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. Make sure you check road conditions to double check the weather. Traveling with a dog or cat? Find pet-friendly stops. Camping along the way? Search for RV campgrounds. 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
11:27 am Laguna Beach
eat at Javier's Restaurant - Newport Beach
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 12:27 pm
drive for about 1 hour
1:34 pm Los Angeles
stay for about 4 hours
and leave at 5:34 pm
drive for about 1.5 hours
7:13 pm Montecito
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 8:13 pm
drive for about 9 minutes
8:22 pm arrive in Santa Barbara
stay at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
driving ≈ 4.5 hours
Carlsbad (California) (30 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 (60 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 (612 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?
Area an hour away from LAX airport
What are the top 3 beaches in Los Angeles?
Montecito (5 answers)
Butterfly Beach (7 mentions)
Hendry's Beach (4 mentions)
Stearns Wharf (4 mentions)
The Funk Zone (4 mentions)
Arroyo Burro Beach County Park (3 mentions)
restaurants around Montecito:
McConnell's Fine Ice Creams
La Super-Rica Taqueria
The Lark - Santa Barbara
Boathouse at Hendry's Beach
The Palace Grill
hotels around Montecito:
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
San Ysidro Ranch
El Encanto Hotel
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!
For example, here are some questions people have asked about Santa Barbara. Click on any question to see answers from the community!
Veronica from San Francisco asked:
Favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara? (9 answers)
Kay from Vermont asked:
Bachelorette Weekend Getaway in Santa Barbara (6 answers)
Darren from Jersey City asked:
Best Beach in Santa Barbara? (5 answers)
Stephanie from Venice Beach asked:
24 hours in Santa Barbara, what do I have to see/eat/do? (5 answers)
Valerie from asked:
How far from santa barbara to palm springs and PS to Phoenix? (1 answer)
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!
Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a Santa Barbara to San Diego 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 San Diego to Santa Barbara. Or get a full San Diego to Santa Barbara 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 San Diego well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about San Diego!
More info on this route: