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Taking a nice, long drive down the coast really is as relaxing as it sounds. Coastal road trips allow you to explore several beach towns in a short amount of time, taking in plenty of scenery along the way. Should you decide to drive from the Los Angeles area to San Diego, do yourself the favor of taking Highway 1 down the coast. It may add a little travel time, but you’ll get to experience a lot more stunning scenery.

Start in Santa Monica. Enjoy a nice breakfast at the Blue Daisy Café on Broadway, a charming little creperie with all the classics. Take a morning stroll on the Santa Monica Pier before climbing into your car.

Waves In The Pacific Ocean And The Pier At Sunset, In Seal Beach

Next, drive down I-405 South until you see signs for Seal Beach. The Seal Beach Pier is a great place to stop and take some beautiful beach photos.


You’ll pass numerous beautiful beach communities as you drive down Highway 1. We recommend stopping in the picturesque Laguna Beach for lunch at one of their delicious spots with a view, like the oceanfront Driftwood Kitchen.

encinitas 2

Before you hit San Diego, you’ll come to the charming communities of Solana, Del Mar and Encinitas. If you enjoy shopping, Solana’s Cedros Avenue will be a dream come true. Then park your car and explore Moonlight Beach and Sea Cliff County Park in Encinitas—either place is perfect for catching a sunset. Del Mar’s Powerhouse Park is also a great place for a beach walk, and Jake’s Del Mar is a wonderful seafood spot for dinner.

Downtown San Diego at night

End your day with a drive into the beautiful city of San Diego. Get a good night’s rest so you’ll be ready to see all it has to offer the following day.
Enjoy your drive!