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Oceanside good for LA/San Diego visit?

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Fort Worth, Texas
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Oceanside good for LA/San Diego visit?

We are visiting Los Angeles and San Diego and wondered if Oceanside is an appropriate base of operations? Would it be an easy drive to and fro both cities from Oceanside? Thanks

So.Cal
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1. Re: Oceanside good for LA/San Diego visit?

San Diego is an pretty easy drive - about 35-40 minutes by freeway if it's not during rush hour. Taking the coastal route is more interesting but will take longer. Los Angeles is not as easy, somewhere around 1 hr. & 15 min. on up, depending on where in the LA area you're going and the time of day. You can only go by freeway for the first part of the trip across Camp Pendleton. Oceanside is a great suburban community with a beautiful little harbor and wooden pier, great beaches, but not a resort destination. You might do better splitting your stay with a few days in each location.

San Diego
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2. Re: Oceanside good for LA/San Diego visit?

It is really difficult to have 1 base to visit both San Diego and Los Angeles since the cities are about 2 hrs. apart without traffic! Most folks don't want to drive back and forth every day! There IS also a train you can take from Oceanside to both cities but again IF you have a lot of time then it might be OK but if you have only a couple of days then it is too far to travel each day.

From downtown San Diego to Oceanside can take anywhere from 40min. to 1 hr. depending on traffic and time of day.

From Oceanside it will take about 1 1/2 hours to some parts of LA and 2 hrs. to others(like Universal). The whole area is quite spread out!!

NJ
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3. Re: Oceanside good for LA/San Diego visit?

As others have pointed out it's not a matter of finding the "midpoint"; it's the traffic.

As a local once told me they call it the 405 b/c once you get on that highway, it takes four or five hours to get anywhere. It did take us 4+ hours to drive to Oceanside from LA on a Friday in August. It only took 2.5 to come back Monday morning after rush hour. We left Oceanside around 9 & got to LAX well before noon even stopping for gas & breakfast.

So Cal traffic is just too unpredictable. I'd stay in LA then move to San Diego. You can stop off in the middle if you like but if you try to drive back & forth you will waste too much time in the car.

Edmonton, Canada
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4. Re: Oceanside good for LA/San Diego visit?

bad plan....

as mentioned above, once it took me 5 hours to drive from north la to laguna beach (which is north of oceanside).

if you only have time for one city...my vote would go to san diego.

Pasadena, California
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5. Re: Oceanside good for LA/San Diego visit?

Wow! And I thought my 3.5 hour LA-San Diego drive was the worst ever. Not even close, apparently.

As they said. You need two bases, one in San Diego and one in LA, if you plan to spend time in both cities.

Fort Worth, Texas
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6. Re: Oceanside good for LA/San Diego visit?

Thank you all for your advice. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to respond. I was hoping the traffic would not be the major issue but as it appears with your advice and that of others, it might be the only thing that matters. Thanks again

Edited: 8:50 pm, October 23, 2012
Redington Beach...
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7. Re: Oceanside good for LA/San Diego visit?

It's all about timing! You can have the best of both worlds if you take rush hours and freeway choice into consideration, and many tourists end up in Oceanside after what my sister in law and nieces found out... Oceanside is a great smaller family-friendly mid-point with Legoland and San Diego Zoo's Safari park and Wave and Legoland waterparks close by. There is also family friendly Surf Camps USA for a drop-in surfing lesson for the kids and the beaches are good.Also, boat and paddle board rentals, jetski (they let you go out into the open ocean too!) When my nieces came from Ohio they were swallowed up by L.A. and felt safer staying in Oceanside and taking day trips up to L.A. and to downtown San Diego. The hotels are not as expensive, so you won't end up on a side street with the sad homeless situations in the cities. Avoid L.A. driving by leaving early (at 6am) and coming back early (btw; 2 and 3pm) or stay up there for dinner and leave after 7pm. L.A. and S.D. are a little scary as it get later unless you are into bars and club scene. Also, Take the 405 and go over to the 1, there are awesome coastal places you will miss on the way on the 405! Tip: also check out vacation rentals where you can get some great deals on the water like North Coast Villages.

8. Re: Oceanside good for LA/San Diego visit?

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