Drive from LAX to La Jolla

Old Mar 14th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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Drive from LAX to La Jolla

Thanks for your help, I decided to stay in La Jolla for our SD mini-vacation. One question.

What will be the best way to drive to La Jolla from LAX. We will be arriving from Chicago at about 1 p.m. on Saturday. By the time we get our bags and get the rental car, it will be close to 2-3 p.m.

Does anyone know any place to stop along the way for our kids? After all, we will have been on the road for 7-8 hours by then.

Thanks.
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 09:23 AM
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405 south to the 73 tollroad, which will dump you out onto the 5 in southern orange county. there's a busy rest stop on in camp pendleton that many people stop at that is convenient with rest rooms and concessions.
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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I would suggest leaving the LAX area as soon as you can and start southbound on Interstate 405 (the "San Diego Freeway"). You need to avoid the rush hour traffic. Even at 2pm, traffic will be bad, but the later it gets, the worse it gets. So, start as soon as possible.

A good stopoff would be about an hour's drive away. There is the Irvine Spectrum Entertainment Center in Irvine. Southbound on 405, take the Irvine Center Exit. This is an upscale indoor/outdoor shopping mall.

There are places to have hamburgers or more expensive fare. If you like upscale, pseudo-Chinese food, there's a PF Chang's there (look for the two big horses outside). Or there is a food court with things like a Boudini's, where you can have clam chowder in a cut-out loaf of sour dough bread. You can stretch your legs and walk around the mall and rest a bit.

When you are ready to leave, take 405 again. It quickly merges into Interstate 5 (the "Golden State Freeway") which will take you all the way to La Jolla.

By the time you get to La Jolla, you may meet with a bit of traffic where Interstate 5 joins with Interstate 805, but you will be very close to La Jolla, so this bit of rush hour traffic shouldn't last you too long.

Have a safe and happy journey!
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 10:05 AM
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Thanks for all your help.
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 10:21 AM
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You will be coming south in the afternoon when San Diego rush hour traffic is mostly going north. When you get to I-5 and I-805 coming south, they split - you will stay to the right to stay on I-5 - and there should be no back up. The northbound lanes will probably be backed up.

I agree with malvado re using the toll road. There are places to stop after you get back on I-5.
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 06:15 PM
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We like to stop in San Juan Capistrano. Several places to eat, and you can visit the mission if so inclined.

If not, there are tons of places along the freeway and they give lots of notice (on freeway signs)of whats at each off ramp.

Definitely take the toll road. A great bargain!
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 11:03 PM
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If you stop in San Juan Capistrano, take your kids to Ruby's diner, it is family friendly and near the mission.

fyi, don't forget to tell your kids that Mark Prior grew up in San Diego and still lives here. He went to University of San Diego High School which is about 10 minutes down the road from La Jolla. He married our neighbor's daughter so many san diegans now root for the cubs.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 10:27 AM
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personally, i usually go for the more scenic route if you are not in a rush. go into laguna beach for a bit to eat. it is beautiful. then you need to get back on freeway 5 for a section. then i usually cut back over to the pacific coast highway at oceanside and take the coast route down. it will add about an extra 30 minutes but the scenary and seeing the little cities along the way is worth it. you may even hit torry pines state park and sunset which would be a perfect way to end the day.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 11:12 AM
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I'm not to sure why anyone recommended the Hwy 73 toll-road on a Saturday afternoon. It is slightly out of your way and normally southbound traffic on the 405/5 is not a problem.

Coming out of LAX, drive directly east on Century Blvd to the I-405 and head south (toward Long Beach). The 405 makes a sweeping curve southeast bound in the south bay area and continues until it merges with the I-5 in Irvine.

Just before that merge, you'll see an offramp to the Irvine Center was mentioned as a place to walk around, enterain yourselves, and eat.

If you prefer, you could take Laguna Canyon Road and go into Laguna Beach for beach/people watching/restaurants, etc.

Further south on the 5, you could take Junipero Serra Road or the next exit, Ortega Hwy, and drive into San Juan Capistrano. The mission is kind of neat to walk around for an hour or two and there's actually some American history to be expereinced there.

The enxt town south is San Clemente and there's a pretty good pier for beach/ocean watching with a good restaurant at the foot of the pier.

After that, you pass thru miles of Camp Pendelton. On the weekends, there's not usually much Marine Corps activity visible from the freeway but you could see low-flying helicopters or navy ships just off-shore.

All the little beach towns in San Diego County have beach access and places to eat. By the time you have gotten into Oceanside from Camp Pendelton you're about 65% of the way from LAX to downtown SD.

Have a great trip.
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