, GA
  • Direct Flight
  • Time Zone Change

Driving time from San Diego, CA to Atlanta, GA

How long is the drive from San Diego, CA to Atlanta, GA? The total driving time is 30 hours, 28 minutes .

Your trip begins in San Diego, California. It ends in Atlanta, Georgia.

If you're planning a road trip, you might be interested in seeing the total driving distance from San Diego, CA to Atlanta, GA .

You can also calculate the cost to drive from San Diego, CA to Atlanta, GA based on current local gas prices and an estimate of your car's best gas mileage.

If you're meeting a friend, you might be interested in finding the city that is halfway between San Diego, CA and Atlanta, GA .

Planning to fly a plane instead? You might be more interested in calculating the flight time from San Diego, CA to Atlanta, GA.

San Diego, California

Related links.

  • airlines serving San Diego, CA
  • hotels near San Diego, CA
  • airports near San Diego, CA
  • cities near San Diego, CA

Atlanta, Georgia

  • airlines serving Atlanta, GA
  • hotels near Atlanta, GA
  • cities near Atlanta, GA

Driving time calculator

Travelmath helps you find the driving time based on actual directions for your road trip. You can find out how long it will take to drive between any two cities, airports, states, countries, or zip codes. This can also help you plan the best route to travel to your destination. Compare the results with the flight time calculator to see how much longer it might take to drive the distance instead of flying. You can also print out pages with a travel map.

Home  ·  About  ·  Terms  ·  Privacy


Featured articles

A New Iteration of Katsuya Coming to Westfield UTC

A New Iteration of Katsuya Coming t...

San Diego's Best Restaurants of 2024

Food & Drink

San Diego's Best Restaurants of 202...

Basic Pizza Closing in East Village

Basic Pizza Closing in East Village

Afterburner Breaks the Sound Barrier at Techne Art Center

Arts & Culture

Afterburner Breaks the Sound Barrie...

Unhinged, A Dating Series:  What Looking for Love Taught Me

Everything SD

Unhinged, A Dating Series:  What L...

San Diego Events Calendar: May 2024

San Diego Events Calendar: May 2024

13 Things To Do in San Diego This Weekend: April 24–28

Things to Do

13 Things To Do in San Diego This W...

9 of the Best Free Family Activities in San Diego

9 of the Best Free Family Activitie...

Fast Food Secrets With Jordan Howlett

Fast Food Secrets With Jordan Howle...

Feeding San Diego Rescues 1.2M Pounds of Food a Month 

Feeding San Diego Rescues 1.2M Poun...

Making Wishes Come True With Chef William Eick

Making Wishes Come True With Chef W...

Editor's Note: Between Us Bread and Salt

Editor's Note: Between Us Bread and...

Ready to know more about San Diego?


21 ultimate road trips from san diego.

road trip from atlanta to san diego

By Archana Ram with Dan Letchworth and Sarah Pfledderer

Choose a road trip:.

1–2 Hours | 3–4 Hours | 5–6 Hours | 8 Hours | National Treasures

Subscribe and get 1 year for $18

Palm Springs

Why We Love It: The desert is a bright spot with cool options for a no-children getaway

We love kids, but sometimes we want to enjoy our mimosas and pool time in peace. Thankfully, Coachella Valley has new destinations for travelers without tots. Open since October, the adults-only Villa Royale is a Mission Revival–style property with 38 rooms and pet-friendly amenities (dog beds, bowls, treats).

Or try Sparrows Lodge , a 21-and-over boutique hotel with a hip country-cool vibe and elegant outdoor dinners every Wednesday and Saturday. In town, get to Rooster and the Pig when it opens at 5 p.m.—the no-reservations, dinner-only pan-Asian restaurant is a hot ticket in town for those in the know, and the wait is worth it for crispy beef noodles and black pepper tofu.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Sands Hotel & Spa

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, there’s no prettier stay than Sands Hotel & Spa (for guests 18 and over) in Indian Wells, site of this month’s BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament . The Moroccan-inspired hotel is decked out in blush tones, ornate tile work, a three-room spa, and the Pink Cabana restaurant, a print-happy nod to retro tennis and racquet clubs. And even if you go to the scene-y Parker Palm Springs , don’t miss the somewhat secret Counter Reformation , a monastery-chic indoor wine bar tucked into their back garden.

Road Trip Playlist

Queue up our editorial- and reader-curated playlist of road trip songs before hitting the road.

Valle de Guadalupe

Why We Love It: There’s a new crop of resorts and restaurants in Mexico’s wine country

Maybe you’ve been to Finca Altozano, Laja, and Deckman’s, and you’ve already stayed at La Villa del Valle and Encuentro. So let us introduce you to el Valle’s impressive freshman recruits. The Villas at El Cielo Winery Resort debuted in November with 95 suites and 33 villas, two restaurants, and a café adjacent to the five-year-old winery, all spanning 79 acres.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Vineyards at El Cielo Winery Resort, Valle de Guadalupe

In August, Hotel Partana opened its six-room steel-and-wood-heavy property on the same site as Finca (chef Javier Plascencia’s alfresco ode to wood-fire cooking), Lupe (his food truck serving tortas and ice cream), Animalón (his pop-up dinner series hosted beneath a 200-year-old oak tree), and Das Cortez (a trendy coffee kiosk).

This summer, look for glamping staple CuatroCuatros in nearby Ensenada to open new cabins, plus a spa and Japanese restaurant. And in the fall, the Valle Food & Wine Festival —which last year drew major chefs like Nancy Silverton and Dominique Crenn—is rumored to be returning for food, music, and oenophilic pleasures.

Just across the border in Tijuana, take in cocktails and food from the famed Tacos Kokopelli at the new Cereus Bar, located in the trendy live-work space Estacíon Federal.

Laguna Beach

Why We Love It: A new hotel is breathing fresh air into the quirky beach town

We’ve always appreciated the pristine beaches, electric sunsets, and funky art scene in Laguna Beach, but thanks to the somewhat uninspiring hotel scene, it’s usually a day trip rather than a multi-day excursion. That’s changed with Hotel Joaquin , a 22-room boutique property on the beach from the same team behind Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs. It’s understated sexy, best suited for adults and friend groups. Breakfast and gear like bodyboards and surfboards are free, and it’s a quick two-minute walk to the beach.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Hotel Joaquin

Around town, Trap Door Dining hosts seasonal pop-up dinners for 15–20 guests led by chef Kenny Seliger, who previously worked in the kitchen at Montage Laguna Beach. His next dinner takes place March 23 at Newport Beach’s Kit Coffee with a four-course meal of whipped burrata, spring peas with pork belly, and a vanilla shortcake with blueberry jelly.

Los Angeles

Why We Love It: City of Angels? Try City of Creatives.

Don’t let proximity stop you from enjoying LA’s current renaissance. Finally there’s a chic place to rest your head on the east side: The upcoming Silver Lake Pool & Inn , due next month, has a vintage California feel—wood facades, open layouts, greenery, and natural light aplenty.

Farther west, Culver City is now a destination in its own right thanks to the vibrant, two-month-old Palihotel Culver City , with 49 rooms outfitted in modern decor and art deco touches. They say nobody walks in LA, but from the Palihotel it’s no more than 20 minutes to BäcoShop for Middle Eastern eats, Destroyer for Scandinavian-style plates, and Arcana for coffee table books on fashion and photography.

Elsewhere in the city, clock in at least one meal at Fiona , the new all-day eatery near Melrose serving Asian-inspired dishes as well as can’t-miss desserts—owners Shawn Pham and Nicole Rucker previously worked at the Southeast Asian spot Simbal and carb temple Gjelina, respectively.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

The Hollywood Roosevelt

Looking for a more classic stay? The Hollywood Roosevelt , site of the first Academy Awards 90 years ago, is a posh boutique option with The Spare Room , a hybrid cocktail bar and bowling alley within the hotel.

Leave the car at home!

Board the Pacific Surfliner train from downtown, Solana Beach, or Oceanside and get to LA in under 2.5 hours. You can use The Freehand as a home base—the 13-story downtown hotel has apartment-style lofts, traditional rooms, and coed or female-only shared accommodations with bunk beds, less than two miles from Union Station. And don’t miss yoga on their colorful rooftop.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

^ Back to Top

Why We Love It: Post-wildfires, the ’bu needs your support

Last fall’s deadly fires wreaked havoc on the tony coastal enclave, obliterating at least 670 structures. Now it’s time to pour some money back into the community. The Surfrider Malibu  combines classic SoCal beach culture with high-end details. Beachfront rooms are decked in whites and blond woods, fitted with rain showers and outdoor terraces, and in the suites, hammocks.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

The Surfrider Malibu

If you can pull yourself away from the property, the front desk can arrange “surf safaris” and hiking trips. It’s a similarly serene vibe at Nobu Ryokan . With only 16 rooms, the Japanese-style inn embraces its East Asian influences with teak soaking tubs, linen yukata robes, and tatami mats. Plus, it’s just a short walk to Nobu Malibu for their famous sushi, sashimi, and Japanese fusion dishes. To take in that fresh sea air, lace up for a hike to Mugu Peak , a five-mile trek past meadows and mountains that leads to a panoramic ocean view.

Why We Love It: The SoCal town specializes in next-level luxury

In the high-end beach community of Montecito, which counts Oprah among its residents, the weeks-old Rosewood Miramar Beach promises luxury and seclusion from the wineries, restaurants, and State Street hubbub in Santa Barbara just five miles away. The resort feels more like an estate, with 161 rooms over 16 acres, plus seven restaurants, a yacht-inspired beach bar, the farm-to-table eatery Malibu Farm , two pools, The Gatehouse (a concept store curated by James Perse), and a Goop boutique, selling Gwyneth Paltrow–approved skin care, clothing, and gifts.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Rosewood Miramar Beach

Want to really splash out? Book one of the eight seats in the restaurant-within-a-restaurant The Silver Bough at the Montecito Inn . For $550 per person (tax and gratuity included, phew!), each diner is treated to an 18-course meal with pairings—anything from bone-marrow-stuffed potato to dishes made with locally caught box crab—available Thursday through Sunday by reservation only (they’ll accommodate vegan and pescatarian menus upon request).

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

The Silver Bough

For a little more energy and walkability, head west to Santa Barbara for gourmet versions of Thai and Vietnamese street food at the new Tyger Tyger in the Funk Zone , a neighborhood of warehouses turned wineries and restaurants.

It’s about five hours via the Pacific Surfliner to Santa Barbara, with an ocean view most of the way. The station is conveniently located less than a mile from the Funk Zone, for wineries and restaurants and the Mediterranean-inspired Hotel California.

Joshua Tree

Why We Love It: Geek out beneath the night sky

Designated an International Dark Sky Park two years ago, Joshua Tree National Park is celebrating its fifth annual Night Sky Festival on September 21, pegged to the fall equinox. Tickets go on sale this summer for the event, which will have 20 telescopes, astronomy lectures, photo booths, music, nature walks, and crafts for kids. (The park website has some recommended night-sky etiquette, like using red flashlights instead of white.)

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Find the eponymous trees in the northwestern section of Joshua Tree National Park.

When you’re not hiking, rock climbing, or observing the stars, check out the year-old boutique Shop on the Mesa , stocked with desert-chic decor, including many locally made pieces. And while options for food in town are limited to vegan eats at Natural Sisters Cafe and Pie for the People! pizza, make time for La Copine , a surprisingly polished restaurant in nearby Flamingo Heights started by a Philadelphia couple who honeymooned in Joshua Tree and fell in love with it, then took over an old diner. The menu has high-end fare like grilled flatbread with whipped ricotta and a lamb burger topped with harissa—a far cry from those campfire hot dogs.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Shop on the Mesa

Why We Love It: One tiny town packs a ton of eclectic festivals

Beyond its hippie ethos, famous “pink moment” sunsets, and the luxurious Ojai Valley Inn & Resort , the tiny town of Ojai (population 7,400) is also a hub for nearly a dozen annual festivals. Things kick off over Memorial Day Weekend with Art in the Park , a two-day celebration where nearly 100 fine artists sell their work in a show hosted by California’s oldest art nonprofit. On June 6, the 73rd annual Ojai Music Festival returns with four days of classical music at the Libbey Bowl amphitheater. This year’s event pays tribute to composers with ties to Ojai, including Igor Stravinsky. June 9 brings the Wine Festival , when more than 60 wineries and 30 breweries pour into town.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

No room? No problem. Access two pools, the gym, and locker amenities with Ojai Valley Inn & Resort’s $75 day pass (ages 16 and up).

Want to enjoy Ojai Valley’s bounty? The Lavender Festival on June 29 has local farmers selling soaps, oils, and decor made from the versatile flower. And due in August and October, respectively, the Playwrights Conference gives audiences a seat to workshop performances from new writers, while the Storytelling Festival brings together storytellers from across the country to perform personal narratives, ghost stories, folktales, and more. When you need some mid-festival fuel, be sure to visit the recently reopened cafe Hip Vegan for wholesome salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and desserts.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Ojai’s “pink moment

Death Valley

Why We Love It: Views that are so out-of-this-world, they’ve stood in for Star Wars planets

It may be the “hottest, driest, lowest national park,” but you’ll forget that when you’re splashing around the spring-fed pool at the revamped Oasis at Death Valley (formerly Furnace Creek Resort), the 92-year-old resort composed of Inn at Death Valley (66 rooms plus 22 casitas) and Ranch at Death Valley (geared toward families, with 224 rooms). The property just unveiled a $100 million makeover that includes refreshed rooms, a spa, and a new restaurant and cocktail lounge, all surrounded by date palms and sweeping mountain views.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Oasis at Death Valley

You can book sunset and moonlight horseback riding excursions with Furnace Creek Stables or tee off at The Furnace Creek Golf Course . Within Death Valley National Park , see shooting locations from A New Hope and Return of the Jedi at Golden Canyon and Dante’s View terrace, or visit Badwater Basin to see otherworldly salt flats located at the lowest point in North America.

Why We Love It: The college town has grown up

Dated strip malls, fraternity life, and sugary margaritas no more—the affluent, history-rich hometown of the University of Arizona has recently gotten a fresh perspective thanks to an influx of young creatives. Shop for minimalist apparel and accessories at the MSA Annex (a collection of 13 shops housed in shipping containers), dine on Central Mexican cuisine at Penca Restaurante downtown, and grab a light meal at Exo Roast Co. , which uses local ingredients like barrel cactus jam and the cult favorite Barrio Bread. The award for most unique nightcap goes to The Owl’s Club , a hip, intimate cocktail bar located in a former funeral home.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Amid all the new and cool, there are still the staples worth visiting, like Saguaro National Park , home to 25 varieties of cacti, including the namesake, which ranks as the tallest in the country, and Sabino Canyon , with its hiking trails, freshwater pools, and mini waterfalls. The retro-cool Hotel McCoy opened last summer with a pool and local art.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Saguaro National Park

And side trip alert! It’s worth detouring two hours north to Phoenix for the all-day eatery Roland’s Cafe Market Bar , a joint venture between award-winning pizza pro Chris Bianco and the duo behind Tacos Chiwas. While there, stay at Arizona Biltmore , a favorite among US presidents that just commemorated its 90th year with a $35 million renovation. Take a happy hour history tour of the 39-acre property with your choice of two tipples—like a tequila sunrise (first created at the resort) and a Catalina Spritz (Marilyn Monroe’s favorite to sip poolside).

Eastern Sierra

Why We Love It: It’s an underappreciated playground for outdoor enthusiasts

Fancy a road trip within a road trip? Venture north near Sequoia National Park and begin your drive along the 395, a gateway to some of California’s most photogenic natural wonders. You’ll start in Lone Pine , an Old West town that’s home to the impressive rock formations of Alabama Hills , where movies like 2013’s The Lone Ranger were filmed, as well as Mount Whitney .

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Iron Man, Django Unchained, and other movies have been filmed in Alabama Hills.

From there head an hour north to Bishop , known for its trout fishing and bouldering—there’s a women’s climbing event March 22–24. Great Basin Bakery is a homey, tasty option for bagels, sandwiches, pastries, and coffee. Making your way another hour north, bypass the tried-and-true Mammoth Lakes and opt for June Lake Loop . The landscape of the 15-mile drive looks straight out of the Swiss Alps, with plenty of cycling, fishing, and horseback riding to keep you busy. When you want to rest up, Double Eagle Resort & Spa is the winner, with comfortable cabins (pets allowed in some), a spa, and an indoor pool. If you want to trek even farther, head to Mono Lake , a serene, slightly spooky basin with boating and nature walks.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Sin City is more than just casinos, pulsating nightclubs, and restaurants that’ll shrink your wallet. Here’s a guide to the other side of Vegas—sparkly dresses and AmEx black cards not necessary.

Skip the Buffets—Dine Downtown

Located five miles from the flash of the Strip is a set of restaurants and cocktail bars that are much friendlier to your bank account. (And frankly, who needs a dozen types of pancakes before noon?) Try pies made by a 12-time pizza world champion at Pizza Rock or Asian-influenced chicken dishes at Flock & Fowl from James Beard–nominated, Joël Robuchon–trained chef Sheridan Su.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Fremont East

Forget Club Hopping—Go Cocktail Bar Hopping

Instead of succumbing to bottle service, try the numerous zero-fuss bars around town, beginning with Herbs & Rye , a locally loved steakhouse with great happy hour deals. Then head north to Frankie’s Tiki Room for potent tropical tipples. When you cross east into the Arts District, the dimly lit Velveteen Rabbit will please everyone from cheap beer drinkers to cocktail connoisseurs. Finish the night at Atomic Liquors , a staple spot known for beer cocktails.

Don’t Walk the Strip—Stroll the Museums

Vegas culture goes beyond Lady Gaga concerts and Cirque du Soleil performances. At the Neon Museum , visit the Neon Boneyard, an alfresco collection of iconic neon signs collected from casinos, restaurants, and elsewhere. This fall, director Tim Burton will bring his original fine art to the space. The Mob Museum traces the history of organized crime in Las Vegas and throughout the country with hands-on forensic exhibits, preserved artifacts, and a working speakeasy and distillery to better explain the seedy side of the Prohibition era—and serve thirsty museum-goers.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Neon Museum

Why We Love It: Newcomers are bucking the Napa traditions you used to know

You’ve ridden the wine train, dipped in the mud baths, and been denied a reservation at The French Laundry. Thanks to a crop of up-and-comers, Napa locales surrounded by old vines are finally keeping up with the times. On the northern tip of the region, Healdsburg’s Harmon Guest House , a boutique with 39 rooms, opened last fall; so did Vista Collina Resort on the southern end. The latter boasts “The Village,” a lawn next to a food and wine center with cooking classes and nine tasting rooms, where you can even support San Diegan Tim Bacino at Gen7 .

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Vista Collina Resort

Indulge in buttermilk fried chicken at Yountville’s Addendum , a counter-service offshoot of Ad Hoc (itself known for chef Thomas Keller’s simple prix fixe dinner), before beginning your tasting. Robert Mondavi and Grgich Hills are a good place to start. Purchase a Wine Priority Pass online to help pare down the rest of your reservations with deals like two-for-one tastings at select wineries. Ashes & Diamonds ’ made-for-Instagram tasting room nails a midcentury-modern aesthetic as an homage to the era when wines really put the valley on the map.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

And while most of wine country calls it quits around 5 p.m., there’s the updated Villagio Bar & Lounge in Yountville and Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar atop the Archer Hotel in downtown Napa, both of which stay up late for the die-hard oenophiles.

Why We Love It: It’s one of the country’s most famous R&R spots for a reason

This pine-forest oasis in the scorching Southwest is famous among New Age and alt-medicine circles for its four “vortexes,” said to be natural centers of earth energy and enlightenment. Start with a psychic reading and aura photo from Mystical Bazaar . At ChocolaTree , nourish your physical body with an organic, homemade, largely vegan menu with gluten-free and raw options. For affordable crystals and geodes, brave the tourist crowds downtown for Discount Gems & Minerals —and enjoy the public-use marimbas just outside.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Marg’s Draw makes for an easy afternoon hike; or for a steeper trek, Cathedral Rock Trail brings you to one of the fabled vortexes. Once you’ve hit peak serenity, lay your head in one of Sky Ranch Lodge Resort ’s private cabins with a back porch that opens up to stunning views of the red-rock-bluff valley.

San Francisco

Why We Love It: A new nonprofit restaurant is all the buzz

For 14 years, La Cocina has served as an incubator for food entrepreneurs in the saturated, uber-costly market of San Francisco. Their mission is to offer immigrant women and women of color affordable commercial kitchen space and technical assistance to build their businesses. So far, their efforts have helped launch several well-loved restaurants in the Bay Area: There’s the Lebanese-Syrian bakery  Reem’s California and Cambodian Nyum Bai in Oakland, Southern food translated into sandwiches at  Pinky & Red’s in Berkeley, and vegan tamales at  Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas in Hayward.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Tilden Hotel

This summer, the incubator will debut  La Cocina Municipal Market  in San Francisco’s ever-changing Tenderloin neighborhood to showcase the many small businesses they’ve fostered. In the same neighborhood, the  Tilden Hotel ’s minimalist design and suave in-house speakeasy are a welcome respite from the city’s hubbub. Hotel Emblem  on the border between Nob Hill and Union Square just opened in January, paying tribute to the Beat Generation in decor and activities. They offer Meditation Hour every Saturday, a book butler program, and poetry slam nights, when guests are encouraged to take the stage.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Hotel Emblem

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, Big Sur’s crucial connection to the outside world, reopened after a mudslide closed it down for eight months in 2017. Many of the hotels—like Post Ranch Inn and Ventana Big Sur—used that time to execute multimillion-dollar renovations. (Hello, glamping tents!) To really take in the scene, sign up for the Big Sur Marathon, taking place April 28 along Highway 1. The highlight is the tuxedo-clad pianist playing on a baby grand along the Bixby Bridge.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge

National Treasures

There’s no time like the present to show some love for our national parks. Here are three road-trip-friendly excursions, plus one longer haul that’s worth every mile.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon celebrates its 100th year as a national park in 2019 with events all year long. Highlights include the Centennial Summerfest and Star Party June 22–29 and a music festival August 25–26. The South Rim, a little over eight hours by car, offers that classic postcard landscape, but is also notoriously crowded. Opt for the more secluded North Rim , which is open after the snow melts from May to October and boasts vibrant foliage in the fall.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Under Canvas

You can make a home away from home with Under Canvas , a company that sets up glamping tents with a shower, sink, and flush toilet from late April to mid-November just outside the park in Valle, Arizona. (Their other locations include Yellowstone, Glacier, and Zion national parks, as well as Tucson, Mount Rushmore, Moab, and the Smoky Mountains.) After the arid areas, quench your visual thirst with a two-hour trip north to Lake Powell , a reservoir in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area that straddles the Arizona-Utah border, where you can swim, kayak, and hike.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Lake Powell

Eight hours from San Diego, Yosemite is all about the granite peaks and cliffs, especially El Capitan and Half Dome , which is why it’s such a draw for rock climbers. If you’re new to the sport or need a brush-up, REI’s Kearny Mesa store is hosting a Preparing for Half Dome class on March 2 with tips on gear, routes, and training. Otherwise, Half Dome’s summit is reachable on foot—if you’ve had a couple days to adjust to the altitude and start the 17-mile hike at the crack of dawn, that is.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Yosemite National Park

For an easier trail, seeing the supersize sequoias in Mariposa Grove is a must, and the park also offers a five-hour tour bus option departing from Yosemite Valley Lodge May through September. The Majestic Yosemite Hotel , formerly the Ahwahnee, is the quintessential stay, but if you want to get a taste without the triple-digit commitment, lunch in their grand dining room will give you the flavor.

For fun and inexpensive lodging minutes outside the park, stay in a yurt (sleeps four to six) at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort , complete with bathroom, kitchen, gas grill, and even cable TV.

Zion National Park

About eight hours from San Diego, Zion was Utah’s first national park—now there are five—and it has some of the state’s most famous trails. Check out the waterfalls of Emerald Pools , and The Narrows , a gorge with walls reaching thousands of feet high that requires “hiking” through a river. Or let someone else do the trekking for you: Local operators like Zion Ponderosa offer horseback riding trips into the park.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

When you want to rest those weary limbs, you can camp ( Lava Point and Watchman are popular sites) or stay at the only in-park accommodation, Zion Lodge , in a cabin, hotel room, or suite surrounded by towering trees and red rock mountains.

Redwood National & State Parks

What a trip to the Redwoods costs in 800 miles worth of gas, it makes up for with the staggering sight of the world’s largest trees. The national park, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, is unlike many others in that there’s no entrance station or fee, and portions of it overlap with the state park, for which daily use fees apply.

21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego

Redwood National & State Parks

One of the best places to see the trees is the moderately challenging 4.2-mile James Irvine Trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park , which ends at Fern Canyon , a lush area (albeit redwood-free) marked by a footbridge that’s open in summer months. Or hop back in the car and drive the steep 17 miles down Bald Hills Road to see old-growth redwoods, wildflowers in the spring, and if you’re lucky, Roosevelt elk.

road trip from atlanta to san diego

Photography by Emily Kaszton and Jim David

Share this post

Subscribe to our newsletters

By clicking subscribe you're confirming that you agree with our Terms and Conditions.

Latest articles

Editor's note: between us bread and salt.

Read article

A New Iteration of Katsuya Coming to Westfield UTC

Afterburner breaks the sound barrier at techne art center, san diego's best restaurants of 2024, unhinged, a dating series:  what looking for love taught me, 17 trends and icons shaping san diego's food scene in 2024, jordan howlett's secret sauce to nearly 30 million followers, 13 things to do in san diego this weekend: april 24–28, artist lizzie zelter makes the familiar strange in new exhib..., birria el rey opening brick & mortar in golden hill.

Our company

Email: [email protected]

Subscribe to our Newsletters

By clicking Subscribe you’re confirming that you agree with our Terms and Conditions.

BBB Acredited Business

© Copyright 2023 San Diego Magazine 1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800, San Diego, CA

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA

road trip from atlanta to san diego

14 Unique Stops To Make On A Road Trip From LA To San Diego

  • Experience the unique beauty and wildlife of Santa Catalina Island on a road trip from LA to San Diego. Take a ferry to the island and explore Two Harbors and Avalon, complete with palm trees, cabanas, and art deco Catalina Casino.
  • Enjoy the surf and vibrant beach town vibes at Huntington Beach, also known as "Surf City." Take a surf lesson or explore lively Main Street with its bars, breweries, shops, and cafes.
  • Explore the scenic beaches and artistic charm of Laguna Beach. From tide pools at Main Beach to hiking trails in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, this stop offers breathtaking coastal vistas and a chance to see a natural lake.

Driving the California coast is a quintessential American road trip and is something that everyone should experience at some point in their lifetime! Whether driving the whole coastline or just a section, there are so many beautiful places to stop along the way. California has great scenic road trip options with fantastic stops along the way , and the drive from LA to San Diego is no less.

The drive on a road trip from LA to San Diego is only about 120 miles (roughly 2 hours of driving point to point without traffic). But the best parts of any road trip are the stops along the way, and with multiple beaches and dozens of things to do between LA and San Diego, the California coast will not disappoint.

Although the quickest way between these two cities is to take the I-5, the most scenic option is to take the Pacific Coast Highway or Highway 1. This drive is one of the most beautiful in the US, and it becomes even more so if you genuinely know where to stop between San Diego and Los Angeles to enjoy this route.


Some More Unique Stops Along PCH In Los Angeles And San Diego, California

The route between LA and San Diego and the legendary Pacific Coast Highway has unlimited destinations and attractions that demand attention. There's only one Golden State for a reason, regardless of the time of year. Have fun!

Related: How To Spend 3 Days In LA

Escape To Santa Catalina Island

Two harbors and the city of avalon, with casinos, hiking trails, and wildlife..

For those with plenty of time to enjoy the California coastline, leaving the car behind in Long Beach and catching a ferry over to Santa Catalina Island is an excellent place to start. Among the many things to do between San Diego and Los Angeles, visiting the Santa Catalina Islands is a unique but very fulfilling choice. Just one hour away via high-speed ferry, Santa Catalina is one of California's Channel Islands and lies southwest of LA. The resort town of Two Harbors is on the north of the island, and the city of Avalon is in the south, complete with palm trees, cabanas, and art deco Catalina Casino. There are hiking trails across the island, and it's known for its wildlife and amazing diving opportunities, making it the perfect first stop on any LA to San Diego road trip.

  • Location: Santa Catalina Islands, California 90704
  • Major Attractions: Catalina Island Casino , Two Harbors

Enjoy The Longest Pier At Huntington Beach

The best place to learn surfing.

On a drive from LA to San Diego, just 20 minutes further down the coast from Long Beach and about as far north as you can get in Orange Country, is beautiful Huntington Beach. With one of the longest piers on the California Coast, it is the perfect place to catch a West Coast sunset. Known locally as "Surf City," the beach is a perfect place to take a surf lesson, or lively Main Street has many bars, breweries, shops, and cafes to enjoy.

  • Location: Huntington Beach, California
  • Major Attractions: Huntington Beach Pier , Old World Village

The World Famous And Stunning Laguna Beach

Over 40 miles of trails, spectacular coastal vistas, canyons, and lake barbara..

With some of the most stunning beaches and coastlines along this coastline, Laguna Beach is a must-see beach on any San Diego to LA road trip or the opposite direction along the California Coast. Another significant aspect of Laguna Beach is that it falls in the middle of a route perfect for any California road trip . The town is an eclectic mix of a hippie beach town, boutique shopping, and art galleries. Main Beach has tide pools to explore and a beautiful boardwalk leading to the paths and gardens of nearby Heisler Park. The Laguna Coast Wilderness Park has over 40 miles of trails leading to rocky bluffs, coastal vistas, and canyons. Hiking to Barbara's Lake is a unique opportunity to see a natural lake along this coastal drive.

  • Location: Laguna Beach, California
  • Major Attractions: Heisler Park , Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Related: From Surf To Turf: A Culinary Adventure Through San Diego's Diverse Food Culture

Looking Out For Whales At Dana Point

A beautiful harbor and tours to watch the biggest mammal family on earth..

Dana Point is known as the "Whale Capital of the West," so watch for these majestic animals, whether watching from the harbor or heading further out to sea on a whale-watching tour. The 0.2-mile Bluff Top hiking trail gives visitors a breathtaking panoramic view of the harbor, and the harbor itself has many boutique stores, restaurants, and cafés to enjoy a rest after whale-spotting!

  • Location: Dana Point, California
  • Major Attractions: Dana Point Harbor , Salt Creek Beach

Learning Some History In San Juan Capistrano

Spanish-style architecture and antique stores, along with seeing the oldest buildings in the state..

A visit to San Juan Capistrano involves a little inland detour, but it is one of the most historic destinations in the region, and it's a nice way to break up the beach stops along this coastal drive. Downtown is filled with Spanish-style architecture and antique stores, and one of the highlights is seeing the San Juan Capistrano Mission, one of the oldest buildings in the state. For those staying overnight here, there are plenty of taquerias and old-timey Western bars to enjoy.

  • Location: San Juan Capistrano, California
  • Major Attractions: Mission San Juan Capistrano , Zoomars at River Street Ranch

Visiting The Wine Country In Temecula

See beautiful hillside golf courses and vineyards..

Further inland still is the Southern California city of Temecula. It's famous for the nearby Temecula Valley Wine Country, with stunning hillside vineyards and abundant golf courses. Another beautiful historic town, Temecula, is filled with 1800s buildings and antique stores, making it a unique stop along the way between LA and San Diego.

  • Location: Temecula, California
  • Major Attractions: Old Town Temecula , Wilson Creek Winery

Related: Less Touristy (But Still Fun!) Things To Do In San Diego

Surfing At San Clemente State Beach

Windy, wavy, and perfect for water sports..

San Clemente is a quirky surf town and is the southernmost town in Orange County. It is often windy and wavy, making it the perfect place to try out some water sports, and there are surfing spots here suitable for beginners right up to professionals, making it one of the best surf spots along the California coast. Another unique thing about San Clemente Beach is that visitors can camp right on the mile-long beach !

  • Location: San Clemente, CA 92672
  • Major Attractions: San Clemente Pier , San Clemente Coastal Trail

Stop By The Beach At Oceanside and Visit LEGOLAND In Carlsbad

Home to the longest wooden pier and a chance to be a child again..

Oceanside has over 6 miles of breathtaking beaches, making it one of the best beach-side destinations along this coastline. It is also home to the longest wooden pier on the California coast - roughly 1/3 mile long! The views along the Oceanside coast are truly spectacular, and it is worth taking some time here to soak them up!

A short drive from Oceanside is the small town of Carlsbad, which is often top of tourist's to-see lists because of its many big attractions, including the LEGOLAND California Resort and the impressive Sea Life Aquarium.

  • Location: Oceanside , Carlsbad
  • Drive: Oceanside to Carlsbad (3.3 miles - 8 minutes)
  • Major Attractions: Oceanside Pier , Mission San Luis Rey , LEGOLAND California , Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum (MECM)

Take In The Quaint Seaside Charm Of Encinitas

Enjoy a unique botanical garden and the small-town vibe..

Another stop with unbeatable coastal views is the beautiful Encinitas. This small city is just a little south of Carlsbad, and the streets are packed with quirky stores and relaxed restaurants. It is also home to the San Diego Botanical Garden, filled with various plant species from around the world. For visitors looking for a mellow town with seaside charm, this is the perfect place to stop.

  • Location: Encinitas, California
  • Major Attractions: Moonlight State Beach , Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens

The Calmness Of A Sanctuary At Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve

Witness the unique torrey pine and several migratory birds..

Although technically within San Diego city limits, the Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve is one of the wildest lands found along the Southern California coastline . Here, visitors will find the rare Torrey pine along with a beautiful lagoon, which is still used by several migrating bird species. With deep sandstone canyons and miles of pristine beaches, this is the perfect last stop before hitting San Diego!

  • Location: 12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Major Attractions: Razor Point and Beach Trail Loop , La Jolla Cove

Summer Entertainment At Newport Beach

A beachside destination boasts entertainment, food, and history..

Newport Beach town will be reached on a road trip from LA to San Diego after driving along Highway 1 to the south from Huntington. This iconic town is known as an amazing summer destination and boasts various types of activities for everyone to enjoy. People visiting Newport Beach are recommended to see the Fun Zone and Balboa Pier, where they will witness an amazing seaside amusement park with arcade games, a small Ferris wheel, and traditional carnival food. Multi-million dollar homes and iconic boutiques can be spotted on Balboa Island. The latter can be reached from Balboa Pier in five minutes in a small car ferry.

  • Location: Newport Beach, California
  • Major Attractions: Balboa Island Ferry , Newport Beach

Finding Solitude At Table Rock Beach

Not the easiest to reach, but it's well worth the effort..

People who want to enjoy stunning seaside scenery with fewer tourist crowds will stop at Table Rock Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Orange County. This spot can be located in South Laguna just off of the Pacific Coast Highway, north of Mission Hospital. Although people will have to walk down several stairs to reach the beach, it's still worth witnessing this unique area. The wonderful surf, beautiful rock formations, and solitude Table Rock Beach offers are all worth heading to this difficult-to-reach stop along the road trip from LA to San Diego.

  • Location: 31561 Table Rock Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
  • Major Attractions: Table Rock Beach , Laguna Beach Open Ocean Kayaking Tour with Sea Lion Sightings (Nearby)

Party At The Pacific Beach

Beachfront entertainment and the beautiful californian sunset..

The beachside neighborhood of Pacific Beach near San Diego is known as a party playground or P.B. (as the locals call it). P.B. comes alive at night with the glow of bonfires and the electricity of the region's many clubs. However, with endless stretches of coast, it's also the perfect downtime spot for families. P.B., or Pacific Beach, is also one of California's best beaches in and near San Diego . It has a 3.2-mile-long boardwalk lined with beachfront bars, restaurants, and shops, which is also a great vantage point to watch the beautiful Californian sunset every night. San Diego is known for its beaches and delicious cuisines , and it can all start here at Pacific Beach.

  • Location: Pacific Beach, California
  • Major Attractions: Mission Bay Park , San Diego Zoo

Lifeguard stands are staffed year-round from North Pacific Beach down to Mission Beach. The main lifeguard tower is located at the end of Grand Avenue.

Make A Stop At Santa Ana, The Face Of A New California.

Be surprised by the art, culture, and attractions found in historic santa ana..

The New York Times has characterized approximately four-fifths Latino, Santa Ana, as the "face of a new California , a state where Latinos have more influence in everyday life." Santa Ana is a cultural, entertainment, and culinary center of large and diverse Orange County, rich in authentic heritage and can't-miss gems. Art is everywhere in Santa Ana, from local galleries and studios to museums and alleyways. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the French Park neighborhood adjacent to downtown consists of 20 square blocks lined with stately homes from the 1880s.

  • Location: Santa Ana, California
  • Major Attractions: Lyon Air Museum , Blinking Owl Distillery

14 Unique Stops To Make On A Road Trip From LA To San Diego

NOMADasaurus Logo

29 Epic Road Trips From San Diego (2024 Guide)

Picture of Alesha and Jarryd

  • Last Updated: February 4, 2024

Looking for great ideas for road trips from San Diego? We’ll give you 29 of the best road trips from America’s Finest City.

If you’re looking to hit the road and embark on an adventure, you’ve come to the right place. We’re excited to share with you the top road trips from San Diego, California . From stunning coastal drives to desert escapes and mountain retreats, San Diego serves as the perfect starting point for unforgettable journeys.

Whether you have just a few hours to spare or are planning a relaxing weekend getaway, these road trips promise so much fun and endless opportunities for exploration and relaxation.

Buckle up as we take you on a virtual tour through diverse landscapes, charming towns, and iconic landmarks that are just a road trip away from San Diego. We’ll guide you to breathtaking coastal drives along the Pacific Coast Highway , where you can soak up the sun, breathe in the ocean breeze, and discover the vibrant beach towns along the way.

If desert adventures are calling your name, we’ll show you the best routes to escape to otherworldly landscapes, where towering cacti, striking rock formations, and boundless desert beauty await.

And for those seeking a mountain retreat, we’ll unveil the scenic drives that lead to serene alpine getaways, where hiking trails, fresh mountain air, and stunning vistas await your arrival.

So, grab your maps and get ready for an incredible road trip experience from San Diego!

Table of Contents

Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1)

Laguna beach, san clemente, oceanside and carlsbad, catalina island, los angeles, malibu beach and pasadena, santa monica, tijuana, mexico, anza-borrego desert state park, palm springs, temecula wine country, palomar mountain (palomar observatory), lake arrowhead, borrego springs, valle de guadalupe, baja california, mexico, joshua tree national park, death valley national park, yosemite national park, sequoia national park, channel islands national park, santa barbara, montecito and solvang, saguaro national park, zion national park, san francisco, wrapping up, the 29 best road trips from san diego.

These road trips offer a variety of landscapes, attractions, and experiences, allowing you to explore the diverse beauty of Southern California and beyond.

Remember to check for any travel advisories, road conditions, and border crossing requirements before embarking on your journey.

Shorter Road Trips Along the Coast

Road trips from San Diego don’t have to be long. Here are a few shorter road trips you can take and combine with other great San Diego day trips .

Driving the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) from San Diego is an exhilarating and picturesque adventure along one of the most scenic coastal routes in the world.

Starting in San Diego, you’ll embark on a journey that hugs the breathtaking coastline, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, you’ll encounter charming beach towns, iconic landmarks, and awe-inspiring natural beauty.

As you traverse the highway, make sure to stop by La Jolla, known for its stunning coastal cliffs and picturesque coves. Continue north and marvel at the impressive coastal vistas as you pass through seaside towns like Newport Beach and Laguna Beach.

Further up the route, you’ll reach the iconic Big Sur, where rugged cliffs meet the crashing waves of the Pacific. Don’t forget to stop at Bixby Creek Bridge, a famous photo spot and an architectural marvel.

Finally, the journey concludes in San Francisco , where you can explore the vibrant city, visit the Golden Gate Bridge, and embrace the unique charm of the Bay Area.

Driving the Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego is an unforgettable experience that allows you to soak in the beauty of the California coastline and create lasting memories.

Read Next: Plan your entire Pacific Coast Highway road trip with our ultimate guide!

Pacific Coast Highway

  • 80 miles / 1 hr 15 min

A drive from San Diego to Laguna Beach is a coastal escape that combines natural beauty, artistic flair, and a relaxed beach-town ambiance. The drive takes you on a scenic coastal route that unveils the beauty of Southern California’s coastline.

As you leave San Diego, the drive north offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and picturesque coastal towns along the way. When you approach Laguna Beach, you’ll be captivated by its enchanting blend of natural beauty and artistic charm.

Upon arrival in Laguna Beach, you’ll discover a vibrant seaside town known for its pristine beaches, art galleries, and laid-back atmosphere. Spend the day basking in the sun on the sandy shores, or take a leisurely stroll along the beachside boardwalk.

Explore the art galleries and boutique shops that showcase the local artistic talent, or venture into the charming village filled with cafes and unique dining experiences.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Laguna Beach offers breathtaking coastal trails and scenic coves, perfect for hiking, photography, or simply taking in the stunning coastal scenery.

60 miles / 1 hr

Travel to this charming beach town known for its excellent surfing spots, beautiful pier, Spanish-style architecture, and laid-back vibe.

A road trip to San Clemente from San Diego brings you to a charming beach town known for its fantastic surf spots and relaxed coastal atmosphere. Enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches, take a leisurely stroll along the pier, and soak in the laid-back Southern California vibes.

With its picturesque setting, excellent surf conditions, and welcoming beach town ambiance, San Clemente offers a perfect getaway for beach lovers and those seeking a tranquil coastal escape.

  • 40 miles / 45 min

Driving from San Diego to Oceanside and Carlsbad offers a delightful coastal road trip that takes you through charming beach towns and scenic coastal landscapes. As you leave San Diego, you’ll embark on a picturesque drive along the coast, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean accompanying you along the way.

Your first stop, Oceanside, welcomes you with its beautiful sandy beaches, vibrant pier, and laid-back beach-town atmosphere. Continuing north, you’ll reach Carlsbad, another coastal gem known for its idyllic beaches, picturesque lagoons, and family-friendly attractions.

Explore the stunning Carlsbad State Beach , where you can soak up the sun, go for a swim, or take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline. Don’t miss the chance to visit LEGOLAND California, a beloved theme park that offers fun and entertainment for all ages.

In Carlsbad, you can also discover the colorful blooms at The Flower Fields during the spring season or explore the charming downtown area with its boutique shops, restaurants, and cafes.

A road trip from San Diego to Oceanside and Carlsbad is a delightful coastal adventure that showcases the beauty and allure of Southern California’s beach towns.

Embarking on a road trip from San Diego to Santa Catalina Island is a unique and enchanting adventure that takes you from the mainland to a picturesque island paradise.

Begin your journey by driving to the coastal city of Long Beach, where you’ll board a ferry or hop on a private boat to reach the captivating island. As you leave San Diego behind, you’ll be filled with anticipation for the island escape that awaits you.

Arriving at Santa Catalina Island, you’ll be mesmerized by its idyllic beauty and laid-back coastal atmosphere. Explore the charming town of Avalon, with its picturesque harbor, colorful buildings, and charming shops.

Indulge in water activities like snorkeling, kayaking, or simply relaxing on the sandy beaches. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade, enjoy waterfront dining, or discover the island’s rich marine life on a boat tour.

Santa Catalina Island offers a tranquil retreat away from the mainland, where you can immerse yourself in the serene island vibes and create unforgettable memories in this captivating coastal paradise.

  • 120 miles / 2 hrs

A visit to Los Angeles is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the captivating world of entertainment, with renowned landmarks like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios, and the Getty Center.

For a scenic coastal adventure, take a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway to discover the enchanting beauty of Malibu Beach. Bask in the serenity of its pristine sandy shores, ride the waves, and embrace the relaxed coastal atmosphere.

In Pasadena, delve into the exquisite gardens of the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, explore the masterpieces at the Norton Simon Museum, and savor the vibrant culinary scene that complements the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Read Next: Be sure to check out this post on all the best things to do in Los Angeles .

  • 134 miles / 2 hrs

Driving from San Diego to Santa Monica is a classic coastal road trip that showcases the beauty and vibrancy of Southern California’s coastline.

Leaving San Diego, you’ll embark on a scenic journey along the Pacific Coast Highway, passing through charming beach towns and enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean. The drive north offers a mix of coastal landscapes, rolling hills, and panoramic vistas that make the journey itself a visual delight.

Upon arrival in Santa Monica, you’ll be greeted by its iconic pier, sandy beaches, and bustling beachfront promenade. Take a leisurely stroll along the Santa Monica Pier, with its historic carousel and thrilling rides, or soak up the sun on the beautiful beach.

Explore the vibrant Third Street Promenade, filled with shops, restaurants, and street performers, offering a lively atmosphere and a variety of dining and entertainment options.

Don’t miss the chance to witness a stunning sunset over the Pacific Ocean, creating a magical ambiance that perfectly captures the essence of Southern California’s coastal charm.

A road trip from San Diego to Santa Monica is a quintessential California experience, allowing you to indulge in the laid-back beach culture and soak in the coastal beauty along the way.

Read Next: Check out this post on all the best things to do in Santa Monica .

  • 20 miles / 45 min

Driving from San Diego to Tijuana, Mexico offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and flavors of our neighboring country.

As you cross the border, you’ll be greeted by the bustling streets, colorful markets, and the energetic atmosphere that defines Tijuana. The short drive from San Diego to Tijuana makes it an accessible and exciting destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

In Tijuana, explore the vibrant Avenida Revolución, known for its shops, street vendors, and lively nightlife. Indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine, from mouthwatering street tacos to traditional regional dishes.

Don’t miss the chance to visit cultural landmarks such as the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT), where you can explore art exhibitions and learn about the region’s history.

From shopping for local crafts and souvenirs to experiencing the vibrant atmosphere of this border city, a road trip from San Diego to Tijuana provides an unforgettable cross-cultural adventure just a short drive away.

Tijuana Mexico

Shorter Inland Road Trips

If you’re looking for great inland trips from downtown San Diego, here are a few of the best road trips within a few short hours.

95 miles / 1.5 hrs

Driving to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park takes you on a scenic journey from San Diego into the heart of the desert, offering a captivating escape from the city. As you leave San Diego, you’ll gradually transition from the coastal landscapes to the arid beauty of the desert.

The drive takes you through stunning mountain passes and vast expanses of desert, providing a sense of serenity and a chance to immerse yourself in the unique desert environment.

Once you arrive at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking vistas of rugged canyons, colorful badlands, and blooming wildflowers in the spring. Explore the park’s extensive network of hiking trails, leading to hidden palm oases, stunning viewpoints, and intriguing rock formations.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the park’s renowned stargazing, as the clear desert skies reveal a magnificent display of stars. A road trip from San Diego to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a remarkable adventure that allows you to discover the captivating beauty and tranquility of the desert landscape.

  • 140 miles / 2 hrs

From boutique shopping and art galleries in the Uptown Design District to vibrant dining options along Palm Canyon Drive, a road trip from San Diego to Palm Springs offers a perfect blend of relaxation, natural beauty, and retro allure.

The drive takes you on a captivating journey through the diverse landscapes of Southern California. Leaving San Diego, you’ll drive east through the picturesque mountains, offering scenic views as you gradually transition from coastal beauty to desert terrain.

As you approach Palm Springs, you’ll be welcomed by a desert oasis known for its retro charm, luxurious resorts, and world-class golf courses. Upon arrival in Palm Springs, immerse yourself in the iconic mid-century modern architecture that dots the city, showcasing its rich history.

Take advantage of the year-round sunshine by lounging by the pool or indulging in spa treatments at renowned resorts. For outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby Joshua Tree National Park offers a unique opportunity to explore the desert landscapes filled with iconic Joshua Trees and stunning rock formations.

Read Next: Check out our post on everything you need to know about visiting Palm Springs .

Heading off on a scenic drive from San Diego to Temecula Wine Country is a delightful journey that takes you through rolling hills and picturesque vineyards. Just a short drive away, Temecula offers a perfect escape for wine enthusiasts and those seeking a taste of California’s wine country.

As you make your way through the countryside, you’ll be greeted by rows of vineyards, charming wineries, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

Once you arrive in Temecula Wine Country, prepare to indulge in a world of wine tasting and culinary delights. Explore the various wineries and tasting rooms , where you can sample a diverse selection of award-winning wines, from robust reds to crisp whites.

Take a leisurely stroll through the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and savor the beauty of the wine country. With its tranquil ambiance, scenic beauty, and delectable wine offerings, a road trip from San Diego to Temecula Wine Country promises a delightful experience that will leave you with lasting memories.

120 miles / 2.5 hrs

A road trip from San Diego to the Salton Sea offers a chance to immerse yourself in the tranquility and natural wonders of this enigmatic desert lake. The Salton Sea offers a unique and captivating road trip experience through the diverse landscapes of Southern California.

As you leave San Diego, you’ll journey through scenic desert highways, witnessing the gradual transition from urban areas to the vast expanse of the desert.

As you approach the Salton Sea, you’ll be greeted by the surreal sight of the largest lake in California, nestled within the arid surroundings. Arriving at the Salton Sea, you’ll discover a destination that is both intriguing and beautiful in its own way.

Explore the shorelines and witness the contrast between the serene waters and the surrounding desert landscapes. The Salton Sea is a haven for birdwatchers, as it serves as a vital resting place for numerous migratory birds.

Take in the unique atmosphere, explore the remnants of abandoned structures along the shore, and delve into the intriguing history of this area.

60 miles / 1 hr 15 min

Driving to Julian from downtown San Diego takes you on a charming and scenic journey to a delightful mountain town known for its quaint charm and delicious apple pies. When you leave San Diego, you’ll gradually ascend into the Cuyamaca Mountains, where the landscapes transform into a lush and verdant paradise.

The drive itself is a treat, with winding mountain roads offering stunning views of forests, valleys, and distant peaks. Upon arrival in Julian, you’ll be greeted by a cozy mountain town that feels like a step back in time.

Stroll along the main street lined with historic buildings housing charming shops, boutiques, and local eateries. Indulge in a slice of Julian’s famous apple pie, made from the town’s abundant apple orchards.

Explore the surrounding nature trails, visit the nearby Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve for breathtaking vistas, or simply enjoy the serene mountain ambiance. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely day trip or a weekend escape, driving from San Diego to Julian provides a refreshing mountain getaway with a touch of nostalgia.

60 miles / 1.5 hrs

Escape the city and drive to Palomar Mountain, where you can enjoy hiking, camping, stargazing and visit the famous Palomar Observatory . Embarking on a road trip to Palomar Mountain from San Diego allows you to escape into a tranquil mountain paradise.

Explore the lush forests, hike scenic trails, and breathe in the fresh mountain air. The highlight of the journey is the renowned Palomar Observatory, where you can marvel at the impressive telescopes and gaze at the wonders of the night sky.

Located atop Palomar Mountain, the observatory boasts impressive telescopes and offers guided tours to learn about astronomical discoveries. Palomar Mountain offers a serene retreat and a chance to connect with nature and the cosmos.

Palomar Mountain

110 miles / 2 hrs

Drive to the San Jacinto Mountains and explore this quaint mountain town with its charming shops, art galleries, hiking trails, and breathtaking views. A road trip to Idyllwild from San Diego takes you to a quaint mountain town nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains.

Explore the charming shops, art galleries, and cozy cafés that line the streets, offering a delightful small-town experience. With its breathtaking views, picturesque hiking trails, and serene mountain ambiance, Idyllwild is an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful mountain retreat.

130 miles / 2.5 hrs

Whether you seek outdoor adventure or simply wish to unwind amidst nature’s beauty, Lake Arrowhead offers a serene mountain escape. Visit this picturesque mountain resort town, surrounded by forests and the stunning Lake Arrowhead, offering outdoor activities and a peaceful atmosphere.

A road trip to Lake Arrowhead from San Diego leads you to a picturesque mountain resort town surrounded by lush forests and the stunning Lake Arrowhead.

Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere as you take in the breathtaking views, go hiking or mountain biking along scenic trails, and indulge in water activities such as boating and fishing.

85 miles / 2 hrs

If you’re seeking outdoor adventures, serene solitude, or unique natural wonders, Borrego Springs offers a captivating desert experience that will leave you in awe.

Drive to this desert community located in the heart of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, offering stargazing, wildflower blooms, and outdoor adventures.

A road trip from San Diego introduces you to a hidden desert gem nestled within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Marvel at the vast expanses of wild desert landscapes, witness stunning wildflower blooms in the spring and enjoy stargazing under the clear night sky.

90 miles / 2 hrs

Take a longer road trip to Baja California’s wine region, Valle de Guadalupe , where you can explore vineyards, sample local wines, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the region.

Heading out on a road trip to Guadalupe Valley in Baja California, Mexico from San Diego unveils a hidden gem for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Explore the picturesque vineyards, sample world-class wines , and indulge in exquisite culinary experiences.

With its scenic beauty, warm hospitality, and delectable wine offerings, Guadalupe Valley provides an unforgettable road trip destination that showcases the best of Mexican wine country.

The Big California National Parks

There are a handful of incredible National Parks to visit within a few hours drive from San Diego. Here are a few great options for road trips to take from San Diego.

  • 160 miles / 3 hrs

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, quiet contemplation, or simply a chance to connect with nature’s wonders, a visit to Joshua Tree National Park from San Diego promises an unforgettable desert escape. The drive is an extraordinary journey into a captivating desert landscape.

Just a few hours’ drive east of San Diego, you’ll find yourself amidst the surreal beauty of this unique national park.

Explore the iconic Joshua Trees that dot the vast desert, their twisted branches creating a striking silhouette against the clear blue sky. Take in the breathtaking vistas from viewpoints like Keys View, offering panoramic views of the park and the surrounding mountains.

Hiking through the park’s diverse trails, you’ll encounter stunning rock formations, hidden oases, and vibrant wildflower blooms during the springtime. Be sure to explore the fascinating Cholla Cactus Garden and discover the intricate beauty of these spiky desert plants.

As the sun sets, Joshua Tree National Park transforms into a stargazer’s paradise, with its dark skies providing an opportunity to witness the mesmerizing celestial display above.

Joshua Tree

  • 300 miles / 5 hrs

Whether you’re hiking through the vast wilderness, capturing breathtaking photographs, or simply marveling at the raw power of nature, a visit to Death Valley National Park is a humbling and extraordinary experience that will leave you with lasting memories.

Visiting Death Valley National Park is an awe-inspiring journey into one of nature’s most extreme and captivating landscapes. With its vast desert expanses, towering sand dunes, and dramatic mountain ranges, Death Valley offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

Explore the iconic sights like Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, where the salt flats stretch as far as the eye can see, or hike through the colorful canyons of Golden Canyon and Artist’s Palette, marveling at the stunning geological formations.

Be prepared to witness the incredible temperature variations, from the scorching heat during the day to cool nights, creating a surreal atmosphere, unlike any other place on Earth. Don’t forget to gaze at the night sky, as Death Valley is known for its exceptional stargazing opportunities due to its remote location and minimal light pollution.

Beyond its mesmerizing landscapes, Death Valley National Park also offers a fascinating history, with remnants of old mining towns and ghostly structures that provide glimpses into the area’s past. From the historic Furnace Creek Inn to the abandoned ruins of Rhyolite, exploring the park’s cultural heritage adds another layer of intrigue to the journey.

  • 400 miles / 7 hrs

Driving from San Diego to Yosemite National Park is a remarkable adventure that takes you from the coastal landscapes of Southern California to the breathtaking beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Leaving behind the bustling city, you’ll journey through scenic highways, witnessing the landscape gradually shift as you approach the iconic national park.

The drive north offers stunning views, with the majestic mountains serving as a dramatic backdrop for your road trip.

Upon arrival at Yosemite National Park, you’ll be greeted by an awe-inspiring landscape of towering granite cliffs, majestic waterfalls, and lush valleys. Explore the iconic sights such as Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Valley, immersing yourself in the grandeur of nature’s masterpiece.

Take advantage of the park’s extensive trail system, offering opportunities for hiking, backpacking, and wildlife spotting. From the stunning vistas at Glacier Point to the tranquil beauty of Mariposa Grove, every corner of the park is a testament to the raw power and breathtaking beauty of the natural world.

A road trip from San Diego to Yosemite National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that allows you to witness the magnificence of one of America’s most beloved national parks.

  • 350 miles – 5.5 hrs

Visiting Sequoia National Park is a humbling experience as you encounter some of the world’s largest and oldest trees, including the iconic General Sherman Tree. Explore the breathtaking groves of giant sequoias, hike through lush forests, and witness the park’s stunning granite peaks.

With its majestic beauty and abundant wildlife, Sequoia National Park offers a serene escape into nature and a chance to connect with these awe-inspiring giants.

Sequoia National Park

  • 200 miles / 3.5 hrs

Visiting Channel Islands National Park is a unique opportunity to explore a remote and pristine coastal wilderness. Take a ferry or boat to the islands and immerse yourself in their untouched beauty, from rugged cliffs to secluded beaches.

Engage in activities like hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling, while observing the diverse marine life and enjoying the tranquility of these remarkable islands.

Longer Road Trips from San Diego

If you’ve got the time and are looking to move on from San Diego, here are a few great options for longer road trips from San Diego.

  • 220 miles / 3.5 hrs

Visiting Santa Barbara offers a delightful coastal escape with its beautiful beaches, Spanish colonial architecture, and vibrant downtown area. Explore the charming town of Montecito, located just south of Santa Barbara, known for its upscale estates, lush gardens, and serene ambiance.

A trip to Solvang, a Danish-inspired village nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley, transports you to a charming European enclave with its windmills, half-timbered buildings, and delightful bakeries, making it a unique and picturesque stop on your road trip.

Read Next: Plan your trip by reading our post on all the great things to do in Santa Barbara.

  • 460 miles / 8 hrs

Visiting Santa Cruz offers a perfect blend of coastal charm and vibrant culture. Explore the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, with its thrilling rides and lively atmosphere, or relax on the scenic beaches.

Discover the laid-back vibe of downtown Santa Cruz, filled with eclectic shops, local eateries, and a thriving arts scene, making it a delightful destination for beach lovers and those seeking a vibrant coastal experience.

Read More: Here’s our list of all of the best things to do in Santa Cruz !

  • 250 miles / 8 hrs

Driving from San Diego to Saguaro National Park takes you on a scenic journey through the diverse landscapes of the American Southwest. As you leave San Diego, you’ll traverse the desert terrain of Southern California, witnessing the transition from coastal beauty to the arid landscapes of Arizona.

The drive eastward offers stunning vistas and wide-open desert expanses, immersing you in the rugged beauty of the Southwest.

Upon arrival at Saguaro National Park, you’ll be greeted by an awe-inspiring display of towering saguaro cacti, symbolizing the beauty and resilience of the desert. Explore the park’s hiking trails, which wind through saguaro-filled valleys and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Take in the serene beauty of the desert landscapes and keep an eye out for wildlife like coyotes, desert tortoises, and various bird species. The park’s unique blend of desert scenery, striking sunsets, and peaceful atmosphere provides an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and photographers alike.

  • 350 miles / 5 hrs

Visiting Las Vegas from San Diego is a thrilling getaway to the vibrant and exhilarating entertainment capital of the world. Just a few hours’ drive through the scenic landscapes of Southern California and Nevada, you’ll find yourself immersed in the dazzling lights and iconic attractions of the Las Vegas Strip.

From world-class resorts and casinos to extravagant shows and gourmet dining experiences, Las Vegas offers a non-stop extravaganza of entertainment for all. Indulge in the excitement of gambling at renowned casinos, catch breathtaking performances by world-famous artists, or take a stroll through themed resorts that transport you to different parts of the world.

While the Strip is the main draw, Las Vegas also offers a diverse range of experiences beyond the casinos. Explore the Fremont Street Experience, a pedestrian-only promenade filled with live music, street performers, and vintage casinos.

For nature lovers, nearby attractions like the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the Hoover Dam provide opportunities for outdoor adventures. With its unique blend of luxury, entertainment, and endless possibilities, a visit to Las Vegas from San Diego promises an unforgettable escape into the heart of the Las Vegas glitz and glamour.

Read Next: Plan your trip to Las Vegas with our ultimate Las Vegas itinerary !

  • 500 miles / 8 hrs

Driving from San Diego to Zion National Park offers a stunning road trip that takes you through a diverse landscape of deserts, canyons, and majestic mountains. As you leave San Diego, you’ll traverse the expansive desert of southern California before reaching the dramatic red rock formations of Utah.

Along the way, you can make stops in iconic cities like Las Vegas, where you can enjoy the glitz and entertainment of the famous Strip. As you continue northward, you’ll enter the enchanting world of Zion National Park.

The park’s towering sandstone cliffs, deep canyons, and verdant valleys create a breathtaking backdrop for outdoor adventures. Explore the famous Zion Canyon, where you can hike the awe-inspiring trails of Angels Landing and The Narrows, or take a scenic drive through the park, marveling at the stunning vistas.

With its diverse ecosystems and natural wonders, a road trip from San Diego to Zion National Park offers a thrilling journey through some of the most spectacular landscapes in the American Southwest.

Read Next: Consider visiting all of the Utah National Parks with our road trip itinerary.

Zion National Park

  • 600 miles / 12 hrs (via the Pacific Coast Highway)

Driving from San Diego to San Francisco is a breathtaking journey that takes you along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, offering stunning coastal views and memorable stops along the way.

As you leave San Diego, you’ll venture through charming beach towns, rugged cliffs, and picturesque seaside landscapes. The drive north treats you to incredible sights like Big Sur, where towering cliffs meet the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.

Continuing along the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll pass through cities like Santa Barbara , with its Spanish colonial architecture, and Carmel-by-the-Sea, known for its charming village atmosphere and beautiful white-sand beaches.

As you approach San Francisco, the landscape transforms into rolling hills and iconic bridges. Arriving in the “City by the Bay,” you’ll be captivated by its world-renowned landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the vibrant neighborhoods of Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Immerse yourself in the city’s unique culture, culinary scene, and artistic spirit. Driving from San Diego to San Francisco is an unforgettable road trip that offers a blend of natural beauty, coastal charm, and urban excitement as you traverse the picturesque landscapes of California’s stunning coastline.

Read Next: Check out our ultimate guide to driving between San Diego and San Francisco.

As we conclude our journey through the top road trips from San Diego, we hope you’ve been inspired to hit the road and explore the wonders that lie just hours away from the city.

From the stunning coastal beauty of the Pacific Coast Highway to the enchanting desert landscapes of nearby national parks, there’s something for every type of traveler seeking adventure, relaxation, or a great weekend trip.

Don’t forget to venture into the vastness of big California national parks, such as Joshua Tree and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, where you can immerse yourself in nature’s grandeur. For those yearning for a resort destination, Palm Springs offers the perfect blend of retro charm, luxurious accommodations, and outdoor activities.

With each road trip providing its own unique experiences and sights, we hope you’ve discovered the perfect getaway that suits your travel preferences. So, fuel up, grab your camera, and embark on your next road trip adventure from San Diego. The open road awaits!

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

Picture of Alesha and Jarryd

Alesha and Jarryd

Hi, We’re Alesha and Jarryd!

Join the Team

We’ve been traveling the world together since 2008, searching for the planet’s best destinations and adventures.

Love Travel?

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter for the best travel tips, ideas and deals!

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.


The Ultimate 3 Days in New York City Itinerary (2024 Update)

25 Best Things To Do In Santa Fe, New Mexico (2024 Guide)

The 21 Best Things To Do In Richmond, Virginia (2024 Guide)

Related Posts

20 of the best things to do in estes park, colorado (2024 guide), the perfect 3 days in portland itinerary (2024 update), the 21 best things to do in phoenix, arizona (2024 guide), 18 of the best things to do in flagstaff (2024 guide), leave a comment cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

  • Car Rentals
  • Airport Transfers
  • Attractions & Tours
  • Bundle & Save
  • Destinations
  • Rewards

San Diego to Los Angeles: A 5-Day Coastal Adventure

Author's Profile Picture

April 16, 2024 · 3 min read

San Diego Los Angeles 5 Days Itinerary

Embark on a 5-day coastal adventure from the military marvels of San Diego to the star-studded streets of Los Angeles. Your journey begins with the awe-inspiring USS Midway Museum, where you'll spend 3 hours immersed in naval history. Just a stone's throw away, Seaport Village invites you for a full day of shopping and seaside charm. Day 2 is dedicated to wildlife wonders at the world-famous San Diego Zoo, followed by a cultural afternoon amidst the lush landscapes and museums of Balboa Park. As you wave goodbye to San Diego on Day 3, step back in time at the Old Town, then dive into aquatic thrills at SeaWorld San Diego. The City of Angels welcomes you on Day 4 with the bohemian vibes of Venice Beach and the coastal allure of Santa Monica State Beach. Elevate your trip with a visit to the iconic Hollywood Sign and the celestial experiences at Griffith Observatory. Your grand finale on Day 5 starts with a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, leading up to an entire day of movie magic at Universal Studios Hollywood. This itinerary promises a blend of cultural, historical, and entertainment highlights, ensuring memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Day 1: Nautical Adventures and Seaside Delights in San Diego

USS Midway Museum


Embark on your San Diego journey with a visit to the iconic USS Midway Museum, a maritime marvel moored at 910 N Harbor Drive. As the morning sun casts its golden glow over the harbor, step aboard this historic naval aircraft carrier turned military museum. Immerse yourself in the rich naval history as you explore the extensive collection of aircraft, experience flight simulators, and walk the decks where sailors once roamed. Allotting three hours here allows you to dive deep into the stories of those who served, making it a profound start to your five-day escapade.

Attraction Info

  • 910 N Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Suggested tour duration: 3-4 hour
  • Open from 10:00am-5:00pm;Closed during Thanksgiving,Christmas

Recommended Nearby Restaurants

Topsail at Portside Pier

Seaport Village

After your naval immersion, drift over to the charming Seaport Village, a stone's throw away from the USS Midway Museum. Spend the rest of your day meandering through this bustling waterfront shopping and dining complex. With its cobblestone paths and unique collection of shops, Seaport Village offers a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy the Pacific breeze. Whether you're in the mood for some retail therapy, savoring local flavors, or simply basking in the coastal ambiance, this picturesque spot is the perfect segue into the laid-back San Diego lifestyle.

  • 849 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
  • Suggested tour duration: 0.5-1 day
  • Open from 10:00am-9:00pm

Where to Stay Tonight

Manchester grand hyatt san diego, embassy suites by hilton san diego bay downtown.

  • Day 2: San Diego's Wild Side and Cultural Gems

San Diego Zoo

Kickstart your second day with a visit to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, nestled in the heart of the city at 2920 Zoo Dr. As a premier destination, the zoo offers a full day's adventure among some of the planet's most exotic creatures. From the lush landscapes of the African rainforest to the rare Giant Pandas, every step in this conservation sanctuary promises a unique encounter with wildlife. Engage with interactive exhibits, and don't miss the chance to see the zoo's efforts in preserving endangered species firsthand.

  • 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
  • Open from 9:00am-5:00pm

CUCINA urbana

Balboa Park

After immersing yourself in the animal kingdom, take a leisurely 2-hour stroll through the cultural oasis of Balboa Park. Just a stone's throw from the zoo, this verdant city park is not only a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also a hub for arts and museums. As you wander through the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, allow the park's rich history and vibrant arts scene to captivate your senses. With its tranquil gardens, historic museums, and picturesque walking paths, Balboa Park is the perfect place to unwind and reflect on the day's experiences.

  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • Suggested tour duration: 2-4 hour
  • Open 24 hours

Balboa Buyout

  • Day 3: Time Travel and Marine Wonders in San Diego

Kickstart your third day with a journey back in time at Old Town, San Diego's historic heart. As the first sequence in today's adventure, this ancient town sets the tone with its rich cultural tapestry and echoes of the past. Spend an hour wandering through the preserved architecture, sampling authentic Mexican cuisine, and immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere that makes Old Town a must-visit destination.

  • San Diego, CA, USA
  • Suggested tour duration: 1-2 hour
  • Open from 10:00am-5:00pm

El Agave

SeaWorld San Diego

After delving into the historical charm of Old Town, dive into the aquatic marvels at SeaWorld San Diego. As the day's centerpiece, this world-renowned marine park offers a full day's immersion into the wonders of ocean life. With thrilling rides, spectacular shows, and up-close animal encounters, SeaWorld provides an unforgettable experience for all ages. Let the ocean's magic captivate you from dawn till dusk at this iconic San Diego attraction.

  • 500 Sea World Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
  • Open from 12/19-12/25,10:00am-8:00pm;Open from 12/26-12/31,9:00am-10:00pm;Open from 01/01-01/07,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 01/13-01/14,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 01/20-01/21,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 01/27-01/28,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 02/03-02/04,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 02/10-02/11,10:00am-7:00pm;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 02/16;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 02/19;Open from 02/24-02/25,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 03/02-03/03,10:00am-7:00pm;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 03/08;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 03/10;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 03/15;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 03/17;Open from 03/25-03/28,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 04/07-04/11,10:00am-7:00pm;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 04/14;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 04/19;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 04/21;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 04/26;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 04/28;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 05/03;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 05/05;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 05/10;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 05/12;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 05/17;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 05/19;Open from 08/18-08/22,10:00am-7:00pm;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 08/25;Open from 09/07-09/08,10:00am-7:00pm;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 09/13;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 09/15;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 09/20;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 09/22;Open from 09/27-09/29,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 10/04-10/06,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 10/10-10/13,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 10/17-10/20,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 10/24-10/27,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 11/02-11/03,10:00am-7:00pm;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 11/11;Open from 11/16-11/17,10:00am-7:00pm;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 12/01;Open 10:00am-7:00pm on 12/08;Open from 01/08-01/11,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 01/16-01/18,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 01/22-01/25,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 01/29-02/01,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 02/05-02/08,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 02/13-02/15,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 02/20-02/22,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 02/26-02/29,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 03/04-03/07,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 04/16-04/18,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 04/22-04/25,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 04/29-05/02,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 05/06-05/09,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 05/13-05/16,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 05/20-05/23,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 08/26-08/29,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 09/03-09/05,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 09/09-09/12,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 09/16-09/19,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 09/23-09/26,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 09/30-10/03,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 10/07-10/09,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 10/15-10/16,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 10/21-10/23,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 10/28-11/01,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 11/04-11/07,10:00am-5:00pm;Open from 11/12-11/14,10:00am-5:00pm;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 01/12;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 01/15;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 01/19;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 01/26;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 02/02;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 02/09;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 02/12;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 02/23;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 03/01;Open from 03/11-03/14,10:00am-6:00pm;Open from 03/18-03/21,10:00am-6:00pm;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 04/15;Open from 05/28-05/30,10:00am-6:00pm;Open from 06/03-06/06,10:00am-6:00pm;Open from 08/12-08/15,10:00am-6:00pm;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 09/06;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 10/14;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 11/08;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 11/15;Open from 11/18-11/22,10:00am-6:00pm;Open from 12/02-12/06,10:00am-6:00pm;Open from 12/09-12/12,10:00am-6:00pm;Open from 02/17-02/18,10:00am-8:00pm;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 03/09;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 03/16;Open from 03/22-03/24,10:00am-8:00pm;Open from 03/29-04/06,10:00am-8:00pm;Open from 04/12-04/13,10:00am-8:00pm;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 04/20;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 04/27;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 05/04;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 05/11;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 05/18;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 05/24;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 05/31;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 06/07;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 08/16;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 08/23;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 08/30;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 09/02;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 09/14;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 09/21;Open from 11/09-11/10,10:00am-8:00pm;Open from 11/23-11/30,10:00am-8:00pm;Open 10:00am-8:00pm on 12/07;Open from 12/13-12/18,10:00am-8:00pm;Open from 05/25-05/27,10:00am-9:00pm;Open from 06/01-06/02,10:00am-9:00pm;Open from 06/08-06/14,10:00am-9:00pm;Open from 06/16-06/21,10:00am-9:00pm;Open from 06/23-06/27,10:00am-9:00pm;Open from 07/15-07/18,10:00am-9:00pm;Open from 07/22-07/25,10:00am-9:00pm;Open from 07/29-08/01,10:00am-9:00pm;Open from 08/05-08/08,10:00am-9:00pm;Open 10:00am-9:00pm on 08/11;Open 10:00am-9:00pm on 08/17;Open 10:00am-9:00pm on 08/24;Open 10:00am-10:00pm on 06/15;Open 10:00am-10:00pm on 06/22;Open from 06/28-07/03,10:00am-10:00pm;Open from 07/05-07/14,10:00am-10:00pm;Open from 07/19-07/21,10:00am-10:00pm;Open from 07/26-07/28,10:00am-10:00pm;Open from 08/02-08/04,10:00am-10:00pm;Open from 08/09-08/10,10:00am-10:00pm;Open from 08/31-09/01,10:00am-10:00pm;Open 10:00am-11:00pm on 07/04

Tender Greens

Holiday Inn Express San Diego - Sea World Area, an IHG Hotel

The dana on mission bay.

  • Day 4: Sun, Surf, and Stars in Los Angeles

Venice Beach

Kickstart your fourth day with the iconic Venice Beach, where the vibrant spirit of Los Angeles comes to life. Spend a couple of hours soaking in the eclectic atmosphere, from the colorful murals and street performers to the bustling boardwalk. Venice Beach is not just a beach; it's a cultural hub where artists, bodybuilders, and skateboarders converge against the backdrop of the sparkling Pacific.

  • Los Angeles, CA, United States

Mélisse Restaurant

Santa Monica State Beach

Continue your coastal journey to the picturesque Santa Monica State Beach. A mere 2-hour stay will allow you to bask in the golden California sun and take a leisurely stroll along the famous Santa Monica Pier. This beach is a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational facilities, offering a serene escape with the option to indulge in some fun at the adjacent amusement park.

  • California, United States
  • Suggested tour duration: 2-3 hour

The Albright

Hollywood Sign

Shift from the sandy shores to the legendary Hollywood Sign, an enduring symbol of the entertainment industry. Allocate an hour to admire this historic site from one of the many vantage points in the city. The sign is not just a landmark; it's a beacon for dreamers and a testament to the glamour of Hollywood.

  • Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States
  • Suggested tour duration: 1 hour

Mother Wolf

Griffith Observatory

Conclude your star-studded day at the Griffith Observatory, where the universe is at your fingertips. Spend the final 2 hours of your itinerary exploring the wonders of space in the renowned planetarium and enjoy panoramic views of Los Angeles from this hilltop haven. As night falls, the observatory offers a celestial experience that's truly out of this world.

  • 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States
  • Open on Tue-Fri,12:00pm-10:00pm;Open on Sat-Sun,10:00am-10:00pm

The Morrison

The Dixie Hollywood

  • Day 5: Star-Studded Finale in Los Angeles

Hollywood Walk Of Fame HQ

Begin your last day with a stroll down the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, where the stars of the entertainment world quite literally line your path. Nestled in the heart of Hollywood, this famous sidewalk celebrates the industry's biggest names. As the first stop of the day, it sets the stage for a day filled with celebrity and excitement. Spend an hour here, soaking in the atmosphere of this characteristic neighborhood and searching for your favorite celebrities' stars among the more than 2,600 brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard.

  • 6255 Sunset Blvd #150, Hollywood, CA 90028, United States


Universal Studios Hollywood

After basking in the glow of the stars, it's time to dive into the world of movie magic at Universal Studios Hollywood. This theme park and film studio offers a full day of entertainment, from thrilling rides and shows to behind-the-scenes tours of actual movie sets. As the grand finale to your 5-day adventure, Universal Studios serves as the perfect backdrop to create lasting memories. Whether you're defying gravity on a roller coaster or savoring a butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, your day at Universal Studios will be an unforgettable end to your San Diego and Los Angeles itinerary.

  • 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
  • Suggested tour duration: 1-2 days
  • Open from 03/27-03/29,9:00am-9:00pm;Open 9:00am-9:00pm on 03/31;Open from 04/07-04/08,9:00am-9:00pm;Open 9:00am-9:00pm on 04/14;Open 9:00am-9:00pm on 04/21;Open 9:00am-10:00pm on 03/30;Open from 04/02-04/04,9:00am-10:00pm;Open 9:00am-10:00pm on 04/06;Open 9:00am-10:00pm on 04/13;Open from 04/27-04/28,9:00am-10:00pm;Open 8:00am-10:00pm on 04/01;Open 8:00am-10:00pm on 04/05;Open 8:00am-10:00pm on 04/20;Open from 04/09-04/12,9:00am-8:00pm;Open 9:00am-8:00pm on 04/29;Open 9:00am-7:00pm on 04/15;Open 9:00am-7:00pm on 04/19;Open 9:00am-7:00pm on 04/22;Open 9:00am-7:00pm on 04/26;Open from 04/16-04/18,10:00am-7:00pm;Open from 04/23-04/25,10:00am-7:00pm;Open 10:00am-6:00pm on 04/30

Smoke House Restaurant

Hilton Los Angeles-Universal City

Sheraton universal.

* All user reviews in this article have been translated by machine.

* The information above is subject to change at any time. For the latest information, please check the websites of hotels and attractions.

road trip from atlanta to san diego

<h3>Trending Searches</h3>

Popular Content

  • Concord 1 Day Itinerary
  • Koh Phra Thong 1 Day Itinerary
  • Tonglu 2 Days Itinerary
  • Shaoxing 1 Day Itinerary
  • Tallinn Helsinki 4 Days Itinerary
  • Qionghai Lingshui 5 Days Itinerary
  • Nanjiang 1 Day Itinerary
  • Sapporo Noboribetsu 3 Days Itinerary
  • Chenzhou 2 Days Itinerary
  • Madrid Vega de Toledo 2 Days Itinerary
  • Narita 1 Day Itinerary
  • Toronto 3 Days Itinerary
  • Medina 1 Day Itinerary
  • Luoyang 2 Days Itinerary
  • Lubeck 1 Day Itinerary
  • Zhuhai 2 Days Itinerary
  • Daegu 1 Day Itinerary
  • Chongqing Chishui 5 Days Itinerary
  • Providencia 1 Day Itinerary
  • Huidong Dongguan 3 Days Itinerary
  • Customer Support
  • Service Guarantee
  • More Service Info
  • Website Feedback
  • About
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Privacy Statement
  • About Group

Other Services

  • Investor Relations
  • Affiliate Program
  • List My Property
  • Become a Supplier


  1. 30 Best Road Trips From San Diego

    road trip from atlanta to san diego

  2. Road Trip: ATL To San Diego

    road trip from atlanta to san diego

  3. Is a Pacific Coast Highway road trip on your bucket list? Here are the

    road trip from atlanta to san diego

  4. Road Trip from Atlanta to San Diego

    road trip from atlanta to san diego

  5. Road Trip from Atlanta to San Diego

    road trip from atlanta to san diego

  6. This Map Shows the Quickest (and Ultimate) Road Trip Across America

    road trip from atlanta to san diego


  1. Orlando to San Diego Road Trip Full Journey 4K

  2. Beautiful Road journey from Lawrenceville GA to Providence Canyon State Park, Lumpkin, Georgia

  3. Road Trip San Diego to Yuma

  4. OTG road Trip Atlanta, Ga Hilton hotel !

  5. Road trip : Atlanta to Miami Beach

  6. Drishya Dashcam Series


  1. 40 Best Stops Between Atlanta and San Diego

    Top cities between Atlanta and San Diego. The top cities between Atlanta and San Diego are Branson, Memphis, Sedona, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Greater Palm Springs, Chattanooga, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, and Flagstaff. Branson is the most popular city on the route. It's 11 hours from Atlanta and 24 hours from San Diego.

  2. Atlanta to San Diego drive

    10:00 am start in Atlanta. drive for about 2 hours. 12:09 pm Birmingham (Alabama) stay for about 1.5 hours. and leave at 1:39 pm. drive for about 3.5 hours. 5:17 pm Jackson (Mississippi) stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am. day 1 driving ≈ 6 hours.

  3. Road Trip from Atlanta to San Diego

    The 2,300-mile road trip from Atlanta to San Diego takes around 34 hours to drive. It can take you past Birmingham, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Santa Fe and Albuquerque; or New Orleans, San Antonio, Big Bend National Park and El Paso. Either route on this road trip will showcase America's natural beauty and history in truly epic proportions.

  4. Atlanta to San Diego drive in 1 day

    8:00 am start in Atlanta drive for about 2 hours. 10:09 am Birmingham (Alabama) stay for about 1 hour and leave at 11:09 am drive for about 3.5 hours. 2:47 pm Jackson (Mississippi) stay for about 1 hour and leave at 3:47 pm drive for about 6.5 hours

  5. Atlanta to San Diego Road Trip

    Phoenix to San Diego. Distance: 355 miles, 5 hours 20 minutes. We've finally come to the end of this epic Atlanta to San Diego road trip. Along the way, your car became a time machine, transporting you from ancient native settlements to the wild west and into some of America's most impressive modern cities.

  6. Road Trip Route Planner, Map and Trip Guides

    The ultimate road trip planner to help you discover extraordinary places, book hotels, and share itineraries all from the map. ... Improve this map; Remove Ads. Start New Trip. Try Autopilot. Share Map. Start New Trip. Trip Guides. About; Membership; Magazine; Contact; Help; Did you know: If you use the Roadtrippers mobile app, your trips will ...

  7. Driving Time from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA

    The total driving time is 30 hours, 28 minutes. Your trip begins in Atlanta, Georgia. It ends in San Diego, California. If you're planning a road trip, you might be interested in seeing the total driving distance from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA. You can also calculate the cost to drive from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA based on current local ...

  8. Atlanta to San Diego

    The cheapest way to get from Atlanta to San Diego costs only $217, and the quickest way takes just 6 hours. ... The distance between Atlanta and San Diego is 1911 miles. The road distance is 2154.1 miles. ... Find all the transport options for your trip from Atlanta to San Diego right here. Rome2Rio displays up to date schedules, route maps ...

  9. Driving Distance from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA

    The total driving distance from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA is 2,140 miles or 3 444 kilometers. Your trip begins in Atlanta, Georgia. It ends in San Diego, California. If you are planning a road trip, you might also want to calculate the total driving time from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA so you can see when you'll arrive at your destination.

  10. Driving distance from Atlanta to San Diego is 2,140 miles

    How far is San Diego, California from Atlanta, Georgia? The driving distance is 2,140 miles. DRIVING DISTANCE. Road trip from Atlanta to San Diego driving distance = 2,140 miles.

  11. Cost of Driving from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA

    Hotels near San Diego, CA; Distance; Flying Time; Time Zone Change; Road trip planner. The total cost of driving from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA (one-way) is $201.20 at current gas prices. The round trip cost would be $402.41 to go from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA and back to Atlanta, GA again. Regular fuel costs are around $2.35 per gallon for

  12. 40 Best Stops Between San Diego and Atlanta

    Top cities between San Diego and Atlanta. The top cities between San Diego and Atlanta are Branson, Memphis, Sedona, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Greater Palm Springs, Chattanooga, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, and Flagstaff. Branson is the most popular city on the route. It's 24 hours from San Diego and 11 hours from Atlanta.

  13. Find a scenic drive or plan a road trip with

    Share time outdoors with family and friends. Make memories exploring the diverse, natural beauty of our public lands. Use our Scenic Drive Finder and Road Trip Planner to easily create custom road trips. Unlimited stops, edit, share, find recommended places of interest and campgrounds, manage budgets, print or export directions and more.

  14. San Diego to Atlanta drive

    10:00 am start in San Diego. drive for about 3 hours. 1:08 pm Yuma. stay for about 1 hour. and leave at 2:08 pm. drive for about 3.5 hours. 5:40 pm Tucson. stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am. day 1 driving ≈ 6.5 hours.

  15. Best Southern Route Across the U.S.: Road Trip Planner

    Side Trip From LA: San Diego. It's just over 120 miles to San Diego from Los Angeles, an easy drive south along I-5. This drive will take approximately two or three hours, depending on traffic. On the northern side of San Diego is "Old Town." Also on the northern side is the beautiful shorefront community of La Jolla.

  16. Plan the Perfect Trip to Sunny San Diego, California

    Wonderfront Festival - courtesy of San Diego Tourism Authority. Two years after San Diego and Tijuana jointly received designation as World Design Capital 2024 — a major global honor — the yearlong WDC24 celebration is about to kick off. San Diego is the first U.S. city to be named or co-named World Design Capital, and the city teamed with ...

  17. How far is San Diego from Atlanta

    Road trip from Atlanta to San Diego. Atlanta to San Diego airports and flights. In the quick calculation above, we assumed you had a private plane and just wanted to know the time in the air from city to city. ... So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Atlanta to San Diego including time spent getting to/from the ...

  18. Road Trip Atlanta to San Diego

    1 review. Road Trip Atlanta to San Diego. 10 years ago. My husband and I have made arrangements to take 2 weeks off of work and are planning to take the family on a road trip from Atlanta to San Diego and back again. We have made arrangements to stay in Oklahoma City to begin with so we are going to go from Atlanta to Oklahoma City and then we ...

  19. The 24 Best Road Trips From Atlanta, Georgia

    9. Brasstown Bald, Georgia. Distance from Atlanta: 102 miles (2 hours, 15 minutes) Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia, sits 4,784 feet above sea level. It's a top-rated destination on Georgia road trips because the summit offers unparalleled 360-degree views of the Chattahoochee National Forest.

  20. Driving Time from San Diego, CA to Atlanta, GA

    It ends in Atlanta, Georgia. If you're planning a road trip, you might be interested in seeing the total driving distance from San Diego, CA to Atlanta, GA. You can also calculate the cost to drive from San Diego, CA to Atlanta, GA based on current local gas prices and an estimate of your car's best gas mileage. If you're meeting a friend, you ...

  21. 21 Ultimate Road Trips from San Diego

    21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego. And while most of wine country calls it quits around 5 p.m., there's the updated Villagio Bar & Lounge in Yountville and Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar ...

  22. 14 Unique Stops To Make On A Road Trip From LA To San Diego

    The drive on a road trip from LA to San Diego is only about 120 miles (roughly 2 hours of driving point to point without traffic). But the best parts of any road trip are the stops along the way ...

  23. Atlanta to San Diego Train

    1. 3d 16h 13m. $443.00. Amtrak. Amtrak is the largest passenger railroad service in America, offering daily intercity trains to hundreds of destinations across the contiguous United States, as well as several cities in Canada. Every Amtrak train comes equipped with comfortable seats with extra legroom, as well as several four-seat areas with ...

  24. Get Driving Directions, Live Traffic & Road Conditions

    Whether you need to plan a road trip, a commute, or a walk, MapQuest Directions can help you find the best route. You can customize your journey with multiple stops, avoid tolls and highways, and get live traffic and road conditions. You can also discover nearby attractions, restaurants and hotels with MapQuest Directions.

  25. 30 Epic Road Trips From San Diego (2024 Guide)

    Salton Sea. 120 miles / 2.5 hrs. A road trip from San Diego to the Salton Sea offers a chance to immerse yourself in the tranquility and natural wonders of this enigmatic desert lake. The Salton Sea offers a unique and captivating road trip experience through the diverse landscapes of Southern California.

  26. San Diego to Los Angeles: A 5-Day Coastal Adventure

    Attraction Info. 910 N Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101; Suggested tour duration: 3-4 hour; Open from 10:00am-5:00pm;Closed during Thanksgiving,Christmas