Driving LA to San Diego: Pacific Coast Highway Day 5
The final stretch of our Californian road trip was driving along the coast from LA to San Diego.
We had an extra night in LA to give us a break from the car and we made the most of the break to explore Venice Beach and Santa Monica on foot.
A one day break was all we needed though so we were off bright and early for the drive. The weather looked like it was going to be good for a day of checking out beaches but it turned out there was a bit of a gale blowing in especially at our first stop.
I could see why Huntington Beach is popular with Surfers – there were some big swells coming in, probably being helped along by the wind which completely exfoliated my skin with sand when I jumped out of the car briefly.
Newport Beach was our next planned stop but the wind was still howling so we opted to just drive through and check it out from the calm, wind-free car. I may have sang the theme song from the OC.
Keeping up with the towns-featured-on-tv-shows day we were having, we stopped in at Laguna Beach for lunch. We had a decent lunch there (at least we didn’t just have frozen yoghurt again) and had a mini walk around Laguna Beach. It’s got a nice small town feel and cute little beach right in the middle of it so I imagine this would be packed in summer (one of the perks of being there in winter: we got a park without any hassle).
Here is our video of the day and stay tuned for our favourite bits of San Diego. If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to our weekly summary emails below.
More information on driving LA to San Diego
How long is the coastal drive from LA to San Diego?
120 Miles and it took us just over 2 hours driving the coastal route.
Where should I stop on the drive to San Diego?
Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach are all good little stops and then on the drive into San Diego you could also opt to stop in at Torrey Pines for some nice coastal views (Torrey Pines Gliderport is a good free spot to go).
Where to stay in San Diego?
Our favourite spot is in Pacific Beach (a great area to walk around in and also to explore San Diego from if you’ve got a car). We had a suite at Beach Haven Inn for our 5 night stay and loved it (click here to check it out). The only downside was (as other reviews had warned us) “free laundry” actually means using the same laundry as the hotel’s cleaners (that are busy washing bedding and towels) and it doesn’t appear to ever actually be available to use (and nobody there can tell you when it will be). Luckily there is a coin laundry about 2 mins away!
*Some of the links used above are affiliate links – there is no difference in cost to you but we do get a small commission if you book or buy through the link. As always, we only ever recommend and link to accommodation that we have stayed at and thought was good or things that we use ourselves.