3 Low Hassle Road Trips You Can Take From San Francisco In 1 Day Or Less

Pacific Tradewinds

3 Low Hassle Road Trips You Can Take From San Francisco In 1 Day Or Less

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One of the best things about San Francisco is that it's located so close to many other amazing cities. Its location allows you to easily plan some of the most beautiful road trips known worldwide. So many famous cities and landscapes are easily reachable by car or bus from San Francisco. Read on to learn about three amazing cities you can easily reach from San Francisco!

1.  Los Angeles (9h, 456 miles) via Highway 1 and San Diego (+2h, 120 miles) 

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The road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles is one of the best road trip experiences of the West Coast. This trip gives the opportunity to enjoy the nicest views of the Pacific Ocean. The whole trip could be done in eight and a half hours, but it would be a crazy run. Not only is it exhausting, but then you also wouldn't see as many epic views of the Pacific Ocean!

There are also many beautiful places you can stop at along the route from San Francisco to LA, such as Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel by the Sea, Big Sur, Cambria, Santa Barbara, and Santa Monica. Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and Santa Monica are home to some of California's prettiest beaches, and Big Sur is a gorgeous place to hike with some unreal views. By adding these stops, your road trip could last three or four days, and give you the opportunity to enjoy completely different views and activities. There aren't many hostels along the way, but there are plenty of opportunities for camping.

After spending a few days in Los Angeles, you can extend the trip and drive to San Diego. If you have any surfers in your group, they will definitely want to do this! The route from Los Angeles to San Diego should last 2 hours, but make sure you factor in at least one additional hour for traffic delays. This is a popular route!

There are no tolls on Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which is great for helping you save money. However, the cost of the fuel may vary significantly depending on the type of car you're driving. Consider this and choose wisely when picking your rental car! 

                                                                      Sunset over Santa Monica beach

2.  Las Vegas (12h, 610 miles) and the Grand Canyon (+2h, 128 miles) 

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The most scenic way to get to Las Vegas from San Francisco is taking the route that passes through Yosemite National Park. You will drive toward Tracy, Stockton and Sonora until Yosemite enjoying some of the most beautiful landscape in the earth. Sounds pretty good, right?!

Once in Yosemite, you can choose between going east across to Death Valley (one of the hottest spots with the highest recorded temperature) or going east following the direction of Tonopah (NV). Both roads will lead you to Las Vegas!

Keep in mind that you will have to pay an entrance fee to drive through Yosemite Park, but the scenery is definitely worth it.

Once you've spent a couple of days in Las Vegas, and hopefully haven't lost too much money, you definitely shouldn’t also lose the opportunity to experience Grand Canyon National Park. It's only a two hour drive from Vegas, and one of the most impressive natural phenomenons you'll ever see.

                                                                                                     Grand Canyon's view

3. Portland (17h30, 878 miles) and Seattle (+3h, 174 miles) 

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Driving from San Francisco to Portland is a great road trip to take for foodies and nature buffs. Along the way, you can drink delicious wine in Napa and/or Sonoma Valley, go on a beautiful hike at Point Reyes National Seashore, and also tour Anderson Valley, Mendocino, Redwood National Park, and Crater Lake. This itinerary also allows you to explore lots of Californian flora and fauna that influence and define the different climates. As you leave California and go onto Portland, travelers will have the opportunity to discover the fascinating history of America’s deepest lake, Crater Lake. Portland is a great place to take a trip because of its eco friendliness. It's a very easy city to bike around. Once you are in Portland, if you have some more time you should consider extending your trip until Seattle, one of the most vibrant cities of the United States (and also where the popular TV show Grey's Anatomy is set!)

                                                                                                            Crater Lake

Have you been to any of these places? Is there another great road trip from San Francisco that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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