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San Diego to Los Angeles: Scenic Route?

San Diego to Los Angeles: Scenic Route?

Old Apr 26, 16, 2:50 pm
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Question San Diego to Los Angeles: Scenic Route?

We're looking to drive from San Diego to Los Angeles (Hacienda Heights area) on a Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.

Just looking at Google Maps, this seems to be a fairly scenic if slow route:
N Torrey Pines Rd to S Camino Del Mar to Hwy 101 to Carlsbad Blvd to Oceanside and then jump on the I-5 the rest of the way.

Any thoughts if this route is worth it or any suggestions for stops along the way?

TIA.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 3:08 pm
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I take the 101 from San Diego to Carlsbad every few weeks just to do it - it is a great drive.

I'd do it, if you have the time. There are some great views you can't get from the highway! If you are traveling during lunch hours stop at either Pizza Port or Bull Taco; you can't miss with either one.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 7:20 pm
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Thanks for the suggestions.
Doing some initial research, we had noted Bull Taco and some other places that caught our eyes. Hadn't identified Pizza Port yet. Will research them and add to the list. Thx!
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Old Apr 27, 16, 7:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Jay71 View Post
Will research them and add to the list. Thx!
Very good pizza....surprisingly good, but the best part is the locally brewed beer. Have a good trip
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Old May 2, 16, 3:10 pm
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If you have time to stop along the way and enjoy the little towns, then yes, I think it's worth it. Otherwise, I would recommend taking the coaster instead. It's a nice clean train with a surprisingly good wine selection, and hugs the coastline, so you can relax and enjoy the ocean views and surfers. Plus with LA traffic, it's often much faster than driving.
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Old May 2, 16, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Kate031 View Post
If you have time to stop along the way and enjoy the little towns, then yes, I think it's worth it. Otherwise, I would recommend taking the coaster instead. It's a nice clean train with a surprisingly good wine selection, and hugs the coastline, so you can relax and enjoy the ocean views and surfers. Plus with LA traffic, it's often much faster than driving.
Re: the Coaster, when you buy a ticket, don't expect that a conductor will come around and check it. It's one of those honor system-types, more common in Europe.
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Old May 2, 16, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Kate031 View Post
you can relax and enjoy the ocean views and surfers.
Until you get to Anaheim because after that you might as well be on a train from Newark to Trenton
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Old May 2, 16, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Kate031 View Post
Otherwise, I would recommend taking the coaster instead. It's a nice clean train with a surprisingly good wine selection, and hugs the coastline, so you can relax and enjoy the ocean views and surfers. Plus with LA traffic, it's often much faster than driving.
Coaster is San Diego County only, it runs between San Diego and Oceanside. What you want is the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, which goes between San Diego and San Luis Obispo.

Alternatively you could take the Coaster as far as Oceanside and then a Metrolink train the rest of the way to LA, but then you have to buy a separate ticket in Oceanside and I don't know how the train schedules coordinate. It might be a little cheaper to do it this way, but at the prices we're talking it's probably not worth the hassle.

One thing to keep in mind about some of the suggestions in this thread about taking "101" is that the U.S. 101 now has it's southern terminus in Los Angeles. The old historic 101 route along the coastline has various names as it passes through San Diego County: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._R...s_to_San_Diego. I agree though that this would be the scenic route to LA, compared to the usual route of Interstate 5.
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Old May 2, 16, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Hawaiian717 View Post
Coaster is San Diego County only, it runs between San Diego and Oceanside. What you want is the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, which goes between San Diego and San Luis Obispo.
Yes! Good catch. I meant the Surfliner.
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Old May 2, 16, 8:30 pm
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Love the idea of taking a train but it's not going to work for us for this trip. Have to keep it in the back pocket for a future trip.
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Old May 2, 16, 8:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Jay71 View Post
We're looking to drive from San Diego to Los Angeles (Hacienda Heights area) on a Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.

Just looking at Google Maps, this seems to be a fairly scenic if slow route:
N Torrey Pines Rd to S Camino Del Mar to Hwy 101 to Carlsbad Blvd to Oceanside and then jump on the I-5 the rest of the way.

Any thoughts if this route is worth it or any suggestions for stops along the way?

TIA.
Google Maps is now pulling in data from Waze, from what I understand, so you may wish to consider a data-driven route, at least part of the way. It might help you to avoid some of the traffic-induced pain.

I won't comment on the southern portion of the route, but once you get into Orange County-- specifically, the junction of the 5 and 57 freeways-- you probably want to jump on the 57 North --> 60 West route.

The 57 North should be wide open in the morning, much earlier than the 5 North/605 North combination will be. If you come up in the afternoon, both the 57/60 and 5/605 routes will be clogged.

It's not really possible to do the whole trip going against traffic, but if you do the drive in the morning you should have an easier time of it than in the afternoon. You can map route variations on Google maps during both times of day to see.

Unfortunately, if you roll in the morning, you may find places like Pizza Port, which opens at 11, inaccessible. But there are equivalents. In Hacienda Heights, World's Best Pizza isn't bad. It's a bready pizza, but get some beer or wine (elsewhere, unfortunately) and enjoy. World's Best isn't so much of a sit-down place; probably 95% of their customers do take-out.

Personally, if I was coming down from BC, I'd be looking for Mexican food around SoCal.
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Old May 3, 16, 11:20 am
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5 to 57 to 60 is pretty much always the way I would go
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Old May 4, 16, 7:13 am
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pass by Dana point, u wont regret it
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Old May 5, 16, 4:18 am
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Once you get into Orange County (San Clemente), jump on CA 1 at Dana Point and just ride that all the way to LA.

It can take a while, but quite worth it.
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Old May 5, 16, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
Once you get into Orange County (San Clemente), jump on CA 1 at Dana Point and just ride that all the way to LA.

It can take a while, but quite worth it.
Except that ends them up in west la, nowhere near hacienda heights.
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