What is the best route from San Francisco to San Diego?

I can’t decide what route to take for my road trip south. What is the best route to drive from San Francisco to San Diego?

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Answer provided by
Matt Nightingale
Answered on May 17, 2022
We couldn’t be more jealous of a road trip!
The best route from San Francisco to San Diego is to take the California State Highway #1 from San Francisco along the California coast all the way to Los Angeles. At Capistrano Beach, exit onto the I-5, and continue south for another hour to San Diego.
Along the way, you’ll have the chance to stop at many world class attractions like:
  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Universal Studios
  • Disneyland
  • The Hollywood sign
  • Laguna Beach
  • Six Flags (Santa Clarita)
  • **Pacific Park (Santa Monica)
  • Pismo Beach
  • Hearst Castle
  • Elephant Seal Vista Point
This route will take you just over 11 hours in total, not including stops, so you may want to consider taking a couple of days to get it done.
You’ll also want to be safe and make sure that your car insurance has you covered in case you break down on the side of the road. For long road trips like this, you might want to consider getting yourself adding roadside assistance coverage to your car insurance policy. This type of coverage pays for services that you might need if you’re stranded, such as tow truck, tire changes, locksmith, and more.
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