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Drive from San Diego to LA (Universal Studios) questions, please...

Drive from San Diego to LA (Universal Studios) questions, please...

Mar 7th, 2001, 06:45 AM
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Drive from San Diego to LA (Universal Studios) questions, please...


We are going to San Diego for vacation and are considering a drive up to Universal Studios for the day. I hear that the drive is about 2 hours each way. Is this correct? Also, is just stricly "highway scenery" on the drive up? I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. We would just make it a day trip. We are not interested in spending the night anywhere.
Mar 7th, 2001, 07:50 AM
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Probably closer to 2.5 hours. It depends on time-of-day. On a weekday, if you hit Orange County (north of Capistrano, where the I-5 and I-405 split) after 9 AM, you should be okay. It will take between an hour and ninety minutes to get to that point from San Diego. After that, you can either take the 405 all the way up to the 101 South, which will take you to Universal City. Or, you could continue on I-5, which will take you past downtown LA and connect with 101 North. Either way is probably about the same time, though the 405 route is longer mileage-wise. As for scenery, the I-5 runs along or near the ocean from northern San Diego to Capistrano Beach, but, obviously, the good views are during the return drive. Along that freeway are Del Mar--a beach town having a race track open only during August--and San Juan Capistrano, where the giant mission is a popular attraction. That might be worth stopping for; it's interesting, beautiful, and probably won't take you very long to visit.
Mar 7th, 2001, 07:56 AM
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That's a long drive. We did it a few years ago and after spending the day in Universal the trip back seemed even longer!! Figure on 2 hours and 30 minutes on a good day.
It was all highway driving. Like any other interstate. Very uninteresting!
Good luck and enjoy your trip!
Mar 7th, 2001, 08:03 AM
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You can do Universal Studios in a day from San Diego. Depending on where you are staying in San Diego, the drive will be at least two and a half hours, possibly more if the traffic is particularly bad. As there will be more than one person in the car, make sure to use the carpool lanes. the simplest route for you to take would be Interstate 5N. This takes you quite close to the coast from San Diego through Camp Pendleton (US Marine base and the only open space you will go through). From San Clemente on, you go more inland, past lots of quite new business development which used to be orange groves (hence-Orange County), past the exit for Disneyland, past downtown LA. You will see the mountains north of LA and the Hollywood sign. Other than that, you will be driving on freeways with lots of traffic. I hope this is somewhat helpful.
Mar 7th, 2001, 08:09 AM
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Actually it IS possible to take the Amtrack from San Diego then pick up the new metro and go directly to Universal Studios.
Mar 7th, 2001, 08:29 AM
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Thyra's right--I've taken that trip and it never crossed my mind. Starting at 6 AM, Amtrak leaves downtown San Diego every hour during the morning. It takes 2.5 hours to get to Union Station. The cost is $46 round trip.
The MTA Red Line to Universal leaves every ten minutes and takes 25 minutes to get to the Universal City stop. A ticket costs (I think $1.35). No hassles, no parking fees.
Mar 7th, 2001, 09:32 AM
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Thank you all for your helpful comments. I will take them all into consideration as we make our plans. Your comments are greatfully appreciated, as first hand experience is always helpful!

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