San Diego to L.A. – A 5-Day Road Trip Itinerary

5-Day Road Trip Itinerary

We’re living through difficult times, right now, that could do with escaping from – so, when better to take to the open road and discover California? Indeed, with so many hotels in California open now, it may be the best time this year to fill up your vehicle with gas, take to the highway and get going on that road trip you’ve always dreamed of doing.

Here follows, then, a five-day itinerary – from San Diego to Los Angeles – which features not hours and hours and hours of driving, but generally short drives, ensuring you can get the very best out of your time. A word to the wise, though, while you might want to fill your trip with lots of activities (and stays at quality accommodation, like Good Nite Inn SeaWorld), be sure to keep a look out for animals along the way – everything from coyotes to wolves can be espied by the eagle-eyed!

Day 1 – San Diego

San Diego California

There’s so much to see and do in San Diego that you could actually spend a week here. As you’ve just a day on this itinerary, though, we suggest making a beeline for its world-renowned zoo. San Diego Zoo’s rightly heralded, not just for all the animals it’s home to but also because it’s an outstanding research facility. But what about those animals? Well, you’ll find more than 3,700 of them – not least some of its best-loved being its wonderful giant pandas.

Day 2 – Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

One of the most famous natural parks in the United States, this spectacular expanse of wild terrain is breath-taking; not least its obvious centerpiece, the famed Joshua tree itself – a uniquely stark but beguiling work of desert nature. From San Diego, we suggest driving to the park and entering at its southernmost point – you’ll have to drive north through the park to reach the Joshua trees, themselves.

Day 3 – Joshua Tree to L.A.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve

Today’s (mostly) a travel day, but there’s so much to enjoy in California, so who’s complaining? After all, there’s much to see and do along the way. For instance, who couldn’t resist stopping off at Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve? When it’s the ‘right’ time of year, ideally springtime, it’s blanketed by poppy flowers, as far as the eye can see. Beautiful!

(A word of warning, though, when you’re out on the open road, be sure to take the necessary precautions, Coronavirus-wise – you won’t come across many a Covid-19 responder room)

Days 4 and 5 – Los Angeles

Hollywood-Walk-of-Fame

So, how better to complete your five-day road trip than by spending the last two days in the fascinating, extraordinary City of Angels? After waking up, bright and early, in your Goodnite Inn hotel, take it from us, you’ll want to kick off Day 4 by strolling along the Hollywood Walk of Fame – and it’s definitely best to do so in the morning when it’s too early for the crowds to gather (important to bear in mind during these challenging times), enabling you the time and space to gaze down and find your favorite stars.

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

Film fans, too, will want to amble past the exquisite movie palace that’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Not least because the Walk’s most prestigious stars are located outside this most iconic of venues. However, there’s no more important L.A. bucket-list activity than capturing that selfie in front of the Hollywood sign itself. Especially because a great place to capture it is at the awesome Griffith Observatory; one of the city’s major architectural landmarks and a classic film location, too (think Rebel Without a Cause and La La Land). Result!