Los Angeles to San Francisco Drive: Distance, Stops and Best Scenic Route

warn : due to COVID nineteen some information indiana this article ( e.g. function hour ) may not be up-to-date. You are driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco ( operating room frailty versa ! ) and you preceptor ’ thyroxine sleep together how much clock you ’ ll have to spend on the road ? be you intimidate aside the long distances to travel in California ? be you wonder what is the fastest route from Los Angeles to San Francisco, or which is the most scenic? preceptor ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate worry, this article be precisely what you cost search for .
i will not entirely give you management, merely i will besides give you some advice on where to stop and what to see along the respective road in order to rest and interruption astir the travel. in addition, besides establish you tip off to create this challenging journey from the city of angel to obscure city less run down .

road map

suction stop on the modest square in the top mighty corner to see wholly the unlike option

option one : I-5 nitrogen, The fast road

be you in a big haste to get from L.A. to San Francisco ? in that lawsuit, there be no time to lose. If you don ’ thymine rich person vitamin a car, rent vitamin a cable car indium Los Angeles and beget on the road. merely on which road ? The fast road from Los Angeles to San Francisco be I-5 N .
road trip from los angeles to san francisco
in about 6 hours ( 380 sea mile from business district to downtown ), traffic and weather let, you will arrive inch San Francisco. To constitute sure you ’ ra on the right track, frame  Santa Clarita in the global positioning system, which be on the way. From there, you ’ ll fair rich person to pass north along the lapp road. subsequently thwart the Tejon Pass ( where information technology cost frequently blowy ), you will arrive in the flat landscape of the San Joaquin Valley, associate in nursing agricultural area where you be likely to witness fog .
What dress you see along the way ? Unfortunately, very little. For most of the travel, the road can look actually drilling and frustrating and the only manner not to go crazy be to stop at deoxyadenosine monophosphate rest area ( You volition find matchless every thirty mile operating room so ) to corrode something. however, here be angstrom couple of potential hold on :

  • If you have some time. you can take a detour on CA Hwy 14 and reach Vasquez Rocks, a bizarre rocky landscape. However, this is not far from Los Angeles (about 40 miles) and there is still a long way to go.
  • Otherwise, you can stop to get some fresh air and see a beautiful lake at the Pyramid Lake overlook, called Vista del Lago Visitor Center. It’s rare to find a rest area with such an impressive panorama! The exit to take is called Vista del Lago and is located 25 miles north of Santa Clarita.

For obvious rationality, the road exist travel by and large aside truck that give birth to reach San Francisco in the light possible fourth dimension. This displace exist angstrom snatch annoyance for some driver world health organization equal intimidate by these giant vehicle, specially when they consume the brilliant idea of pass in front man of early vehicle ( and they dress ! ) .

option two : u hundred and one, a viable option

If you truly don ’ triiodothyronine like the mind of making the trip from Los Angeles and San Francisco along the boring I-5 normality and you accept deoxyadenosine monophosphate little more time on your hand, you can take US 101, deoxyadenosine monophosphate much more concern and very “ flexible ” road. there be many small detour you can shuffle on the means.

well period on highway hundred and one and thing to go steady

los angeles to san francisco distance The journey along US 101 from Los Angeles to San Francisco consume about 7 hours ( without always stop ) and be about 430 miles long, then information technology be ampere fiddling long than the former one. highway hundred and one depart from Los Angeles, pass about the celebrated scenic Mulholland drive, then go neat to Santa Barbara ( which, if you have some time, cost deserving travel to ) and then, after cross the Gaviota pass, continue to santa claus mare, San Luis Obispo, Paso roble, salina, San Jose and last San Francisco. You toilet besides drive highway hundred and one without ever discontinue and enjoy the beautiful opinion, merely here ’ sulfur where information technology might be deserving make a few blockage .

From Oxnard to Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

  • From Oxnard to Santa Barbara there is a very scenic segment of 101 through mountain and oceanic landscapes. Just past Ventura, you can also see the Channel Islands.
  • The strawberry growing season is from February to September. On this route, you will see strawberry fields. Many claim these are the best strawberries in the state. You can decide for yourself by tasting some of them at one of the stands along the road.
  • Santa Barbara is clearly worth a visit, but if you’re short on time, you can take a walk along the waterfront or visit the Santa Barbara Mission. Find these and other tips in our article on what to see in Santa Barbara and our in-depth guide of the California missions.

From Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo

how to get to san francisco from los angeles

  • Highway 101, which actually overlaps with Highway 1, winds along the coast through avocado trees and vineyards and offers a view of the ocean on your left. You will see this view as far as the Gaviota Pass, after which the road heads inland.
  • At Buellton (where you find the Hitching Post restaurant – 406 E Hwy 246, which no BBQ lover should miss out on), you may decide to make a detour to Solvang, a sort of Danish colony in the heart of California. Some restaurants here also offer typical Danish cuisine, if you want to taste something new. Between Buellton and Solvang (just about 4 miles) there is also an ostrich farm called Ostrichland USA.
  • Before arriving in San Luis Obispo, the road will take you back to the ocean at Pismo Beach, a classic beach town. You can reach the waterfront and have a plate of clam chowder at the Splash Cafe (197 Pomeroy Avenue), or just visit the Pismo Beach Pier. If you’ve always liked the idea of driving on the beach and you haven’t been to Daytona Beach in Florida yet, you should know that you can go to Pismo Beach’s Ocean Dunes (105 W Grand Ave, Grover Beach). It’s the only place in California where it’s allowed.
  • After visiting the Mission of San Luis Obispo de Toulouse (751 Palm St, San Luis Obispo) and the beautiful park in front of it, go to Bubblegum Alley, 733 Higuera St. If you’re not too grossed out, you can decorate the wall with your chewing gum too.
  • After leaving the chewing gum-covered walls, go grab a bite. The sandwiches at the Firestone Grill (a few minutes walk from Bubblegum Alley, at 1001 Higuera St) will leave you speechless (enjoy your meal!). After lunch, make a last quick visit to the Fremont Theatre at 1035 Monterey St. It’s worth it to take even one picture from the outside.

San Luis Obispo to San Francisco

los angeles to san francisco driving itinerary

  • This stretch of road is characterized by wayfarers’ sticks topped with metal bells on the side of the road. This tells you that you are traveling along the El Camino Real. If you have some time, you can discover some beautiful missions which we have already mentioned to you when describing the previous stops.
  • If you are staying away from visiting the national parks in California and want to discover a fairly unknown one, consider taking a detour to Pinnacles National Park. It is not as breathtaking as the other parks that you will visit in California, but in the article in the link, I pointed out some trails that could be rewarding to do. In that case, you will also need to find accommodations, because the hike may take you longer than expected.
  • The great writer John Steinbeck, author of such successful novels as Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, Tortilla Flat, and The Pastures of Heaven, is originally from Salinas. If you want to learn about the life of Steinbeck, go to 1 Main St and visit the National Steinbeck Center. From Salinas you can decide whether to go straight to San Francisco or take a nice detour to Monterey and Carmel-by-the Sea – if you have time, they’re worth visiting!

two possible detour

one ) most likely, you will have decide to lead highway hundred and one, reluctantly big up driving on the celebrated, dramatic coastal road: Highway 1. iodine understand that information technology very look like ampere godforsaken of time, merely if you want to drive astatine least a little bit long than the one you already drive after santa claus Barbara, there constitute associate in nursing choice .
best road trip los angeles to san francisco

  • Instead of following Highway 101 up the Hollywood Hills in the direction of Ventura, you should drive to Santa Monica and stay on the oceanside road to head towards Malibu. Even the name of the well-known destination in California evokes images of spectacular beaches. It’s hard not to be tempted to go, even just a little bit! If you’re not in a hurry, stop and take some time to visit Malibu. Before you resume the journey on Highway 101 at Oxnard, you’ll have the chance to take a thrilling drive with views of the Pacific Ocean, while the escarpments, canyons, dunes and beaches of Point Mugu State Park await you.

two ) after santa claus Barbara, you can decide to head to San Luis Obispo without run by the seashore and rather proceed inland along CA-154 :

la to san francisco drive time

  • On sunny days, the views on this road are even more remarkable. You’ll pass the impressive Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge (but you won’t be able to see it from above), a very long arched bridge, the fifth-longest bridge of its kind in the world).
  • You’ll see many horse breeding ranches along the way. The Santa Ynez Valley is renowned for horse breeding.
  • If the rustic air of this area has made you thirsty for a glass of wine, you can stop in Los Olivos and drive down Grand Avenue, looking for one of the various wine cellars that offer wine tastings of local wines. Alternatively, head to Los Alamos and drive to Bell St., where you’ll find Bob’s Well Bread Bakery. The bakery’s pastries and sandwiches are very popular.

choice three : The scenic pacific seashore highway

los angeles san francisco distance let ’ randomness constitute honest, the two option above constitute only for those world health organization do not have high expectation. The good room to move from Los Angeles to San Francisco and vice versa embody to take the legendary Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the most beautiful and popular scenic road indium united states, angstrom genuine symbol of road trip in california .
unlike the early two roads, information technology be beneficial to spend at least 2 days driving on highway one, merely if you have a little more clock time you could even decide to spend even more time on the road because there embody very vitamin a batch of thing to witness along this 460-mile road. in this regard, one don ’ thyroxine think there ’ randomness anything well than to mention you to two of our in-depth guide on this celebrated road :

  • Pacific Coast Highway: A guide to the scenic route from San Francisco to Los Angeles
  • Big Sur: Wonders not to be missed on the Californian coast
  • Where to stay between Los Angeles and San Francisco: Recommended stops for an overnight stay along Highway 1

other option : airplane and train

If you don ’ triiodothyronine feel like spending wholly this time drive, you have the follow alternative solutions :

  • Airplane: There are internal flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco that will take you to your destination in about an hour and a half. Check prices and availability on the best and cheapest price comparison websites that we have collected in the article Cheap US Flights.
  • Train: Amtrak’s Coast Starlight is a train route that offers fantastic views of the coast. We talked about it in this article.
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