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Fly into LA ???

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Morris County, New...
Level Contributor
296 posts
31 reviews
Fly into LA ???

Wife and I are going to San Diego in August - spending some time there then driving up coast to San Francisco. Today arifares are $150 per person if we fly into LA as oppsed to flying in to San Diego. Will fly out of San Francisco. I realize car rental will cost more - pick up one place and drop at another - but we are doing that anyway since we are flying out of SF. I can get into LA around 10 or 11 a.m. on a Thursday. How long would it take me to drive to SD from the LA airport? (NOT scenic route - fastest route - will do scenic route when we go south to north)

Thanks

Chula Vista...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
2,608 posts
104 reviews
1. Re: Fly into LA ???

Hi,

Under perfect conditions, the 125 miles should take you about 2 hours to get to downtown San Diego. However, traffic in LA can be fickle and you could easily add an hour or two to that. (In January, it took me 2 hours to drive the 40 miles between Anaheim and Santa Monica around 1 PM on a Saturday.) You just never know.

Traveling midday will certainly be better than traveling at rush hour.

Zed

Morris County, New...
Level Contributor
296 posts
31 reviews
2. Re: Fly into LA ???

should say "$150 per person CHEAPER..."

San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
1,131 posts
23 reviews
3. Re: Fly into LA ???

zed1958: I had to smile when I read what you wrote about "Under perfect conditions ..." As if LA freeways ever have perfect conditions! lol

But of course, we shall remain optimists for you, bogey2020 -- and you are hitting the road at a good time of day on Thursday ... just don't dilly-dally too much or you will get caught in our "North County" rush hour on I-5 from about Del Mar through the Sorrento Valley where I-5 and I-805 split ... that gets wonky around 3pm or so.

One thing I do when going to/from that part of LA is take the toll road (73) instead of staying on 405. It costs about $5-6 but it's worth it to me just to have a break from constantly being on my guard with the traffic. (It may not save a huge amount of time).

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
28,895 posts
65 reviews
4. Re: Fly into LA ???

Have you considered driving in the opposite direction -- fly into SFO, drive down the coast and fly home from San Diego? I glanced at such an itinerary and there doesn't appear to be the $150 premium associated with flying via San Diego.

United States
Level Contributor
2,302 posts
131 reviews
5. Re: Fly into LA ???

You could take the train to San Diego from LA. We enjoyed the view.

Casper, Wyoming
11 posts
6. Re: Fly into LA ???

take the Amtrak train. It's cheap and really nice

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
15,164 posts
58 reviews
7. Re: Fly into LA ???

Best case, you're looking at at least 4 or 5 hours if you take Amtrak to San Diego from LA. You can taxi to Union Station (about $50) from LAX, or take the FlyAway bus there (runs every 30 minutes during the day, $7 per person) - figure 30-45 minutes of actual transit time getting there. Then depending on the train schedule, you may have an hour or two to wait for the train. Then you're looking at about 3 hours transit time on the train. Then time to rent a car in SD or taxi to your hotel there. If you rent a car, you're probably looking at more like 3 1/2 hours - time to get shuttled to the rental company, stand in line if needed, pick up the car, then the drive itself. Hopefully at mid-day traffic won't be bad, but it can be. If its not bad, figure 2 1/4 hours or so to drive. If traffic is bad, you could easily add 1-2 hours to that. So with luck driving will be quicker, but not necessarily so - the train has all the other logistical delays associated with it, but once the train's moving, it doesn't get impacted by traffic.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
55,614 posts
65 reviews
8. Re: Fly into LA ???

I hate backtracking so I'd try reversing the trip as mentioned above. Price flying into SFO and out of SAN.

You might also price a closer airport like SNA in Orange County rather than LAX if you must start in southern California.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
47,088 posts
415 reviews
9. Re: Fly into LA ???

Hey.... you can pick almost any airport in SoCal (LGB, LAX, SNA & ONT) to get to San Diego. If John Wayne and Long Beach are too expensive, Ontario is a MUCH better airport than LAX for San Diego. It is closer than LAX and has less traffic.

But I really like Riff's idea of SFO first, then SAN.

Morris County, New...
Level Contributor
296 posts
31 reviews
10. Re: Fly into LA ???

SF to SD does not work for me as we have to be in SD for a wedding - and due to timing issues can't make the trip down the coast before the wedding - have to make it after the wedding. I'll try the other airports - but flying across country - would there be connections into thsmaller airports? I'll definitely check it out

Thanks