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Denver to San Diego drive

2 travelers   /   driving   /   3 days



Denver to San Diego road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Denver to San Diego. If you're planning a road trip to San Diego, you can research locations to stop along the way. Find the best restaurants, hotels, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.

customize this trip
 Day 1

10:00 am  start in Denver
drive for about 1.5 hours

11:40 am  Vail
eat at Minturn Saloon
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 12:40 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

2:58 pm  Grand Junction
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 3:58 pm
drive for about 3.5 hours

7:23 pm  Torrey
stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 7.5 hours
find more stops

 Day 2

10:00 am  leave from Torrey
drive for about 3.5 hours

1:42 pm  Zion National Park
stay for about 1.5 hours and leave at 3:12 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

5:53 pm  Las Vegas
eat at Giada
stay overnight at Bellagio Hotel
leave the next day around 10:00 am

day 2 driving ≈ 6.5 hours
find more stops

 Day 3

10:00 am  leave from Bellagio Hotel
drive for about 3.5 hours

1:38 pm  Big Bear Lake
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 2:38 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

5:15 pm  arrive in San Diego
eat at The Prado at Balboa Park
stay at Hotel Del Coronado

day 3 driving ≈ 6 hours
find more stops

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Enter a city to drive through on the way from Denver to San Diego.
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Where does my trip begin?

Your starting point is Denver, Colorado.

You can enter an exact street address if you want to get precise directions, but this is optional.




How many cars do we need?

Since there are only 2 travelers, we assume you're driving 1 car. You can adjust the number of people traveling at the top. We assume a maximum of 4 passengers per car, but you can change the number of cars to fit your situation.




Where should I stop along the way?

Vail  (52 answers)
    restaurants around Vail:
        Minturn Saloon
    questions about Vail:
        Outlet for ski clothing?
        Summer Restaurants in Vail
Grand Junction  (13 answers)
Torrey  (2 answers)
Zion National Park  (71 mentions)
    questions about Zion National Park:
        When is the best time to visit/hike Zion national park?
        Canyoneer boots, Keen sandals, or old tennis shoes for Narrows hike?
        What's the best time of year to hike in Zion?
        Poisonous plants/ Venomous animals in Zion Canyon
        Are hiking boots necessary now if I hike Angels Landing
Las Vegas  (266 answers)
    Downtown Container Park  (15 mentions)
    Fremont Street Experience  (15 mentions)
    High Roller  (10 mentions)
    The Mob Museum  (8 mentions)
    Neon Museum  (8 mentions)
    restaurants around Las Vegas:
        Giada
        Mon Ami Gabi
        Wicked Spoon
        Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino
        Lotus of Siam
    hotels around Las Vegas:
        Bellagio Hotel
        MGM Grand Las Vegas
        Wynn Hotel Las Vegas
        Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
        The Cosmopolitan
    questions about Las Vegas:
        Best new restaurants in Vegas?
        What time of year is the best for scoring a cheap deals in Las Vegas
        Best tips and casinos for first time gambler?
        Is it better to stay on or off the Las Vegas strip?
        Top things to do in Las Vegas that don't include gambling?
Big Bear Lake  (11 answers)
    Snow Summit  (3 mentions)
    Big Bear Mountain  (2 mentions)
    Big Bear Mountain Brewery  (2 mentions)




Where does my trip end?

Your final destination is San Diego, California.

You can enter the exact street address of your destination, but this is optional.




Where's the best place to stay in San Diego?

Are you going straight to a hotel, or looking for a vacation rental or Airbnb?

The best resource on neighborhoods, areas, and hotels is the Trippy page on where to stay in San Diego.

If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out Hotel Del Coronado, which was mentioned 28 times on Trippy.

Here are some more hotels people talk about:

Glorietta Bay Inn  (2 mentions)

Want to research more popular hotels in San Diego? Click the blue button below.






Where's the best place to eat in San Diego?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest The Prado at Balboa Park, which was mentioned 10 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

Hash House a-Go-Go  (10 mentions)
Extraordinary Desserts  (6 mentions)
Juniper & Ivy  (5 mentions)
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery  (5 mentions)

Want to research more popular restaurants in San Diego? Click the blue button below.






What are some things to do in San Diego?

This section could be endless, so rather than trying to suggest every local activity or attraction, we'll leave it open-ended.

These are some of the places people talk about on Trippy:

Balboa Park  (40 mentions)
San Diego Zoo  (25 mentions)
Mission Beach  (25 mentions)
Old Town San Diego  (16 mentions)
Ocean Beach  (16 mentions)

Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questions because there's an entire community of travelers talking to each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is where you can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets, trip dates & more!

For example, here are some questions people have asked about San Diego. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

 Holly Goertzen from Calgary asked:
Fun for a family with small children (NOT Disneyland!)  (11 answers)

 Beverly Joesten from San Luis Obispo asked:
Weekend road trip from LA to San Diego  (8 answers)

 Liv Strauss from Cape Cod asked:
Wondering which beach is better to stay at? Ocean Beach or Mission Beach?  (8 answers)

 Lily Wang from Los Angeles asked:
Restaurant & activities ideas for couples weekend getaway in San Diego  (8 answers)

 Kenneth Bloom from Portland asked:
Best burritos in San Diego?  (7 answers)

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to San Diego.






Do I really have to go back home?

Yes, even this step is optional, because if you're on vacation who wants the trip to end? It's okay, you can start planning your next trip!

Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a San Diego to Denver drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Denver to San Diego. Or get a full Denver to San Diego flight plan.

Don't forget about exploring your own hometown with a staycation. You can also find some cool day trips or get away for a weekend. Maybe try typing in a faraway location like London, Hong Kong, or Sydney, and get inspired for your dream trip around the world.

And if you know Denver well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Denver!






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At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 1,079 miles
driving time of 15 hours, 30 minutes
San Diego is 1 hour behind Denver
150 Denver travel answers
52 Vail travel answers
13 Grand Junction travel answers
2 Torrey travel answers
266 Las Vegas travel answers
11 Big Bear Lake travel answers
216 San Diego travel answers





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