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San Francisco Anaheim

Needing route to SF from Anaheim CA

Driving to SF from Anaheim California, would love to see a little bit of the coast however need to make it to San Francisco in one day. Is there a route to take me to San Francisco and also see a few points of interest along the way still making it in the same day? 

3 Answers

answered by
Thuy from San Francisco

how much time do you have? Fastest is through Route 5 ... takes 5 hrs. View is strictly farmlands etc ... route101 takes 8 hrs and scenic route 1 takes 10 hrs. If you want a partial scenic i would go route 1 half, cross around Paso Robles to 5.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paso Robles (city)

answered by
John from Carlsbad (California)


I-5 is definitely the fastest way from Anaheim(between 6.5 and 7.5 hours of driving time depending the time of day you leave and how fast you want to drive), but there is nothing of interest along the way and it is a very boring drive unless you like to look at farmed fields. It also has the advantage of a higher speed limit, and many cars travel at 75 or 80 mph, cutting the time even more.

If you take the 101, it will take between an additional 30 to 60 minutes of driving time.  The 101 is not as easy a drive, but there are some good things to see. The stretch between Oxnard and Santa Barbara, the Pismo Beach area, San Luis Obispo, and the vineyards around Paso Robles are all nice areas.  If you don't mind adding another 45 minutes of driving time, you can cut over to the Monterey Peninsula on Hwy. 68, and then take Hwy. 1 to Santa Cruz, which is also interesting.  From there you would take Hwy. 17 (a winding road), and then Hwy. 85 to I-280 into San Francisco.  If you don't cut over to the Monterey Peninsula, I would still recommend taking I-280 from the 101 because it is a much nicer drive than the 101 into San Francisco.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Anaheim (city)
  2. Oxnard (city)
  3. Santa Barbara (city)
  4. Pismo Beach (city)
  5. San Luis Obispo (city)
  6. Paso Robles (city)
  7. Monterey (city)
  8. Santa Cruz (city)
  9. San Francisco (city)

answered first by

Going straight up the interstate from Anaheim to San Francisco is about 410 miles and will take about 7 hours to drive,  Deviating off the interstate will take more time.  How much of that you will want to do depends on your individual stamina.  Just doing the bit north of LA (like to Point Mugu State Park) will add 100 miles.  If you did not do that but went straight up the interstate from LA and cut over toward Santa Cruz you could take Route 1 up the coast from there to San Francisco, and that would add only about 60 miles.  It would probably be better to plan to do it at the end of the trip and you could see whether you could afford the time and had the energy to do it.  And it would also depend on the time of year - how early does it get dark.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Anaheim (city)
  2. San Francisco (city)
  3. Point Mugu State Park (attraction)
  4. Santa Cruz (city)

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