Sure, there’s an expansive desert encompassing the Las Vegas area, but deserts aren’t desolate wastelands. They are some of the most vibrant and visually stunning landscapes to explore. While there are a few different routes you can cruise along, the drive from Las Vegas to San Diego offers plenty to do and see. The journey is around 330 to 400 miles and will take you approximately five to six hours to complete, contingent on the route you decide and activities planned. If you"re starting out in The Entertainment Capital of the World and heading to San Diego, consider exploring a few of these interesting stops along the way. Be prepared for the open road by visiting our checklist of road trip essentials.

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Drive time from Las Vegas to San Diego: approximately 5 hoursDistance from Las Vegas to San Diego: approximately 330 milesBest car for this road trip: Convertible


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4. San Diego


Ferry Landing in San Diego. Photo Credit: Bigstock

To finish your drive from Las Vegas to San Diego, continue south on Interstate 215 to get back to Interstate 15 and head south. This drive is about 130 miles and should take you around two hours to complete. Once you get to San Diego, you"ll find plenty of exciting things to explore.

Enjoy your day at the renowned San Diego Zoo. The zoo houses 3,700 animals. Popular exhibits include the Panda Trek, Polar Bear Plunge, Tiger River and Elephant Odyssey. Of course, being in San Diego means you should schedule a day at the beach. Silver Strand State Beach is a great place to go for swimming, fishing, picnicking and exploring for seashells. Just be sure to do the toe test to gauge the ocean temperature. Only the bravest abandon all reason and run straight into the water.

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After a full day of travel, recharge with a satisfying meal, and what better way than to nosh on San Diego’s most well-known dish, the Fish Taco. Popular destinations for the signature dish include Bahia Don Bravo and Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill

There is more than meets the eye to the desert expanse found between Las Vegas and San Diego. Plan treks off-the-beaten-path to yield memorable excursions for yourself and travel companions.

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Las Vegas to San Diego FAQs


What should I pack for a trip to Vegas?

When you"re traveling to Vegas, be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes. Whether you"re touring the strip or hiking in the canyons, you"ll be walking a lot and you"ll want to prevent achy feet. Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are also necessary, as the Vegas heat and sun can be intense. You should also pack a light jacket, as desert temperatures can drop quite a bit during the evening.


What can you do for free in San Diego?

San Diego offers a number of free things to do, many of which allow you to enjoy the beautiful weather and landscape. 

- Balboa Park contains several walking trails, gardens, and Spanish Colonial-style buildings. - Mt. Soledad Veterans Memeorial is a large outdoor peak built in honor of fallen soldiers.- Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is the perfect place for hiking, with stunning coastal views. 


Can you drive through Mojave National Preserve?

Yes, people are allowed to drive through the Mojave National Preserve. The park requires that your vehicle be registered, insured, and have working headlights and turn signals. Keep in mind that most of the areas you can drive on are dirt roads. There are some parts that are paved, such as Kelso Depot Visitor Center, Kelso Dunes, and Teutonia Peak Trail.