Are you thinking about taking a road trip around California? If you are, you should already have San Diego on the list of places to visit. The city makes a great place to stop for a few days with long stretches of coastline, incredible scenery and lots of opportunities to have an adventure. You can find one of the San Diego beach house rentals and wake up to the blue sky over the Pacific Ocean and warm weather every morning. Sounds like something you would want to do? If the answer is yes, keep reading and you’ll find out how to have the best road trip to San Diego.
If you want to have a smooth road trip, there are a few things you should do before setting off. The most important is to get insurance and double check that the one you currently have covers you for the trip. It’s also a good idea to take the car to a reliable mechanic and get them to double check everything is working. The last thing anyone wants is to break down in the middle of the Californian desert!
When the car is ready to go, the next stage is to plan your route. Are you driving from Los Angeles down to San Diego or is this trip part of a bigger Californian or even West Coast trip? First, get Google Maps onto the computer and take a look at the towns and cities along the route. Do any of them interest you? Some may have unique attractions while other may have more choices to stay overnight.
And finally, packing. Bring the essentials like plenty of water and unperishable food in case you get stuck somewhere unexpected. Bring an emergency kit and first aid. You should also consider having a backup phone and chargers for all your electronics.
Starting the Road Trip
Now you’re ready to set off. The hard part of the planning stage and getting everything organised is over. It’s time to get behind the wheel and start the epic adventure. Regardless of whether you’re away for a weekend or a trip lasting several months, always double check you have everything before departure. Write a list and tick it off. You don’t want to find out you forgot the camera or toilet paper when you need it the most. Also, have a driving strategy. Discuss with your passengers and change the driver every few hours or so.
What Makes San Diego a Great Place to Stop?
The weather is a major reason why San Diego is a perfect place to visit on a road trip. Regardless of what time of the year you’re visiting, it’s probably going to be sunny. More than 300 days of sunshine with warm summers and mild winters make this southern Californian city a great place to visit. This means you can come at any time of the year and still join in with the water sports and relax on the beach, despite the season being fall or winter.
The Must-Sees in San Diego
San Diego has a variety of attractions from theme parks to excellent places to watch the sunset. If you want something different, head to San Diego Zoo and see the giant pandas. Otherwise, the must-see spots include Coronado Island, La Jolla, the Cabrillo National Monument and Sunset Cliffs. Or head to one of the city beaches or drive a little further down the coast to find the more secluded spots. After all, this is a road trip, and you do have the flexibility to get out of the city.
In the evening, the historic Gaslamp Quarter has hundreds of bars, lounges and restaurants. Whatever mood you’re in, there will be something in this part of the city to suit your interests. If you want to visit a bar for a few drinks or grab a bite to eat, the Gaslamp Quarter is the place to be. Savvy visitors will head down between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm, which is when most bars have Happy Hour.
Having an Adventure in San Diego
There are three epic ways you can have an adventure to remember in San Diego. Either head to the Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve, loop back up and visit Death Valley or cross the border into Mexico. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve has trails, cliffs and beaches. If you like being out in the great outdoors, this is one of the wildest places left in California.
Death Valley will take at least a five-hour drive from San Diego and makes a good stop on a road trip around California. The bone-dry canyons and rugged landscape will inspire your inner photographer. However, Death Valley is unforgiving and unrelenting, especially in the summer when the thermometer regularly exceeds 50°C. If you do want to visit, make sure you prepare yourself by bringing enough water, knowing exactly where you’re going and having a contingency plan.
More adventurous tourists can visit Mexico on a day trip from San Diego. The border town of Tijuana feels very different to the United States. Tijuana is the largest city in the Baja California Peninsula with Avenida Revolucion being the most famous attraction.
The Perfect San Diego Road Trip
Having a road trip can be an incredible adventure. But it can also turn into a disaster. Make sure you plan the trip carefully before you set off. When you arrive, check out the views, Gaslamp Quarter for meals and drinks and head around the region or even to Mexico on a day trip.