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IndyMegan May 17th, 2005 10:59 AM

LA to San Diego - Coastal Drive?
Can anyone recommend a coastal route from LAX to San Diego? I won't have a lot of time to linger. I want to make part of the drive scenic and maybe stop at a beach overlook or in a town for a quick bite. Where should I get off and hit the Coast Highway for a scenic drive, before getting back on 5?

rjw_lgb_ca May 17th, 2005 12:49 PM

I'll give a general guideline for the drive through to the OC-SD county line....

From LAX, grab the I-405 south until Seal Beach Blvd. Take this exit and head west toward the ocean (I believe it's a right turn onto SB). Take a left at Pacific Coast Highway. Follow this beautiful drive to San Clemente, then head up to I-5 south. You'll get some ocean views on the 5 from San Onofre on south, but PCH is not continuous LA county to SD county, so this makes for an easier time (and the drive through Orange County is the nicest IMHO). You can stop for lunch in Newport or Laguna Beach.

ou can rejoin PCH in La Jolla.... But the SD county residents can give a better idea of that route.

joan1 May 17th, 2005 01:43 PM

Hi I am alos going to La in JUne and would love to do that drive how long of a drive from La to san diego?????? thanks

rjw_lgb_ca May 17th, 2005 01:53 PM

Greater LA to San Diego, with NO traffic and Interstate only-- roughly 2 hours. Basically weekends and early weekday mornings.

Typical traffic, Interstate only-- roughly 2.5 hours.

Friday afternoon Rush Hour-- 4 to 5 hours.

Adding coastal drive adds 1 hour (or up to 90 minutes) to any of these times. And that excludes any stops.

happytrailstoyou May 17th, 2005 02:03 PM

There are some lovely communities on the coast between LA and San Diego, but since this area is built up and the land is comparatively flat, it is not as scenic as the stretch of coast from Santa Monica to Mendocino.

Of the several detours from I-5, Newport Beach is probably as good as any.

SimoneSassett May 17th, 2005 02:12 PM

I think Crystal Cove is the prettiest along OC's coast. I agree, take the 405 out of LA (NOT the 5, the 5 sucks balls - it's a truck corridor and you do NOT want to drive the 5 during weekday traffic, through LA).

Once you get down past Long Beach, pick up PCH in Orange County - either at Seal Beach or more south in Newport Beach. It's too bad there's no PCH from OC to SD, but that's ok...

Have a fun trip.

bigtyke May 17th, 2005 05:00 PM

Coast Highway is booorrrring!! It is one big strip mall. The only part I can recommend is the north part of Laguna and from Carlsbad south.

IndyMegan May 18th, 2005 05:56 AM

Thanks, everyone, for your input. This is exactly what I was looking for. Glad you warned me off the 5 out of LA!

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