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5-Day Trip Ideas within 3 hrs. from San Diego

Updated: Apr 29

Are you looking for a fun day trip from San Diego? San Diego offers an array of exciting destinations within a three-hour radius, perfect for a fun day trip. In this post, I will share 5 day trip ideas from San Diego!

1. Los Angeles

Distance from San Diego: 120 miles/ 2 hrs. and 30 min

It is the largest city in California and the second-largest city in the United States, after New York City. Los Angeles is in a coastal basin, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and surrounded by mountains, including the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. Los Angeles is known for iconic landmarks and attractions, including the Hollywood Sign, Walk of Fame, Griffith Observatory, Universal Studios Hollywood, Getty Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Santa Monica Pier.

2. Joshua Tree National Park:

Distance from San Diego: 164 miles/ 3 hrs.

Joshua Tree is one of the many National Parks located in California. Just 3 hours away from San Diego makes this a great day trip adventure. I recommend this trip to people looking for a unique place to hike, and outdoor adventure or disconnect from the world. The Park offers breathtaking desert scenery, iconic Joshua trees, and excellent opportunities for stargazing. Check out my Joshua Tree Travel Guide!

3. Temecula Wine Country:

Distance from San Diego: 67 miles/ 1 hr.

Discover the vineyards and wineries of Temecula Valley, just north of San Diego, and enjoy wine tasting and scenic views. For more information on what to do in Temecula, view my Temecula City Guide!

4. Julian:

Distance from San Diego: 60 miles/ 1 hr. 15 min

Escape to the mountain town of Julian, known for its delicious apple pies, historic buildings, and beautiful hiking trails. For more ideas on what to do in Julian, view my post 7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Julian, California this Fall or my Fall Day Trip Guide to Julian

5. Big Bear Lake:

Distance from San Diego: 145 miles/ 3 hrs.

Situated in the San Bernardino Mountains, this is a top destination for residents of Southern California, offering a four-season escape from the busy life in the big city. Check out my Fall Day Trip Guide to Big Bear!

There are many fun day trips you can take from San Diego! Stay tuned for a future post when I share more day trip ideas from San Diego!


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