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San Francisco to Santa Barbara drive

driving   /   2 days   /   no pets   /   no RV

San Francisco to Santa Barbara road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from San Francisco 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.

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 hour

1:00 pm  San Juan Bautista
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 2:00 pm
drive for about 44 minutes

2:44 pm  Carmel By the Sea
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 3:44 pm
drive for about 1.5 hours

5:18 pm  Pinnacles National Park
stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 4.5 hours
find more stops

 Day 2

10:00 am  leave from Pinnacles National Park
drive for about 1.5 hours

11:36 am  Paso Robles
eat at Niner Wine Estates
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 12:36 pm
drive for about 40 minutes

1:16 pm  Pismo Beach (California)
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 2:16 pm
drive for about 55 minutes

3:11 pm  Solvang
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 4:11 pm
drive for about 43 minutes

4:54 pm  arrive in Santa Barbara
stay at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

day 2 driving ≈ 4 hours
find more stops

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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?

San Juan Bautista  (5 answers)
    Mission San Juan Bautista  (2 mentions)
    restaurants around San Juan Bautista:
        Vertigo Coffee

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

Pinnacles National Park  (2 mentions)
    questions about Pinnacles National Park:
        Best hikes in Pinnacles National Park?

Paso Robles  (49 answers)
    Firestone Walker Brewing Company  (6 mentions)
    Villicana Winery  (5 mentions)
    Terry Hoage Vineyards  (3 mentions)
    Summerwood Winery & Inn  (3 mentions)
    DAOU Vineyards & Winery  (3 mentions)
    restaurants around Paso Robles:
        Niner Wine Estates
        Ecluse Wines
        Pier 46 Seafood Market
        Brecon Estate
        ONX
    questions about Paso Robles:
        Good wineries in Paso Robles
        Where should I eat in Paso Robles?
        Casual eats near Paso Robles?
        Favorite Wineries Near Paso Robles

Pismo Beach (California)  (47 answers)
    Laetitia Vineyard & Winery  (3 mentions)
    San Luis Obispo Mission  (3 mentions)
    Edna Valley  (2 mentions)
    F. McLintocks Saloon and Dining House  (2 mentions)
    restaurants around Pismo Beach (California):
        Splash Cafe
        Avila Valley Barn

Solvang  (46 answers)
    Firestone Vineyard  (3 mentions)
    Fess Parker Winery  (3 mentions)
    R Country Market  (2 mentions)
    Blackjack Ranch  (2 mentions)
    Saarloos And Sons Tasting Room  (2 mentions)
    restaurants around Solvang:
        Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe
        Olsen's Danish Village Bakery & Coffee Shop
        Industrial Eats
        Panino
        Petros
    questions about Solvang:
        What to do in Solvang... good places to stay, eat, etc.


Where's the best place to stay in Santa Barbara?

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:

Isla Vista  (2 mentions)
San Ysidro Ranch  (2 mentions)
El Encanto Hotel  (2 mentions)

Want to research more popular hotels in Santa Barbara? Click the blue button below.




Where's the best place to eat in Santa Barbara?

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:

La Super-Rica Taqueria  (5 mentions)
The Palace Grill  (4 mentions)

Want to research more popular restaurants in Santa Barbara? Click the blue button below.




What are some things to do in Santa Barbara?

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:

Butterfly Beach  (7 mentions)
Bacara Resort & Spa  (6 mentions)
Hendry's Beach  (4 mentions)
Stearns Wharf  (4 mentions)
The Funk Zone  (4 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 Santa Barbara. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

profile  Veronica from San Francisco asked:
Favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara?  (9 answers)

profile  Kay from Vermont asked:
Bachelorette Weekend Getaway in Santa Barbara  (6 answers)

profile  Darren from Jersey City asked:
Best Beach in Santa Barbara?  (5 answers)

profile  Stephanie from Venice Beach asked:
24 hours in Santa Barbara, what do I have to see/eat/do?  (5 answers)

profile  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.




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 Santa Barbara to San Francisco drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

Looking for ideas for more destinations within driving distance of San Francisco? Try searching for places within 5 hours of San Francisco.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Or get a full San Francisco 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 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 325 miles
driving time of 5 hours, 7 minutes
630 San Francisco travel answers
39 San Jose travel answers
5 San Juan Bautista travel answers
69 Carmel By the Sea travel answers
49 Paso Robles travel answers
47 Pismo Beach (California) travel answers
46 Solvang travel answers
189 Santa Barbara travel answers





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