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San Francisco To San Diego Road Trip: Top 14 Tips

Note: This guide was last updated 1 year and 4 months and 21 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 If you've spotted anything that seems a bit out-of-date or if you have some killer tips to share, we're all ears!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 Francisco to San Diego road trip is one of the best journeys you can experience in the USA. The 502 miles of San Francisco to San Diego drive takes around 7 hours and 45 mins without stops.

This article includes 14 tips that turn your San Francisco to San Diego 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 Francisco to San Diego, take your coffee and keep reading!

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

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

  1. Home2 Suites by Hilton Livermore: Home2 Suites by Hilton Livermore is one of the best hotels; you can stay on the San Francisco to San Diego road trip. Driving from San Francisco to Home2 Suites by Hilton Livermore might take around 46 mins. Nestled in the heart of California’s wine country, our hotel provides the perfect base for exploring all the area has to offer. Guests can enjoy 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. Check the Home2 Suites by Hilton Livermore, one of the best hotels in Livermore, California, on TripAdvisor and Booking.com for recent reviews, prices, and availability.
  2. Hotel Lexen Newhall & Santa Clarita: Another top hotel where you can choose the stay on the road trip to San Diego from San Francisco is Hotel Lexen Newhall & Santa Clarita. Located in Santa Clarita, California, the hotel is 353 miles away from San Francisco, and it would take 5 hours and 28 mins to drive. 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. In addition, Lexen’s simple and stylish hotel rooms provide a peaceful haven for visitors to relax and unwind. If you want to learn more about the Hotel Lexen Newhall & Santa Clarita, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Booking.com.
  3. citizenM Los Angeles Downtown: Didn’t our first two hotel suggestions interest you? So we would like to introduce you to the citizenM Los Angeles Downtown. citizenM, Los Angeles Downtown, is located in Los Angeles, California, and it’s 383 miles away from San Francisco. You can arrive there in 5 hours and 57 mins of non-stop driving. CitizenM has arrived in downtown Los Angeles! The fashion, toy, art, and financial districts are all within walking distance of the hotel, bringing affordable luxury to the streets of Tinsel Town. CitizenM is a new hotel offering affordable luxury in downtown Los Angeles’s heart. The hotel is conveniently located near many of the city’s biggest attractions, making it the perfect place for visitors to Tinsel Town. Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of citizenM Los Angeles Downtown for more information.
  4. The Green Room Hotel: If you are taking a road trip from San Francisco to San Diego, Oceanside, California, it must have a place you should visit. The Green Room Hotel is one of the best in town. The hotel is 467 miles from San Francisco, and it would take 7 hours and 14 mins to drive. 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. If you need more info about the price and availability of The Green Room Hotel, check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages.

In this part, we explained four hotels you can stay at on the road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. 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 Francisco to San Diego route.

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

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

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

  1. Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge: We would like to start our restaurant recommendation list on San Francisco to San Diego road trip with Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge. Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge is located in Livermore, California, 48.8 miles from San Francisco. It would take 57 mins of driving. If you’re looking for a breathtaking view while enjoying a glass of wine, the Grill at the golf club is the perfect spot. With its 18th green and surrounding vineyards, it’s sure to provide a relaxing and enjoyable experience. For more information about Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge, visit the TripAdvisor or Google Maps pages of Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge.
  2. Blues Cafe, Patterson: Another top restaurant you can choose to eat at on the road trip to San Diego from San Francisco is Blues Cafe, Patterson. Located in Patterson, California, Blues Cafe, Patterson is 87.0 miles from San Francisco and would take 1 hour and 30 mins of driving. The menu at this restaurant is extensive, and the service is quick and friendly. The decor is eclectic and fun, and the music is good without being too loud. If you want to learn more about Blues Cafe, Patterson, 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 5 hours and 27 mins of car drive to take 353 miles from San Francisco to Egg Plantation, Santa Clarita, California. The restaurant offers a wide range of breakfast options, including 101 omelets. In addition, they serve specialty espresso drinks and have a full bar. On Saturdays and Sundays, guests can enjoy live music from 10 am to 2 pm courtesy of Marco Tulio. You can check Egg Plantation on TripAdvisor or Google Maps for more information.
  4. Langer’s: Langer’s deserves to be on our list. It is one of the most recommended restaurants in Los Angeles, California. Pico Boulevard is home to many Jewish delis, but Langers stands out. This restaurant has been serving matzoh ball soup since 1947 and offers a variety of other traditional dishes, such as latkes, blintzes, and chopped liver. Breakfast is served all day, but newcomers should try the hot pastrami sandwich. Langer’s is 380 miles from San Francisco and would take 5 hours and 58 mins of non-stop car driving. If you want to learn more about Langer’s, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.
  5. Beach Break Cafe: If you enjoy dining, Beach Break Cafe would be an excellent choice in Oceanside, California. It’s 467 miles from San Francisco and would take 7 hours and 13 mins of car 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. If you want to learn more about the Beach Break Cafe, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

This section lists our five restaurant recommendations for your road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. 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 Diego 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 Francisco to San Diego. Keep reading.

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

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

  • Concannon Vineyard: Concannon Vineyard will be the first destination we recommend you stop by on your San Francisco to San Diego road trip. Located in Livermore, California, Concannon Vineyard is 46.6 miles away from San Francisco, and it would take 55 mins to drive. In 1883, James Concannon established Concannon Vineyard in America. The oldest winery under the same family label and stewardship has a tradition of casual elegance and warm hospitality that began in this historical setting and continues today. If you want to learn more about the Concannon Vineyard, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.
  • Stewart and Jasper Co Store, Patterson: Stewart and Jasper Co Store, Patterson, Patterson, California, is one of the destinations we recommend you stop by on the San Francisco to San Diego route. It’s 84.3 miles from San Francisco, and it’ll take about 1 hour and 24 mins of driving. Stewart & Jasper is a farming company that operates in California. They focus on almond production and hulling/shelling. In addition to their wide variety of nut products, they sell dried fruits, sweet and savory snacks, and locally-produced wine. You can check TripAdvisor or their website if you want to learn more about Stewart and Jasper Co Store, Patterson.
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain: One of the stops you should not neglect to stop by when you take the road trip from San Francisco to San Diego 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 5 hours and 20 mins of driving. Situated on 260 acres, Six Flags features 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 love their Six Flags experience across the nation. You can visit TripAdvisor and the official site of Six Flags Magic Mountain for more information.
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall: Do you also like to travel and experience new things? Then, it would be best to visit Walt Disney Concert Hall, in Los Angeles, California, on the San Francisco to San Diego road trip. Walt Disney Concert Hall is 383 miles from San Francisco, and you can arrive there after the 5 hours and 56 mins of drive. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is a world-renowned concert venue home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The hall is renowned for its excellent acoustics and its unique architecture. In addition, you should check TripAdvisor and the official website of Walt Disney Concert Hall before going there.
  • Oceanside Pier: Located in Oceanside, California, Oceanside Pier ranks fifth in our list of tourist destinations on the road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. You must take 7 hours and 14 mins of driving to arrive at Oceanside Pier. The longest wooden pier on the California coast stretches 1941 feet or 1/3 of a mile. A convenience store halfway out is stocked with fishing pole rentals, bait, tackle, snacks, beverages, and various souvenirs. Ruby’s 50’s diner, located at the end of the pier, 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 Oceanside Pier, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

FAQ of the Road Trip From San Francisco to San Diego

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

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

  • With ideal traffic and weather conditions, the San Francisco to San Diego road trip takes approximately 7 hours and 45 mins to drive. Therefore, the driving distance between San Francisco to San Diego is 502 miles.
  • If you want to make the San Francisco to San Diego 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 Francisco-San Diego route, you will have to walk for seven days and 20 hours.

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

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

  1. Concannon Vineyard: 46.6 miles / 55 mins to drive from San Francisco | 460 miles / 7 hours and 6 mins of driving to San Diego.
  2. Stewart and Jasper Co Store, Patterson: 84.3 miles / 1 hour and 24 mins to drive from San Francisco | 418 miles / 6 hours and 26 mins of driving to San Diego.
  3. Six Flags Magic Mountain: 348 miles / 5 hours and 20 mins to drive from San Francisco | 156 miles / 2 hours and 35 mins of driving to San Diego.
  4. Walt Disney Concert Hall: 383 miles / 5 hours and 56 mins to drive from San Francisco | 121 miles / 1 hour and 56 mins of driving to San Diego.
  5. Oceanside Pier: 464 miles / 7 hours and 14 mins to drive from San Francisco | 38.8 miles / 42 mins of driving to San Diego.

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

There are many excellent hotels during your road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. 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 Diego From San Francisco section.

  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Livermore: 41.4 miles / 46 mins to drive from San Francisco | 462 miles / 7 hours and 6 mins of driving to San Diego.
  • Hotel Lexen Newhall & Santa Clarita: 353 miles / 5 hours and 28 mins to drive from San Francisco | 150 miles / 2 hours and 27 mins of driving to San Diego.
  • citizenM Los Angeles Downtown: 383 miles / 5 hours and 57 mins to drive from San Francisco | 121 miles / 1 hour and 59 mins of driving to San Diego.
  • The Green Room Hotel: 467 miles / 7 hours and 14 mins to drive from San Francisco | 35.9 miles / 37 mins of driving to San Diego.

Where To Eat Between San Francisco to San Diego?

If you are thinking of taking a break and having a nice meal on your San Francisco to San Diego 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 Francisco To San Diego Road Trip.

  1. Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge: 48.8 miles / 57 mins to drive from San Francisco | 463 miles / 7 hours and 14 mins of driving to San Diego.
  2. Blues Cafe, Patterson: 87.0 miles / 1 hour and 30 mins to drive from San Francisco | 418 miles / 6 hours and 28 mins of driving to San Diego.
  3. Egg Plantation: 353 miles / 5 hours and 27 mins to drive from San Francisco | 151 miles / 2 hours and 28 mins of driving to San Diego.
  4. Langer’s: 380 miles / 5 hours and 58 mins to drive from San Francisco | 123 miles / 2 hours and 2 mins of driving to San Diego.
  5. Beach Break Cafe: 467 miles / 7 hours and 13 mins to drive from San Francisco | 36.1 miles / 37 mins of driving to San Diego.

Conclusion

So, there you have it- a complete guide to planning a road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. We have listed four hotels, five restaurants, and five places to visit on the San Francisco to San Diego 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 Francisco to San Diego as enjoyable as possible.

Share Your Thoughts

Have you ever taken the San Francisco to San Diego 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 Francisco to San Diego and your recommendations about this route by using the comment field below.

Video: San Diego Road Trip – Travel Guide

In this video, you can find a detailed travel guide to San Diego.




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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