San Diego to San Francisco in 2 1/2 days

Oct 11th, 2011, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 41
Consider skipping over LA. There is a lot to see there, but it takes so long to travel from one point to another, you may find your visit there to be more frustrating than enjoyable. I would consider both San Diego and LA to be destinations and not really cities you can see in a few hours.
I would drive straight to Santa Barbara and enjoy the afternoon and evening there and then drive straight to Monterey and Carmel the next morning enjoying the scenery along the way including Big Sur.
Hearst Castle is worth seeing, but I'd save it for another trip when you have more time. There is a beach near San Simeon however where you can stop and observe giant elephant seals on the beach up close.
You'll find it well worth your time to spend a little extra time in Monterey and Carmel. Do visit the aquarium. Bom Viagem!
Andre1324 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2011, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 41
One more thing: Don't forget that about 12 hours (or longer with traffic) of that trip will be spent just driving if you take the Pacific Coast Highway.
Andre1324 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2011, 12:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 18

As most of you have suggested, LA will be on another moment. It´s impossible to leave SD in the evening: we have friends waiting for us there and certainly we´ll enjoy the last evening there. I couldn´t leave there in the evening.

thanks for all tips! Brazil is waiting for city isn´t in the famous touristic route, but it´s too beautiful. It´s in the middle of the country, Goiânia ( and

For Andre1324, Muito Obrigado!
guilherme_maranhao is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 09:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 18
Hi guys,

We came back to Brazil last tuesday and brought several excelent experiences in US.
We made SD - SF in 2 days, but as we've already decided, we skipped LA.
We left SD about 9:30 am and got Santa Monica about 1:00 pm. During this route, we stopped in some spots to take pictures, buy suvenirs and this kind of touristic stuffs. And the best thing was that we did NOT hit too much traffic in LA.
We took same photos in SM, had lunch, put our feet in the "frozen" pacific water and came back to the road until Santa Barbara.
After some stops for photos, we got Santa Barbara at 5:30 pm and stayed there. Very beautiful city, was a very beautiful sunny afternoon. But how expensive is this city!! We´ve already known that, but I was too tired to go to San Luis O Bispo.
On the second day, we left SB about 9 am and got Oakland about 8 pm. We did not make the Hearst tour, just entered at the visitor center, had a snack, looked the castle on the binoculars and came back to the road. We´ve stopped at the Sea Lions point, the 1 famous bridge and in lot of other places to take photos. This second day wasn´t so beautiful. It rained in same parts and was cloudy. But the view is still spetacular. Later afternoon we stopped at Carmel (which was veeeery cold that day), had a snack there (it was about 4:30 pm) and went straight to Oakland, where we would meet our relatives.
After that, we´ve passed 8 days in SF. 2 of them in Yosemite, where we got snow on the second day. It was very beautiful, but we couldn´t go to Mariposa because the road was closed because of the snow.
The 6 days in SF were unforgettable! We´ve made the on top tour on those buses, visited Alcatraz and all the main points in SF.
Thanks for all tips! And we hope to come back to California!
guilherme_maranhao is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,711
I'm glad your trip went well. Hopefully you will be able to come back and see more of our beautiful state (I am biased, I admit )
november_moon is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
I didn't read all the posts, but as a long time SD and former SF resident - here is what I would suggest:

Either leave SD after the evening rush hour traffic - say 6 PM and stay a night in Hollywood, or leave SD very early - 5 am to beat the rush hour traffic into LA.

After touring the spots in Hollywood - drive out Sunset to the Getty Museum at about the 405/Mulholland.

After a couple hours there - get on the road before 3 PM and go another 45 minutes beyond Santa Barbara to stay at Danish themed Solvang. The next morning - have some of the great Danish pastries and then head up to San Simeon/Hearst Castle - and take a tour around noon or so - and they last a couple of hours. Seeing the small museum at the visitor center and the 20 minute movie is a must also.

From there, drive up the Coast and stay in Big Bur or Carmel or Monterrey, and the next day - drive Cannery Row in Monterrey, take the 17 mile drive in Carmel, and then decide if you want to visit the beautiful Aquarium.

Finish off driving up to SF, where if you are spending 5? days - you can kick back a bit.

So much to see in SF - but a Napa tour one afternoon could also be fun - and without traffic - it's what - an hour and a half or so up to the cute little Victorian square in Sonoma - at the southern end of the Napa Valley.
Tomsd is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,506
Nice itinerary Tom, but the OP is already back home in Brazil
sf7307 is online now  
Nov 17th, 2011, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
LOL - I just scrolled up and saw your trip report. Glad you had a good time, and have a few things left to do next time.
Tomsd is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Oct 12th, 2017 12:32 PM
United States
Jul 30th, 2017 03:36 AM
United States
Jan 19th, 2014 09:32 AM
United States
May 6th, 2011 10:47 AM
United States
Aug 27th, 2003 05:29 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:31 PM.