Most Scenic Route from Palm Springs to San Diego

You are excited and eager to travel from Palm Springs to San Diego. Wow, you need to gear up not to miss its most scenic route. This 2 hours 10 min drive covers a distance of 126 miles. Let’s make it a memorable one. You can take different routes to San Diego, but the most scenic one goes through Temecula.

It is a fast and adventurous route with various stops you can enjoy. The other road is a bit mountainous. Many people say that it causes anxiety when driving and takes a long to reach San Diego as it needs 2.5 hours to travel the long 133 miles. 

See The Detailed Map

Part of our planning was to find worthwhile detours for you. The map will give you a clear indication of what to expect. There is an additional travel time, which is certainly worth it! Drive safely!

Turn By Turn Travel Guide

Table Of Contents

Oak Glen, Riverside (CA) 58 miles

There are different places you can stop by on your way to Sandiego. Since you are taking the shorter and most scenic path, you have a lot of time to explore the fantastic places and natural life found along the route. From Palm Springs, you can stop by Oak Glen and get the best of its beautiful farms, such as Riley’s farm, Riley’s Apple Farm, Willowbrook farm etc. The distance is just 38 miles and can only take about 45 minutes. No need to hurry; you have the whole day to make the short journey a thrilling one!

You can spare just an hour in Oak Glen, no need to worry about gas or food. Oak Glen has the best restaurants and reliable gas stations. Grab a cold drink and enjoy one of the best-prepared meals at the El Mexicano II restaurant and Oak Glen Restaurant and Tavern. These are some of the best places to get a full tummy, and you are good to go. Getting an empty tank, avoid the journey hustles by passing by Chevron or ARCO gas stations. 

Riverside is one place you can also stop by viewing the historic Mission Inn Museum. It is just about 11 minutes off your main route. Built inside the Museum is the Mission Revival Styled hotel and Spa if you need some pampering. Get an exhibit of the Riverside Art Museum displaying all the international and local works. There are places you can visit in Riverside in less than 60 minutes, Indulge yourself on the Rides at Castle Park, visit the Metropolitan Museum just for fun, View Fairmount Park and relax.

Temecula 81,4 miles 

The journey to Temecula from Palm Spring is 81,4 miles which takes about 1,5 hours. You can see that the distances aren’t that long, but you cannot afford to pass by without stopping. Temecula is one place with magnificent vineyards. Get a taste of the nourishing wine from its well-known Valley-Wine Country.

Wine tasting is one of the touring activities in Temecula; meet the winemakers and enjoy the ride into the Vineyards. Temecula is just 3 minutes off the main route, and sparing just a few hours to venture into its best activities will make a difference to your journey. Shift your focus from the driving exhaustion relaxing your mind on one of the so many golf courses in Temecula. It has so many golf courses, including the famous Temecula Creek Golf Club.

Carlsbad (California) 115 miles

Many times, eating at a great restaurant can give one the tenacity to finish a journey on a higher note. How about if you stop by Carlsbad (California), chill by the Carlsbad State Beach. If privacy is an essential factor to you, South Carlsbad State Beach should be your preference. Among other activities, expect rides and Sea Life Aquarium, all suitable for you and even if accompanied by your family. Ahead, the journey from Carlsbad to Balboa Park is 23 min (approximately 33 km).

Carlsbad is a cosmopolitan city located by the sea, where a cool breeze constantly charges it up. Popularly referred to as the ‘Village by Sea‘, the area often reaches its climax because of tourists from various origins. A classic example of a beautiful place for all ages is the LEGOLAND California Resort. There you find themed rides spanning interface shows, live exhibitions for energetic boys and girls. If interested in adrenaline and terrifying aquatic life, crocodiles are there too at the LEGOLAND Water Park.

Travelling with kids allows them to glimpse the Dragon Ride at Legoland and is one of the best activities for kids in Carlsbad. You can spare just an hour for your little ones to have some fun, do not forget that you are still on a journey. Learn something about the Carlsbad street art, history and architecture by immersing yourself in the local culture. The street art is so enjoyable, especially for a short visit.

Balboa Park 124 miles

Taking it from Carlsbad and stopping at Balboa Park for about an hour to explore the local area will leave you mesmerized. The one and half-century-old Park found a few minutes from San Diego is located in the middle of commercial and residential buildings, covering at least 1200 acres. 

You wouldn’t want to miss the unique opportunity to tread on this epicentre of art and culture, historical sites, ancient and modern architectural wonders, including the internationally ranked San Diego Zoo.

Such a botanical place comprises flora and fauna that can give you refreshing experiences and rejuvenate your curiosity about San Diego. Undoubtedly this is a must-see most iconic urban Park in North America found on your way to San Diego. As a testament to its historical past, the following museums are located in Balboa Park: San Diego Natural Museums, San Diego Air and Space Museum, the Fleet Science, and San DiegoMuseum of Art

An important tip- purchase a Balboa Park Explorer pass to minimize recurrent costs on entrance fees.

Balboa Park Museums (Source)

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San Diego 126 miles

Are you a Sushi lover? If yes, take a deep breath on arriving in San Diego and enjoy the hot in the plate Sushi at the Sushi Tadokoro Restaurant. Get the most pleasant sleep at Hotel Del Coronado after this fantastic journey.

Despite the busy traffic found along this route, you can set aside all the boredom and focus on the scenic part. Travelling is one of my hobbies, and creating unforgettable memories is the way to go.  You can always picture and document your adventures! Every journey is unique, and the route from Palm Spring to San Diego is amazingly unforgettable.

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