Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from San Diego to Santa Barbara. If you're planning a road trip to Santa Barbara, you can research locations to stop along the way. Traveling with a dog or cat? View pet-friendly stops between San Diego and Santa Barbara. Camping along the way? View RV campgrounds between San Diego and Santa Barbara. Find the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.
9:00 am start in San Diego
drive for about 36 minutes
9:36 am Carlsbad (California)
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 10:36 am
drive for about 51 minutes
1:34 pm Los Angeles
stay for about 2 hours and leave at 3:34 pm
drive for about 59 minutes
4:33 pm Malibu
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 5:33 pm
drive for about 47 minutes
6:20 pm Ventura
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 7:20 pm
drive for about 29 minutes
driving ≈ 5 hours
Your starting point is San Diego, California.
You can enter an exact street address if you want to get precise directions, but this is optional.
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.
Carlsbad (California) (29 answers)
Legoland (8 mentions)
Self-Realization Fellowship (6 mentions)
Swami's Beach (5 mentions)
San Elijo Lagoon (3 mentions)
The Flower Fields (3 mentions)
restaurants around Carlsbad (California):
La Costa Resort & Spa
Vigilucci's Seafood & Steakhouse
hotels around Carlsbad (California):
Park Hyatt Aviara Resort
Tamarack Beach Resort
Laguna Beach (59 answers)
Crystal Cove State Park (10 mentions)
Balboa Island (8 mentions)
Balboa Island (3 mentions)
Victoria Beach (3 mentions)
Dana Point Harbor (2 mentions)
restaurants around Laguna Beach:
Javier's Restaurant - Newport Beach
The Beachcomber Cafe
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa
hotels around Laguna Beach:
Montage Laguna Beach
Surf and Sand Resort
The Inn at Laguna Beach
La Casa Del Camino
Laguna Beach House
questions about Laguna Beach:
Where to stay and non-surfing things to do in Laguna Beach
What is your favorite restaurant in Laguna Beach?
Los Angeles (573 answers)
Santa Monica Pier (70 mentions)
Griffith Observatory (63 mentions)
Venice Beach Boardwalk (62 mentions)
Abbot Kinney (56 mentions)
Third Street Promenade (55 mentions)
restaurants around Los Angeles:
Grand Central Market
hotels around Los Angeles:
Shutters On the Beach
The Standard Downtown LA
Ace Hotel Los Angeles
The Huntley Hotel
questions about Los Angeles:
Where are the top 5 places to see a celebrity in L.A.?
What's your favorite burger in L.A?
Free things to do in Los Angeles?
What are the top 3 beaches in Los Angeles?
Best restaurants in Los Angeles?
Malibu (65 answers)
Malibu Beach (44 mentions)
Zuma Beach (22 mentions)
Point Dume State Beach (14 mentions)
Malibu Country Mart (12 mentions)
El Matador State Beach (12 mentions)
restaurants around Malibu:
Paradise Cove Cafe
Malibu Farm Cafe
hotels around Malibu:
Malibu Beach Inn
questions about Malibu:
Places to eat in Malibu?
Lunch recommendations near Getty Villa - Views? Kid Friendly?
Wine tasting in Malibu?
Ventura (16 answers)
Downtown Ventura (2 mentions)
C Street (2 mentions)
questions about Ventura:
What to see, do & eat in Ventura, CA
Romantic weekend events/entertainment
Your final destination is Santa Barbara, California.
You can enter the exact street address of your destination, but this is optional.
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 Santa Barbara.
If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, which was mentioned 15 times on Trippy.
Here are some more hotels people talk about:
Want to research more popular hotels in Santa Barbara? Click the blue button below.
Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?
Trippy members suggest McConnell's Fine Ice Creams, which was mentioned 5 times.
Here are some more restaurants people talk about:
Want to research more popular restaurants in Santa Barbara? Click the blue button below.
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:
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!
Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to Santa Barbara.
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!
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 San Diego well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about San Diego!