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LA to San Diego

Sydney, Australia
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89 posts
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LA to San Diego

Hi I need to get to San Diego from LA Airport. Not keen to drive on the wrong side of the ride, but it seems easiest way to get there. Is it an easy drive to San Diego? Would the train be better but it seems a bit of a hassle to get to the station from the Airport. I have looked at flights and cheapest return per person AUD$271.00 does this seem okay? Cheers L

Rancho Santa...
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1. Re: LA to San Diego

Where in LA are you starting from? Be precise. Will you already have a rental car in LA? How long are you staying in LA?

What is the purpose of your trip to San Diego? How long will you stay?

Personally, I find the drive between LA unpleasant. You are crossing three major urban traffic zones -- LA, OC, SD. So getting nailed in traffic is pretty common, particularly in northern SD County. The trip is about 140 miles. So it should take a bit over two hours. But, 3-4 is quite common.

I've never heard any visitor complain that driving on the opposite side of the road was a problem. To the contrary, the common reaction is, "This is easier than I thought!"

Flying to SD seems preposterous, except for a connecting flight. The train is a very relaxing way to make the trip. But, taking the train is all about your plans in both LA and SD, where you are starting from in LA and where you end up in SD. Under specific circumstances, it can make sense. Obviously, your temperament is very important, too.

HTH

Elk Grove...
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for Hong Kong
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2. Re: LA to San Diego

LA to San Diego - mostly it is on freeways (I-405 and I-5). Is it easy to drive on freeways? (Motorways, Expressways, Autobahn) They are divided highways with no stops. Once you get on, it's only one direction to go.

Public transportation can be tough. Unless you take taxi or shuttle. Shuttle - 2 trips, may cost in par with airfare.

Los Angeles Light Rail transferred to Amtrak train would work. But would take a long time.

Uden, The...
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3. Re: LA to San Diego

Hope you are not planning to fly to Lax and immediately drive to San Diego. 405 always is busy and an ordeal in rushhour. 2x7 lanes can be quite intimidating if you're not used driving in the right hand side of the road. So no I would not call the an easy drive. Also depends on the day of the week you are coming.

Norwich, United...
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4. Re: LA to San Diego

FWIW here's a dashcam video of the drive in the opposite direction. It's very lengthy so you'll almost certainly just want to sample a few bits of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNn4vzeuMpI

There's some good information about driving in the USA in the early posts of this thread:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12567-k4420371…

Most people only take a few minutes to get used to sitting on the left and driving on the right but people vary.

Depending on where you're starting from you might feel the need to use a navigator to guide you through Los Angeles, either electronic (GPS/SatNav) or human (with a printed map).

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: LA to San Diego

Hi. As mentioned I need to get San Diego from LA Airport so why would it be "preposterous" to fly to San Diego! To me it would be easy to just ge a flight with no transfers, buses or trains.!

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: LA to San Diego

Hi thank you Happy feet. It sounds like an easy drive but having driven on your motorways before it is so different from our Highways! l

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: LA to San Diego

Hi tet14, yes we would have to drive that day. We haven driven in America before but not somewhere as busy as LA. Sometimes the hardest part is getting out of the rental car depot! l

Norwich, United...
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8. Re: LA to San Diego

> Sometimes the hardest part is getting out of the rental car depot!

Very true. Doing a virtual "drive" with Google Maps/StreetView beforehand can help to plan the route.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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9. Re: LA to San Diego

You say you "need" to get to San Diego, not "want" to. Is there a specific time/day you need to be in San Diego for an event?

Assuming you are flying in from SYD, what time does your flight arrive and what day of the week? I'd add two hours to that time to clear immigration & customs and pick up the car.

At the wrong time of day the drive can be up up to 5 hours instead of the two it ought to be.

$251 per person sounds very expensive for a 40 minute flight.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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10. Re: LA to San Diego

Hi,

IF you book your flight from Sydney TO San Diego instead of to LAX then the San Diego leg may be more cost efficient. IF you plan to spend time in LA after your visit to San Diego then book the ticket as a multi city flight Sydney TO San Diego and home from LAX.

It sounds like you have some time pressure to get to San Diego but maybe getting back to LA would be more relaxed so you'd have the time to take the train which goes downtown to downtown so easy to do in reverse.