We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Ontario, Cali to SB

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
542 posts
15 reviews
Save Topic
Ontario, Cali to SB

MapQuest says that it's a 21/2 hour drive from our Ontario Airport Hotel to Santa Barbara. We will be leaving Ontario about 10:00 on Saturday morning. Is 2 1/2 hours realistic? Our plan is to make SB our rest/lunch stop on our way to Cambria. Will Saturday morning traffic be a factor?.

Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
25,711 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Ontario, Cali to SB

The freeway part of the drive should be fine, there are Carpool lanes on part of the route that you should take advantage of (2 or more people are needed). Once you get off the freeway to the coastal highway area, then yes, the roads tend to slow down on weekends as folks are taking advantage of the time off work.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
542 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Ontario, Cali to SB

I thought that that may be the case. 3 1/2 hours a bit more realistic?

Grover Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
20,692 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Ontario, Cali to SB

Don't know if less traffic would be involved, but I would probably take the 210 west/north to I-5 north to Highway 126 west through Fillmore/Santa Paula to Ventura and pick up Highway 101 north to Santa Barbara from there.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
52,480 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Ontario, Cali to SB

If anyone can predict traffic in California, they get my deepest admiration. Having been on that stretch of road (the 101 part) during Summer, we saw that 101 used to get congested in parts on the weekend and then open up. It may be better now that Summer is almost over. We saw no accidents and the carpool lane was as slow as the other lanes. So your estimate is quite good. You are on vacation, go with the flow :-)

Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
Level Contributor
6,011 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Ontario, Cali to SB

2.5 hours is a bit optimistic. I'd say 2.75 is the minimum.

We often take Kibblesmom's route, which, along the 126, is a look at rural Californian as it might have looked 100 years ago: Orange and avocado groves nestled in a valley.

Do allow some time in Santa Barbara once you arrive there-- at least a walk on Stearns Wharf, and maybe a drive up State Street at least as far as Victoria or so, hopefully a walk on state street or a visit to the Courthouse.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
43,069 posts
1,080 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Ontario, Cali to SB

>> rural Californian as it might have looked 100 years ago <<

LOL, a good chunk of southern California looked that way as little as 30-40 years ago and I'm old enough to remember it!

Will agree that Kibblesmom's route suggestion is better than plowing through LA. Also agree 3+ hours is probably more accurate from Ontario.

Edited: 9:08 pm, September 03, 2012
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
542 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Ontario, Cali to SB

I think this will work out fine. MapQuest tells me that it's a 4 hour 40 minute drive from Ontario to Santa Barbra to Cambria. That's being optimistic so, I'm going to figure that to be a 7 hour drive. If I leave Ontario at 10:00, I should be in SB by 1:30 the latest. If we get out of Ontario earlier than 10 and if the drive takes less than 3 1/2 hours then we'll spend more time in SB My plan would be to leave SB at 4:00 to be in Cambria by 7 to hopefully catch a sunset from our room. Reasonable?

Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
Level Contributor
6,011 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Ontario, Cali to SB

Very reasonable. You are leaving plenty of time, and will likely have time for a couple of short stops on the way to Cambria. And traffic may be relatively light on a Saturday.

Huntington Beach...
Destination Expert
for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
Level Contributor
6,397 posts
185 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Ontario, Cali to SB

I drove to San Luis Obispo (not as far as Cambria) last month and hit horrendous traffic from Encino to north of Santa Barbara. That was mid-day on a Friday. With a stop in Camarillo for lunch it took us over 5 hours.

And btw -- the abbreviation for California is CA.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
542 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Ontario, Cali to SB

LSCats; the 5 hour drive, was that using the route that Kiblesmom suggested? I'm not too concerned about traffic, I'll avoid it if possible, but we've left a lot of wiggle room in our plans. I'm from NYC; used to traffic. I also knew that the abbreviation is CA, but had a mini-brain freeze. Excited about my trip.