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San Francisco to New Orleans drive

2 travelers   /   driving   /   5 days



San Francisco to New Orleans road trip planner

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

9:00 am  start in San Francisco
drive for about 5.5 hours

2:30 pm  Santa Barbara
stay for about 4 hours and leave at 6:30 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

9:06 pm  Laguna Beach
stay overnight at Montage Laguna Beach
leave the next day around 11:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 8 hours
find more stops

 Day 2

11:00 am  leave from Montage Laguna Beach
drive for about 6 hours

4:55 pm  Phoenix
stay overnight at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
leave the next day around 9:00 am

day 2 driving ≈ 6 hours
find more stops

 Day 3

9:00 am  leave from Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
drive for about 2.5 hours

11:18 am  Mount Lemmon
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 12:18 pm
drive for about 7 hours

7:30 pm  Carlsbad Caverns National Park
stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am

day 3 driving ≈ 9.5 hours
find more stops

 Day 4

10:00 am  leave from Carlsbad Caverns National Park
drive for about 4.5 hours

2:43 pm  Caverns of Sonora
stay for about 1 hour and leave at 3:43 pm
drive for about 3.5 hours

7:23 pm  Austin
stay overnight at Hotel San Jose
leave the next day around 10:00 am

day 4 driving ≈ 8.5 hours
find more stops

 Day 5

10:00 am  leave from Hotel San Jose
drive for about 2.5 hours

12:31 pm  Houston
eat at Uchi
stay for about 2 hours and leave at 2:31 pm
drive for about 5 hours

7:37 pm  arrive in New Orleans
eat at Café du Monde
stay at Hotel Monteleone

day 5 driving ≈ 7.5 hours
find more stops

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Enter a city to drive through on the way from San Francisco to New Orleans.
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Where does my trip begin?

Your starting point is San Francisco, California.

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?

Santa Barbara  (185 answers)
    Butterfly Beach  (7 mentions)
    Bacara Resort & Spa  (6 mentions)
    Hendry's Beach  (4 mentions)
    Stearns Wharf  (4 mentions)
    The Funk Zone  (4 mentions)
    restaurants around Santa Barbara:
        McConnell's Fine Ice Creams
        La Super-Rica Taqueria
        The Lark - Santa Barbara
        Boathouse at Hendry's Beach
        The Palace Grill
    questions about Santa Barbara:
        Favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara?
        Bachelorette Weekend Getaway in Santa Barbara
        Best Beach in Santa Barbara?
        24 hours in Santa Barbara, what do I have to see/eat/do?
        Santa Barbara wine country ideas?
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
        Las Brisas
        Cafe Zoolu
        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?
Phoenix  (103 answers)
    Piestewa Peak  (3 mentions)
    Dreamy Draw Recreation Area  (2 mentions)
    Phoenix Art Museum  (2 mentions)
    Bunky Boutique  (2 mentions)
    Frances  (2 mentions)
    restaurants around Phoenix:
        Chelsea's Kitchen
        SunUp Brewing Co
        The Parlor Pizzeria
        The Clever Koi
        Crudo
    hotels around Phoenix:
        Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
        The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
    questions about Phoenix:
        What is your favorite restaurant in Phoenix?
        Food and things to see in Phoenix and Tucson
        Best restaurants in Phoenix?
        Popular neighborhoods to stay in Phoenix?
        Where are the best free things to do in Phoenix?
Mount Lemmon
Carlsbad Caverns National Park  (20 mentions)
Caverns of Sonora  (3 mentions)
Austin  (163 answers)
    Franklins BBQ  (27 mentions)
    Zilker Park  (25 mentions)
    Barton Springs Pool  (17 mentions)
    Continental Club  (11 mentions)
    Rainey Street  (8 mentions)
    restaurants around Austin:
        Chuy's Restaurant
        Torchy's Tacos
        Uchi Restaurant
        Salt Lick
        The County Line
    hotels around Austin:
        Hotel San Jose
        The W Austin Hotel
        The Driskill Hotel
        Austin Motel
        Hotel Saint Cecilia
    questions about Austin:
        Best BBQ in/near Austin?
        Do I need to rent a car for a week in Austin?
        Food trucks
        What are the must-sees in Austin?
        Best eats/bars in Austin under $25?
Houston  (80 answers)
    Houston Galleria  (8 mentions)
    Hermann Park  (7 mentions)
    Houston Museum of Natural Science  (5 mentions)
    Cavender's Boot City  (4 mentions)
    Miller Outdoor Theatre  (4 mentions)
    restaurants around Houston:
        Uchi
        Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse
        Gatlin's BBQ
        Hugo's
        Goode Company Barbeque
    questions about Houston:
        Best Mexican restaurants in town?
        Young Professional Neighborhood
        Favorite places to eat in Houston?
        What is your favorite restaurant in Houston?
        MD Anderson patient




Where does my trip end?

Your final destination is New Orleans, Louisiana.

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




Where's the best place to stay in New Orleans?

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 New Orleans.

If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out Hotel Monteleone, which was mentioned 11 times on Trippy.

Here are some more hotels people talk about:

Want to research more popular hotels in New Orleans? Click the blue button below.






Where's the best place to eat in New Orleans?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest Café du Monde, which was mentioned 62 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

French Quarter  (45 mentions)
Muriel's Jackson Square  (14 mentions)

Want to research more popular restaurants in New Orleans? Click the blue button below.






What are some things to do in New Orleans?

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:

Frenchmen Street  (47 mentions)
Bourbon Street  (26 mentions)
Jackson Square  (18 mentions)
Magazine Street  (13 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 New Orleans. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

 Tom Andrus from Los Angeles asked:
Breakfast in New Orleans?  (19 answers)

 Drew Corwin from Ojai asked:
Where can I find the best jazz bars in New Orleans?  (13 answers)

 Francesca Manto from United States asked:
Affordable Must-Dos in New Orleans, Louisiana?  (12 answers)

 John Cassidy from Omaha, Nebraska asked:
What are the must-try foods and restaurants in NOLA?  (9 answers)

 Bianca Sousa from Miami asked:
When is the best time to go to New Orleans?  (9 answers)

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to New Orleans.






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 New Orleans 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 New Orleans. Or get a full San Francisco to New Orleans 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!






Return to top of page
At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 2,276 miles
driving time of 33 hours, 41 minutes
New Orleans is 2 hours ahead of San Francisco
604 San Francisco travel answers
185 Santa Barbara travel answers
60 Laguna Beach travel answers
103 Phoenix travel answers
163 Austin travel answers
80 Houston travel answers
193 New Orleans travel answers





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