Distance From San Francisco to Los Angeles
- 347 miles / 559 km as the crow flies
- 383 miles / 612 km driving distance along the most direct route along highway 5 (read below for more scenic options if you aren't in a hurry)
LA to San Francisco Drive Time
Los Angeles and San Francisco are both large and populated cities, so traffic conditions can affect the drive time on either end. With optimal traffic, taking highway 5, you might be able to make it in 6.5 hours without stops, but you should probably add a buffer to that for traffic conditions.
Places to Visit Between Los Angeles and San Francisco
There is a lot of beautiful outdoor scenery between LA and San Francisco if you're willing to take one of the scenic routes. Highway 5 is the most direct, but if you're looking for scenery and/or places to visit; there are two main options:
The Coastal Highway
Probably the more famous of the two - if you were to 'Google It' and look for images, your bound to see at least one image of a car crusing the coastal Highway with destinations such as:
- Santa Monica
- Santa Barbara
- Big Sur State Park
Not to be outdone though, if you veer off Highway 5 heading towards Bakersfield, there are some real gems to be found too on the way to the Sierra. From there, simply cut back toward the coast in order to plot a course to San Francisco.
- Sequoia National Park
- Sierra National Forest
- Yosemite National Park
Is it Better to Drive or Fly From Los Angeles to San Francisco?
The drive isn't short. It's long enough that you might even consider breaking it up into two days, even if you are just looking for a pure A to B option. Aside from the usual reasons to drive (better for the environment, and cheaper [especially if you're using MirrorTrip!]), I think the abundant scenery really tips the scales in favor of driving. There's just so much natural beauty along the way (see above).
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