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.

Santa Monica to San Diego

5 posts
Save Topic
Santa Monica to San Diego

Going to SM in a couple of weeks and my husband and I would like to visit San Diego while we are there. Does anyone know how far a drive it would be?

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
32,152 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Santa Monica to San Diego

It's 2-1/2 hours (or more) each way. Time of day plays a big part in determining how long it will take. During morning or evening "rush hours" (6 to 9 and 2:30 to 7), it can take as much as 3-1/2 hours (maybe longer). So, if you leave right at 9 (after the morning rush hour), you'll arrive around 11:30. In order to avoid the afternoon rush hour, you'd have to leave by 1:00 which means that either:

1. Your SD visit will be quite short

2. You'll get stuck in rush hour traffic on the way home (which means you'll spend more time in your car than in San Diego)

3. Or, if you stay until, say 7 pm -- a full day, your return trip will be pretty speedy.

As a rule, we recommend an overnight stay for SD.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
Level Contributor
29,572 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Santa Monica to San Diego

The last two times I've driven to San Diego it was about 4 hours each way. It gets worse in the summer with all the rental cars on the road.

Los Angeles
Level Contributor
17,420 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Santa Monica to San Diego

This is your vacation, so instead of spending most of the day on the freeway, why not enjoy a overnight stay. There are plenty of great things to do in that area

4. Re: Santa Monica to San Diego

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 9:16 pm, September 29, 2009