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San Diego To San Francisco Road Trip: The Ultimate Guide

Note: This guide was last updated 1 year and 2 months and 22 days ago. If you've spotted anything that seems a bit out-of-date or if you have some killer tips to share, we're all ears! Feel free to leave a comment below.

San Diego to San Francisco road trip is one of the best journeys you can experience in the USA. The 502 miles of San Diego to San Francisco drive takes around 7 hours and 53 mins without stops.

This article includes 14 tips that turn your San Diego to San Francisco drive into an unforgettable journey. So if you’re looking for the best hotels, restaurants, and places to visit on the road trip from San Diego to San Francisco, take your coffee and keep reading!

4 Best Hotels On The Road Trip From San Diego To San Francisco

On the San Diego to San Francisco road trip, you may want to stay at some points. Here are the top four hotels on the San Diego – San Francisco route!

  1. The Green Room Hotel: The Green Room Hotel is one of the best hotels; you can stay on the San Diego to San Francisco road trip. Driving from San Diego to The Green Room Hotel might take around 37 mins. The Funky & Fresh South O boutique hotel has been featured in T&L, Cond Nast, LATimes, SanDiego & Locale Magazines. The hotel features individually curated designer rooms and outdoor amenities such as a cedar hot tub, complimentary surfboards, beach cruisers, and a communal patio area with a fire pit. Check The Green Room Hotel, one of the best hotels in Oceanside, California, on TripAdvisor and Booking.com for recent reviews, prices, and availability.
  2. citizenM Los Angeles Downtown: Another top hotel where you can choose the stay on the road trip to San Francisco from San Diego is citizenM Los Angeles Downtown. Located in Los Angeles, California, the hotel is 120 miles away from San Diego, and it would take 2 hours and 1 min to drive. CitizenM has opened in downtown Los Angeles! The hotel is conveniently located near the fashion, toy, art, and financial districts, making it an excellent option for affordable luxury in Tinsel Town. If you want to learn more about the citizenM Los Angeles Downtown, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Booking.com.
  3. Hotel Lexen Newhall & Santa Clarita: Didn’t our first two hotel suggestions interest you? So we would like to introduce you to the Hotel Lexen Newhall & Santa Clarita. Hotel Lexen Newhall & Santa Clarita is located in Santa Clarita, California, and it’s 150 miles away from San Diego. You can arrive there in 2 hours and 30 mins of non-stop driving. The Lexen Hotel in Old Town Newhall offers visitors a unique blend of historic culture and contemporary elegance. Located in Santa Clarita’s Premier Arts & Entertainment District, the hotel is within walking distance of the best restaurants, live music venues, and luxurious shopping. The Lexen’s simple and stylish hotel rooms provide a peaceful haven for visitors to relax and unwind. Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Hotel Lexen Newhall & Santa Clarita for more information.
  4. Home2 Suites by Hilton Livermore: If you are taking a road trip from San Diego to San Francisco, Livermore, California, it must have a place you should visit. Plus, Home2 Suites by Hilton Livermore is one of the best hotels in town. The hotel is 462 miles from San Diego, and it would take 7 hours and 10 mins to drive. The perfect base for exploring California’s wine country, our hotel provides free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, a 24-hour business center, an outdoor saline swimming pool, BBQ grills, a fire pit with seating, and our innovative laundry and fitness facility. If you need more info about the price and availability of Home2 Suites by Hilton Livermore, check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages.

In this part, we explained four hotels you can stay at on the road trip from San Diego to San Francisco. You can pick one of them that suits your taste. Don’t forget to share your experience by commenting on this post. It will help people who will take San Diego to San Francisco route.

Now, it’s time to discover the best restaurants from San Diego to San Francisco. We have five restaurant recommendations worth your attention.

5 Best Restaurants On The San Diego To San Francisco Road Trip

If dining is a pleasure, some restaurants will please you on your San Diego to San Francisco road trip. This section lists five restaurants to dine at on the road trip from San Diego to San Francisco. Stay hungry and enjoy!

  1. Beach Break Cafe: We would like to start our restaurant recommendation list on San Diego to San Francisco road trip with Beach Break Cafe. Beach Break Cafe is located in Oceanside, California, 36.4 miles from San Diego. It would take 38 mins of driving. This breakfast and lunch restaurant, set on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The moist, cinnamon-laced coffee cake drizzled with frosting and the giant four-egg omelets and scrambles are a draw for many diners. While enjoying their meal, they can also check out the colorful surfboards, surfboard-inspired ceiling fans, and photos that decorate the restaurant. The Banana Crunch French Toast is a favorite dish, dipped in honey bunches of oats for the crunch and then topped with bananas and a healthy dose of whipped cream. For more information about Beach Break Cafe, visit the TripAdvisor or Google Maps pages of Beach Break Cafe.
  2. Langer’s: Another top restaurant you can choose to eat at on the road trip to San Francisco from San Diego is Langer’s. Located in Los Angeles, California, Langer’s is 123 miles from San Diego and would take 2 hours and 5 mins to drive. Pico Boulevard is home to many Jewish delis, but one, in particular, is Langers. This restaurant has been serving matzoh ball soup since 1947, and in addition, it offers a variety of other traditional dishes such as latkes, blintzes, and chopped liver. Breakfast is served all day at Langer’s, but newcomers should try the hot pastrami sandwich – it’s a house specialty. If you want to learn more about Langer’s, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.
  3. Egg Plantation: Another restaurant that can be preferred by those who are fond of food is Egg Plantation. It will take 2 hours and 31 mins of car drive to take 151 miles from San Diego to Egg Plantation, Santa Clarita, California. The restaurant offers 101 different omelets for breakfast, in addition to other options. They also serve specialty espresso drinks and have a full bar with some of the best Bloody Marys. On Saturdays and Sundays, guests can enjoy live music from 10 am to 2 pm by Marco Tulio. You can check Egg Plantation on TripAdvisor or Google Maps for more information.
  4. Blues Cafe, Patterson: Blues Cafe, Patterson deserves to be on our list. It is one of the most recommended restaurants in Patterson, California. The restaurant boasts an extensive menu with quick and friendly service to back it up. The decor is eclectic and fun, and the music is good without being too loud. Blues Cafe, Patterson, is 418 miles from San Diego, and it would take 6 hours and 32 mins of non-stop car driving. If you want to learn more about Blues Cafe, Patterson, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.
  5. Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge: If you enjoy dining, Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge would be an excellent choice in Livermore, California. It’s 465 miles from San Diego and would take 7 hours and 19 mins of car driving. The Grill at the golf club is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the stunning view of the 18th green and surrounding vineyards. If you want to learn more about the Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

This section lists our five restaurant recommendations for your road trip from San Diego to San Francisco. We hope these suggestions will help you turn your 502 miles journey into a feast of taste. Of course, you can choose a suitable restaurant according to your preference. Remember, like you, people planning a San Francisco road trip need your opinion. Therefore, we kindly ask you to share your experience with us in the comment field at the end of the blog post.

In the next section, we list the destinations worth seeing along the route from San Diego to San Francisco. Keep reading.

5 Places To Visit On The San Diego To San Francisco Drive

A unique experience awaits you in San Francisco. However, on your road trip, there are also some unique destinations, like Oceanside, California. We want to explain the top five destinations we recommend on the San Francisco route.

  • Oceanside Pier: Oceanside Pier will be the first destination we recommend you stop by on your San Diego to San Francisco road trip. Located in Oceanside, California, Oceanside Pier is 39.1 miles away from San Diego, and it would take 44 mins to drive. The longest wooden pier on the California coast stretches 1941 feet or 0.33 miles. A convenience store halfway out is stocked with fishing pole rentals, bait, tackle, snacks, beverages, and various souvenirs. Ruby’s 50’s diner is located at the end of the pier and offers breakfast to burgers with a stunning view. The pier is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you want to learn more about the Oceanside Pier, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall: Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, California, is one of the destinations we recommend you stop by on the San Diego to San Francisco route. It’s 121 miles from San Diego and will take about 2 hours and 2 mins of driving. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the world’s most acoustically sophisticated concert halls and the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The hall is noted for its impressive architecture, which features unique form and function. If you want to learn more about Walt Disney Concert Hall, you can check it on TripAdvisor or their website.
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain: One of the stops you should not neglect to stop by when you take the road trip from San Diego to San Francisco in Santa Clarita, California. And if you visit Santa Clarita, California, we suggest you visit Six Flags Magic Mountain. You can arrive at Six Flags Magic Mountain after 2 hours and 34 mins of driving. Situated on 260 acres, Six Flags boasts over 100 attractions, making it a perfect destination for a fun-filled day out. With a wide range of roller coasters, water slides, animal experiences, festivals, food, and games, there is something to suit everyone’s taste. Guests across the nation love their Six Flags experience. You can visit TripAdvisor and the official site of Six Flags Magic Mountain for more information.
  • Stewart and Jasper Co Store, Patterson: Do you also like to travel and experience new things? Then, it would be best to visit Stewart and Jasper Co Store, Patterson, Patterson, California, on the San Diego to San Francisco road trip. Stewart and Jasper Co Store, Patterson, is 418 miles from San Diego, and you can arrive there after the 6 hours and 30 mins drive. Stewart & Jasper is a California-based almond farming operation. They hull and shell their almonds on-site and process and market them. In addition to their wide variety of nut products, they sell dried fruits, sweet and savory snacks, and locally-produced wine. In addition, you should check TripAdvisor and the official website of Stewart and Jasper Co Store, Patterson, before going there.
  • Concannon Vineyard: Located in Livermore, California, Concannon Vineyard ranks fifth in our list of tourist destinations on the road trip from San Diego to San Francisco. You must take 7 hours and 11 mins of driving to arrive at Concannon Vineyard. In 1883, James Concannon established Concannon Vineyard, making it America’s oldest winery under the same family label and stewardship. The winery has a long tradition of casual elegance and warm hospitality, which began in this historical setting and continues today. If you want to learn more about Concannon Vineyard, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

FAQ of the Road Trip From San Diego to San Francisco

Here we are answering the frequently asked questions about the San Diego to San Francisco drive.

How Long Is The Road Trip From San Diego To San Francisco?

  • With ideal traffic and weather conditions, the San Diego to San Francisco road trip takes approximately 7 hours and 53 mins to drive. Therefore, the driving distance between San Diego to San Francisco is 502 miles.
  • If you want to make the San Diego to San Francisco road trip by bike, the time you spend on the road will be two days and 4 hours.
  • If you are crazy enough and plan to walk the San Diego-San Francisco route, you will have to walk for seven days and 21 hours.

Where Do You Stop On Driving From San Diego To San Francisco?

There are many beautiful pit stops along the way to San Francisco. On the road, you can visit Oceanside, California; Los Angeles, California; Santa Clarita, California; Livermore, California; and Patterson, California. Here we list five places to visit for you. For more information about the best places on the San Diego to San Francisco journey, you can check the 5 Best Places To Visit On The San Diego To San Francisco Road Trip.

  1. Oceanside Pier: 39.1 miles / 44 mins to drive from San Diego | 465 miles / 7 hours and 22 mins of driving to San Francisco.
  2. Walt Disney Concert Hall: 121 miles / 2 hours and 2 mins to drive from San Diego | 382 miles / 5 hours and 58 mins of driving to San Francisco.
  3. Six Flags Magic Mountain: 155 miles / 2 hours and 34 mins to drive from San Diego | 349 miles / 5 hours and 30 mins of driving to San Francisco.
  4. Stewart and Jasper Co Store, Patterson: 418 miles / 6 hours and 30 mins to drive from San Diego | 84.4 miles / 1 hour and 27 mins of driving to San Francisco.
  5. Concannon Vineyard: 460 miles / 7 hours and 11 mins to drive from San Diego | 46.7 miles / 58 mins of driving to San Francisco.

Where Should You Stay On The Road Trip From San Diego To San Francisco?

There are many excellent hotels during your road trip from San Diego to San Francisco. We have selected four hotels for you. These hotels are listed below. Remember, you can find detailed information about these hotels in the 4 Best Hotels On The Road Trip To San Francisco From San Diego section.

  • The Green Room Hotel: 36.2 miles / 37 mins to drive from San Diego | 467 miles / 7 hours and 21 mins to San Francisco.
  • citizenM Los Angeles Downtown: 120 miles / 2 hours and 1 min to drive from San Diego | 382 miles / 6 hours and 2 mins of driving to San Francisco.
  • Hotel Lexen Newhall & Santa Clarita: 150 miles / 2 hours and 30 mins to drive from San Diego | 353 miles / 5 hours and 33 mins of driving to San Francisco.
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Livermore: 462 miles / 7 hours and 10 mins to drive from San Diego | 41.3 miles / 48 mins of driving to San Francisco.

Where To Eat Between San Diego to San Francisco?

If you are thinking of taking a break and having a nice meal on your San Diego to San Francisco drive, you can consider the five restaurants we have chosen. In addition, you can read detailed information about the restaurants in the section titled 5 Best Restaurants On The San Diego To San Francisco Road Trip.

  1. Beach Break Cafe: 36.4 miles / 38 mins to drive from San Diego | 467 miles / 7 hours and 21 mins to San Francisco.
  2. Langer’s: 123 miles / 2 hours and 5 mins to drive from San Diego | 381 miles / 6 hours and 0 mins of driving to San Francisco.
  3. Egg Plantation: 151 miles / 2 hours and 31 mins to drive from San Diego | 353 miles / 5 hours and 31 mins of driving to San Francisco.
  4. Blues Cafe, Patterson: 418 miles / 6 hours and 32 mins to drive from San Diego | 87.1 miles / 1 hour and 32 mins of driving to San Francisco.
  5. Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge: 465 miles / 7 hours and 19 mins to drive from San Diego | 49.4 miles / 1 hour and 0 mins of driving to San Francisco.

Conclusion

So, there you have it- a complete guide to planning a road trip from San Diego to San Francisco. We have listed four hotels, five restaurants, and five places to visit on the San Diego to San Francisco drive. We have also given you detailed information about each place so that you can make an informed choice about where to stay, eat, and what to see. We hope this guide has helped make your road trip from San Diego to San Francisco as enjoyable as possible.

Share Your Thoughts

Have you ever taken the San Diego to San Francisco road trip? So, it would be perfect if you shared your experience with other travelers who want the same experience. You can share your thoughts about the road trip from San Diego to San Francisco and your recommendations about this route by using the comment field below.

Video: San Francisco Road Trip – 10 Things to Do

If you’re planning to visit San Francisco, you can check this video guide before your road trip.




Ece

Hi, I'm Ece. Join me in navigating memorable road trips around the USA, Europe, and Australia. I provide valuable tips and destination guides, sometimes enhanced by AI. Let's hit the road and make memories!

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