Seattle to San Diego

Day 19-20: Los Angeles CA to San Diego CA

Pacific Coast Road Trip - Day 19-20: Los Angeles CA to San Diego CA

Postcard from San Diego, California.

I left the car rental center early, challenging Los Angeles’ infamous morning commute, to get to the furthest western point of another bucket list item: Mulholland Drive. A dreamy and hypnotic road stretching like a snake on the hills above LA. The morning mist might have been responsible for the disappointing lack of views, but it made the drive hazy and magical. David Lynch would have approved.

Right at the end of the road, the sun came out, this time to stay, making the earlier switch to a convertible finally worthwhile.

A couple of hours later, after a strenuous but victorious fight against the vicious traffic, I reached the Pacific Coast. From there, it was a pleasant, much nicer drive until, approaching San Diego, the same enemy succeeded in delaying my glorious entry into the final destination by a few minutes.

2,414 miles, 48 oysters and 21 tacos since I left Seattle. Roof up. Curtains down. Applause.

And, for the very first time, I miss Chicago 💙




Driving from Los Angeles to San Diego cheat sheet

Accommodation in San Diego:

  • Harborview Inn & Suites550 W Grape St, San Diego, CA 92101. In the very middle of Little Italy, it might not be a 5 star hotel, maybe not the place you wanna go for your honey moon in San Diego but it is clean, the personnel is welcoming, polite and generally very, very nice, the building a bit run down but in a pretty iconic way. And it is walking distance from the Expedia office where I went working for one day. If in San Diego, I would probably go back here.

Where to eat and what to see between Los Angeles CA and San Diego CA

  • Top Gun House, 250 N Pacific St, Oceanside, CA 92054. The original house used for the movie has been moved from its original place in Malibu and it is now a cookies shop. The decoration is pretty cool though and outside there is a replica of the motorbike used by Tom Cruise / Maverick.
  • South Beach Bar & Grille5059 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107. I came to this bar for the first time in a previous trip to San Diego. I remember at that time we had a bunch of huge, delicious “shark” tacos. The “shark” ain’t on the menu anymore but the tacos are still huge and delicious. Also in the evening you get a killing view of the Sun Diego sunset
  • Isola Pizza Bar, 1526 India St, San Diego, CA 92101. It was the last day of my trip and after 20 days of seafood and tacos I gave up and, staying in Little Italy I gave a chance to this Italian pizzeria. Result: one of the best pizza I had in the US. If in San Diego and craving some proper pizza, come here.
  • Influx Cafe Little Italy, 750 W Fir St #105, San Diego, CA 92101. Coffee is so good that while waiting to go to the airport (a 15 min uber drive from Little Italy), I had 1 espresso, one americano and one cappuccino. Recommended.


Driving from Los Angeles to San Diego FAQ

How many miles are from Los Angeles CA to San Diego CA?

From Los Angeles to San Diego there are about 120 miles. I drove a bit more, 165 miles due to a slightly different itinerary

How long does it take to drive from Los Angeles CA to San Diego CA?

Even tho it might take as little as 2 hours, it took me 7 hours due to some stops along the way and my commitment to avoid highways as much as humanly possible.

What’s the best thing about driving from Los Angeles CA to San Diego CA?

Surely is that most of the trip is along the ocean. There are tons of places you can stop and, if the season is right, have a refreshing bath in the Ocean.

What are the major attractions along the way in a road trip from Los Angeles CA to San Diego CA?

Said that, excluding LA and San Diego for obvious reasons, there are tons of small town that are worth stopping by, if I had to pick one thing I’d say the Top Gun House in Oceanside, is a pretty cool place

What type of car is best to drive from Los Angeles to San Diego?

That’s the easiest question ever: a convertible! Rent a convertible at LAX (it’s cheaper than downtown) open the roof and feel like you were in a movie. I rented once again a Mustang and it was just perfect.


My itinerary on a West Coast road trip



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