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San Francisco to Manhattan Beach via San Luis Obispo

driving   /   2 days   /   no pets   /   no RV

San Francisco to Manhattan Beach road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from San Francisco to Manhattan Beach. If you're planning a road trip to Manhattan Beach, 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.

customize this trip
 Day 1

10:00 am  start in San Francisco
drive for about 55 minutes

10:55 am  San Jose
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 11:55 am
drive for about 1.5 hours

1:17 pm  Carmel By the Sea
stay for about 1.5 hours
and leave at 2:47 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

5:14 pm  San Luis Obispo
eat at Firestone Grill
stay overnight at The Madonna Inn
leave the next day around 10:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 4.5 hours
find more stops

 Day 2

10:00 am  leave from The Madonna Inn
drive for about 3.5 hours

1:18 pm  Santa Monica
stay for about 4 hours
and leave at 5:18 pm
drive for about 32 minutes

5:49 pm  arrive in Manhattan Beach
eat at Gjelina
stay at Hotel Erwin

day 2 driving ≈ 4 hours

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Where should I stop along the way?

San Jose  (39 answers)
    The Tech Museum of Innovation  (3 mentions)
    San Jose Museum of Art  (3 mentions)
    Santana Row  (3 mentions)
    Winchester Mystery House  (2 mentions)
    California's Great America  (2 mentions)
    questions about San Jose:
        What's the best neighborhood in San Jose for a first time visitor?
        Hotels with airport parking in San Jose
        Best missions to see & other good activities for kids
        Neighborhood for young professional in San Jose
        Free things to do in San Jose?

Carmel By the Sea  (69 answers)
    Monterey Bay Aquarium  (41 mentions)
    Pebble Beach  (21 mentions)
    Point Lobos  (9 mentions)
    Point Lobos State Reserve  (8 mentions)
    17-Mile Drive  (6 mentions)
    restaurants around Carmel By the Sea:
        Passionfish
        Katy's Place
        Epsilon Fine Greek Restaurant
        Flaherty's Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar
        Old Fisherman's Grotto
    questions about Carmel By the Sea:
        Romantic restaurant and hotel in Carmel
        Things to do that'll interest 17-year-old brother

San Luis Obispo  (122 answers)
    Bishop Peak  (4 mentions)
    San Luis Obispo Mission  (3 mentions)
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo  (3 mentions)
    Edna Valley  (2 mentions)
    F. McLintocks Saloon and Dining House  (2 mentions)
    restaurants around San Luis Obispo:
        Firestone Grill
        Novo Restaurant & Lounge
        Bello Mundo
        Splash Cafe
        Avila Valley Barn
    hotels around San Luis Obispo:
        The Madonna Inn
        Madonna Inn Resort & Spa
        Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort
        Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa
        Seacrest Beach Resort
    questions about San Luis Obispo:
        What is your favorite restaurant in San Luis Obispo?
        Lodging
        Exploring SLO in March to scout moving there - what should I check out?
        Where to stay outside of San Luis Obispo for Cal Poly graduation

Santa Monica  (225 answers)
    Santa Monica Pier  (70 mentions)
    Venice Beach Boardwalk  (62 mentions)
    Abbot Kinney  (56 mentions)
    Third Street Promenade  (55 mentions)
    LACMA  (50 mentions)
    restaurants around Santa Monica:
        Gjelina
        Urth Caffe
        The Apple Pan
        Joan's on Third Cafe
        Gracias Madre
    questions about Santa Monica:
        Drinks in SM?
        Fun things to do in Santa Monica?
        Fun Santa Monica hotels under $400/night?
        Good breakfast spot for a business meeting?
        Avoiding sticker shock in Santa Monica


Where's the best place to stay in Manhattan Beach?

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 Manhattan Beach.

If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out Hotel Erwin, which was mentioned 30 times on Trippy.

Here are some more hotels people talk about:

Shade Hotel  (20 mentions)
Hilton Garden Inn  (4 mentions)

Want to research more popular hotels in Manhattan Beach? Click the blue button below.




Where's the best place to eat in Manhattan Beach?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest Gjelina, which was mentioned 44 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

MB Post  (39 mentions)
Simmzy's  (22 mentions)
Fishing with Dynamite  (16 mentions)
North End Caffe  (14 mentions)

Want to research more popular restaurants in Manhattan Beach? Click the blue button below.




What are some things to do in Manhattan Beach?

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:

Venice Beach Boardwalk  (62 mentions)
Abbot Kinney  (56 mentions)
Manhattan Beach Pier  (22 mentions)
Trilogy Spa  (12 mentions)
Hermosa Beach Pier  (9 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 Manhattan Beach. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

profile  Katie from Los Angeles asked:
Favorite restaurants in Manhattan Beach?  (12 answers)

profile  Elizabeth from asked:
Where's the best dessert in Manhattan Beach?  (3 answers)

profile  Katie from Los Angeles asked:
What's the best neighborhood in Manhattan Beach for a first time visitor?  (2 answers)

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to Manhattan Beach.




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 Manhattan Beach to San Francisco 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 Francisco to Manhattan Beach. Or get a full San Francisco to Manhattan Beach 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 Francisco well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about San Francisco!





At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 427 miles
driving time of 7 hours, 6 minutes
630 San Francisco travel answers
39 San Jose travel answers
69 Carmel By the Sea travel answers
122 San Luis Obispo travel answers
225 Santa Monica travel answers
125 Manhattan Beach travel answers





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