How Far Is San Diego From Los Angeles?

How Far Is San Diego From Los Angeles

So here you are wondering, how far is San Diego from Los Angeles? The entire route between San Diego and Los Angeles might not be a popular road trip like the classic trip from LA to San Francisco via Highway 1. Since it’s a vital city located in the US, and due to its favorable location, thanks to all the national parks on the route, driving to San Francisco is pretty popular. 

Moreover, San Francisco shares the beautiful Pacific Ocean with Los Angeles. However, in our opinion, San Diego does deserve more attention – and not just as a secondary location. The friendly city is full of charm and personality with inviting beaches, considering the water is relatively warmer as compared to the entire northern coast. 

So, if you plan to drive to San Diego, then we heartily support your decision. And we are here to help you out! Just stick around till the end! 

Answering, How Far Is San Diego From Los Angeles?

How far is San Diego from Los Angeles? According to Google, the distance between San Diego and Los Angeles is exactly 118 miles. And it will take you about 1 hour and 50 minutes to drive to San Diego from Los Angeles. But the whole ‘how far is it from San Diego to Los Angeles’ question is a little more complex than how it initially appears. 

After all, there are multiple factors that affect driving time, distance, and even things like your vehicle all come into play. So, we had to dive in a little deeper than we were prepared for – and here we go! Scroll down to find the answer you were looking for! 

Driving Time And Distance:

Driving Time And Distance
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Let’s assume your starting point is Downtown LA. In that case, the distance between LA and San Diego is around 118 miles. It will take you nearly 2 hours to reach San Diego, in case there’s no traffic and you decide not to stop even once. 

Keeping this information in mind, it’s safe to say that you must not underestimate the distance between the areas – if you think you can drive back and forth, it’s best to be cautious. There’s going to be plenty of city traffic, and that might just increase the time to three hours, further reducing your time schedule. 

You could plan on leaving LA post dinner so that you can experience light traffic, enjoy an overnight stay in beautiful San Diego and then spend your next day sightseeing before driving back to LA at night. So now you know how far is Los Angeles from San Diego – what next? Scroll down and read about the scenic route between LA and San Diego.

Los Angeles To San Diego Scenic Route:

Los Angeles to San Diego Scenic Route
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While wondering how far is San Diego from Los Angeles, you probably focussed more on the driving time and distance. But what about the scenic route? A road trip becomes a trip only when you enjoy it! Don’t look at this trip like another simple transit. Instead, keep some time on your hand and avoid those boring routes. 

Our recommendation? Take Highway 1 (the pacific coast highway) from LA – once you cross southern Laguna Beach, you can continue your trip on the I-5, located close to the coast, in order to reach beautiful San Diego. 

The Pacific Coast Highway is dotted with landscapes that are relatively less monotonous and grey as compared to the I-5 scenery. In fact, there are certain scenic places, such as Crystal Cove State Park and the Moro Canyon, located in and around Laguna Beach. 

If we are being honest, there are several stops on this route that deserves our attention, such as, 

  • Huntington Beach,
  • Orange County,
  • La Jolla. 

Try to stay on the I-5 and keep driving along the coast, enjoying the scenery around you, especially the areas in and around Laguna Beach and Newport Beach. Get off the I-5 at Exit 103 of Santa Ana and go to Highway 1. You can use State Route 73, Newport Coast Rd, and  CA-55 S to reach your destination. 

Although the time will be significantly more, then it’s a pretty cool compromise considering it can allow you to reach San Diego by afternoon. 

4 Ways To Travel To And From San Diego To L. A.  

Here’s how you can travel from San Diego to L.A via. 4 different transport modes.


You can travel to San Diego from Los Angeles via. Bus that will cost you between 15 to 40 dollars. The travel time will be approximately around 2 hours 55 minutes depending on the traffic.


You can also opt for the train route from San Diego to Los Angeles or from Los Angeles to San Diego. It will cost you between 5 to 85 dollars, the prices vary depending on the demand and dates you select for travel. Through this route it will take you approximately 2 hours and 56 minutes.


You can drive to Los Angeles as well from San Diego or vice versa. You will reach your destination within 2 hours approximately. You will need to fill your gas which will cost you around 21 to 32 dollars. This is the best way to travel to Los Angeles from San Diego as it is cost effective and most people in the US own a car or can rest it easily.

Fly, Tram  

You can also fly to Los Angeles but it might take you 3 and half hours to reach Los Angeles from San Diego. The reason for this time is due to numerous breaks from San Diego to San Diego International Airport to main town Los Angeles. It will cost you around 65 to 307 dollars.

The route will look like this:

  • Take a bus from Broadway & Kettner Bl to San Diego Int’l Airport & Terminal 1
  • Then take a flight from the San Diego Int’l Airport to LAX (Los Angeles)
  • From LAX take a bus to Aviation Blvd. Green Line Station
  • From Aviation Blvd. Green Line Station/ LAX Station take a train to Willowbrook – Rosa Parks Station – Metro C-Line

From Willowbrook – Rosa Parks Station – Metro A-Line take a tram to Historic Broadway Station or central Los Angeles

Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs):-

Check out the most frequently asked questions related to traveling to San Diego from Los Angeles, mentioned below. 

1. Is It Cheaper To Stay In San Diego Or Los Angeles?

Ans: Comparatively, the rent is pretty low in San Diego. Even a normal AirBNB rental is any day cheaper as compared to other standard accommodation options. At the same time, you can easily cut down on food expenses or even your travel costs in San Diego. 

2. Is It A Nice Drive From La To San Diego?

Ans: The whole drive between San Diego and LA lasts for only 120 miles, with about 2 hours of the journey having no traffic. But that’s not the best part of the trip. The best part? All the stops on the way were accompanied by pretty coastal towns and beautiful beaches. Moreover, the California coast never disappoints. 

3. Is There A Train That Runs From La To San Diego?

Yes there is a train that runs daily between Los Angeles and San Diego. The Pacific Surfliner train route makes 13 round-trips between these two cities daily with several stations within walking distance from top attractions.

4. How Far Is San Diego From La By Plane?

Ans: The total distance between Los Angeles and San Diego by plane is about 109 miles. The air distance of the route that’s most direct is often taken by most flights traveling between Los Angeles and San Diego. 

5. What City Is Between La And San Diego?

Ans: The main cities between San Diego and Los Angeles are, 
➼ La Jolla,
➼ Temecula,
➼ Laguna Beach,
➼ Anaheim,
➼ Long Beach,
➼ Carlsbad,
➼ Dana Point,
➼ Riverside,
➼ Escondido, and
➼ Pasadena

6. How Much Is An Uber From L.A. To San Diego?

If you wish to take an Uber from Los Angeles to San Diego or vice versa it will cost you 190 dollars approximately.

And It’s A Wrap!

Now you know how far is San Diego from Los Angeles! What next? Will you drive to San Diego from LA any day now? Finding out how far is it from Los Angeles to San Diego might prove to be smart but then what’s the point of driving if you are going to miss out on the most scenic stops because you have to take the fastest route? 

In the meantime, don’t forget to let us know your thoughts and experiences related to the same in the comments below. 

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Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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